Surfing in Samoa
Picture the perfection of Indonesia minus the crowds, add the raw power of Hawaii without all the surfing locals, and you might be half way to an accurate estimation of the Samoan surfing experience.
Samoa's two main islands of Upolu and Savai'i offer a range of waves so diverse that every surfer will find one they want to gorge on – long-zippering walls, rippable A-frame peaks and draining barrels.
In Samoa they all break over water so clear that sometimes it’s only the feel of the buttery-warm ocean that reminds you you’re not going to fall straight through. Even the names of the breaks themselves have a certain mysterious allure – to find out what happens on waves with names like Dragon’s Breath (a hollow and powerful world-class right), Pudding Rock and Devil’s Island, you'll just have to get yourself a flight to Samoa!
Samoa has so many waves to score that if you miss them first time around you won’t be able to wait for your return trip.
Like Indonesia, the on-going exploration is half the fun. The south shores of both islands work all year round while the North Shores are best in the northern hemisphere winter. When the pros and locals are competing for scarce waves on Hawaii’s North Shore, the same swells often find themselves reeling along many of Samoa’s reefs unridden.
For beginner surfers, the breaks are perhaps a little on the dangerous side, as many of the waves break directly onto the reef and the currents can be harsh. In fact, even savvy surfers are advised to only tackle the waves in the company of locals, as they know the rips and rocks inside and out.
On Savai'i, surfing hot spots include Lano and Ananoa Beach in the southwest, and Manase and Fagamalo in the north. On Upolu, the best places to go for a paddle are from Apia east to Cape Utumauu, and on the south coast from Matautu to Matatufu.
Both Upolu and Savai'i have several resorts catering especially for surfies’ needs and wants, including surfaris.Remember that taking on the ocean means you’re contributing to a good cause: each day in the surf, you’ll be paying a fee to the villages, to help further the young ones’ education.
In short, Samoa may just be one of surfing’s last great undiscovered paradises.
• WannaSurf.com - detailed information about the breaks.
• Surf Forecast - keep up to date on conditions.