Nica vs. Samoa

need 4 speed

Phil Edwards status
Nov 1, 2003
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SoCal
Starting to plan a trip for the end of March, app. 6 days. Trying to decide if Samoa is worth 35% more cost given the short trip. Considerations are crowds, wave quality, consistency, break access,travel hassle etc. Started looking a Salani but there are cheaper options. Not looking for death barrels over fire coral. Input appreciated (at my advanced age, I only have so many opportunities left)
 

mundus

Duke status
Feb 26, 2018
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Nica all the way. Everything I heard about Samoa has been shallow tricky reefs, plus the short trip like you said. Did Nica last April, got plenty of swell. My advice(hate hassles) would be to pick the camp closest to the airport and have them pick you up.
 
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need 4 speed

Phil Edwards status
Nov 1, 2003
6,781
3,728
113
SoCal
Nica all the way. Everything I heard about Samoa has been shallow tricky reefs, plus the short trip like you said. Did Nica last April, got plenty of swell. My advice(hate hassles) would be to pick the camp closest to the airport and have them pick you up.
Friend, who cut my boards, pretty much said same thing. He's a big Nica guy now, but he went to Salani before it was rebuilt. He said its double black diamond. His spot is Nicawaves and they make it hassle free(as it can be) . I wasn't sure how Samoa airport to surf camp transfer is. You "lose"a day traveling beyond the date line and I can stretch to 7 days if need be. When I went to Tonga, 7 days was the only option, international flight to US was once a week. Nice has offshore most days opening up multi session As long as your arms hold out, can get walled at times.Salani has a max of 16 surfers, most waves require a boat ride not sure if they split that up to not overload the breaks. Not sure if other camps motor up/anchor up at " their" breaks. Many questions
 

wedge2

Billy Hamilton status
Jan 20, 2011
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Haven't been to Samoa, but go to Nica a lot...goofy foot paradise (puerto sandino can crank on the right swell/sand) a little further north, super cheap, easy to get to, and you're never going to get skunked. Also, bocas was crowded as f and a lot of pro/bros the time I went.
 
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silentbutdeadly

Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
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Tower 13
been to both.

Samoa is gnarly. full power and legit reef. I was scared the whole time. That being said, I absolutely LOVED the place. Reminded me of Hawaii but without tourists and everyone was friendly. I stayed at salani and had a great experience

nica is about as user friendly as it comes and offshore all day.
 

Eimeo

OTF status
Oct 18, 2005
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Encinitas
If you are goofy foot, you should love Nica in the Puerto Sandino area, tons of lefts. Super easy and cheap trip for a week. Up north the crowds are less than down south. Done a couple of trips there now and enjoyed the lack of people the most next to warm water and good waves. Only surfed one reef that you had to worry about hitting bottom, everything else was super playful and many were beach breaks.
 

Sharkbiscuit

Duke status
Aug 6, 2003
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Jacksonville Beach
If Samoa and Nicaragua were the only two options I'd pick Samoa. Easter is April 9th - I am not sure if Semana Santa is a thing in Nicaragua and/or if your dates would coincide with any of it, but something to keep in mind.

If I was in SoCal and had six days off in March I'd already have airfare to Mainland Mex booked - pending dates/Semana Santa.
 

mundus

Duke status
Feb 26, 2018
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If Samoa and Nicaragua were the only two options I'd pick Samoa. Easter is April 9th - I am not sure if Semana Santa is a thing in Nicaragua and/or if your dates would coincide with any of it, but something to keep in mind.

If I was in SoCal and had six days off in March I'd already have airfare to Mainland Mex booked - pending dates/Semana Santa.
Was in MX for Easter week, beyond Nuts.
 

SD_Dan

OTF status
Jan 23, 2019
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Been to Salani many years ago but never Nicaragua. I agree that most the waves at Salani are pretty critical. Surfed a left there that was relatively mellow but the waves closest to the resort have some power from my recollection. I also agree that it was a great place and experience even though I was pretty scared on some of the bigger days
 

SD_Dan

OTF status
Jan 23, 2019
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Been to Salani many years ago but never Nicaragua. I agree that most the waves at Salani are pretty critical. Surfed a left there that was relatively mellow but the waves closest to the resort have some power from my recollection. I also agree that it was a great place and experience even though I was pretty scared on some of the bigger days
One thing that I remember really liking about Salani was the crowd was practically non existent. That being said I think it was close to 15 years ago so I imagine it’s different now.