The breaks are heavy, shallow and hollow; they’re what every surfer looks for when they’re up for a challenge, for the next step. Fiji has awesome breaks and more, the perfect spot to soak up rays, soak in culture and catch some of the best breaks in the world. You in?
It wasn’t until 2010 that the Tourism Board of Fiji effectively lifted all bans and restrictions on surfing in Fiji. Since then the island has become a sort of pilgrimage site for pro and advanced surfers looking for difficult, heavy and shallow breaks. If you’re not there yet (skill-wise) don’t be intimidated. There is still amazing surfing for beginners too. Catch flights to Fiji, you won’t regret it!
Fiji is make up of 300+ islands in the Pacific and while English is commonly spoken and is the official language, you’ll find locals more comfortable speaking in their native tongue. A simple bula (hello!) and vinaka (thank you!) goes a long way when making friends and meeting local Fijians.
Where to surf
Having a successful surf session in Fiji depends on the tides. Most reefs can’t be surfed without high tide. Many of the breaks cannot be reached from the beach either, you’ll need a boat to take you out. There are three main surfing areas in Fiji where you’ll definitely run into other surfers and even be able to rent a board and get a quick lesson as well.
If you’re a beginner then stick to the Coral Coast area and sign yourself up for some classes at a surf camp near Nadi. The best place to find gear and an instructor is at the Fiji Surf Shop in Nadi Town. Here you can sign up for half-day trips and surf school, even get the right gear.
The most famous wave to surf here is in Frigates Passage, about 12 miles off-shore. It’s a legendary left-hander that regularly delivers rides longer than 100m. Unlike other breaks in Fiji, you can ride this one in low tide as well as high tide.
The waves here are powerful and can be ruined by trade winds coming in. The best times to surf are early morning and in the late afternoon when winds have died down. There is a surf resort here, called Nagigia, which rents equipment.
When to go
Weather and tides are two important elements to having a successful surf holiday in Fiji. Avoid travelling to Fiji between November and April during their wet season. That’s also the time when the most hurricanes and cyclones come through. Dry season is from May and October. You’ll see surfers all year round in Fiji, particularly in the south but the best time to visit is from April to October.
Reef rash is common among surfers in Fiji and anywhere else. It’s a term that covers the whole lot of small injuries that come with surfing tropical waters from sun burn to jellyfish stings, coral inflammation and sea lice bites. The best way to prevent it is to wear a wet suit. It’s not pretty and it’s best cured with a little Betadine when you get out of the water.
Love to surf? Where are your favourite spots to catch a break?