Fiji Surf Spot Guide

Fiji facts

Capital:
Suva
Population:
931,741 (July 2008 est.)
Area:
18,270 sq km
Coastline:
1,129 km
Climate:
Tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation
Language:
English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani

Surfing in Fiji

Fiji consists of a group of wave-rich volcanic islands in the South Pacific, extremely well-placed to catch regular 4-6 foot swells (and the occasional much larger one) generated by Southern Hemisphere storms.

First visited by surfers in the 1960s, it was not until the opening of Tavarua Beach Resort in 1984 that the country gained the popularity among the surfing community that it truly deserved. Since the late 1980s, Tavarua has hosted more than a dozen major international surf contests, and reefs like Cloudbreaks and Restuarants are ranked among the very best waves in the world.

On the down side, Fijian tribal law allows the owners of individual islands exclusive access to their reefs, which means it is difficult to surf these world-class reefs unless you can afford to stay at the fiercely expensive Tavarua or Namotu resorts. Fortunately, however, there are scores of other great waves in Fiji and many of the camps charge as little as $20 per night.

Fiji's tropical climate means that most of the time the islands are hot and sunny, with a short period of intense humidity and heavy rain between November and March. Virtually all the waves break over shallow, razor-sharp reef, which is by far the biggest hazard, notwithstanding the sharks and sea snakes. The water is warm but reef boots are advisable, as is a rash vest and sun block.

The surf can be roughly split into three main areas, of which the most famous is the Mananuca Island group, sitting just to the west of Viti Levu, often referred to as the mainland. Tavarua and Namotu both fall into this area, as do the high-performance tubes of Wilkes Pass and Swimming Pools.

The south shore of Viti Levu is home to the the hollow rights of Hideaway and the fickle sand-bottom peak of Sigatoka Rivermouth, one of the few spots in Fiji that can be accessed without a boat.

The scattered islands off Viti Levu include Beqa's open ocean waves at Frigate's Pass and the quick tubes of King Kong lefts on Nagigia Island.

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