Surfing in Samoa – A Ride of a Lifetime

| October 8, 2012 | 55 Comments

The outboard motor coughed, spluttered then died as the anchor was thrown overboard. For 10 minutes we had motored along the shoreline as we searched for the perfect spot to go surfing in Samoa.

Surfing in Samoa

Silence descended around the small rubber boat as the first line of the swell marched in across the open expanse of water before our eyes.

From the deep blue trough the first wave began to rise. Slowly building in height as the swell met the shallow coral seabed. As the lip of the wave folded over to crash into a churning blue and white foam, a cheer from one of the guys was quickly swallowed by the deafening roar reaching our tiny boat floating in the safety of the channel.

Diving into the crystal clear blue water, still chilled from the night, I threw back my head and eyed up the surfing takeoff spot.

Samoa Surfing

Fresh surfboard wax clung to my torso as I paddled closer to the only spot you could launch from. My fingers felt as if they would scrape on the razor sharp shallow coral filled water below.

I was glad I was wearing my thick soled rubber surfing booties for when I would have to inevitably stand on those same jagged corals.

Surfing in Samoa coral reef

Squinting into the rising sun I tried to gaze through the glare. Every ripple danced across the ocean surface and glistened from the early morning sunshine.

As the first swell pushed underneath my shortboard, I could feel the power tugging at my legs beneath the surface. Each wave ready to throw itself against the coral seabed and dash its beautiful form into a churning mess.

Giving a surfer only a few seconds to pounce to their feet to grasp onto an unforgettable experience.

Pointing my surfboard back towards the beach I dipped my arms in. The swell reached my toes.

Once, twice, three times I stroked. My muscles coiled inside as my board became as light as a feather. It was now that I had to spring.

Planting my rubber covered feet and grabbing the outside rail of my surfboard I leaned against the rushing wall of water. The power of the wave threatening to tear me from my stance and throw me onto the coral reef just 2 feet below the surface.

A fall that would not leave me unscathed.

Broken Boards Surfing in Samoa

The surfboard bucked once as I found my balance. As the wave pitched higher I tried desperately to coax more speed out of the surfboard.

A shadow loomed up over my left shoulder before pitching down over my right. The barrel of the wave fitting perfectly over my hunched torso. My eyes fixed on the point of safety just a few short seconds away.

Bursting into the sunlight I ripped one last turn with a quick glance behind. A grin splitting my faces as I realised I had done it. I had pushed my limits and succeeded.

I was surfing in Samoa.

A ride of a lifetime.

Maninoa Surf Resort in Samoa

Extra Travel Information

We stayed at Maninoa Surf Camp (pictured above), for our surfing in Samoa trip. It is a dedicated surfing resort with beachfront fales and delicious food to keep you fueled.

You can fly direct to Samoa from New Zealand or Australia with a number of different airlines.

Surfing in Samoa is good all year round but the peak swell seasons are from April – November on the South Shore of Upolu Island. Not really recommended for beginners as the waves can be very fast and hollow for those who want a challenge.

If you want a slightly more relaxing experience then try snorkelling with turtles in Samoa.

Have you ever surfed before? What did it feel like?

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (55)

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  1. Peter Lee says:

    It’s an incredible feeling of being part of the ocean, really riding on top of the world. It’s easy to see why surfers love surfing so much as it gives the inner peace. There is only one place I get that feeling and it’s in the surf. Surfing is just an amazing activity something I don’t normally experience in a lot of other outdoor sports.

  2. Felt like I was on the board with you. Although, there’s no way I’d have tried it:)

  3. Jennifer says:

    Fantastic writing — I could almost feel the salt water spray on my face.

  4. Marlys says:

    Love that corals shot. *sigh* Miss my diving days. But I never tried surfing though.

  5. Passionate surfer from the heart here! Not that I am an expert but I try to keep practicing. Passion born in Costarican waves back in time a few years ago. Seems like Samoa deserves a sip!

  6. gorgeous!! i’d do the snorkeling, just saying…

  7. So poetic my friend…such vivid expression of your experience on the water from the waves to the thrill coursing through your veins as the approaching wave drew nearer and nearer until you finally conquered its crest rode to glory. Wow, I loved every word of this post! Beautifully done my friend…you certainly have a new fan in me!

  8. bronwen burmester says:

    Great description – and loved the photos.

  9. I dont even like swimming near Coral – let alone surfing with coral around… im tooscared of getting cut up. Ill keep to snorkelling with turtles for now :)

  10. Loved your ride. And three cheers for surfing booties. That coral looks killer!

  11. Laurence says:

    I used to do a lot of canoe surfing on the reefs of Seychelles when I was growing up. All fun and games until you come off.. and either have a kilometre long swim to retrieve your canoe (none of that ankle strap stuff for me!) or do battle with the coral. We used to say it wasn’t a good day unless you got back to the beach bleeding. Ah.. youth ;)
    Laurence recently posted..A month in New Zealand–my perfect itineraryMy Profile

  12. An adventure well done and compellingly re-told. And I don’t even surf!

  13. bronwen burmester says:

    Working toward another family holiday – we gotta do the snorkelling/swimming with whales as a family, a sureal incredible moving lifetime experience. Cant wait to see you Cole B!!

  14. Great story! Tony and I just learned to Surf in Bali last week and we had a blast… Although, we learned on a nice sandy beach with baby waves-Your experience sounds MUCH more intense!

  15. Awesome photos! I’d love to catch some waves in the South Pacific!

  16. I’ve lived in California for 11 years now and have never surfed. No real interest in it. I guess that comes from growing up on the east coast of the US where there isn’t much surfing. And then there’s that shark thing. However, I love the underwater photos in this post! :)

  17. I have never surfed before. Although we live by the beach, it is by the Mediterranean Sea and the waves are not high enough for surfing. Maybe in one of our travels…

  18. Yes, we’ve tried surfing. On the wild and wet west of Vancouver Island. And San Jose del Cabo in Baja, Mexico. Not easy! We think we’ll stick to SUP – at least we can get up on those boards!

    • Believe it or not, we have never been SUP! Really need to do that sometime. Would love to surf in Mexico or Vancouver Island. We didn’t make it there on our travels around North America unfortunately.

  19. Angela says:

    Wow gorgeous place, fantastic adventure you’ve had!
    Angela recently posted..Fairies’ houses and giants’ tombs, strolling around Mamoiada, SardiniaMy Profile

  20. cheryl says:

    BEAUTIFUL photos. I’d love to try out surfing there! :)
    cheryl recently posted..Learning How To Fly With iPILOT.My Profile

  21. Sounds like you had an amazing time. Doesn’t falling on the coral damage the reef as well as your body?
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..JORDAN Nature Reserves: Ajloun, Dibeen & AzraqMy Profile

    • The coral is actually just rocky under where the waves break Mary, so while still sharp, they are not really the ones in the pictures :) Don’t worry, we are huge believers in protecting the coral reef ecosystems when we are diving and surfing!!!

  22. Ali says:

    Surfing doesn’t really appeal to me, but it is pretty cool to watch people doing it. Sounds like an awesome experience! Great photos!
    Ali recently posted..Is a Fear of Getting Sick While Traveling Holding You Back?My Profile

  23. I haven’t surfed since I have no upper body strength to speak off and I’m pretty sure I’d either injure myself or make a fool of myself (if not both!). However, the ocean there in Samoa looks positively inviting, so I’d definitely find some kind of water activity to make the most of it!
    Reena @ Wanderplex recently posted..The world’s smallest camera tripodMy Profile

  24. Awww I am well Jealous! Samoa looks amazing and as they say “only a surfer knows the feeling”. Surfing is definitely my favorite sport and a huge part of why I travel. If you both liked Samoa, not far from there or NZ is Tonga, I stayed at a surf camp there right by the waters edge but protected by the tropical jungle. A very nice a quiet place to relax and surf, worth checking out.

    Cheers, I hope you keep on surfing :)
    Jaryd Krause recently posted..I get detained arriving in LondonMy Profile

  25. John R says:

    Very Amazing. I love surfing, done it in Hawaii and Australia, hope to visit Samoa one day.
    Thanks
    John

  26. I don’t have to be into surfing to appreciate this post and the pictures. I want to get to Samoa bad. And Palau, and Micronesia, and Tonga and and and…. Keep up the good work!
    True Nomads recently posted..Photo Essay of the Beautiful NepalMy Profile

  27. Gorgeous pics.
    northierthanthou recently posted..The Village of Wainwright, AlaskaMy Profile

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