The Samoan alphabet only contains fourteen letters – a, e, i, o, u f, g, l, m, n, p, s, t, v – plus a glottal stop denoted by an apostrophe (’). Simple, but effective in producing a rich and colourful language. Samoa itself is a result of the full gamut of classic elements. Fire and earth blasted these volcanic islands into the aether 7 million years ago. The Pacific chain was first settled by Polynesians 3000 years ago and named after the sacred (‘sa’) chickens (‘moa’) of Lu, son of the god of creation. Peaceful trade and the ‘matai’ system of family chiefs had been established for over 1000 years when European missionaries arrived, fully integrating Christianity by the mid 19th century. In 1900 Samoa became a German colony, but was ceded to New Zealand on the outbreak of the First World War. Western Samoa became the first Polynesian state to gain independence, from New Zealand in 1962 – and thirty-five years later the nation formally became simply Samoa.The final classic elements of water and air, in the shape of reliable ocean swells and steady trade winds, produce a truly special place to kite and windsurf. The main island of Upolu is just half the size of Savai’i, but is home to the airport and the country’s only city of Apia. It’s also where the known spots are – there’s just a handful but, as the alphabet demonstrates, quantity is no gauge of quality.