Surfing Cloudbreak, Tavarua

Sitting a mile south of Tavarua Island, Cloudbreak is regarded as one of the planet’s best left-hand reef breaks.

Situated in shallow water, the fast outer-reef wave produces majestic walls and barrels.

Traditional custom is an advantage to surfing in Fiji, which decrees that local tribes with rights to their island home also have rights to the reefs around it. That means the only people who are surfing the break with you are the people staying on the island.

Tavarua Island is a 30-minute boat ride from the main Fijian island of Viti Levu.

The wave – Cloudbreak is a complex wave. Wave choice is critical, so count the waves in a set and pick the best take-off spot when you first pull up in the boat.

Thick, fast-moving lefts can hit different parts of the reef at a number of angles.

Typically the swell sweeps toward the reef in three areas the Point, the Middle and the Inside, a.k.a. Shishkabobs – named for the inevitable tax you pay in flesh to the razor sharp reef that lies just below the surface, should you lose focus.

However, occasionally clean, long-interval groundswells do turn Cloudbreak into an amazing one-section wave.

Best tide – All tides

Best swell direction – South to south-west

Best wave size – 1m to 6m

Best wind – South-east trades

Ability level – Advanced to expert

Ride length – 150m to 300m; on a good day up to 500m

Bottom – Coral reef

Best board – Bring at least three boards from a 1.8m hot-dog to a 2.2m gun

Best season – Year-round, but the best window is between February and October

Access – Short boat ride from the island or a tough half-mile paddle

Crowd factor – Generally a fairly empty line-up

Local vibe –  Cloudbreak is only accessible to guests of Tavarua, (except on Saturday), so you'll be surfing with your fellow holidaymakers. In Tavarua, you catch a wave and then go back to the end of the line.

Hazards – Reef rash, shark sightings and overindulgence of kava after a surf!

Facilities – Tavarua Island Resort

Accommodation – Surfing Cloudbreak means you’re staying at Tavarua Island Resort – a totally hassle-free experience. The exclusive resort measures only 11ha with just 15 beachfront bures.

Aprés surf – The resort's amenities include fishing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and sea plane adventures.

If you’ve any energy left, try volleyball, a set of tennis on the championship-size tennis court or just relax in a hammock or by the pool with your favourite cocktail and enjoy a magnificent South Pacific sunset before a gourmet dinner.

Location – Tavarua Island lies in the Mamanucas group to the west of Viti Levu.

Laurels – Venue of the ASP World Tour event.

Nearest airport – Nadi International Airport, Nadi, on the island of Viti Levu.

Getting there – Pick up is at the airport if you stay at Tavarua.

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Latest update: Surfing Cloudbreak, Tavarua Island, Fiji: 27 April, 2022