• Pack List
    • Boards (2)
    • Spare fins
    • Wax
    • Leashes
    • Rash guards (2)
    • Hat (water/land)
    • Board shorts (2)
    • Sunscreen
    • Mosquito repellent
    • After Sun (aloe)
  • Recommended
    • SIM based cell phone
    • Water shoes
    • Booties
    • Gath
    • USB battery recharge
    • First-Aide Kit
    • Epinephrine


Bring boards based on your riding style. (2) boards is recommended.

There are larger wave opportunities but most of the year, its head high on the slab. The biggest a select few slabs can handle is triple over, most sit comfortably at double over on serious days. It doesn’t happen often.


Bring a spare set of fins. Wax, leashes, and a gath is not a bad idea.

There is no official surf shop on island, so while we might have the bits to get you back in the barrel, you’ll be much better off if you plan for the worst. I’ve seen fins go to the reef, and hopes and dreams go with it. Mail takes about 2 weeks on average, making shipments not much of an option.


Rash guards, hats, board shorts. Booties and water shoes may be required for you. Be prepared to cover up.

The sun here is unusually intense. Just a few hours of mid day exposure can put a layer of sun that will permanently damage DNA. The coast is typically rocks and reef. 100% of the breaks are one type of slab or another, many can be quite shallow and foot related injuries are common. If you or your party has non-islander feet, then appropriate footwear may be required.


Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, and aloe vera. Mosquito spray, first-aid kit, epinephrine, personal locator beacon, Sim card based cell phone, battery.

Covering up aside, sunscreen is key, a good zinc screen for in the water and layers of a lotion based screen are necessary elements to protecting oneself. Application to the face, ears, neck, back of hands and exposed thighs, knees and back of knees. Samoans often weave a quick neck bandana from the ti plant. They also ban outdoor work from 12pm-2pm. When hiding from the sun be sure that the coconut clusters above don’t have a dry brown look, as they are ready to drop at any time. Apply after sun, like aloe vera, to keep the sun exposure effects minimized.

Mosquitos here have two disease carrying varieties. The active virus on island have been, Lymphatic Filariasis, Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. All of them are passed from one another by bite; people around you, bit by the same mosquito can pass you the virus. Its not extremely common, but it happens.

With EMS response times ranging in the 40+ minutes, bring epinephrine (if you are allergic), personal locator beacon (remote hikes, or planning open ocean trips), and basic first-aide kits are a good idea. Some of the more remote locations on Tutuila island can take more then 2 hours to get to a hospital. Health care is in the lower of capabilities.

Phone service is generally pretty good on most of the main island, with few zones getting limited coverage. There are two carriers on island, ASTCA, and BlueSky, both are SIM driven LTE networks. BlueSky is the recommended provider for your stay, free SIM, and minute based recharge, with data $20/mo with the ‘Atamai’ data bundle, call to ask about coverage in Manu’a as it may be limited during your stay. If you have trouble with battery charge or are planning long excursions, a small recharge battery is a good idea for hikes and boats. There are not many travelers on the beaten path, let alone off it.

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About Author

Don is a Navy vet. Grew up on a swim team as a competitor in the water. He has been consecutively CPR certified since 2004; his experience with surfing, open ocean life-guarding, pool safety, freediving, and vessel survival, keeps him in familiar waters. Don doesn't get in the water everyday, but has the weather dialed in and chases any solid day that comes this way. He specializes in digital infrastructure, adores opensource philosophy, and holds a masters in Cyber-Security.

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