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Stormrider Guide to surfing Northwest Liberia

Liberia, AFRICA

Fishermans, Magnus Murray


+ Fairly consistent SW swells - Inconsistent in summer
+ Uncrowded waves - Extremely wet during surf season
+ Best left pointbreaks in Africa - Bugs, malaria, yellow fever
+ Not too challenging - Relatively high costs

Now peaceful, 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.

When to Go

Most swells are SSW swells from the South Atlantic, usually more frequent from April to September. 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 March-April will have better weather. Semi-diurnal tides 1.2m maximum tidal range.

Surf Spots

Close to the border with Sierra Leone, Robertsport lies on a peninsula separated from the mainland by Lake Piso. Closest to town is Fishermans, an exceptionally long ride up to 500m that is perfect for longboarding, but also offers peeling tube sections on the right swell. Giant, sacred Cotton Trees mark the take-off and end section of this wave that can connect into one long super-point, but it is often two waves. The end section can transform into a reverse Kirra, with dredging low tide barrels racing down the shallow sandbar. Exposed to the swell, Shipwrecks or Mid-Point will have fun waves when the other points are too small to ride and also handles up to double overhead. Loco faces due southwest and pulls in plenty of swell, but is a bit exposed to the wind and is a half hour hike from camp. Bigger, faster and gnarlier than the other points. Two hours hike south is Jaya Ji, where swells bounce off a rocky headland, creating a bowling, ripable wave that repeatedly doubles up as it rifles down the point, offering square tubes off the take-off and launch pads at the finish. A long, straight sandy coast with fewer kinks and a few rivermouths extends all the way to Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia. South of the port the southern headland forms a very long, wind protected, lefthand pointbreak, known as Dorothy’s after the elderly lady who runs the orphanage and school. The waves peel over a sandy rock bottom if there is enough SW swell wrapping in. It sections off and gets very close to the rocks if it is too small. There’s some power close to the pocket and tapered shoulders for long, drawn-out cutbacks. Water quality is awful! On the other side of the protruding headland from Dorothy’s, the SSW-facing city beaches host lots of random waves and it’s probably easiest to surf Mamba Beach near the Mamba Point Hotel or out in front of the Sweden Embassy, where consistent beachbreaks cop onshores in the afternoon.


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

Travel Information

Liberia has a year-round hot and extremely humid climate, but the heat is tempered by an almost constant breeze. Intense rainy season from May to October, (can back off in August) and the dry season really starts in December up to March. Surf in boardshorts all year.

Lodging and Food
In Robertsport, Kwepunha surf retreat has full board rooms fr $45/n, lessons ($30/h), rentals ($10/h) and guided tours ($25/d). In Monrovia, try Mamba Point Hotel on United Nations Drive at $150/d, Krystal Ocean View Hotel at $130/d or Tilda Guest House $110/d. Budget travellers can also get a room at St. Teresa’s Convent, located a few blocks from Mamba Point Hotel ($25). Avoid dairy products.

Nature and Culture
Sapo National Park is popular for wildlife: elephants, viviparous toad, cross river gorilla, water buffalo, lions, zebra duiker, leopards, Diana monkey, iguanas, pigmy hippopotamus.