BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
LOOKING for a surf spot this surfing season? Why not visit Kagata Surfing Camp in Santa Isabel with the uncrowded wave and is the off the beaten track adventure that you will be looking for and do not ever want to miss.
Kagata Surfing camp is a local surfing network that connects you to different Solomon Islands village stays where you will experience the real and typical culture of living, interacting, and meeting new friends and at the same time surf the most crowd-free and untouched waves of the islands.
It is 100% locally owned which allows most local people to participate directly and indirectly in the operation.
The waves are just perfect and the swells rise three to six feet, providing a good wave ride one can never forget.
Nestled amongst the beachfront rainforest, you’ll sleep in an open plan cabins cater for seven guests with just a short boat ride to the incredible breaks.
The Seven open cabins are the Kagata Village stay which housed the guests when the surfing period is approaching.
Kagata Village Stay consist of 2 bungalows set on the lagoon’s edge. Each has a kitchen and private facilities.
“Because of its remoteness, Kagata is only suitable for adventurous and off the beaten track type of tourists especially surfers which they can live with the locals in simplicity,” said Laurie Leketo, Operation Manager of Kagata Village Stay.
A popular surfer and an Award-winning Blogger, Chris who also owns the YouTube channel, Stoked for Travel said in one of his videos that Santa Isabel is certainly the most consistent surfing spot that you will ever find in the Solomon.
In one of his blogs, Chris said that for those who want to immerse themselves in the Solomon Life, Kagata is their choice.
“Santa Isabel is certainly the most consistent, catching the North Pacific swell stream with the trade winds about 6 months of the year!
“Kagata is for those who want to immerse themselves in Solomon’s life and kick back amongst a small local village between surfs.
“Accommodation is comfortable but basic and you’ll enjoy your private guesthouse next door to the family village – which you’ll be welcomed into,” the blog reads.
Mr. Laurie Leketo told Tourism Media Solomon that Chris had shared this similar sentiment to him during his recent trip to Kagata Surf Camp.
“Yes he is a popular surfer that had already or almost nearly surfed the world and he said that surfing in Isabel, especially in Kagata Surf Camp is so special compared to other places in the world.
“What he emphasizes almost every time was that surfing in places like Kagata or its Sister Camp Vavaghio, one does not need to have cell phones or have access to Wi-Fi, just you alone in Paradise,” the Operation Manager explained.
Mr. Leketo said that for visitors to approve Isabel province as a hotspot for surfing is probably due to its geographical location which he said is facing the swells from Indonesia.
“Apart from international visitors including Chris, there are locals too who highlighted Isabel province as the hotspot for surfing in the Solomon.
“It is probably the geographical setting. Our location is facing the Indonesian archipelago and from there we could normally experiencing Indonesian swells.
“So I can say that Isabel suits surfing as it has lots of surf breaks and alternatives we can provide,” Mr. Leketo said.
Laurie invests in the project, along with the local community to enhance their livelihood. It is a pilot project that emerges in the western remote part of Santa Isabel which is slowly growing to other remote parts of the Solomon Islands.