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How'd you like them eggs? Over the top at Cloudbreak as Kirin swoops underneath© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Australian surfer and long time Fiji resident Kit Deger had a session to remember at Cloudbreak. We all saw Kit taking his surfing to the next level in the past few years as he refound the stoke for surfing, shedding weight and getting super-fit.
Sadly, the day after this photo was taken, Kit suffered a major heart attack and was unable to be revived. Thank you for your example Kit of how to live it to the fullest and how to put politics aside and love everyone
This is Dylan Fish, Tavarua's General Manager, he told me as he answered emails on his phone that, "this is the best office in the world."© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Dylan stowed his phone safely and paddled into this wave© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Dylan Fish, Tavarua's General Manager hard at work© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Dustin one of the Tavi lifeguards in his happy place© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Scott Dennis having a (foam) ball© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Scott Dennis getting deeper down the rabbit hole© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
This guy in the green shirt I now call Mr New Caledonia claimed best session of his life.© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Shortly after his double arm claim in the barrel shot, Mr New Caledonia paddled back out and caught the next set wave, cutting off a Namotu lifeguard and sending him rag-dolling down the low tide reef.
The vibe is always good at Cloudbreak, but when you get a good one, relax at the bottom of the line up and slowly make your way up again. Sometimes a surfer's froth can cause social unrest in the lineup. He's lucky it was mostly a verbal lashing from the lifeguard.
Mark Visser R&R between the big stuff© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
A job as a surf guide on Namotu Island resort comes with mandatory right of passage. Somewhere near the bar sits a modified mask and snorkel known as Skull Drag. The newbie guard puts on the mask and is helpless to the amounts of booze he intakes but you can bets its something close to 2 to 3 Long Islands all at once.
Once the boys are feeling the effects, the hair clippers come out and to the chagrin of girlfriends at home, all the hair must go. Maybe youll get some modeling jobs again in 2015 Josh.
Rory another Namotu lifeguard deeply in debt© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
I don't know who has the better view?© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
This unknown soldier got an absolute bomb ... what memories are made of 1/3© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
... what memories are made of 2/3© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
... what memories are made of 3/3© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Best to stay in the boat if it's too much as the reef here is close and sharp© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Cloudbreak empty runner© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
As the swells generated in the Southern Ocean march relentlessly from the west to east small offshoots head up between New Zealand and Australia towards Fiji and Cloudbreak.© 2013 magicseaweed
Tavarua founder Dave Clark jumps of the for a quick session an hour before the sun sets.© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Josh making use of aerodynamics inside the tube© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Kiwi John heading for the depths© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Slow shutter wonder-work© 2013 Mark Thompson/ storkphotos.com.au
Critical Cloudbreak© 2013 Mark Thompson / storkphotos.com.au
When the wind is a stiff south-south-west Restaurants loses the barrel and turns into 200m skatepark. Here legend Namotu Boatman Ulai Niumaitoga (young local surfer in Fiji section of Endless summer 2) leverages his weight to destroy the the waiting lip.© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Ulai's laughter and happy attitude makes him one of the best people to surf with.© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
Ulai cracking one out© 2013 Stuart Johnson / fijisurfshots.com
APRIL 6th saw a 6ft at 16 second swell hit the reef at Cloudbreak, all the sixes, making the number of the beast 666. However it wasn’t at all like an apparition from the fiery depths, more Shangri-La at Fiji’s most famous wave. Fresh off the boat from a winter spent back at home in Hawaii, Stu Johnson is back plying the waterway between the main island and the reef at Cloudbreak for the Fiji Surf Co. This weekend wasn’t the first time one of Kelly Slater’s favourite waves broke in 2013, heck it breaks all-year-round, but it was one of the better days and the “official” season is upon us.
Why do we get excited by this wave? It’s just another reef in another tropical sea? No, not quite, Cloudbreak is right up there with any wave in terms of bounce per ounce. You remember what happened last year during the Volcom Pro? The session that had Dave Wassel saying “These are the best waves I have ever seen in my life.” Oh and the year before that, Bruce Irons and that once-in-a-lifetime tube? And who could forget 2010 just after restrictions on surfing here were relaxed and the Laurie Towner freefall?
You get the picture, this reef is where the magic happens. A rarity that breaks from three to 30 foot whilst maintaining makable barrel sections, all that’s required as the intensity increases is another notch on your nutsack.