WHAT DO FOILERS REALLY WANT? A recap of Ozone's Fiji Foiling trip.
Richard, a keen Foiler, recently went on the Ozone New Zealand Fiji Foiling trip - the very first of it's kind! Here's his recap of a "Foilers paradise"...
Well I have found it. No not in the yellow pages. Well actually I did not find it, Simon did. And it was not actually lost.
The thing is when you can foil, foil tack and foil gybe you don’t want to mow the lawn like a twin tipper, you want to go fast and far and do some exploring. You want the water smooth underneath and no weed. You want some scenery (a few coral reefs and islands will do). You only need 6 knots of breeze but 30 is ok. You want warm air and warm water.
Well look no further. At the top of Fiji in between the mainland, Nananu-i-Ra, and Nananu-i-Cake Islands is foilers paradise. Protected by islands this area only ever has a small chop and there is no tidal current. See, right here...
We were taken by boat each day for a morning and afternoon session to the beach shown. Such hardship. The wind was the most perfect temperature. Even after a full day foiling swim shorts only was fine for the boat trip back.
This place really is foilers paradise. We foiled all the days bar one including a morning session the day we left. 6 days out of 7. Kites I used were all Ozone R1V2. 19m, 12m lines (1 day, 5 – 7 knots), 15m, 12m lines (1 day, 10 – 15 knots), 13m, 11m lines (2 days, 15 – 20 knots) and 11m, 11m lines (2 days, 20 – 25 knots).
To get there: 9.40am Air NZ flight from Auckland to Nadi where were met by Safari Lodge staff, a 2 hour minibus drive north to Ellington Wharf where a Longboat was waiting to take us the short 20 minute ride to Safari Lodge on Nananu-i-Ra island.
Accommodation: Safari Lodge consists of a main building where we ate and socialised and about 10 individual Fale’s each with its own shower and toilet. The resort has long been a windsurfing mecca but with windsurfers dying out kiters are discovering this trade wind paradise and have taken over. By freak of nature 4 weeks earlier an underwater volcano near Tonga had sent an island of pumice floating into the Pacific. Some of this landed at the beach in front of Safari Lodge preventing us from foiling in front of our resort during our stay.
Food: The package included all meals, coffee and tea. The only extra cost was beers which were reasonably priced. Meals were very vegetarian, very healthy and very tasty.
Boat transport and rescues: All part of the package. The boat ride to the launch beach we used took about 10 minutes and the boat was plenty big enough to take us and all our gear plus a couple of extras. The boat brought us home for lunch each day after a 2 hour foiling session then back for another 2 hour session. Without the pumice we could have foiled in front of Safari Lodge. The beach we launched from could not have been better. Nice fine sand not that nasty coral stuff. Deep water about a 10m body drag from the beach irrespective of tide.
Snorkelling: On the no wind day Warren the resort owner and qualified kiteboard instructor took us to a fabulous coral reef in front of the resort. All snorkelling gear provided.
Trip highlight: Foiling around the island group including Nananu-i-Ra and Nananu-i-Cake islands with my mate Alexey. Outside the islands is protected by reefs so the sea is nice and smooth.
Will I go back? Without a doubt. As a retired foiling nut who goes out most days of the year this is the best place I have ever foiled. It ticked every box.
Thank you Ozone New Zealand, thank you Morgan Coster for organising and thanks to the fun crew who came. It was a blast.
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