Well it really should read about me! My name is Blair Rogers and I'm an expat kiwi who grew up surfing in the Wellington area before heading up the coast to warmer water in the Gisborne region. I then moved on to the even warmer waters of the Gold Coast and was luckily enough to pull some serious barrel time at Kirra during the eighties, and also experience the legendary dollar nite at the Patch. In the early nineties I headed over towards Indo and Europe and hung there for quite a while before nestling down in Reunion Island where I lived for 17 years. During this time I visited Madagascar on several occasions and always knew that I was going to end up living here.
The basic rundown on surfing in Madagascar is the SW coast or more precisely Tulear is where the best and most consistent waves are. My best mate here and partner in crime, a South African ex pat has been living in Mada for 20 plus years and has the local surfing scene totally wired so we do know what we're talking about when it comes to surfing in Madagascar.
The real problem with surfing here all boils down to actually getting to the different spots which are not easily accessible and quite far apart. Anyway it took me a little while to work it out but the best way of maximising potential surf time here is to do a mobile surf trip. 10 days min with base camp being here in Tulear and depending on conditions, swell forecast, winds, tides etc (it's pretty fickle) we make the decision where we're going the night before, pack everyone up, and sail off next morning. There are numerous advantages to organising the trip like this, firstly using internet surf tools we can pretty accurately predict where the best surf is going to be over the forthcoming days and either head south to the southern reefs and stay for as long as the swell hangs around, or head north to the reef passes or just hang out in Tulear if there's bugger all swell (plenty of alternative activities on offer here!).
For those wanting to freelance it over here, no worries at all and this isn't even a sales pitch but ... you would either want to speak fluent French or Malagasy cause bugger all people speak English, know about the tides, winds, swell directions and various access routes cause they all have a huge influence on the breaks here, and also be bloody good at bartering cause the local boys will take you to the cleaners to organise your transfers, they make the Bali boys look like school kids! Anyway, like I said, it's not that I want you to buy with us but I honestly reckon it could end up costing you just as much if you had to organise all your accommodation, transfers and shit yourself and you'd without a doubt miss out on most of the best surf too. I've seen a shitload of surfers going south when they should be heading north and vica versa or sitting around scratching their noggins in Anakao or Mangily cause its flat or the winds are wrong, and in the meantime we're surfin our butts off elsewhere ! ... local knowledge always counts for a lot and here even more so than most other places !!
Ben Waltzinger is a young french surfer who spent a couple of years in Australia and then Reunion Island before joining the Mada Surf Tours crew in 2014. My new sidekick and apprentice lacky, Ben has been finetuning his wave riding skills on some of the best secret spots around and is always keen as mustard to get wet whenever theres a wave to be had. Ben speaks fluent french, english, and is also getting his malagasy down and is always keen to have a beer and chat with the clients. If you´re keen on partying it up a bit while you´re here, Ben also doubles as the Mada Surf Tours entertainment officer!
Ralay is the Mada Surf Tours skipper and have been with us since a year now.As he is a Vezo from Anakao who grew up by the ocean fishing and piroguing all over the show, he knows everything about ocean and excelling on pirogues manoeuvre. Ralay starts surfing when he was 14 and is happy to get wet when the sun melt his brain down while waiting for client in the boat. He is as very helpfull dude always willing to help clients carrying boards and bags.! Ben W.