Expert guide Brent Ross
Samoan Surfaris has approximately a dozen surf spots accessible by boat. Travel time varies depending on where you surf. You may opt to surf straight out front at Village Lefts, however most days you will drive 15 mins down the road to boat anchorage and then motor out to the outer reefs. You may motor for 5 minutes to close breaks or up to 45 minutes to the furthest South Coast breaks. Typical south coast spots include Boulders, Coconuts, Wakas, Pebbles Special K, and Y-Tops. North Coast Spots (during Nth Swells from Nov-Feb) are accessible by car including Tiavea and Dragons breath amongst many others. Brent knows where and when the best surf will be and will ensure you are surfing quality surf to suit your needs with the minimum of crowd factor.
Upolu Island on Samoa has the potential to offer surf all year round, subject to swell and wind conditions. There is a vast variety of surf within close proximity of Salamumu Beach. Surfers must be of intermediate level or higher to safely enjoy the array of reef-breaks.
Samoa's surf seasons:
May to September
The most consistent swells come from way down in the southern ocean and intensify before exploding on Upolu Island's south shore during the May to September season. During this period the SE trade-winds that are the prevalent in the Sth Pacific can have an impact on some of breaks that are more exposed to the wind, whilst other breaks are un-affected, e.g. Boulders is protected by the headland and Devils Is. is off-shore in SE winds. At times the SE trades can be VERY strong and there may be times when conditions are not ideal (un-safe) for boat travel to the surf breaks. On these occasions the surf-guides will do all possible to track you down some surf by vehicle access (even travelling to the North Coast where the breaks will be smaller in size but not wind-affected). During the peak Sth swell months (May-Sep) there will be days when there is very little wind and conditions will be perfect.
February to April and October
During the months of Feb/Mar/April and October, the South Shore breaks can get VERY good with glassy, clean conditions due to lack of wind factor at this time. South West swells (generally not as large as May-Sep months) are common over this period, being the favoured swell direction of some of the right-handers on the South Coast e.g. the world-class set-up of Coconuts. During this same period the North Shore of Upolu can often have good waves also due to Nth Swells pushing down from Hawaii.
November to January
Summer is when the north shore of Upolu is at its best. North swells originating in Alaska travel via Hawaii and hit Samoa's north shore approximately 3 to 5 days after hitting Oahu (Hawaii).
Upolu Island's south shore breaks:
Village Lefts - A down the line left-hander at Salalumu Beach. Inconsistent but can get very good.
Wackas - Hence the name, a very fun playful left, great for surfers of all ability and craft.
Barras - A perfect right hand set up breaking on shallow reef. Starts off small, growing into the barrel of your life.
Devils Island - A freight train left on an outer reef can produce long, insane barrels.
Inside Siumu - A short fun left with wackable walls.
Pebbles - Super round left that horse shoes almost to 90 degrees off a wedge, offshore in SE trades. Out the back is a much longer mellow left, big walls, big turns.
Coconuts - An incredibly hollow and sometime intimidating right-hander. Has been compared to HT's in the Mentawais.
Outside Siumu - Longer and bowlier than inside, in the right swell direction, can be all time.
Boulders - A classic left-hand point break. Very powerful and protected in the SE trades. Can hold up to 15ft.
There are a couple of other SECRET spots not mentioned above that guests can surf ALONE when conditions are appropriate. 2 breaks in particular (known as Y Tops & Spot X) offer mindless perfection at times and are regularly sampled by lucky Samoan Surfaris guests.
It is common to encounter other surfers when surfing at the better known breaks (easily accessible) of Boulders, Coconuts, Devils Is. & Siumu/s, however conditions could rarely be described as crowded, at the lesser known spots (difficult to access) you will usually just surf with other Samoan Surfaris guests.
Upolu’s north shore breaks:
Tiavea Bay - A series of breaks on offer in this incredible bay.
1. A "Sunset” style right-hand peak that provides heavy tubes, can hold huge swell, has been seen at 15ft plus.
2. A river mouth with lefts and rights breaking of a peak, not as critical as some waves, great for doing turns.
Fagaloa Bay - A series of points, not dissimilar to Noosa - needs exact swell direction. (Very difficult to access without boat and rarely surfed for this reason).
Solo Solo - Three separate, medium length hollow right-handers breaking on shallow coral reef stretching over 400m, all varying in difficulty. Swell magnet and offshore in most winds Laulii: Right hand point break also offshore in most winds. Playful, medium length wave, which will barrel when it gets bigger. Needs a big swell.
Dragons Breath - This wave is world class, possibly the best set up on Upolu Island, 10 min out from Apia, approx. 15 min paddle out, can hold huge swell. The right hander has big open barrels you can drive a car through, breaks very similar to Pipeline, The left off the other side is longer 150m-200m, fast really hollow tubes, has three separate sections, with this perfection always comes a price, experienced surfers only.
Pudding Rock - Short playful right-hander (featured on front cover of Surf Adventures).
Waterfalls - Another short, fun right hander, 1 min from pudding rock, unlike other breaks best at low tide. Once again many more unnamed breaks exist on Upolu's north shore.
During ‘summer’, SW swells can also occur giving guests the opportunity to sample some Sth Coast breaks also (usually very glassy conditions on the south coast over summer).
Brent operates a 23ft centre console longboat, with a 40hp Yamaha 4 stroke and an auxiliary 5hp Yamaha. This is used to access surf spots on the southern side and for other activities such as fishing and snorkelling. The boat is located about a 15 minute drive from the accommodation. For land based tours and transfers they have a 7 seater Toyota Prado and a dual cab Toyota Hilux 4WD.
Optimal Swell Direction:
Anything South for South Coast / Anything Nth for Nth Coast however west swell can be great.
Optimal Wind Direction:
Anything North for South Coast / Anything South for Nth Coast however some South Coast spots are offshore in SE winds also!