Stab Magazine | Cyclone Barrels, Sandbars And Destruction In Durban, The Gallery

Cyclone Barrels, Sandbars And Destruction In Durban, The Gallery

“People’s homes washed away, man hole covers on the road were blown up and out and the streets were completely flooded by more than a metre of water.” 

news // Aug 3, 2016
Words by Morgan Williamson
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first rain – in recent memory – poured down upon Durban a few days back along with heavy run-off, pollution and sandbars groomed for hollow pleasures. “For the past year the provence of KwaZulu-Natal has been suffering from a major drought,” lensman Luke Patterson tells Stab. “Most suburbs have been on strict water restrictions, and some places have had no water at all. The other day we had the gnarliest rainfall; it was about a year’s worth of rain in one day.” 

IMG 3830 Patterson2

The best thing about living in South Africa is you never have to stray too far for cooking surf. Here’s Twiggy adding another notch to his ever-expanding barrel resume.

The area isn’t designed for torrential downpour. It tore through Durban’s infrastructure, halted daily activity and became a safety hazard on and off the roads. “People’s homes washed away, walls were breaking, man hole covers on the road were blown up and out and the streets were completely flooded by more than a meter of water,” says Luke. “Some people lost their cars after they were submerged by the strong currents washing through the street.”

IMG 3743 Patterson

“This kid (Davey Van Zyl) actually concussed himself after one of his barrels and had to go hospital,” Luke tells us. “He asked me later what actually happened to him – he was a bit zonked.”

“One major issue that sucks for us surfers is all the shit that comes down the rivers,” Mr Patterson continues. “Throughout the year the villages and factories upstream dump all their waste onto the river banks. Major rainfalls like this gathers it all and brings it into the ocean and river mouths where most the good surf spots are.”

IMG 3930 Patterson

Josh Redman sips the fruits of the post-downpour-sandbars.

“The water quality is pretty bad,” says Luke. “I waited a couple days to shoot from the water because when taking water shots you’re constantly taking in water. And, that’s how you end up sick…not to mention occasionally head butting the odd dead goat.” 

IMG 5683 Patterson

“Luckily a crew of locals and surfers made an effort and cleaned it all the pollution on the shoreline up,” says Luke. “They had to because the government doesn’t give a shit.”

“The past four or five days have been mental in Durban,” he says. “Twiggy (Grant Baker) has been charging as usual. Josh Redman’s a crazy hellman who knows his way around the barrel and youngster, Davey Van Zyl have been the standouts in the sessions I’ve shot. The coast has been maxed out. Twiggy and I attempted a few surfs on the coast but it was super dodgy. So we headed to the piers instead.” 

IMG 6641 Patterson


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022


‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022


“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022

Sierra Kerr And Robbie McCormick Win Vans Stab High Indonesia Presented By Monster Energy

And we had a live premiere in Oceanside to celebrate.

Nov 22, 2022

The Stab Guide To The World Cup

Including which team bears most similarities to former CT surfer Ricky "Ricky Badness" Basnett.

Nov 21, 2022

Unlocked: Albee Layer Speaks His Mind In His SEOTY Entry, ‘Delirium’

Come for the double rotations, stay for Albee's existential thoughts on surfing and life.

Nov 20, 2022

Buy Now: John John Florence’s ‘Gravity’

Get Gravity and support Junior Lifeguards.

Nov 20, 2022


Craig Anderson Could Find A Spitting Tube In A Tranquil Koi Pond

“How the fuck did I get an invite?”

Nov 19, 2022