We hope you all had a good Christmas and the New Year has got off to a good start on and off the water. Made any New Years Resolutions for 2019? How about this one (or maybe it could be 2!)… To surf like Keahi de Aboitiz and do it at Cloudbreak Fiji. Or maybe not!
Cloudbreak is a scary place especially when it’s big. But Keahi rides it like it’s 2 foot…. charging down big walls and coming out of some very big deep barrels.
“2 waves with a few different angles from a couple of very memorable trips to Cloudbreak in Fiji. Hands down some of the craziest barrels I’ve had on any type of board” Words – Keahi de Aboitiz
Watching this is definitely something to aspire too. But maybe picking a more achievable new years resolution is a better idea!
So what are your New Years SUP Resolutions going to be in 2019? Let us know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to learn more about and we’ll do our best to help you achieve your goal!
This video from Shaan Miller called MOMENTS of TRUTH is all about SUP surfing the beautiful Island of Namotu in Fiji. It’s probably one of the most beautiful places on earth to surf, so it’s best watched after you’ve had a good SUP surf session yourself in the sun or if you can’t do that maybe enjoy a beer instead! If you’re reading this commuting on the train best miss this one out… Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Jess and Nick continue to sail, surf and SUP themselves silly in the South Pacific, whilst onboard their floating home Te Mana. SUPing in gin clear waters, surrounded by golden sandy beaches and colourful coral reefs, their daily SUPing adventures are what most of us dream about once in a lifetime! Here’s what Jess and Nick have to say about the latest stage of their trip…
Over the past six months, not only have we managed to learn to sail on the go, but also in the process we’ve sailed ourselves over 2000 nautical miles from French Polynesia, to Niue, to Tonga, and onto Fiji. And after the rough seas encountered on passage, the longest of which has so far been 9 days, there’s never a more welcome a sight than sailing into the smooth flat waters of a turquoise lagoon, just waiting to be explored by SUP.
And lucky us, as we had hoped for when we decided to undertake this voyage,
“we have basically been able to SUP ourselves silly in all of these amazing locations.”
With the South Pacific being such an incredible watery playground just waiting to be explored, armed with our quiver of surf and SUP boards on our trusty yacht Te Mana, we are more than prepared for fun and adventures in whatever lagoon we choose to sail ourselves into.
From the vibrantly lush mountains that tower above the simply stunning lagoons of the Society Islands, to the remote palm tree encircled coral atolls of the Tuamotus, to the coral cliffs and caves surrounding Niue, and the seemingly infinite amount of small uninhabited islands each with their own white sandy beach in Tonga… we’ve SUPed them all.
“And then there’s the clarity of the water… so so so so clear. Crystal clear. Gin clear. Just so so clear.”
The view from our SUPs, whether it be of the brightly coloured reef fishies, the beautiful corals of so many shapes and sizes, the sharks and more sharks in the Tuamotus, the wiggly black and white striped sea snakes of Niue, the vibrant blue starfish that seemed to be haphazardly sprawled over every rock or coral in Tonga, or the families of whales playing happily off in the distance… it has all been just amazing.
Yet despite all of this, it seems our SUPs are sometimes more adventurous than us, as we’ve found them a few times now floating off the back of our boat into the distance (no one to blame but our own poor knot tying!) Thankfully, they usually don’t get far… but Nick’s did get us a little worried when it managed an overnighter recently in Tonga. But lucky for us, despite our fruitless searching, King Neptune spat it back after 24 hours and beached it just 100m from where it had initially untied itself from the back of the yacht! Happy days.
Being only just past the half way mark on our voyage back to Australia, with Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia still on our hit list… there’s no doubt plenty more of the above, and more, in store for us and our adventurous SUPs!
Finding that remote piece of SUP paradise is not easy in todays world… But Andrew Grenenger, from Australia was determined not to give up looking for his perfect family paradise… a remote, off grid and sustainable place, away from the ‘real world’ and social media overload, with pristine beaches and perfect waves. A place where Andrew, his wife and 2 young children could not only call home but also a paradise he could enjoy and make a living from his main passion SUP. Not easy with a limited budget and family to support. But Andrew was determined not to give up. And it sounds like he made the right decision!
Lucy from SUPboarder caught up with Andrew to find out how he and his family finally found a life of paradise in Fiji and what his remote boutique ‘Waruka Bay Resort’ which opened last Sept has on offer for paddleboarders across the globe…
SB/ Tell us a bit about you and your family
Ermm? Well, we’re just a typical family I guess! But we realised pretty early on that city living was most likely to drive us insane, so an exit plan had to be formulated asap. As parents Bec and I were getting pretty freaked out by the impact social media might have on our young children and I was working way too many hours and just not spending enough time with my family. A change was certainly required. To spend our days submersed in nature, working from home and living by the sea, seemed to be the healthiest and happiest outcome.
“As ideal as it sounds, living on a remote island also requires you to become a home schooling teacher, a builder, a farmer, a handyman as well as resort manager, so the hours are still demanding, but we’re doing it together, so it’s all good.”
SB/ How did you come to settle on a remote island in Fiji?
I first fell in love with Fiji when I was putting on music festivals here in 2006. During my downtime I’d spend every spare minute exploring the outer islands in the hope of finding that untouched piece of paradise. My life long dream had been to set up a few thatched huts on a gorgeous beach, somewhere well away from the real world. A place where we could get back to raw basics, off grid, remote and sustainable living whilst submersed in nature. With 332 islands in Fiji, there were plenty of gems around, finding one that would squeeze into my limited budget was a tad more problematic. To be honest I had just about given up on the idea, the 2006 military coup had effectively ended our tourism based music festivals and exhausted and broke I’d moved back to Australia to ‘start again’. Then I got a call from a friend back in Fiji, we’d been neighbours and he wanted to know if I was interested in a block that was passed down to him by his father… It was a long shot, but being a hopeless dreamer I jumped on the plane one last time in the hope this was ‘the one’. I guess I had to find out either way, as the thought of not knowing would have sent me mad. The outcome was a life in paradise.
“We were confident there was a market for travellers who were looking for smaller, more intimate and less commercial, remote destinations. We basically built our ideal holiday destination!”
SB/ What’s the set up at Waruka Bay Resort?
It’s a remote boutique resort practicing in sustainable tourism and very much catering to the needs of SUP enthusiasts. I know what a hassle it is travelling with SUP kit, so wanted to have it available for guests to use.
We have just 3 large beachfront bures (Fijian huts) and a massive open lounge & dining bure. With time we’ll probably expand to about 6 bures but even though we’re sitting on 76 acres, I don’t think we ever really want to be any bigger than that. Once you put in too much accommodation you lose the intimacy.
There are so many incredible things to do at your front door step here including SUPing, kayaking, snorkelling, diving, surfing, swimming, fishing, village tours, waterfalls, bush walks and bird watching. We have moon light outdoor cinema nights and a big screen if an unmissable sporting event is on! We’ve gone against the grain of most resorts though and decided not to put televisions in the rooms. Why would you want to sit infront of the tv when there’s so much to do!?
We have an onsite organic farm providing the vast majority of food for the restaurant. All of our breads, sauces, pastas etc are made from scratch with organic ingredients. We have pineapple, passion fruit, banana and papaya plantations providing the majority of our fruits with mangoes popping up seasonally. There’s a host of incredible seafood in the bay out front with healthy populations of crayfish and pelagic, so seafood features quite prominently on our specials board. We’re proud to be able to offer organic ‘paddock to plate’ meals.
On our island there’s no cars, roads, shops, services, anything really, except pristine rain forest, white sandy beaches and amazing waterways, so we were fairly motivated to use renewable energy. The rate at which solar power has come along in the last 10 years and the perfect land geography here made it a pretty easy decision to become completely sustainable. Being south facing, the trade winds take away our humidity and our 6 star solar passive designed bures mean we don’t actually require any heating or cooling throughout the year. We also have artesian water springs onsite for both drinking and showering, so all of our services derive directly from nature.
SB/ What are the SUP conditions like and what SUP kit do you have available?
Luckily we’ve got a great variety of conditions which to be honest is what makes this place so magic. We have protected lagoon waters out front for flat water riders & beginners. A fun 1-2 foot wave for longboard and all rounder SUPs, an insane right hander for the shorter board and advanced SUP rider and then vast expanses of water for downwind island crossings and exploring. All of these conditions are within a 2km radius of the resort.
“The most difficult decision is usually which board to choose!”
We currently have the following kit available:
JP Wide Body 8’2 – great for under 80kg surfing and perfect for kids and smaller adults learning to SUP on flat water.
Naish Hokua 9’1 – an absolute gun board for our bigger swell and main surf break.
11’6 Coreban Cruiser – a peach of an all rounder board. Perfect for flat water or longer distance paddling but it also handles beautifully in the surf up to 4 foot. It’s an amazing long board ride and my favourite surf board on the beach break out front. Long enough to have excellent carry and keep you on smaller swell but light enough to throw around with big turns… (sorry I get a bit excited about this board!)
Bic Duratec 11’6 – fills the same roll as an all rounder. It doesn’t have the same performance as the Coreban but it’s really durable, which is nice around reefs with newbies learning to SUP.
Naish Glide 14′ is for flat water, down winding and longer journeys. A really fast board with exceptional carry, incredible stability and perfect for both beginners and advanced riders.
SB/ When’s the best time to go?
Fiji’s fairly lucky in so much that it doesn’t get a cold season. Temperatures get to 26-30 degrees every day if the year. It’s just the humidity that increases over the Southern Hemisphere summer months. Fortunately our bay is fairly protected so flat water and longboard surfing work all year round. The swell for short board SUP surfing is definitely cleaner from November to April and conditions are more favourable for down winding from May through October, but again, both of these pursuits are available year round. Regardless of the time of year a short boat trip will always land you in the conditions you desire and the water temp is never an issue in Fiji, it’s always warm.
SB/ Why visit Waruka Bay Resort?
It’s a different type of holiday and a different type of existence out here. It’s remote and quite a hike to get to, but if you really want to feel like you’ve left the modern world behind, then this is it.
“Once you are here the rest of the world ceases to exist. You genuinely feel like you have escaped. Paradise still exists!”
To find out more and prices etc… check out the Waruka website and Facebook. Or contact Andrew Grenenger (resort manager) on +679 999 5167 / email@example.com
FREE SUP HIRE if you mention this SUPboarder article!
So… if you’re looking for a small, intimate and less commercial, remote SUP destination Waruka Bay Resort sounds just the place! Boutique style beachfront accommodation with hassle free SUP kit available for use throughout your stay.
This will either brighten up your day and inspire you to get out there, or make you feel very jealous! On their last holiday the Blueplanet surf crew headed off in search of some Fiji SUP surfing action… and it looks like they found it! It looks like the dream place to catch a mellow wave in beautiful clear waters. Scott and his wife Egi are surfing a spot called, Swimming Pools in Namotu.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has confirmed that the 2016 ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championshipwill be hosted in Fiji – the first time that an ISA event will be held in the Pacific island chain, further highlighting the global growth and expansion of SUP Surfing and Racing.
SUP, the fastest growing outdoor activity according to the Outdoor Industry Association, has boomed in popularity in recent years. The 2016 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in Fiji, which will run from 5-13 November, will be the 5th edition of the event after previous Championships were held in Peru (2012 & 2013), Nicaragua (2014) and Mexico (2015).
The 2015 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship featured 27 National Teams and 260 athletes – a sharp increase from the first edition in 2012 which hosted 17 nations and 105 athletes, meaning participation has more than doubled since the event’s inception.
At the 2015 competition, which featured the highest level of international talent in the event’s history, Team USA put on a dominant performance to earn the Club Waikiki-Peru ISA World Team Champion Trophy, breaking Team Australia’s three-year reign as World Champions.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We’re delighted to make this historic announcement to take an ISA World Championship to Fiji for the first time ever. We can’t wait to see our star athletes out here on the waves and waters of Fiji in November.
“SUP Surfing and Racing are growing exponentially both as competitive sports and as recreational activities. We’re always looking to take our international competitions to new territories to help share our unique values and boost the popularity of the sport. The future of SUP is very bright with the 2019 Pan American Games and the 2017 World Beach Games on the horizon and we will continue to strive to achieve our ultimate goal of seeing SUP included in the Olympic Games.”
Executive Chairman of Tourism Fiji’s Board of Directors, Truman Bradley, said:
“The 2016 Fiji ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship is going to be an event that benefits Destination Fiji via both the international competitors it attracts as the world’s fastest growing water sport and as a family orientated sport that is easy to learn and participate in, especially whilst visiting Fiji.”