Surfs Up in Samoa at ‘The Rock’
We do not usually think of Samoa as a surfing destination after all we are known for our sapphire blue lagoons where the locals and visitors enjoy a leisurely wallow in the warm water. Yet surfing trips to Samoa have been possible for twenty years.
Salani Surf Resort, Maninoa Surf Fale Camps and Samoana Resorts on the South Coast are resorts preferred by surfers because they offer a casual atmosphere, cheaper accommodation and access and guides who take you to great waves.
On the Eastern side of Upolu before you get to Piula you can also find ‘The Rock Surf Spot ‘ at Plum Pudding Rock and this surf spot is very desirable as its close to town and the waves are very accessible from the shore.
‘The Rock Surf Spot is not just for visitors to Samoa, as it is situated at the fringe of the Luatuanuu village a growing number of young Samoan men have taken up surfing as well. In Luatuanuu the youth are dedicated and skilled surfers.
Young boys wanting to be surfers watch the skilled first and they go on the small waves with broken boards first. When they are able to stand on the boards they graduate to the bigger waves. In terms of safety there are people watching from the rocks like a lifesaver, and we take it in turns.
I interviewed surfer Aleli who is a twenty eight year old barista during the day, and an enthusiastic surfer whenever he can grab the opportunity, after work and in the weekends. Aleli is blessed as he lives right next to Plum Pudding Rock.
This spot has a break in the reef and it is therefore too dangerous to swim at unless you are a strong swimmer and know where the currents are. Recently Aleli rescued a photographer who got into trouble in the water because of the strong channels. Aleli told me about ‘The Rock.’
Kolio Autu runs the Rock Surf Spot, as it is part of his families’ customary land. Kolio lives at the Rock and collects a small fee of $15 per person for surfers and that gives them unlimited access for the day. The boys are proud of their surfing spot and more so because it is in their village and at their front door, so for these boys it free. More than ten young village males surf on a regular basis,
Aleli says that they have the “Best waves on da north side of Upolu island.... Big enough... Super clean... Pipe line....n redi to get in da barrel... U can find all of des at Da Rock Surf Spot.... Luatuanuu.. Juhuhu” He adds “The beauty of the Rock is that it is closer to town and it’s cheaper than other places at $15 per person.
The surf here is close to shore so you take your board and you just jump into the water and you are close to big waves. In other places especially on the South Coast you need a boat to get to the waves past the reef, and then the cost of the boat is $80 per person.”