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SUMMARY
+ Fairly consistent SW swells
+ Virgin warm water surf
+ Best left pointbreaks in Africa
+ Not too challenging
+ Robertsport proximity to Monrovia
- Inconsistent in summer
- Extremely wet during surf season
- Average beachbreaks
- Bugs, malaria, yellow fever
- Relatively high costs
Kustom



Northwest Liberia, Liberia, AFRICA


Fishermans, Magnus Murray

Surf Spots

Fishermans Point
Cotton Trees
Cassava
Loco
Jaya Ji
Dorothy's
Mamba Beach

The Surf

The name Liberia comes from the word liberty and refers to the nation's origin as a colony of freed African American slaves returning to Africa from the United States in the early 19th century. Formerly known as the Grain Coast after the melegueta pepper that was the primary export, these days it’s valued for the tropical rainforest containing exotic hardwoods and mountain ranges in the northern region which are rich in iron ore, gold, and diamonds. Since 1989, two civil wars have plunged the country into chaos, led by violent military dictatorships, leading to the deaths of up to 200,000 people. Liberia is now on the road to recovery after UN and West African peace-keepers intervened and democratic elections voted in Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first African female head of state in 2005. This is good news for surfers because Liberia has the greatest concentration of quality lefthanders in just about all of Africa and combined with warm water, virgin line-ups and friendly locals, these empty barrels deserve more surfer’s attention. Although first surfed in the 1970s by Peterson and Naughton, Liberia fell off the surfing map until 2004 when Magnus Wolfe Murray, a Scottish aid worker, reached the fabled lefts of Robertsport shortly after the war ended. In summer 2006, photographers John Callahan and Ted Grambeau took separate paths to Robertsport, bringing notable surfers Rarick, Cataldi, Bleakley, D’Orey and Dan Malloy, following the advice of Nicholai Lidow who had made surf trips there previously. Both teams scored epic barrelling lefthanders along a short stretch of southwest-facing coast that picks up the long-range, southern hemisphere S swells.



When to Go

Most swells are SSW swells from the South Atlantic, usually more frequent from April to September. Very few WNW swells, produced off the USA’s southeast coast, make an impact on Liberia. The S-SW facing coastline is mainly comprised of beachbreaks, generating waves from waist-high to double overhead. The beachbreaks are fun and can throw hard when it is on, while the pointbreaks are more fickle but offer perfect walls for intermediates. For guaranteed swells, choose July-August, but it will be raining most of the time and humidity will be high. March-April would have the best overall conditions but there will be flat days. Check one of 4 Buoyweather Virtual buoys off the coast. Semi-diurnal tides with 4ft (1.2m) maximum tidal range.

SURF STATISTICS
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
dominant swell SW -SW SW -SW SW -SW SW -SW SW -SW SW -SW
swell size (ft) 2 2-3 3-4 4 3 2-3
consistency (%) 60 70 80 80 70 60
dominant wind W -NW W -NW S -SW S -SW S -SW SE -SW
average force F2 F2-F3 F3 F4 F3 F2
consistency (%) 41 50 49 82 61 45
water temp (C) 27 27 28 26 27 28
wetsuit boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts
Population
1500 (Robertsport)

Coastline
579km (360mi)

Timezone
GMT year-round

Travel Information

Weather

Weather - Liberia has a hot and extremely humid climate with little variation of temps throughout the year. The mean temp is 27°C (80ºF), rarely exceeding 36°C (97ºF) or falling below 20°C (68ºF).The coastline is characterised by white beaches, lagoons and mangrove swamps, so humidity is high, but heat is tempered by an almost constant breeze. There is an intense rainy season from May to October, but the torrential rain often backs off in August. The dry season really starts in December up to March with occasional dusty and dry desert winds that blow from the Sahara to the coast . Annual average rainfall is around 5080mm (203in). Liberia has never experienced an earthquake, tidal wave, hurricane or tornado. Surf in boardshorts all year.

Nature

– Check Massatin island near Lake Piso in Grand Cape Mount. Sapo National Park is popular for wildlife: elephants, viviparous toad, cross river gorilla, water buffalo, lions, zebra duiker, leopards, Diana monkey, iguanas, pigmy hippopotamus. Iron ore mining at Bong Range or Putu Range. Firestone Rubber Plantation, 50km (30mi) from Monrovia.

Hazards

Chloroquine-resistant malaria is present year-round. Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory, jabs for hepatitis A and typhoid is recommended. Local water is untreated; lots of bugs and mosquitoes because of humidity. Beware with electronic gear. Surf-wise, it’s mellow, just avoid the odd black rock that pokes out of the water.

Hints

– Take at least 2 boards, one being a semi-gun for the major summer swells, plan on leaving an old board behind, the kids really need them and crowds won’t ever be a problem! Forget about cheques, credit cards, and other currencies – just take US dollars. Since Ellen Johnson was elected president, things are going better but the country is a wreck.

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