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Stormrider Guide to surfing Ghana

Ghana, AFRICA


surf Ghana at Akwaadi, Sean Griffin

Summary

+ Mellow right pointbreaks - Lack of powerful waves
+ Consistently headhigh - Small waves in dry season
+ Relatively cheap and safe - Beach pollution
+ Virgin, warm water surf - Hot, humid and malarial

To surf Ghana head west of Accra where you will find 250km of golden sand and rocky patches, backed by flat, plains and numerous estuarine lagoons.

Most surfers would know little about surfing in Ghana, apart from the backwash waves that were surfed out to sea on The Endless Summer. Ghana claimed independence in 1957, avoided the region’s wars and grew a democracy based on gold and cocoa.


When to Go

Long period organised S-SW groundswells arrive from April to Sept but will decay heavily and never exceed 8ft. Morning offshores become a gentle westerly sea breeze that destroys the beachbreaks. Nov to March is flat with due N winds. Tides are under 1m and only affect small beachbreaks at high.

Surf Spots

Mutrakni Point is a well-regarded lefthand pointbreak over sand covered reef. There is also another left that shows itself in bigger swells out on the exposed isthmus plus a right on the east side beach corner. Further west lies Axim’s hefty beachbreak by the beach resort with a fun reef nearby. Cape Three Points picks up maximum available swell, bending onto the main point for a mellow right slide that intermediates and longboarders will love. Out on the west side of the lighthouse is a left in sizeable swells, while the beachbreak stretching to the east is usually very fast, leading up to an inconsistent left point/reef. In Akwidaa LP’s is a reliable and consistent, long right point that picks up most swell. Beachbreaks at Ketakor and Achenim add to the wave inventory. Dixcove is a well-known right reef below Fort Metal Cross, but the water by the rivermouth is murky and polluted. Black Mamba’s breaks over round boulders full of urchins and is for more experienced surfers only. On its day it’s easily the best wave in the area. Ghana’s surfing centre is Busua Beach where the fun, mostly easy waves are ideal for the surf schools and locals to practice in. The rights at Takoradi can be ridden on the western side of the harbour. Fort Sebastian hosts another right point that is protected from westerly sea breezes. Elmina’s exotic beaches are fringed with palms, the obligatory fort and a slow breaking, right pointbreak. Cape Coast is the Central Region’s capital, where below average close-out beachbreaks appear in front of the University and the castle. Further east at Winneba, St Charles is an outside righthand reef come pointbreak, which is nicely sheltered on the inside. It’s possible to spend the night in the scenic Fort Good Hope in Senya Beraku, in order to ride the long, laid-back right pointbreak next to it. Fete needs clean morning conditions to shape up some long, shouldered walls between the tip of the point at Tills and the inside section at White Sands beach resort, which is sheltered by low cliffs from westerly sea breezes. Great fun when the sections all connect in due S swell at lower tides. It can be fat and suffer strong rips on bigger swells and like many other beaches is used for sanitary purposes by the local populace. Consistent, even when small, plus the beachbreak can hold some peaks. Just west is Tills beach, where quick-fire close-outs attract the kiteboarders of Accra. Nyanyanu is a small rivermouth right, best on low tide, that can connect up on bigger swells. The beachbreak at Kokrobite is best in small peaky 2-3ft surf with incoming tides to help reduce the amount of close-outs. The western point has some rocky, sectiony rights. A similar wave option, replete with expensive hotel for those who can afford it is Labadi Beach on the other side of Accra. It can be very polluted (tankers dump septic waste nearby) and there is a charge for beach access.

Statistics

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
dominant swell S -S S -SW S -SW S -SW S -S S -S
swell size (ft) 1-2 2-3 3-4 4 2-3 1-2
consistency (%) 30 50 60 80 60 30
dominant wind S -W S -W S -W S -W S -W S -W
average force F2 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3
consistency (%) 65 73 75 82 74 72
water temp (C) 27 28 27 25 24 26
wetsuit boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts

Travel Information

Weather
Temps vary between 21-32°C (70-90ºF). Along the coast rainfall is light and the rainy season lasts from April until June with a short spell in October. No rubber necessary.

Lodging and Food
Busua has accommodation to suit all budgets. Mr Brights and Ahanta Waves organise accommodation, lessons and tours to spots where you’ll be surfing all alone. Near Accra try Big Milly Backyard and Escape3points Lodge at Cape 3 Points is the best by far. Street food is dirt-cheap; expect $1 (3-5 cedis) for a meal. Soups, jollof rice, fufu and lobsters.

Nature and Culture
Besides palm-fringed beaches and slave forts, Ankasa national park is only 2h away. Fish markets are unavoidable! Laid-back atmosphere in Busua.

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