We just returned from our surf trip to Fiji this weekend. It was 12 gorgeous days in paradise – great uncrowded waves & friendly people along the way. There was two goals for our girls surf trip: to celebrate our past MSG staff member, Angie Stratton’s, successful battle against thyroid cancer & recon a future MSG surf trip to Fiji.
Our trip began with four of us – myself, Angie and her two girlfriends, Blake & Jenny (who also just survived a benign brain tumor surgery – talk about the walking wounded!) We stayed at a cute little surf camp on the main island, forty minutes away from Nadi airport…and a 15 minute boat ride to Tavarua & Namotu. Check out their new website (might not be uploaded yet) for more info on an inexpensive surf camp in Fiji, Rendezvous Surf & Dive Camp. Actually, we became good friends with the web-designer, Brandon, and adopted him along the way on our Fiji surf adventure.
Half way through the trip, we took a 3 hour bus ride to Pacific Harbor and checked out our friend Eric’s amazing property in a neighborhood that a river ran through. We launched his boat from the river bordering his house, which led to the ocean and boated an hour further to an amazing reef break in the middle of nowhere at Frigates Pass – an amazing long left. The four of us scored clean head high waves by ourselves twice here!
The closest surf camp on a nearby island paradise is Batiluva Surf Camp – we stayed a night here and I then knew this would be the ideal surf camp location for a future advanced Maui Surfer Girls surf trip. Check out the site for more info and pictures of Frigates and the facility. Apparently we just missed the Billabong Girls photo shoot and surf trip at this beach resort.
At the end of the trip we enjoyed a fun night out in the city of Suva, where we sang karoake like obnoxious American tourists & cruised all the local city block markets taking a million candid photos of locals and their veggies and crafts.
So here’s some things I learned about surfing in Fiji:
*Be prepared to spend a lot of money on boat trips to reef breaks (up to 100 fijian or 50 US dollars)
*You could pay this money & still get skunked with no surf. Hard to predict the outer reef breaks.
*Bring booties if you’re not used to reef breaks – reefs are sharp and shallow.
*Surf at high tides
*It rains more in the fall (We got monsoon rains for 3 of the 12 days on our trip!)
*South swells are smaller in Sept – more doable for beginners this time of year.
*Not a lot of tourist this time of year – mostly Aussie’s and Kiwi’s.
*Food is cheap & lots of good Indian food!
*No tipping necessary in Fiji – you can travel cheaply.
*Water temp was colder than I expected – should’ve brought my 1 mm top for boat rides and rain days.
*Be prepared to surf steeper, faster, shallow reef breaks – commit fully to the drop and don’t look down!
*Don’t surf near a beached whale on Fijian reef breaks like Namotu (check out the photos!)
*Frigates Pass was my favorite wave – almost made it out of many barrel rides.
*Drink Kava for a good nights sleep!
*I learned that Maui has just as great waves, but I’m still thirsty to surf more waves around the world.
You never know, MSG just might purchase a 60 foot catamaran to sail and above all, surf all the waves in the South Pacific and Indonesia. This trip awakened my mind for all the possibilities that lay ahead of Maui Surfer Girls! Any investors out there wanting to invest in this vision: surf rite of passages for girls and women!?
Here’s to Angie for surviving her battle with cancer and finding true love & my new friend Jenny for surviving her brain surgery – true ocean warriors – I am blessed to know your strength!