Friday, February 17, 2012

Free riding in Samoa: accessing the Salani waves

I have been following the Salani surf debacle on Samoa Observer, because you know foi a, the surf falls under my jurisdicktion as the Goddess. (stop rolling your eyeballs).

In brief, surfers from somewhere else parked somewhere near Salani, paddled out and tried surfing but the Salani resort employee 'chased' them back to land (sounds like a movie aye). The disgruntled surfers write to the paper and the Resort owners write back. yada yada yah.

My first impression is: Salani Resort, stop being greedy with the waves that are God's creation. Share the love.

But then I read on and realised, I needed to cancel my first impression.

Firstly, this resort have EVERY right to influence who rides the wave.
They have invested in a business and an ongoing relationship with the village, they have spent years maintaining, getting wiped out by a tsunami and then returning to rebuild their business.
It sucks to say this but if you think about it, most places in the world that attracts tourism are dealing with the same issue of ownership and access.
Look at Fiji, same problemo.
These tourists who are freelancing need to understand that if they smash their faces on the coral, they will need help, help that naturally will need to come from Salani Resort in the first instance....sorry dude, no 911 on this side of the rock
So there you have it, pay the fee and stop being a sissy about it.
And for Salani Resort, they need to be upfront about their policy and be upfront about their authority over the wave. Stop pissing about with sustainable access and cultural bs and respect, say it as it is: We paid to be here, we made this our home and our business, we have established a relationship with Salani Village Council and therefore, we will kick your surfie butt off our wave". Amen.

And last but not least, Samoa Tourism Authority and Govt need to make this clear in their "obsolete and never followed' strategies, spell out to the tourism stakeholders what constitutes 'ownership' in the jungle".

If you aren't aware of the Falealupo rainforest story, a matai Samoa (may he rest in peace) took the law into his own hands and chased out the loggers with a machete.
Lets not see a repeat people,....cheers
Goddess of the Surf.
*Disclaimer: I am saying this as an individual Goddess, so don't get your surfie panties in a twist over it. tai lava, faafetai faatau

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