We recently caught up with Billabong surfer Tanika Hoffman on her trip to Durban, South Africa for some fun waves, unique city life, and tropical wanderlust.



What did you do every day?


As soon as lockdown eased a bit here in South Africa, I couldn't wait to spend as much time as possible in the ocean. I live in Cape Town, where the winters are quite harsh and the ocean water's very cold! Durban (a two-hour flight away) on the other hand, has beautiful winters...their subtropical climate makes for sunny days all year round, as well as beautiful rain and wind free days...and lots of swell during the winter!


Most mornings I was up with the sunrise...either having my morning coffee while watching the sun rise over the ocean or rushing to get in the surf at first light. Waking up with the view of the ocean is always such a treat and puts me in such a peaceful, happy mood for the rest of the day. 



How was the swell?


During our lockdown, Durban had probably one of their best runs of winter swell that they've had in years...it was perfect for over a month. By the time I made it to Durban, (after waiting for our travel restrictions to lift) the dream run of swell seemed to have come to an end, but there were still a few perfect days with really fun waves. Warm water and some winter sunshine make every surf seem perfect!


Durban city is like any other big city – high rises, business and hotels along the beachfront all of which can be seen from the surf....the ocean is lined with 5 breakwater piers which creates really fun sand banks...afternoons were often spent riding a variety of fun boards, I would switch between the longboard, single fin and twin fin as conditions changed with the tides.




What is Durban like?


Durban city is like any other big city...I personally prefer the North Coast of Durban as there are so many cute little beach towns all with their own beach breaks and points. When in Durban, I spend most of my time in Westbrook, which is about 30 minutes north of the city...it consists of a super small beach community, one restaurant, one gas station...and an abundance of waves! There are three beach breaks to choose from and two right-hand point breaks, so there is almost always somewhere to surf!



What was your favorite part?


One of the things that I love most about Durban is how perfect their winters are.... the palm tree lined coast gives off a beautiful island/tropical feel. You could literally be anywhere in the world. The sun rises over the ocean, the water is warm, and waves are always fun! I love that you can longboard fun, soft waves in town, and then drive 30 minutes up the coast and surf a perfect overhead point break all within the same day! 


I am always proud to show off my beautiful country, every province has something special about it. To me, Durban is special because of the tropical and carefree surf lifestyle that you can live here. Every morning, the coastline lights up with that beautiful sunrise glow and days are spent in my favorite place, the ocean.




Photos by: @pattocean