SANTA IS­ABEL

New Zealand Surfing - - News -

Fun Level 10/10 Crowd Level 10/10

To the jewel in the crown, Santa Is­abel which is home to two of the best surf stays in the des­ti­na­tion ‘Ka­gata Surfin Frens’ and Pa­p­atura Is­land Re­treat but the lat­ter is with­out doubt one of the best surf­ing set-ups to be found any­where in the South Pa­cific.

Man­aged by Aus­tralian ex­pats Pete and Margie Blanche, Pa­p­atura sits on a beau­ti­ful sandy beach fac­ing the main is­land of Santa Is­abel, and is pro­tected from the ocean winds. On the seaward side of the is­land sit sev­eral good surf breaks in­clud­ing An­chovies, PT’s, Kumma’s, Zoli’s, Donuts and Tarzan’s, the lat­ter of­fer­ing a per­fect A-frame with bar­rels go­ing in both di­rec­tions. There are sev­eral more breaks around the reef di­rectly out­side Pa­p­atura and each one will have its day de­pend­ing on winds, swell di­rec­tion and tides.

The jour­ney to Pa­p­atura is worth the ef­fort – Twin Ot­ter flights to the grass strip at Sua­vanao and a five-minute boat ride to Pa­p­atura Faa Is­land and the re­treat which boasts a good selection of stan­dard boards from stubby-nosed fish through to rhino chasers and a selection of Mals.

Best of all, Pa­p­atura Is­land re­treat lim­its the num­ber of board­rid­ers to a max of 14 at any one time – so with more than 20 dif­fer­ent breaks to choose from, you’re guar­an­teed an un­crowded surf.

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