Top Tips for Surfing in Fiji
When you think of Fiji, you think of sun, sea and… SURF! Some of the world’s best reef breaks are right here in the tropical waters of Fiji, so of course, you’re thinking about sharing the stoke in Fiji for your next surf getaway. But whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned wave warrior, there are a few things about surfing in Fiji you need to know. Take a look at the Fiji surf tips to get prepared for the waves the right way.
1. Most of Fiji’s Surf Breaks are Reef Breaks
Don’t expect to run down the beach with your surfboard under your arms and be straight into the wave action. Most of Fiji’s surf breaks are reef breaks, meaning that the waves break over (often shallow) coral reefs. In most cases, you will need to take a boat out to reach the surf breaks, but don’t worry! Fiji’s surf resorts can sort out the boat transport for you.
2. You Will Mostly be Surfing at High Tide
In relation to the point above, high tide is usually the safest and best time to hit the surf breaks in Fiji. Because most breaks are located over coral reefs, having more water between you and the dangerous reefs below can only be a good thing. Expect more surf boat trips to depart for high tide.
3. But if You Can Go Surfing in the Morning, Do It!
If the right conditions and high tide coincides with the morning, try to choose the morning option for your day’s surfing. Weather conditions are usually a lot calmer in the morning, with the wind picking up in the afternoon. Plus, you’ll be back at the resort in time for happy hour.
4. Pack a Few Different Boards
Ok, so not all of us have a few different boards, but if you are a keen surfer with a keen selection of board to choose from, it’s worth packing a couple of different boards so that you don’t get caught out by the ever-changing swell. We’re thinking: a shortboard, fish or longboard for the small-to-medium days and a larger semi-gun for the big days. (By big days, we mean the huge swells that make their way through Fiji during the winter – more on that in the point below).
5. Fiji Has Two Distinct Surf Seasons
You can surf all year round in Fiji, but there are two seasons that usually determine the wave size in Fiji. The “winter” season runs between April and October, bringing with it the large swells to create the best surfing conditions for competent surfers. The summer season in Fiji, between November and March, is known for calmer waves. Find out more in our guide to The Best Time to Surf in Fiji.
6. Wear Booties
Sure, not all of us like to wear them, but you might just be thankful you have booties for surfing in Fiji. They not only provide good protection from the coral when you’re out on the reefs but often you will have to walk over coral to get between the surf boat and the shore.
7. Protect Yourself from the Sun
Yep, Fiji is a tropical island, so you will need to wear sun protection no matter what time of the year you visit. Even in Fiji’s warm air and water temperatures, it’s recommended to wear rashies or wet-suit tops, as well as slapping on the sunscreen regularly! Don’t forget to use coral-safe sunscreen, so you don’t damage the delicate environment you are surfing in. Check out the 10 Best Environmentally-Friendly Sunscreens.
8. You Can Still Surf in Fiji if You are a Beginner
Fiji might be a pro-surfer’s paradise, but there are still plenty of options for beginners. Surf lessons are available with some of Fiji’s surf resorts, as well as with Fiji surf schools who will only teach you on much safer beach breaks. On top of that, there are some friendly reef breaks around that are much more approachable for beginner-to-intermediate surfers, especially on the Coral Coast. If you’re unsure of where to go, it’s best to seek advice from the experts at a surf resort or surf school.
9. Surfing Etiquette Still Applies in Fiji
Don’t be “that” guy that hogs all the waves. Just like anywhere, surfers still respect the etiquette of surfing while in Fiji. Just as a quick reminder: don’t paddle in front of others, the surfer closest to the peak goes first, and just share the waves with others.
10. Take a Day Bag for the Boat
Remember to pack yourself a day bag for your board and to pack some stuff for your trip out on the water. As well as all the obvious things like your surfboard and leash, make sure you also pack some wax, a repair kit, sunscreen, snacks and plenty of water!