Published on June 7th, 2013 | by pacificmedia
Samoa is a country as Kiwis we are all well aware of as there are more Samoans living in New Zealand than on the homeland itself, so we have become well accustomed to their way of life. Samoa has gifted us with many sporting talents over the years in the form of rugby players, netballers and boxers, and more recently has started to gift our travelling surfers with world class waves. During our winter months the islands of Upolu and Savaii receive a bombardment of south orientated swells with easterly trade winds. The dry season is April through October and it coincides with the south swell season. The wet season from November through March is dominated by North Pacific and southwest cyclone swells. The bonus during the wet season is the steady trade winds from the north, which blow offshore on the south and southeast- facing sides of the islands.
Most of the breaks on Upolu are quite far offshore and plagued by strong currents so boat access is needed with the class breaks of boulders and Coconuts being one of the only south side waves that can be paddled to easily. Salani Left and Rights are within paddle distance but are a long way offshore and should only be attempted by fit and experienced surfers. Most reputable resorts or tour operators can offer the service or organise boats to these breaks.
Over on the big island of Savaii a short ferry ride away the surf breaks of Aganoa offer a close to the shore option with an A-frame peak and a long left reef surrounded by lush jungle and stunning white sand beaches at the edge of a crystal clear lagoon. While further up the coast there are several more low key spots including a beach break. If the wind is up there is plenty to do on both islands, go throw a coconut in a blowhole and watch it launch to the heavens, swim through an underwater cave out into the ocean, bomb or slide down a waterfall, or snorkel over the vibrant reefs. The fishing in Samoa is also world class offering a chance to catch a legendary Yellow Fin Tuna which you won’t get to do back home.
In the wet season northern hemisphere storms send down swells past Hawaii and breathe life into the North facing breaks of both Savaii and Upolu, with several of the best breaks in the islands laying offshore not far from the capital of Apia, one in particular aptly named ‘Dragons Breath’ is world class, but requires a gigantic north swell and rare winds for this time of year, but if you manage to score it on, you will be coming back every time you see a swell on the charts, but be warned it is a 30 minute paddle out.
Tiavea Bay on the north eastern tip offers up two right reefs and an A-frame river bar for a high performance fun surf. Most surf breaks are accessed close to villages and it is frowned upon to surf or participate in any sport on Sundays, so respect their beliefs. It is also customary to cover up in villages so don’t go walking through shirtless or stay after dark. Some of the boat operators will still take you surfing to the outer reefs on a Sunday as you will be out of view of the locals Nature is good to Samoa and the one constant Samoan waves have is power. These islands are vol- canic, so open ocean swells are moving at full speed, when they all of a sudden trip over coral reefs that rise from out of the deep. Because of that, Samoan surf would have to be rated as challenging, and not for the beginner surfer Samoa does not have a big tourist industry and everything works on local time.
There is also a small fee to visit and participate in most of the local sights and features. Samoa is a relatively undeveloped desti- nation for surfers and travellers so you will find the surf mostly un-crowded. There is no surf shop in Samoa and only a few local surfers, so bring all your surfing needs, and if you have any spares on departure the locals will be bro’s for life.
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