There's no place quite like Namuto, Fiji and that was the our home for the week... and what a week it was. Sometimes when you take a surf trip you score and get swell at the beginning of the trip or wait patiently for one at the end of the trip. Rarely do you get three different swells in one visit and lucky for us, that’s what we got served. On this trip we were all there to foil at one of Dave Kalama's epic Kalama Kamps. So basically, we weren’t looking for big gnarly waves, just decent size and warm water. Some of the folks on the trip were first time foilers and anxious to learn, while others were just looking to up their game and surf in paradise. If you’ve ever stayed on the island you know that everything is first class from the staff, accommodations to the boatmen and everyone in between. They even bring in a top chef just for your week... so good. It’s really a place to be experienced first hand… a true surfer’s paradise.
When we arrived and jumped off the Panga, the sun was bright and the wind was howling. We had zero business going out on foils or any other non-wind driven craft, but when you finally hit your destination after traveling for 18 plus hours the last thing you want to hear is “Maybe we should wait till tomorrow.” So of course, off we went, and Foil Gardens was about to be crushed with the fanatically awesome foiling of a rag tag group of exhausted travels.
" Foil Gardens was about to be crushed with the fanatically awesome foiling of a rag tag group of exhausted travels."
Let’s just say the ocean won, or rather, the ocean one, us zero. I think I got a wave… a wave, ok, maybe two, but not more than that. Worn out and with our tails between our legs we all jumped in the boat and took the bumpy ride back, to be fair, it’s only a five min ride, but felt longer after being skunked... not the session we were dreaming about.
Tomo Wing foiling right out front... Doesn't even need a spot just a breeze.
The next morning things started to line up… and from then on it was game on. By the second day, we were at double overhead. Lefts, Pools… you name it… good stuff. We hit Foil Gardens when the tide was high enough… and when Mini Pools, aka Canoes, was breaking at the lower tide, we’d run over and foil that too. Usually, Mini Pools is known for being a smaller, rolling wave that doesn’t really go too long. As we learned with the lower tide and a decent foil, you could make it quite a ways. Just stay closer to the left shoulder, as the wave literally takes a hard left turn about three quarters of the way through the ride… which is really crazy, you just don’t believe it till you’re on it. Apparently, if all the stars line up, you can get a ride all the way back to the island. Those stars didn’t work out for us this time… that just gives us something to look forward to next time.
Every so often Dave would have to show us how it's done...
It was a fantastic opportunity getting to foil with Dave again, one of the original foilers #strappedcrew. He is still on the cutting edge of innovation and development in the space and it’s always exciting to hear about what’s coming next and where our new obsession is heading #tipofthespear. It doesn't stop there though… there’s Dave’s son, Austin… if you aren’t familiar with him, you’re missing out on one of the most talented young foilers out there. Having a chance to watch him and see the next level first hand was extremely motivating.
|After another epic session out at Foil Gardens.
It was like a ski lift getting pick ups and drop offs after each wave.
Photos Courtesy: Glenn Duffus Photography @gd_photo