Ditching our local frigid waters and heading to warm tropical islands is what we’re all about. Sure the surf at home is pumping in winter, but I’ll take tropical waves and boardies over a wetsuit any day. If the usual suspects like Bali and Fiji are driving you nuts with crowds, here are some options that should get you frothing like a young grommie again.
Samoa (Western Samoa)
Think of Samoa as Fiji 30 years ago – before resorts, before hordes of tourists and before surf camps were charging $300 a night for the privilege of perfect waves. Like Fiji, the Samoan locals are awesome, but in terms of waves it’s probably more like Tahiti. Swell comes out of deep water and throws hard, so be prepared for a flogging when the surf gets big.
Flights go a few times a week from Brisbane and Sydney. I believe flights are running direct from Hawaii also – for about AUD$700 return. You’ll definitely need a boat as most of the best waves are at reefs too far to paddle. There are many good surf camps on the islands – The Samoana being easily one of the best with amazing food, accommodation and staff.
Who knows why more people don’t hit up the Solomon Islands. The surf is perfect, the weather is sublime and the locals are some of the coolest people around. Plus this joint is only two hours from Brisbane – everyone who goes wonders why they didn’t do it sooner.
The south facing coastline gets the bulk of the winter swells from Australia. There are some great resorts to stay around Gizo, like Sanbis Resort. Alternatively, the north-east coast cops all the North Pacific winter swells. If you’re willing to do some travel, this remote surfing paradise is dripping with virgin waves. Hit up Sol Surfing, for some eco friendly, sustainable travel that will have you surfing pumping waves on one of the most beautiful islands on earth.
Thanks to Nic Duncan for letting us use his killer pics. We haven’t had a chance to get over to the Solomon Islands yet, but they’re high on the ‘next trip’ list. See more more great surf shots over at Nic’s photography site.
Kiribati (Christmas Island)
No, not the detention centre for desperate refugees arriving by sinking boats. Kiribati is about 2,000kms south of Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The island has few natural resources and relies on foreign aid and tourism. The stunning blue lagoon atoll brings a few lucky tousists by way of game fisherman, sailors and adventurous surfers. Those willing to make the trip are rewarded. The place is an untapped source of set ups, like the below.
Flights go once a week from Hawaii for about AUD$1,000 return.