Fiji Summer 2001

Tavarua Summer 2001

I went to Tavarua, a world famous surf island in Fiji, for the first time last summer. I was fortunate to be with a great group that brings Scott Winer, associate photo editor of Surfing Magazine, along every year to take surfing shots. Scott is a world class photographer, a great bodyboarder and a not so great backgammon player (which I took advantage of).

Tavarua has three main breaks: Cloudbreak, a reef that captures energy from deep water swell rolling out of the Southern Ocean to produce massive barreling left breaking waves; Restaurants, another reef break that’s a little smaller than Cloudbreak but churns some of the most amazing left barrels on Earth; and Tavarua Rights, which very rarely breaks (to my dismay as a regular-foot). Here’s some interesting trivia: The character played by Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway has to get his little boat over a giant wave to escape the desert island he’s been trapped on for years. That wave is Cloudbreak.

Unfortunately, our trip was interrupted by a storm and we had a couple of additional days when the waves just weren’t breaking. However, when it was breaking, Cloudbreak was firing. Scott Winer took a few good shots of my amateur style trying to surf this epic left for the first time. I envied the goofy-footers on our trip (and noticed curiously that over half of the surfers there were goofy-foot).