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Surfing Paradise in Samoa: A Journey to Aganoa Beach Fales

Written by: The Gowings Crew
Surfing Paradise in Samoa: A Journey to Aganoa Beach Fales
Having surfed most of my life and never been on a proper overseas surf trip, when the idea to head to Samoa was thrown round between some mates I jumped straight at the chance. Our crew came together pretty quickly, as some of the guys had been previously 10 years ago and were very keen to get back. They talked up the magical blue water, pumping waves and exclusivity of Aganoa Beach Fales so we reached out to Richard at World Surfaris and within a few emails he had us locked in and ready to go.
The next few months of planning the finer details, studying google maps and watching hours of YouTube still didn’t prepare me for the truly incredible trip that laid ahead. Fast forward to May and a cruisy 5-hour flight from Brisbane, an overnight stay in Apia on the main Island of Upolu, a 45-minute ferry ride to the island of Savai’i then finally a 10 minute drive and we were in our home for the next 9 nights at the incredible Aganoa Beach Fales.
Aganoa Beach Fales embodies the essence of sustainable tourism, offering traditional beachfront accommodation known as "fales." These charming open-air huts, only metres from the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, provide a front-row seat to the breathtaking scenery. Falling asleep to the sounds crashing waves on the reef, under a blanket of stars was pretty amazing but waking up each morning, lifting my head from the pillow to check the waves on the main break of Aganoa Right and instantly getting psyched for the days surf session is something I think everyone needs to experience.
Exclusivity was a huge selling point for this trip so when you’re told that only guests can surf the breaks at Aganoa Beach Fales you know that you and your mates are going to score some of the best waves Savai’i has to offer all to yourselves. With 6 of us in our crew and only 1 or 2 other guests in the lodge during our stay, quite often we would get a whole session with only a few people in the water. Sharing pumping barrels in the insanely clear water looking back over the lodge nestled between the coconut palms under the shadow of the volcanic mountains is a memory I won’t ever forget.
The swell and winds were extremely kind to us, World Surfaris had suggested May to October to be the best time of year for Aganoa which is located on the south eastern side of Savai’i. We were lucky enough to only have one lay day throughout our trip and scored a good mix of waves from small clean fun 2-3 footers up to a few magical sessions in the 6-8 foot range with a couple of rogue 10 footers thrown into the mix on one big day. For me personally this was the best surf I had ever experienced in my life and on day three I scooped into the biggest and longest barrel I have ever ridden, my trip was made!
Each evening as the sun dips below the horizon, casting hues of orange and pink across the sky, we gathered around for a spectacular meal followed by a few hands of cards on the huge open deck of the lodge, sharing tales of the day's exploits over a few Taula’s, the local beer of Samoa. It's moments like these that etch themselves into your memory, forming the essence of an unforgettable surfing holiday.
Samoa beckons with a myriad of adventures beyond the waves so between surf sessions we immersed ourselves in the rich Samoan culture with a multitude of activities. Engaging with the friendly locals at the bustling market area, trying a variety of delicious foods and picking up a few souvenirs for the family at home. A short drive from the lodge and we were exploring lush rainforests, cooling off from the 30° heat in the beautiful fresh water of crystal clear cascading waterfalls.
The snorkelling is world class with 20-40m visibility opening up a world of vividly colourful coral reef and allowing us to swim amongst the beautiful fish and turtles. A must do is a visit to the Alofaage Blow Holes, The island is surrounded by lava rock shelves giving visitors an amazing display of raw power as the water pumps through the lava tubes and up into the air.
Aussie expat Keith Martin discovered the break at Aganoa after meeting his Samoan wife Lanu and traveling to Savai’i in search of a mystical left hander. Together they gained permission to build the lodge and have operated for nearly 30 years. Keith and Lanu have hosted some of the best surfers in the world and the dining hall of the lodge adorns mementos from some of their high profile guests. Teamed up with World Surfaris, Aganoa Beach Fales can create a unique and truly memorable trip for surfers or anyone seeking a truly tropical paradise.