An Introduction to Surfing in Fiji
The When, Where and Why
Fiji is famous for its amazing waves and surfers from around the globe travel from near and far to stake their claim at arguably some of the South Pacific’s finest breaks. Chasing swells and livin’ the tropical lifestyle dream. The Mamanuca Islands is by far the most consistent place to score it good in Fiji. Located approximately 45-minute boat ride (faster by helicopter) from mainland the Mamanuca group is quite literally a surfers’ paradise.
Seasonally May to October is the ideal time of year for surf, however there are incoming swells year-round. Well known surf spots such as Namotu Lefts, Restaurants, Wilkes Pass, Swimming Pools, Desperations and the infamous Cloudbreak are all within a close radius to each other. This makes picking your place to paddle out easy as different breaks work on different angle swells and winds. If one spot isn’t happening you’re likely to find another that is.
Many of the popular waves here in the Mamanucas are only suitable for advanced surfers, especially when it’s huge. However there’s plenty of opportunities for intermediate surfers to score the wave of their life if the tidal conditions are right. Wilkes Pass is a decent intermediate break if it’s under 3ft – best to sit along the shoulder of the wave and watch the sets before taking the drop.
World Class Waves
The International World Surfing League holds a championship event in Fiji annually. Professional surfers agree it to be one of the most popular places on tour, not just because of the epic reef breaks but also because they adore visiting Fiji and engaging with local culture.
A scenic boat ride takes you to the aforementioned surfing spots. The vibe out here is filled with a tangible sense of anticipation and excitement as surfers look forward to some of the best waves of their lives. Surfing here is also an exciting spectator sport. Those who enjoy the tropical lifestyle will find themselves watching on in admiration. It’s not unusual for an impromptu cheer to erupt from the boats when a surfer exits from a deep South Pacific Ocean barrel. Smiles for miles!
Cloudbreak – The Low Down
By far the most well-known wave in the Fijian archipelago is Cloudbreak. Just off Tavarua Island the wave holds an almost mythical status to surfers and is frequently named as one of the top 5 waves in the world alongside Hawaii’s famed Pipeline and Tahiti’s notorious Teahupoo.
Cloudbreak can easily hold a 10 foot swell and is not for the faint hearted! It’s no place to hesitate. Once you’ve committed to the steep wave face you’ve no choice but to ride it since the shallow reef isn’t exactly forgiving. And when a surfer is locked into the Cloudbreak barrel there’s not much margin for error. In saying that getting tubed out here, no matter the wave height, is an unforgettable experience. Often described as addictive and precisely why surfers worldwide continually return to Fiji to get their power surfing fix.
Surfing in Fiji Tips & Tricks
Pack a few boards, swell size can change rapidly in Fiji. You don’t want to be caught out with a board that’s too small nor too big. One of each should suffice.
Sunscreen, zinc, hats. C’mon you’re in the tropics and sunburn ain’t fun.
There’s a few established learn to surf companies in Fiji that offer lessons for all ages. A quick web search will source the best.
Wind surfing and Stand-Up Paddle Surfing are increasingly popular water sports in Fiji.
As mentioned previously. The surf is usually better in the morning before the wind picks up. Perfectly timed for you get back for afternoon Happy Hour drinks!
Where to Stay on a Family or Mateship Surf Holiday
Treasure Island Resort embraces the tropical lifestyle ethos that surfers and live daily. Conveniently located within the Mamanuca Islands it boasts a selection of accommodation options for your traveling crew to choose from. The food here at Treasure Island is fantastic and there’s several super fresh eateries on-site including a beachfront teppanyaki grill, a full restaurant buffet, seaside BBQ and à la carte dining. Good to know when one’s appetite is up from a day of surfing in paradise. The resort also adheres to sustainable tourism practices and are strong advocates in both the protection and rehabilitation of the surrounding marine park. Get in touch with the friendly reservations team here for further info including surf boat charter options and start planning your dream Fijian surf vacation stat.