The warm water splashes over my face, I dive into the waves, paddling out to the break. The water is shallow, clear, bright, and blue with a punchy push as I drop into the face of the wave. The ocean force is fierce, my body aches, endorphins rush through me. I am tired and refreshed, stepping over the round washes pebbles lining the edge of the waves. Not much comes close to the feeling of an hour or more spend surfing and paddling with the ocean. On the North coast, you can surf with boardies and a rash vest, a wetsuit is optional, in the warm Indian ocean water. The tides and waves are strong, be cautious splashing into the waves.
Umhlanga Rocks Beach and reef break, are open and exposed, the surf is consistent. The best time to surf Umhlanga is in the summertime. The ideal conditions are northwest offshore winds, with groundswells from the southwest direction, surfing is a science. The surf in Umhlanga offers left and right breaks. The local fishermen will always be a go-to person to ask advice about the current swells and weather conditions rolling in. The conditions in late August are sunny with pleasant air and water temperatures, spring is on the way in Umhlanga. Always be careful of the stingy blue bottles blown in with an easterly wind in summer. The best time to surf in summer is after a day of westerly wind. The ideal surf in summer is to get up early and avoid the crowds and the early ripple wind.
The south coast offers more challenging and hollow surf for advanced surfers, where the north coast could be easier for beginners. Ask a local for advice, Umhlanga people are friendly, and the weather is always good in summer and winter months.
Keeping with the friendly spirit of the Umhlanga locals, there is a rock project on the go. A local woman, Sonia, has tied in with the Global Kindness Rock project. People paint pebbles, and beautiful smooth ocean rolled stones with encouraging messages on them. When you go for your morning run, keep a lookout on the pathways, bushes, and the beaches for colorful rocks painted and placed out to find. There is also a project called Balito rocks, run by Janine Ferreira.
It is a beautiful way to share positivity in COVID times. Megan Murphy started the project in America. Out on a walk, hoping to find a message, which she never did, she decided to start the Kindness Project. Megan picked up a rock, and took out her marker, and left a message on the rock, placing it back on the path. The global kindness project shares encouraging words. Paint and write on a rock and use the hashtag, Umhlangarockson.
Children and adults are taking part and leaving colorfully painted beach pebbles out to find. One caring message a day to brighten up someone’s day. When you find a rock on your walk, photograph it, and post the picture on social media and replace it, share the colorful Umhlanga rocks moments. When you sit down for a cold beer and the sunset glows into the twilight, string together a phrase and share some bright ink with the locals on your newly found beach pebble. Share a word a day and splash some ink on your way.
Local in Umhlanga is lekker, the surf is up, and there are smiley rocks on your way.