Hello friends and colleagues,
The ‘koburu‘ (surf season) ended in May which was a big success. After several years in the making, we opened our Solwata Surf Camp in the Lau Lagoon in December in partnership with John Maoma and his tribe. With super comfortable beds, solar powered fridge, an amazing verandah, a private boat landing area, an eco style compost toilet that does not requiring ‘walking the plank’, the Solwata camp steps up the standard of our surfing guests.
It was another season of world class surf with plenty of perfect waves to share. The trips were led by a combination of guides including Tony, Steve, Simon and Craig. A few trips had smaller waves – the luck of the draw with any surf trip. Unfortunately this seemed to happen whenever a professional photographer was around – Chris, Joel, David! But generally, there’s been a lot on offer. Kilu, the right hander opposite Eidu, was surfed for the first time and offered some of the biggest waves yet. Other breaks surfed for the first time including ‘Yam right’; a long right hander with fast bowling sections, and ‘Up the waisies’ a fast, fun left that sacrificed a few fins. We have yet to see its full potential which looks like it could be epic.
From Solwata, we ventured out to a new village-stay at a very beautiful small island surrounded by white sand beaches and located right next to Nines, which was consistent and hollow as ever. That brings our total village stay options to three on excursions from Solwata. We plan to develop at least one of these sites into self contained surf camps over the next couple of years. Our camp guests ranged from the young, the older and everything in-between. Also, we had several non-surfing guests this year who had as good of a time as those looking for perfect waves.
A few boys and girls at Kwatonaere have formed the Eidu Boardriders Club with advice from visitors Bruce Fergie and Steve Evans. Bruce is having some t-shirts made up and next season the club is planning to formalize their operations to promote surfing among the local community. Wane, Charles, Kwai and others go from strength to strength with their surfing and the girls are slowly getting there when they get a chance. We are hoping to help them get their own boards.
Speaking of which, Joel from Saltmotion has kindly offered to take the lead in organising a shipping container of surfboards, surf gear and a bunch of supplies for local schools. The fundraising drive will start at the Manly Surf Festival in Sydney with the aim to send the gear out in late 2012.
We also recently had a publication in Smorgasboarder Magazine; check out the article HERE – page 54.
John Maoma was able to provide some substantial assistance to his tribe after two years of helping to build the new surf camp as joint venture partners. Ten solar systems were provided to local families in the tribe and Surf Solomons made a valiant attempt to send Joseph Wane to a Melanesian surfing comp in New Caledonia but unfortunately, it did not quite work out.
New surf camps are coming; we will keep you posted as things develop. The Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission is actively promoting Surf Solomons to potential investors. We are open to new partnerships so feel free to get in touch if you have ideas or contacts…
is getting close and bookings are rolling in. This past season was our most successful to date and we expect the upcoming season to be no different. The feedback has been consistently positive and we continue to evolve our model in terms both in terms of the product we offer, the waves and how we benefit the local community, with donations to a range of community groups.
With only few spots per trip available, make sure your spots do not get booked out!
Tony has been making some quiet scoping trips and we are now offering 3 additional exploration expeditions this coming season:
3-12 February: Remote Malaita. Shhh!… A new region of the Malaita coastline…
16-25 March: The mystical island of Makira
11-20 May: The Weather Coast. For the last couple of years in May we have quietly enjoyed long period south swells unloading on a very remote south facing coast. And in May there has been little or no trade wind activity set in yet – i.e. perfect conditions.
Join Us! Expect an adventure and the chance to surf waves never or rarely surfed before and visit areas rarely seen by outsiders. Be among the first in history to surf these coasts….
And lastly – Elia learned to walk on the stone island of Kwatonaere – she could not believe it when she experienced her first cement slab (flat surface) when she got back to Auki….she is doing very well and enjoying winter in Australia…
Tony, Cynthia, Steve & Simon….
The Perfect Wave clients’ testimonials – Surf Solomons:
Joel (April 2011)
The last ten days have been some of the most amazing of my surfing life. The Solomon Islands has thrown an entirely new angle into what is possible from a surf trip. We travel to find waves and occasionally, if you are willing to get a little sticky you can find so much more. Our guide Tony has been amazing. His knowledge of these islands is outstanding and his integration with the local people is 100%. For the intrepid traveller wanting to discover these parts alone it would be possible, but extremely difficult. Going with Tony ensured that the local villages benefit from visiting surfers and the visitors get to surf the best waves… Crowd numbers here are non-existent and will probably stay that way for a long time as you have to be willing to give up a few luxuries that other destinations can offer. The waves here can be perfect and there are so many breaks to choose from. But the best thing on offer here is the true experience of being invited into a pacific island village, even if it is only for a few days the place really is paradise. The only thing I can say that really puts the trip into perspective is that I would do it again tomorrow! In fact I have already started talking about booking again next year, want to come?… Thanks to ‘The Perfect Wave’ team and ‘Surf Solomon’s’ for making the trip possible. Thanks to the crew that came – there were a lot of laughs along the way…
Tim (December 2009)
Wow, where to begin? the adventure provided by Tony and Jon is one of the most memorable surfing trips I’ve ever had. It not often surfing trips enable you to immerse yourself in such an amazing culture. Though the waves do not quite rival that of indo they are perfect and pack a punch, but the best thing about the surfing is you are guaranteed not to see another surfer in the line up other then the guys you are on the trip with. This trip is for all those surfers out there looking to get off the beating track and gain an amazing experience. Would I go back? Absolutely!
Chris (January 2010)
I wanted to thank you and Steve… what an unbelievable experience I have had!! Whilst we scored such fun waves in world class surf, it was the way you run your operation and the people involved that made the trip. Joyce is amazing – she really seems to understand exactly what we would like and it made things so relaxing. Jack was a character – his organization getting me back to Honiara was perfect. Steve did a superb job ensuring everything continued on smoothly. My ability certainly didn’t do justice to the seemingly endless potential of the North Malaita region. Steve and I surfed The Mountain one afternoon and scored perfect little 2’ – 3’ lefts – just the two of us out… it was a special session as we had expected it to be too small to surf. Yesterday we had a great session at Charlie’s (both the right and the left) with all the boys getting a few crackers. In the afternoon, we surfed Fou-Fou (on the right) for my last surf… and again all the boys were into it getting some of the more solid waves we had seen! It was a great crew and I was really sorry to say goodbye.
Kieren (January 2010)
‘I was completely blown away with the trip! The people and surf are amazing along with every aspect of the trip. To be honest I didn’t really know what to expect before I left so I decided to approach the trip with no expectations and just flow and I couldn’t have imagined a more memorable time. I feel the work that you and Steve are doing there is very honorable which is rare these days.’
Henry (January 2009)
‘Highlight: not seeing a single other tourist for the two weeks we were there. The locals treat you like royalty and could not be friendlier. I’d imagine a similar experience would have been Indonesia 30 years ago. Tony gave us great insights into the fascinating cultural, political and social histories of each area we stayed. The best travel experience that I have had – and that is before mentioning the waves!’ Henry Berresford, Jersey, U.K.
Rich (January 2009)
‘Fantastic trip, everything I could have asked for and more! Surfed 6 different waves over a two week period all to ourselves. Waves ranged from playful to boardbreaking. The village stays were an amazing experience meeting so many friendly locals and sharing the Solomons culture. Great cooking from Cynthia and thanks to Tony for making the trip run so smoothly considering no tourists ever come to Malaita!’ Rich, Jersey, C.I., U.K.