When I close my eyes and imagine Durban I see sunlit beaches, surfers sans wetsuits and smiling people everywhere – it’s supposed to be a city bathed in an endless summer. Needless to say we were VERY excited to be spending a couple of days there this past October. However, to our horror we found clouds and rain where sun should have shone, we found cold where there should have been warmth, deserted beaches and empty stalls and the very worst of all – no rickshaws.
We managed to put all of this behind us after some coffee and rusks and headed out the following morning to find the adventure, which didn’t take long at all as it turned out. Xpression on the Beach is a shop located on Browns Road in Point, very close to uShaka Marine World, which hires out almost every beachy surfy type thing you can imagine – bicycles, surfboards, Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP’s), skateboards, kayaks and probably more.
We chatted to Justin Bing and Brandon Read that run the shop and found out all kinds of interesting facts about SUP’ing. They quickly convinced us to try our hand at it in the nearby canals. In case you don’t know what I’m on about – a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) is pretty self-explanatory, it looks like an oversized surfboard that you stand up on and propel yourself forward with a paddle.
Justin’s experience on the water and Brandon’s dry-lesson were incredibly helpful and saw us up and balancing in no time! It took hardly any time to master the balancing on the (big) beginner boards we were using (although at times things got a little shaky) and we spent the next hour paddling, playing around and having loads of fun.
SUPPING truly is the ideal way to experience the water without actually being in the water, it’s great for families and people of all shapes and sizes. It’s healthy & it’s fun – you really can’t go wrong.
In an ideal world I would’ve enjoyed some wave action but for my first time on the board I think it was definitely more enjoyable to not have had to battle against the unpredictable conditions of the ocean.
In closing I would definitely recommend that if you ever found yourself in Durban (in weather hot or cold), to ring up the guys at Xpression on the Beach and book a lesson with them. They are an incredibly genuine and friendly team with a serious passion for the ocean. Justin has national colours in surfing and is also currently the number one rated SUP’er in South Africa while Bradley is the current KZN Champion on the SUP and when he speaks you can’t help but feel his passion and love of the water flow forth.
Get hold of them here:
Tel: +27 31 337 7580
Facebook: Xpression On The Beach
Twitter: @JustinBing & @XOTB