Most surfers would know little about surfing in Ghana, apart from the backwash waves that were surfed out to sea on The Endless Summer. Ghana was the first country in Africa (1957) to claim independence from Britain, basing economic growth on gold and cocoa. It's densely populated and despite sitting amidst the shadows of turbulent neighbours, has evolved in a democratic way. For years, intrepid travellers raved about the coastal area west of Accra, a 250km (156mi) stretch of sand and rocky patches, interspersed with 15 old slave-trading forts and castles, many dating from the 17th Century. The coastal area is relatively flat, consisting of plains and numerous lagoons near river estuaries. Few have taken advantage of the easy surf conditions – in fact, local surfers can be counted on the fingers of one hand.