30 June, 2010 30 June, 2010

Battery Beach – KZN spot check

North of the Piers, the scene of Zag's latest cover.

If you park at Pirates Lifesaving Club on a good four-foot and offshore day you will more likely-than-not see some perfect waves roping through. If you look across to the left, towards Casino Beach, there are usually long, running lefts, and if you look across to the right, towards Snake Park, there are usually some big rights coming through. Battery is one of those places – it looks way better from the beach. So, here are a few tip and tricks on how to get the most out of Battery.

General warning:
Remember that the car guards at Battery Beach are completely ineffective. Cars get broken into and cars get stolen in front of their noses on a daily basis. Battery is thus not a good place for a dawnie before work unless you don’t mind losing your laptop and cellphone and anything else of value that you might possess.

Best conditions:
Mostly, Battery likes a good swell and the lower the tide the better. It also favours a swell with a bit of a west in it as any other direction and it tends to close out quite a lot. Sometimes if the swell is small and there are a few inside banks then it likes a high tide. The waves are your basic beachbreak waves. They are fairly soft, but ideal to swing a few turns, generate some speed, and have some fun. It does throw a few barrels here and there, if you’re lucky, but it’s not renowned for it at all.

Getting out:
If you’re surfing the outside banks on a good swell, it can be quite a paddle out. I know of a few people who haven’t made it out to backline and have had to do an exhausted walk of shame up the beach to the car park. If you feel you’re stuck in a rip and can’t get out you’re probably not. You’re probably unfit and dawdling. Put your head down and paddle out. Young girls can do it; ballies can do it, so can you.

Your favorite board is all that’s required at Battery. Nothing special about the wave and no special needs. It’s not always that hollow and it’s not that powerful. Sometimes it can be quite flat. The water, as per Durban, is going to be warm except for the winter dawnie, which you can’t do at Battery anyway because of the rotten car guards.

The best thing about Battery, and the reason why so many people surf there, is that it can handle a crowd. When all the piers are jam-packed and they can’t handle any more people, the space at Battery Beach is very attractive. There are enough peaks for everyone and you’re guaranteed to get a couple of waves out there no matter what. They might not be as good as the New Pier but quantity will always win over quality in these crowded times.

Wet the tonsil:
After a surf at Battery you have two options: a quiet drink at the Blue Waters Hotel Public Bar or a more boisterous option at the Suncoast Casino, where you can have a drink, have a chow at a variety of restaurants, feed some bandit or drop some chips at the tables. You’re never going to win at the Casino but you can always have some fun.  Remember that the drinks at the Casino are some of the cheapest in the area, because they reckon if you have a few dops you’ll be a bit braver at poker and you’ll end up losing more to the house than a few drinks worth.

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