The east coast of South Africa has seen one its best run of swells in years – culminating last weekend when a huge pulse rumbled the shores of Durban.
“There have been so many ground swells this season already and the banks seem to be amazing all along the coast,” says photographer Marck Botha.
“The last run of swell has been particular good for Durban with basically three separate systems bringing fresh pulses of swell.”
For the first part of the swell season, surfing in South Africa was out of the question, the country faced one of the strictest COVID lockdowns, all beaches were closed and surfing was 100 per cent illegal up until a few weeks ago.
“Most surfers waited while watching one of the most consistent winters pass by,” says Marck. “Even now it is not exactly clear if surfing is allowed and under which rules, but slowly more services have opened up and no one seems to be stopping surfers anymore, although legally most beaches still remain closed.”
Monday was the biggest day I remember in Durban
But about last weekend? “The weekend was super fun and Sunday had some really clean conditions. It was really long waits between sets but once a while a set would pop and was hitting the bank so hard. Dan Redman and Wade Simkiss were stand out from this session.
“Monday was the biggest day I remember in Durban. It was forecast to be massive and come through even bigger than that – the size was completely unheard of for Durban.
“When we first arrived there were clean up sets breaking nearly a kilometre out at sea, I have never seen it doing that at these spots. There were barely any places along the east coast that could handle that much swell. There were a handful of people that attempted to paddle; Andre Botha, Ricky Basnet, Mike Frew, Scott Venter and Julian Wilson.
“There was also news of some people towing and doing step offs at one or two other spots along the coast, but for the most part the coast was completely unsurfable. It was extremely hard conditions with a crazy side wash and clean up sets, but Andre and Ricky both managed to get a good one each and they were definitely the stand outs for just getting into a good one. Funny that I travel to places all over the world with my brother Andre in search for big surf and our biggest day was at home.”