Rippable waves and warm waters in South Africa's Surf City
Known as South Africa’s ‘Surf City’, Durban lives up to the reputation with its rippable waves and warm waters. Plus famous South African surfers like Jordy Smith and Shaun Tomson were brought up on its waves, so you're definitely in for the best surf of your life. It's the perfect place to jump off the pier straight into running rights like New Pier, or take time to play around in the bowls working on your turns. When you're ready for waves with a bit more power, then Ansteys in front of the backpackers produces some great peaks and barrels.
Your time in Durban will be spent on the Bluff, away from the city centre and home itself to one of South Africa’s best and heaviest waves, Cave Rock. Spending your days on the beach and in the water in board shorts or bikinis is what Durban life is all about.
What to Expect
Expect to wake up early to hit the dawnie at Ansteys with your Trip Leaders, before settling into a home-cooked fry up at Heidi’s cafe. Then head into town to spend the day jumping off the piers and into some of South Africa’s best waves, known as the ‘Golden Mile’. Durban is all about board shorts, bikinis, beach breaks and fun in the sun! Welcome.
The coaching is specific to your level of surfing, so don't sweat it if the ocean isn't your best buddy yet. If you're just looking for more advice on how to improve your down the line speed or cutback - we've got it covered! With photo and video analysis, plus top daily coaching in consistent waves and warm waters, you'll soon see your surfing reach new levels of awesome.
We stay at Anstey’s backpackers run by one of South Africa’s most high-profile surfing families, the Palmbooms. They know all things surf, and between them and your Trip Leaders, you're guaranteed the ultimate warm water sandy surf trip. Dorm rooms at the homely Ansteys backpackers will keep you happy at night, while the cafe, surf shop and comfortable lounge displaying posters of the Palmbooms surfing, will keep you amped for the next session.
Take a tour around a surfboard factory and see how boards evolve from time in the shaping machine to the final spray.
Surf Camp Accommodation
Trip Leaders For Duration
All Surf Lessons
Surf Guiding To The Best Beaches
All Surf Transport
Involvement In Community Projects
Photos Of Your Surfing
Additional Excursions And Activities
Here you'll find a day by day breakdown of your course.
Settle in and start surfingGet picked up from the airport by your smiling Trip Leader and head straight to the backpackers. Get your priorities straight from the very beginning by getting your feet sandy and your hair salty as soon as possible. If you're a beginner, you'll get taught the basics in the easiest way to ensure success, and if you're already a bit of a pro, then we'll help you iron out any bad habits.
The RideNow that you're settled in and got over you first sunburn, it's time to really work on your surfing. With professional coaching and the consistent waves at Durban's piers, you will be in the water all day, working on new techniques and manoeuvres to take your surfing up a notch or two.
Embrace new surfing challengesWith your boardshort/bikini tan and new surfing skills, it's time to face the challenge of some new spots by checking out some punchier waves or an exciting barrel or two. You'll also go to Clayton's factory for a tour and maybe even pick up a unique surfboard for your future travels.
What past riders say
I had a wicked time and even extended my trip by adding on three weeks in Mozambique. The staff are all awesome! Ticket to Ride have a great team and the people we met along the way were all amazing as well. Loved the surf, loved the stops and will miss it for sure!Tia Seymour
I was totally bored of working a normal 9-5 office job in cold, wet England, so I decided to have a look at learning some new skills while traveling. Ticket to Ride seemed to provide me with my dream trip, so I signed up straight away. Traveling a beautiful wave filled country like South Africa has been insane. It didn’t just live up to my expectations, it smashed them to pieces. I made friends with some of the best people (and a few animals) I've ever met.
Along the way, I learnt a lot about the crazy world and myself. This trip has genuinely changed me and given me two new qualifications I never really thought I’d ever have! The guys and girls I’ve met and those who work for Ticket to Ride are beyond incredible and I hope they’re proud of the ‘lekker’ work they’re doing. Thank you!Ryan Webb
The level of coaching was world-class and my surfing improved a huge amount. Thanks!Tim
The team, trip and course genuinely ticks all the right boxes for me. A dream come true.Lily
JBay is such an awesome place. We stayed right on the beach, so we’d just wake up and go for a surf at sunrise, hang out with a few dolphins, head back to the hostel, knock back a few cheeky drinks and then have another surf in the afternoon.
Etienne, our surf coach was amazing! He knew exactly what you needed to do to improve and I found myself standing up on waves that I thought would always be out of my reach.
I definitely want to go back one day, perhaps take on the super tubes with the pro surfers! It was an epic trip and one that I will never forget!Lauren Barlow
The best decision I ever made! A truly amazing experience and now I have a job as a surf instructor in Cornwall.Alex Douglas
After working three jobs for five months, I can honestly say that ten weeks with Ticket to Ride in South Africa was the best way to spend my hard earned money. Starting the trip as a complete beginner was daunting at first but I can't recommend it highly enough now. The trip has it all and I've enjoyed everything from catching the wave of my life at The Bluff (with Ryan Ribbink close by) to getting to know South Africans in the townships and at the backpackers.
Each location had its memories and two stand out examples would be Jeffreys Bay for its partying scene and Coffee Bay for its insane morning surfs. I not only overcame my fear of heights on this trip by jumping from the world's tallest bungee jump, but also learnt valuable life saving lessons as part of the first aid course. While the instructor element of the trip saw us really come together as a group, as we practiced giving each other surf lessons and helped each other through surfing two lefts and two rights.
I've only been back a week and already feel deprived of surfing. I can't wait to get back in the water as a newly qualified instructor! I can't thank Ticket to Ride enough, especially the Trip Leaders, as it really was a once in a lifetime experience. The best ten weeks of my life.Phoebe Tomlinson
The surf was great, food was great and everyone was super friendly. I've definitely come back with a different perspective on South Africa and on Africa as a whole, and if you have the chance to go to Mozam as well, don't hesitate - go for it! I caught this one wave, it was like 100 metres long, and it sounds ridiculously cheesy but that was when I thought, I'm a surfer now!Ronan Collins
I had barely surfed before joining the trip and I can honestly say that I'm now hooked. You can't really describe the feeling of surfing, once you're riding the face - it's unbelievable. It's what gets people hooked and I'm sure you will be if you join the trip too. The trip exceeded all my expectations and even though it may seem like a big decision to head out here by yourself, once you arrive and meet the group, they'll be like your family from day one. Definitely worth doing!Charlie Darby
I'd done minimal surfing before doing the trip and it's actually incredible how fast you progress by surfing every day, visiting different surf spots and waves. It's been hard work but I've enjoyed it immensely. I've loved being in South Africa and while I was a little concerned about safety before coming out here, I can honestly say I never felt unsafe at any point. All the locals were really friends and everywhere we stayed, we were made to feel very welcome.
The Mozambique leg was completely different to the South Africa part, and I'm so glad I decided to do as it definitely enhanced the trip. It had a raw feel to it and a much more adventurous vibe as you're going around in a 4x4s, checking out new surf spots and waves for the final three weeks.
If you're umming and ahhing over whether or not to book on, then don't - just go for it! The experiences you'll have and the friendships you'll make will be just priceless.Ben Howarth
Ticket to Ride is the ultimate experience for everyone who loves surfing, nature and adventures! I've had an incredible time in a stunning country, and enjoyed every single trip stop along the beautiful coastine of South Africa.Jana Keller
I was a little worried about money before I came on the course - you never really know for sure if it's going to be worth it. I had the best time of my life, met some amazing people, did some pretty incredible things and now I can surf. (Still working on it.) No videos or pictures will ever do it justice, you just gotta experience it!Sam Bass
Not really! Some people like to wear a 2mm short wetsuit, but most people just wear a warm rash vest. You can always get one out here if you don't already have one.
The food is fantastic and you can get anything you want at great prices. When in Durban you have to try a bunny chow!
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