Samoa, Nov 2006

The place…

Hot, humid, rainclouds and rainbows, savili, papaya and banana breakfast…

The people…

Big, colourful, vibrant, religious, traditional, friendly

The surf…

Powerful waves, deep ocean swells, sharp coral reefs, big sharks…

Salani right and left, The island, Boulders in the rain and mozzies

Local life…

Taboos and traditions, fales, community, Samoan coco with local family by the sea at boulders, pigs everywhere


I was gonna write stuff under those headings but instead I’ve written
about the highlight of the trip for me that kinda captures the whole
Samoan experience…
“We’d spent all day driving around trying to find somewhere sheltered
from the wind. Just before sunset we came round a corner on the North
coast and saw loads of surfers out surfing this perfect little right
that bounced off a cliff. One of the great things about Samoa is that
it still doesn’t have this big surf scene and there aren’t many
surfers so it was strange to see so many here. It turns out this was
the local ‘surf club’ that started up a month ago. The local surf
star, who has been surfing for a year on a board left behind by a
travelling surfer has got all the kids together and takes them
‘training’ every week. There must have been nearly 20 kids sharing
about 6 old broken and battered boards with leashes made from woven
coconut leaves. They were all so keen and stoked to see us. It was the
best session of the trip, the fun the kids were having and their
laughter was so infectious. The wave was shoulder high with a fun,
fast wall and, unusual for Samoa, a strange, spongey, seaweed bottom –
 So we cut fly along and bash the wave to the shore without fear of
getting impaled on razor coral! Mountains rose straight up from the
sea and the sun sank behind them. The clouds opened up and it poured
rain. So much for searching for sun, but I didn’t care. It felt like a
really magical moment to be part of and it didn’t matter if it wasn’t
captured on film – the rebirth of Samoan surfing. I didn’t want to
leave the water and stayed till near dark. I hope I can come and see
how surfing grows here, future Samoan surf stars? “