Cloudbreak – Tavarua, Fiji
Cloudbreak is a unique wave, in that it is actually regulated and owned by a surf resort. The only way to surf Cloudbreak is to check into the Tavarua Surf Resort in Fiji. The wave is about a mile from Tavarua Island itself, requiring a boat ride to get out there. Cloudbreak is almost a perfect left, but it can get sectiony. There are three main sections: the point (also called “the top”), the middle, and the inside (also called “Shish Kabobs”). The inside looks like the safest bet to most newcomers, but the boat drivers will tell you otherwise. The point and the middle are actually more rippable, and the inside is not called “Shish Kabobs” for nothing: the reef gets really shallow there, and it is very sharp. Cloudbreak is a difficult wave to surf, but it can guarantee you some serious tube time. Lastly, if you aren’t very familiar with Cloudbreak, you may wonder why it is included as a big wave surf spot. During huge south swells, Cloudbreak holds up very well, producing massive surf and many times restricting surfers to tow-in surfing only.
Tow-ins at Cloudbread:
Cloudbreak is located about a mile off of the island of Tavarua in Fiji. To get there, you fly into Nadi, Fiji, then take a boat out to the island.
Swell & Weather Conditions
The best swell for Cloudbreak is anything large and from the south. The predominant winds are the southeast trades, and they provide good side-offshore winds for Cloudbreak most of the year.
Cloudbreak can require a whole variety of surfboards. The best boards are rounded pins and pintails that will hold well in the tube. But as the surf gets bigger, you will want bigger boards to get in earlier, and at its biggest, you’ll probably need a tow-board and a jet ski.
In 1982, Dave Clark finished school and went to teach in American Samoa. He claimed in his studies that artificial reefs would become the main surf resorts of the future. He planned on creating a perfect wave out of one of the South Pacific’s many barrier reefs by means of “reef shaving.” A friend named John Ritter had sailed through the islands of Fiji and recommended he first check a spot off of Tavarua. To make a long story short, he and his brother camped there for two months, found a perfect left, leased the land and the surf spot, and started the Tavarua Surf Resort that we know of today. The resort has remained basically the same since it was founded, and is still one of the major surf travel destinations today.
There is a WCT event at Tavarua every year where you can watch the top 44 go at it in perfect lefts, but that probably isn’t a time when you want to be there to surf yourself.
Brief Travel Info
Traveling to surf Cloudbreak couldn’t possibly be any easier. Contact the people at the Tavarua resort at www.tavarua.com, and they will help you book your week on the island. Once that is taken care of, they will take care of the rest. Air travel, boat ride to the island, daily surf excursions, snorkeling, diving, fishing, three meals a day, and everything else you could have to worry about will be handled by the Tavarua staff.
Timmy Curran killing it: