There isn’t a surfer on the planet who hasn’t dreamt of surfing in Fiji. From the mind-bending barrels of Cloudbreak to the legendary waves of Tavarua or Namotu, Fiji will forever exist as a surfer’s fantasy trip.
That being said, there’s more to know about surfing in Fiji other than everyone dreams of going. For one thing, the season when you travel to Fiji makes an enormous difference, as does where you base yourself and your overall ability level.
For most surfers the best time of year for surfing in Fiji is during the winter months of April through October when southern hemisphere swells send shots of energy towards the Fijian archipelago. While occasionally these storms can produce swells of such magnitude only the world’s best can handle them, there are plenty of times when intermediate surfers can find waves which suit their ability level and periods where the surf isn’t so huge. Water temperatures can drop as low as 70 degrees during the winter months, but the days will be cool, dry, and the surf will often be pumping.
Where in Fiji you’re going to be staying is another important thing to consider. While “Frigates” is accessible via a boat trip from the main island of Viti Levu, oftentimes a side trip to the Mamanuca group or other outer islands is going to be in order. Also, almost all of the waves in Fiji are reef passes which require a boat ride out to the channel, with an exception being Natadola Beach about 45 minutes east of Nadi. Given that the shallow reef breaks require a fair amount of knowledge of where to sit in relation to the wave, the majority of the breaks in Fiji are classified as being for intermediate or advanced surfers only.
That being said, there are still a number of beach breaks associated with island resorts where visitors who want to learn to surf can do so on waves which aren’t as challenging. Along Viti Levu’s Sigatoka coastline the southern facing beaches pick up more manageable swell, although the morning hours are going to be best before the southeasterly winds come up.
Surfing in Fiji is an activity undoubtedly listed on many “dream trips,” and it’s just one of the reasons this tropical nation is a favorite of vacationers from each and every corner of the globe.