Surfing in Fiji at Cloudbreak
The surf in Fiji is amazing. Clear blue water, warm weather and some of the best surf breaks on the planet. The waves peeling onto in-shore passes and isolated reefs miles out to sea making for great Fiji Surf.
Cloudbreak in the local language means “Thunder Reef” and is the most famous surf break in Fiji and boasts a fast, barrelling left-hand break over a shallow reef. The break is located five kilometres straight south of Namotu and 2.5 kilometres off Tavarua.
Cloudbreak is considered by many as one of the best and most challenging waves in the world, along with Pipeline (Hawaii) and Teahupo’o (Tahiti). It is not for the faint hearted, it has a reputation for being a long ride, very hollow and a very powerful ride. The break can hold small to solid size swells between two to twenty feet. Cloudbreak tends to get faster, shallower and more critical as it goes. Being an open ocean reef break, there is very little protection from the wind. Fortunately, Cloudbreak is offshore in the predominant southeast trade winds.
Up until 2010, surfing Cloudbreak was reserved to the Tavarua resort guests only. Since then, the government made the break accessible for everyone. Boats run from the main island of Viti Levu as well as some of the neighbouring islands.
Fiji has a marine tropical climate with year-round surf and two distinct Fiji surf seasons:
In the Winter season, April to October, low pressure systems in the Southern Hemisphere produce consistent ground swells which can get up to 15’ faces. The SE trade winds are predominant, and they blow offshore at Pipes and Frigates for up to a week at a time. There are usually a few days of calm winds between the weather patterns so surfing the other local breaks is possible if the swell is small enough. The Winter season is regarded as the best time to come and catch a wave.
The Summer season from December to April has shorter duration swells of one to three days. During this time the conditions could be called ‘tropical’ as it is glassy or light winds all day and hot with afternoon showers. This is the time when the local breaks can really begin to fire up.
Conditions can be very demanding, so visiting surfers need to be competent and of intermediate to expert level.
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