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Surf N’ Shine is here!

Hi All,  we are very happy to announce that we will soon be accepting applicants for our Surf N’ Shine program, the first surf volunteer program in West Africa!

Surf volunteerism program are somewhat new so you might not be familiar with them. What the Surf N’ Shine offers is a opportunity to spend part of your day working on a community development project and part of your time in a surf camp- you get to surf and then “shine” as a volunteer helping to improve the quality of life of the people of our village through your volunteerism.

Some get down time

Black Star Surf has partnered with Black Star Development Project and Sandshoe.org to bring the Surf N’ Shine program to Ghana.  These NGO have been working with the community over the past year to develope some amazing volunteer opportunity such as teaching  in our new computer lab, leading our afterschool program, becoming a teaching assistant in a classroom, helping local organization to market their services, working with the women’s club on various arts and crafts that they now sell, and well as some other fun and meaningful projects. For more information go the Surf N’ Shine website at www.surfnshine.org.

We will be able to place volunteers beginning on October 1st so if you are interested please inquire now!

 

 

Black Star’s New Surf Camp Coordinator

Black Star’s Surf Camp Coordinator

 

Black Star Surf Camp and Surf Tours has a new surf camp coordinator, Otto Mihalovits. We are happy to have Otto on board as he brings a lot of experience both as a surf instructor and someone who has run a surf camp before. Otto has Level 2  ISA teaching certification and is a professional lifeguard.

Otto will be there to supervise our other instructors as well as to help them improved their  instructing techniques . Otto is also available to assist you when you need him for a lesson or advice on what surf spot to go to.  Just look for the guy with the guitar in his hand.

Black Star Surf Winter Surf Board Sale!

We finally took the plunge and decided that in order to be a real surf shop we needed to be selling  surfboards. We are now having our first surf board sale!

Boards are hard to come by in Ghana and we are hoping that us selling them will help some of you get in the waves or even to take up surfing. Please contact Kofi at 233-(0)545155933 with questions about the surf boards or to make arrangements to see them. Or you can just stop by the shop in Busua and take a look for yourself. These are the boards currently in stock and on sale:

 

NSP 5'6" Tri-fin. Regular Price USD $445, sale price $399

Seaflight 6'0" Retro Fish Regular Price USD $610, sale price $535

 

Supers 6'3" Fish Quad Regular Price USD $620, sale price $545

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSP 5'6" Tri Fin Regular Price $445, sale price $399

Supers 5'9" Fish Quad Regular price $585, sale price $525

7'6" Supers Epoxy fun board Regularly $610, sale price $545

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Asabaako Music Festival

It’s Asabaako time again! Yes two festivals in one year…  Asabaako will be fixed on the first weekend of December from now on. It’s a monster line up this time round, over 40 artists will be donning the stage in celebration of love, life and music. Hope to see you on the beach. 

The Asabaako Music Festival in Busua!

Time to come to Busua on March 5th and 6th and dance your ass off to some great music!

Black Star Surf  has teamed up with music production company Beating Tracks to bring a music festival to Busua. That’s right, we will be having an ANNUAL music festival in Busua!

ASABAAKO! is a FREE, 2-day, Independence holiday weekend festival on Busua Beach, in Ghana’s Western Region.

ASABAAKO! translates as “One Dance” in Akan – in essence, the coming together of people to dance the same dance in unity. The festival will feature DJs from Accra, Takoradi and London (UK), playing everything from hip hop, hip life, house, high life, afrobeat, r&b, funk, reggae, soul and music from around Afrika, plus a selection of bands and musicians…all in the surroundings of one of the region’s most spectacular and best loved beaches. Join the Facebook page for updates.

The 2 day event will feature:
 

Sat March 5th @ The African Rainbow Hotel: Party with views over the beach and village from the rooftop bar (from 5pm)
 
Sun March 6th @ The Black Star Surf Shop: ALL day, ALL night Independence beach party (from midday)
 

For more information about this festival, how to get to Busua and accomodations options go to the Asabaako website at www.asabaako.com. You can also call the surf shop to get more info. Contact info is on our website at www.blackstarsurfshop.com

Ghana Wave Madness!

It’s been awhile since we have posted something some waves shots, so here are some waves to help you get you psyched up to surf in Ghana! We will also give you info about surfing in Ghana and what kind of waves to expect and when. We really can have some great waves and most people have no idea. There are also numerous unexplored surf spots to be discovered, which makes Ghana a great surfing adventure!

Black Mamba in April

As you can see, this post has some pictures from three different surf spots. The first two pictures are of Black Mamba Point. Black Mamba is a reef/rock right point break that is paddling distance from our surf shop. It is best on a mid to high tide. The first of these pics was taken in April 2010 when we consistently had waist t chest high sets. This one is of me surfing Black Mamba in waist/shoulder high waves.

Black Mamba- slightly overhead!

When it gets bigger it holds its shape and gets better, as you can see from this second picture! You can check out this video link to see what Black Mamba looked like in April 2009.watch?v=Hz0YenzGZDo

 The swell in Ghana builds in May and is chest to 1 ½ overhead from May until sometime in early September. But remember, it starts getting good in April and stays good through the end of October; it is only just a little less consistent and a smaller. Late July thru early September seems to be the months when everything lines up perfectly with a combination of the biggest swells and no wind.

LP's Left in July

This picture is taken from a spot called LP’s or Ketakor in July 2008. This spot is good on a low to mid tide, any swell direction. This spot is actually more of a right but there is a short left that you can take to get your front side fix if your goofy foot. The pics on the home page of Black Star’s website is of LP’s but going right.

The water is a little chilly between Julyand September so bring a spring suit or at least a neoprene top. I surf it bare but, hey, my hometown surf spot is San Francisco!

There is another surf video that features Busua’s beach break, Cape Three Points, and Black Mamba Point. You need a Facebook account to open it and we hope to have it on our Black Star Surf Shop Facebook site soon. This is a really well put together video by Sean McKernan and shows the quality of waves we get in Ghana during prime time so check it out if you can! http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=363912923348&subj=676780135 

There are a lot of other quality waves in and around Busua, it just that not many of them have been photographed. There is Dixcove Point, with its long, slow rolling heavy wave that is perfect for beginners and intermediates to practice their turns, Cape Three Points, with both a quality left and right break, Princess Town with two quality beach breaks, and Mutrakni Points which is a small peninsula and has both a right and left point break. There is probably great surfing all up and down the coast of Ghana since we get big organized swells all the way from Antarctica, but we know that the Western Region has the jagged coastline giving us the point breaks to choose from and explore. 

View from our Restaurant!

We will leave you with this last picture which was taken in July of 2008 in front of the surf shop. We have a restaurant with a deck looking out at this wave so you can either be out in the water surfing or checking it out with a plate of good food in front of you and a Pina Colada or cold beer in your hand!

The CTC Internet Cafe

Manager Nat & Guests

We are proud to announce that Black Star and the Community Tourist Center Committee (CTCC) have teamed up to open the first Internet cafe in Busua. The Internet Cafe’s temporary home  is at the Black Star Surf Shop. The computers for the cafe where donated by a computer recycling company, 505Recycle,  based in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the US. Thanks 505Recycle people!

The Internet cafe currently has three computers; two of which are used for guests and the other acts as server. The connection is remote and from one of the cell phone companies so it is fast and not cheap (compared to the cities) but  it is still less expensive than other nearby options. The computers will be moved to the Community Tourist Center once the building of the center is completed.
When we move the Internet cafe to the new Tourist Center we will also leave a few computers at the surf shop and have a wireless setup there so that people with laptops can sit on our deck and enjoy the nice view of the ocean and have some food or drink from our very own Okorye Tree Restaurant (which shares the deck with the Black Star Surf Shop and now the Internet cafe).
The plan is to get more computers donated so that we can also use the Internet cafe as a community computer classroom. We will start a program that focuses on teaching local kids about the environment and the environmental issues that their community face as they learn how to use the computer.
All profits from the internet cafe go into a community project fund. Some of this money will be used to subsidize

Local Guys hit the Net!

Internet use for community members. Since Internet connection isexpensive and this greatly limits the communities ability to use it, we will subsidize the prices so that they are comparable to what one would pay in the nearby city of Takoradi. 

Please support this project and help us keep it sustainable by using our internet service when you are in Busua. This way you get to connect to the world and help out community at the same time.  Now that is cool! 

The Black Star and Ghana Surf Team !!!!

Yes, that’s right, there is a Ghana surf team and they are sponsored by Black Star! The Ghana surf team consisting of Charles, Clement and Peter have already competed in numerous surfing competition: several in Ghana and one in the Ivory Coast. 

Clement, Charles and Peter

These guys have come up on top in the Ghana contests. However, the competition in the Ivory Coast featured surfers from their home country as well as Senegal.  The Ghana team did not fair so well in the Ivory Coast but it was a wake up call for them to know that there are other African surfers out there and that can, for now, surf better then them!

Two of the three Ghana surf team work at Black Star and the other will join us once his English improves. The surf team is also sponsored by Culprit Surf (see picture) of which Black Star co-owner, Peter Nardini, is one of the founders. You can check out Culprit’s stuff at www.culpritsurf.com and buy our products in the US on Ebay. We also sell a lot in surf shops in Portugal, Bali and New Zealand if you happen to live or be visiting one of these countries.

The surf team is also being sponsored by Squalo, the largest surf company in Mexico. Squalo will be teaming up with Black Star to open a new store in Accra, Ghana. Squalo has agreed to sponsor the Ghana surf team and will be providing them with surf boards, clothing, a small salary, and even some travel money. In this picture the guys are wearing Squalo hats and board shorts which were some of their first sponsor items.

Black Star, Culprit Surf, and Squalo will be sponsoring an international surf contest in Ghana in 2011 so keep your eyes open for the dates. We will post the info here on this blog. Maybe the Ghana surf team will shine on their home turf, we will have to see!

The Ghana surf team is improving rapidly and we hope they will continue to improve so they can start holding their own against the Ivorians and Senegalese, and then later on the world stage. So if you see these guys out in the water let them know you support them in their quest to become the competitive surfers that they can be. The natural talent is there that is for sure. Go Ghana surf team !!!!!!!

CTC Update

This is not going to be a flashy blog entry with all the cool photos and nice wave shots like some of  the others.  However, this is probably the most important blog so far, at least as far as the community of Busua is concerned.

One of our previous blog entries talked about the Community Tourism Center (CTC) Project and how we took a delegation of Busua representatives to the Volta to see first hand successful CTC models and talk to the locals about their work, challenges and successes. These representatives came back pretty pumped up about doing something in Busua like they saw in the Volta!

Tim and Riley were the interns working full time on this project until they left this Winter to go back to their lives in the US and Holland. There is now a new intern, Will Anderson, a Kiwi who has taken up the project where Tim and Riley left off. Many positive things have happened over the past several months, which were built on the foundation of the previous work that our interns and the community had accomplished over the past year.

Maybe a quick recap of what the CTC is and how it will work is in order. Basically, the CTC will be a physical space where all tourist who visit Busua will come to register. While at the CTC, tourists will have the opportunity to learn about activities to do in Busua and the surrounding areas, organize guided tours and boat trips, learn about the community development projects the community is working on, as well as get non-baised information about place to stay, eat and be entertained while staying in Busua. In many ways this will be the first time that the community at large will have a say in how tourism is developed in their village. Other CTC’s in Ghana have generated significant revenues from their CTC’s and have used these funds to build community water systems, health posts, and also established scholarship funds for both secondary school and university. All this and more is possible in Busua!

So now back to the progress report. Since this Winter we have been able to open a community-run Internet cafe that is being temporarily housed at Black Star Surf Shop until the permanent CTC is built. See blogs in coming weeks to learn more about the CTC Internet Cafe. This is great progress! More importantly we have found a place to build the permanent CTC and have received some funds to accomplish this goal. With the help of some very generous people, we have secured over USD $14,000 to build our Community Tourist Center. Construction should start sometime in the next couple of months. The next important step will be writing a constitution for the CTC that very clearly states everyone’s roles, duties and obligations to the CTC, how the finances will be run and who will benefit. The community representatives will be writing this constitution with the help of GREET, an empowerment NGO  that works with the CTC’s throughout Ghana.

Stay tuned as we take this project to its successful and sustainable completion. We are hoping to have the opening for the CTC sometime in August. Come join us for the celebration if you happen to find yourself in Ghana!

CTC Project- Still on track!

Good news on the community development front in Busua! About 6 months ago, and with the help of interns Tim Lucas and Riley Bartlett,  the Black Star Surf Shop initiated the Busua Community Tourist Center (CTC) Project. The black star development team (Tim, Riley, and Pete) have helped the community, represented by the Town Tourist Committee and the Ahanta Environmental Club, to get this project off the ground. It is all of our belief that having a community-run tourist center will benefit the local community in many ways and see to it that they get a tangible benefit from the growing tourism in and around Busua.

To date, we have secured a piece of land for the CTC site from the Ahanta Chief in Busua (thanks Chief!), surveyed the land,  and took a group of Busua representatives to see existing successful CTC’s that are operating in the Volta Region of Ghana. This trip was highly successful as it was an opportunity to both see success in action and to ask questions on how the communities were running their CTC’s and how they were benefiting.

Busua reps visit the Volta

We are now in the process of writing a constitution to spell out exactly how the CTC will function and who will be involved. We are working with three NGO’s- RC, SNV and GREET- to ensure that there is a good chance the capacity building training will lead to a sustainable project. We also recently received a private donation that will help us continue to build on our successes as a community and to achieve, with the help of the above NGO’s, full funding for this project.  We are also currently involved in other community projects, like introducing solar oven and some microfinancing for local tourist businesses, but more on that later…..

You have to do something when the waves are small !!!!!!


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