Escape the Masses
Everyone wants to surf Cloudbreak. Just like everyone wants to surf Pipeline and Teahupoo and Kirra. Cloudbreak is easy to hit on a strike mission from Australia since Tavarua lost exclusive rights to it. But the downside is that - like so many of the world’s most famous waves - it’s often crowded, sometimes dysfunctionally so. Ditto for Restaurants, the more protected, more perfect left, which hugs Tavarua. Which is why Ord and his crew of surfers and photographers avoided the region altogether and posted up on the southern coast of Fiji’s main island of Viti Luvu. The Coral Coast can be fickle but when it’s on there is a bunch of high-quality spots to hit. The best wave is way offshore, a barrelling outer-reef left with similarities to Cloudbreak. While it doesn’t hold the size like Cloudbreak, at 6-8 foot it’s a mad tube, which packs a hell of a punch. “It was pumping when we there and there was hardly anyone around,” recalls Ord. “We’d go out to one quality left and maybe see one other boat with two people on it. It’s crazy, it’s like a little forgotten world. We were there right before the big swell in May and I heard there was like 30 or 40 photographers shooting Cloudbreak. I’d much rather do my own thing and get away from the hustle.”
Main: Bending colours from above. Inset left: Chippa exploring spaces few can get to. Inset right: Local rituals.