Forbidden waves

Joao Pedro Travi, Augusto and Gustavo Schlieper Hoffmann and Claudio Cavalli are members of the project called Destino Canela. They aim to go around the world on their sailboat and stop in ports all around the world. The final destination, after four years of travelling, will be the city of Rio Grande do Sul, Canela.

For more information about the project, please visit www.destinocanela.com

In the pictrue: Joao Pedro Travi surfing in Fiji

By: Joao Pedro Travi

Ever since I saw the surf-movie Endless Summer 2, about eight years ago, with that perfect surf session in Cloud break and Restaurants on the island of Tavarua, Fiji, I dreamt of seeing this place myself.

The waves and the images of them, are of a kind that will impress anyone. But as time passed by, I found out that those waves were only intended for those staying at the resort on the island. Who ever was not a guest could only surf the famous waves on Saturday mornings after having made a reservation. This prohibition existed until the new president took over and tried to change this rule. This occurred after the president himself attended a competition of the World Tour 2008 in Cloud break. He was angry as there was no local surfer participating, neither as guest, and concluded that the reason was that the best surf spots were all closed for the locals. An intense fight started that day and as a result this on the 9th of July, this finally changed. A contract was signed and the surf was open to everyone.

This month, we spent a week surfing in Cloud break and we were not bothered by anyone on the island. We sailed out with our boat and anchored beside the surf spot in order to be out on the waves every day. I could clearly notice the difference and also saw many local surfers in the water. The last time I surfed in Cloud break, there were more than six Fijian surfers in the water, something that I had not even seen in Wilkes Pass (the only surf spot in that area that was open to everyone before this reform). Everyone who lives here knows about the potential of Cloud break, and have a strong desire to surf around the spot, as do many of the surfers around the world.

The crowd will certainly increase now but, in my opinion, this is inevitable within the surf today since the media promote the sport heavily. I read an article on an Australian site which said that Fiji will become the next Bali where the crowd has destroyed the place. The crowd may increase, but it is a matter of justice since there can not be such a thing as prohibited waves, especially for those who live in the place. Next to the island of Tavarua, there is a surf spot called “Right”, and a few miles away, in front of Namoto island, there is the another one called “Namotos Left”. These two spots have different types of waves, so the issue of crowd might not be as bad as Bali and G-land as the surfers will spread out depending on their preferences. The variety is great and there are waves that will suit all tastes.

A couple of days ago I talked to a Fijian surfer and he had been on the island of Tavarua and told me that the staff of the resort Tavarua was very hostile. “They were standing and looking out over the surfers- that were now surfing the waves for free with all their rights- expressing their curiosity over it“. Up until now, the Tavarua staff had these waves entirely to themselves and their guests- who paid $ $ 5,000 for a week at the resort- but have now to share them with the other surfers. Though through these reforms, in the end, the whole country will win. More people will come to surf here and will spread out to other islands, increasing the economy.
All the resorts and accommodation, as well as the businesses that focus on transporting the surfers from the islands to the surf spots, will come out profitable out of this.

One thing that is certain is that we will remember our visit here in Fiji forever, as it was the year that every wave of the country was released.

2 Responses to “Forbidden waves”

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  1. Tweets that mention Forbidden waves « The Shelf -- Topsy.com - October 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Shelf, The Shelf. The Shelf said: A guest contributor writes about the battle surrounding wave ownership in the world of Fijian surfing: http://bit.ly/93yvjD […]

  2. Shelf Picks « The Shelf - October 22, 2010

    […] Forbidden waves […]

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