Cloudbreak

staitey's picture
staitey started the topic in Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 11:36am

Going on a family trip to Fiji (Plantation) in September. Just throwing it out there to hear other peoples experience of the famed lefts (or rights)…………Don't really want to bring a gun, was thinking got just throwing in the 6'4 step up and if it gets out of control can go down to restaurants. Any tips and good stories of the joint?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 8 May 2015 at 2:47pm

Good place for a family holiday.....Take a bigger board dosent have to be a gun...6'8" ish ....easier entry into them [email protected] 6ft they move fast you wont notice the extra board length
Hearing boat prices of $50 US a day to get to the surf breaks ?

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal Friday, 8 May 2015 at 5:08pm

I went to plantation for 2 days on the back of a week's stay at Matanivusi Resort (which was awesome). Plantation Resort wasn't the best experience for me surfing wise:
-The 'surf guides' are not helpful whatsoever in getting you to Cloudbreak on the right tide/winds.
-They do 2 trips a day, you have to book the afternoon before. One trip around 8am, one around 1pm, and they come back after 2 hours max, unless you pay more to get them to stay
-If they're low on fuel then they wont stay.
-They don't give you an update on the conditions, they will give you an answer, but it won't be based on any facts. "Will it be bigger today or tomorrow?" .... "mmm... maybe tomorrow"
-They will agree to leave earlier if you ask, but then you will turn up in the morning and wait around until the normal time they leave when they decide to show.

I don't blame them, they're just un-inspired locals working for a pittence under the management of an Indian Businessman, but its hard not to get frustrated, especially when you are paying AUD $60 for the service and its only 15mins via a 40hp outboard (with no shade) shared between 4-6 punters.

I thought it best to impart the above experience so that you are at least prepared for it, and don't expect to be surfing Cloudbreak the whole time you're there, right when the tide and wind is perfect.

As for the waves:
Cloudbreak is as crowded as snapper, but its a long lineup so there's plenty spots to sit down the line and jag a few. When it gets to about 8ft, Restaurants turns into perfect little 2-3ft runners. So I guess a 6'4 would be ok if you were going to take only one board and want to surf restaurants when its big. might be a bit awkward at 2ft Restaurants though! Best bet is to take a semi-gun as udo said and a shorty, cause from upwards of 5ft Cloudbreak has lots of grunt so no harm in having extra length.

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal Friday, 8 May 2015 at 5:24pm

Oh i forgot, the 'surf guides' do negotiate on the price if you buddy up with the rest of the surfers staying there, and you can convince them that you all want to stay out for 3 hours and all go to the same spot.

And lastly - You might burn another 15-20 mins getting out to Cloudbreak if you are sharing a boat with any SUP riders. They'll want to go hang out with the rest of the SUPs at namotu Lefts and Rights. I would recommend pushing them off as soon as you get within sight of the lineup and throwing their boards, paddle and booties behind them, otherwise you will spend the next 10 minutes contemplating it while thinking of the barrels you're missing and watching them stumble around the dinghy trying to put their booties on while standing, and getting their head stuck in the arm-hole of their full body rashies while trying to gear up.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 Friday, 8 May 2015 at 6:13pm

When did you go Yocal?

My experience was pretty good. 0530 (or grey light dawn) was when they would take us out. They would recommend where would be breaking best but it was in reality up to the majority on the boat. I was there 2 years ago at this time (Plantation) for 2 weeks and everyone that went out for the morning sesh where competent surfers so it was Crowdbreak, Restaurants, Wilkes or Despo's when it was small. Had a great time and after about 9 trips you got the 10th free (@ $50 a pop, it was still exy but I was prepped for it).

Was great, early morn surf, back for breaky (mostly), spent the day with the family, and if the winds were OK an LAGO sesh!

Have fun staitey but be patient out at CB. The crowds are better the bigger it gets.

clif's picture
clif's picture
clif Friday, 8 May 2015 at 6:43pm

lmao @ yocal and his SUP description.

Mind you, I also try "to put their booties on while standing, and getting their head stuck in the arm-hole of their full body rashies while trying to gear up"

It's the excitement I tell ya.

clif's picture
clif's picture
clif Friday, 8 May 2015 at 6:48pm

I recall surfing Cloudbreak huuuuge and stormy when Tavarua had exclusive rights. We were there before they arrived and went out. A bit of a hulabaloo afterwards. Early 1990s.

I paddled out without actually looking at the lineup. Ended up so scared.

My mate got caught under a monster set and was screaming .... loud ... and all he could hear was my cruel laughter as a scratched over the set. I got a few and thought I was bullet proof. Just me and one other bloke out.

Well, that didn't last and I fucking drowned and had to be scraped off the reef - literally. Fucking demolished. So, so, so demolished I still shudder. I still have the claw mark scars on my ribcage.

I want to do it again.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 8 May 2015 at 7:06pm

fitzroy-21 wrote: When did you go Yocal?

My experience was pretty good. 0530 (or grey light dawn) was when they would take us out. They would recommend where would be breaking best but it was in reality up to the majority on the boat. I was there 2 years ago at this time (Plantation) for 2 weeks and everyone that went out for the morning sesh where competent surfers so it was Crowdbreak, Restaurants, Wilkes or Despo's when it was small. Had a great time and after about 9 trips you got the 10th free (@ $50 a pop, it was still exy but I was prepped for it).

Was great, early morn surf, back for breaky (mostly), spent the day with the family, and if the winds were OK an LAGO sesh!

Have fun staitey but be patient out at CB. The crowds are better the bigger it gets.


So if you have a couple of surfs it will cost you a hundred bucks a day? Fuck me what a joke!
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Friday, 8 May 2015 at 7:07pm

Yocal-really as crowded as Snapper?
The ppl I've spoken too reckon it's a reasonable crowd and often not that competitive compared to say, indo.

southey's picture
southey's picture
southey Friday, 8 May 2015 at 7:13pm

goofyfoot wrote:
fitzroy-21 wrote: When did you go Yocal?

My experience was pretty good. 0530 (or grey light dawn) was when they would take us out. They would recommend where would be breaking best but it was in reality up to the majority on the boat. I was there 2 years ago at this time (Plantation) for 2 weeks and everyone that went out for the morning sesh where competent surfers so it was Crowdbreak, Restaurants, Wilkes or Despo's when it was small. Had a great time and after about 9 trips you got the 10th free (@ $50 a pop, it was still exy but I was prepped for it).

Was great, early morn surf, back for breaky (mostly), spent the day with the family, and if the winds were OK an LAGO sesh!

Have fun staitey but be patient out at CB. The crowds are better the bigger it gets.


So if you have a couple of surfs it will cost you a hundred bucks a day? Fuck me what a joke!

Compared to staying on Tav ! ?

Actually when it was exclusive it was better ...... As there was always ( changeover day ) .....;-))

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free Friday, 8 May 2015 at 7:57pm

Its $90 Fiji to get to Cloudbreak from Plantation. Plantation is a shit place to stay but great for kids. You can get a local boat ask around on the quiet. If you really want your own boat for the day. I know a guy but its $300 oz all day, works well if you got a crew.

mackdog's picture
mackdog's picture
mackdog Friday, 8 May 2015 at 8:07pm

Anyone got advice/contacts for getting to Cloudbreak from Malolo Island Resort?

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal Friday, 8 May 2015 at 8:41pm

fitzroy-21 wrote: When did you go Yocal?

My experience was pretty good. 0530 (or grey light dawn) was when they would take us out. They would recommend where would be breaking best but it was in reality up to the majority on the boat. I was there 2 years ago at this time (Plantation) for 2 weeks and everyone that went out for the morning sesh where competent surfers so it was Crowdbreak, Restaurants, Wilkes or Despo's when it was small. Had a great time and after about 9 trips you got the 10th free (@ $50 a pop, it was still exy but I was prepped for it).

Was great, early morn surf, back for breaky (mostly), spent the day with the family, and if the winds were OK an LAGO sesh!

Have fun staitey but be patient out at CB. The crowds are better the bigger it gets.

Last year Fitzy, in June I think.

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal Friday, 8 May 2015 at 8:54pm

lostdoggy wrote: Yocal-really as crowded as Snapper?
The ppl I've spoken too reckon it's a reasonable crowd and often not that competitive compared to say, indo.

Hmm maybe i'm being a bit harsh, we got spoilt for choice at Matanivusi... Maybe CB was only as busy as Burleigh hahaha.

I reckon about 50 people out when I was there. about 10 boats. It was always a last minute spin and go kind of thing, watching to see if the people up at the junky choppy section at the top had enough speed to bottom turn around the wash sections.- then they come off and the next 4 people see it and immediately have their head down and paddling for it. If a peak came up where you were sitting, there were at least 3-5 others positioning for it. Not an easygoing, share them around vibe at all is what I found.

nochaser's picture
nochaser's picture
nochaser Saturday, 9 May 2015 at 5:01pm

mackdog wrote: Anyone got advice/contacts for getting to Cloudbreak from Malolo Island Resort?

Same spot as plantation island just other end.

Sounds like its price hike used to be $25 ten years ago, $100 from the main land last time i was there in 2011.
I'm taking a rubber ducky and a 15hp as my luggage.

staitey's picture
staitey's picture
staitey Sunday, 10 May 2015 at 12:34pm

Ah well I'll just see how I go. It's not just a hardcore surf trip anyways. If I get a few days out there I'm stoked. Never know might get a gap in the crowds.

Is it often that Cloudbreak is surf able in the afternoons in the 'usual' winds??? Or is it often more a morning spot?

rusty-moran's picture
rusty-moran's picture
rusty-moran Monday, 11 May 2015 at 5:15pm

Staity, the Arvo sesh is usually windy except when there is a storm front. If you see it forming, drop everything and get a boat out there. Also, if nothing else, just make sure that you go surfing at cloudbreak between 9am and 3pm on Saturday which is changeover day at Tavarua and thereby the least crowded session all week.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Monday, 11 May 2015 at 9:47pm

Stayed at Plantation in 2009 and 2011 both times in June with wifey. First trip only got to surf Cloudbreak once (changeover day before non exclusivity so Wilkes was the main wave surfed) but that made me determined to surf it again it was that good! 2011 went back and surfed it every day it was good for 2 weeks (7 trips). Never surfed anywhere else. Good clean conditions each time ranging 3 to solid 6-8 foot. Crowds were not a problem and a good vibe in the water pretty much the whole time. Like someone said....the level of surfers wasn't as high as A grade breaks in Indo so getting waves was relatively easy. Fuck......one perfect 6 foot day there were 7 or 8 of us out (2 boats) for the best part of 2 hours under a cloudless sky before anyone else turned up. Most out was about 30 one day when it was 4 foot. Insane wave and definitely take a bigger board (6'10".....7'0") if you wanna surf it 6 foot plus. Trust me, you'll be soooo glad you did. I found the boat crew to be pretty reliable leaving fairly close to dawn every time. Never surfed less than 3 hours and did one 4 hour sesh when it was 'not a drop of water out of place' good. Have fun mate and maybe bribe the wife with a few nights at Lomani Resort on the Southern tip of the island to stay in the good books. Pure luxury, no kids under 16 and outrageously priced at $470 per night (back then). I coughed up for 7 nights but it scored me a lot of surf time I'll never forget and ya only live once!