Fiji swell coming; WSL hopes to move Round 1 forward

by stab March 08, 2016 3 min read

Words by Elliot Struck

Step #3 in how to rule as WSL commissioner, feat. Kieren Perrow: With a very appealing forecast for Fiji, the WSL are currently scrambling to pull forward round one by a day. (FYI step #1 was running at The Box, step #2 was putting Jay Davies in Fiji).

Friday at Cloudbreak is going to be phenomenal. And Saturday, while not quite as good as Friday, will also be amazingly good. Not huge, just kinda perfect four to six feet with a 14-second period. Only problem is, the Fiji Pro doesn’t start til Sunday.

Luckily, surfing isn’t like other sports; Surfing is a sport where the World Tour manager can text the entire competitor’s field to ask if anyone’s unable to arrive early. Surfing is also a sport where the entire competitor’s field will move heaven and earth (see also: have managers change flights) to make it in time for a swell. Because the WSL wants their surfers in the best waves, and the surfers want to compete in the best waves. And, we’re the real winners. The hangover of Snapper has cleared, and perhaps everyone’s remembered that the WSL, like anyone who surfs, are at the mercy of weather. But they’ve also learnt (the hardest way) how to take advantage when the horizon opens up; While Snapper required an extension to run in waist high swell, Fiji requires an early start to catch a bombing swell. The latter of which is a far more favourable position, and one they’re currently trying to put themselves in. Please


Mr Slater knows good Cloudbreak. Photo: Volcom/Christie

And, ICYMI, Jay Davies has scooped a wildcard for the event. After his wildly good performance at Margies, and with John John Florence, Brett Simpson and Michel Bourez all injured, JD got the call up. He later received a not-as-fun call from Stab, but luckily he’s a very kind man.

Stab: How good’s ruining the whole World Tour’s trip to Fiji?
Oh my god. It’s pretty awesome, I’ve never had a phone call like I did yesterday. I hit kieren Perrow up a couple of nights ago when I saw John John’s thing saying he was injured, and I basically said “am I even in the picture for this a little bit?” I woke up and he’d texted me saying John John hadn’t officially pulled out and that he’d let me know. I was like, well, he didn’t actually say no… Then he called me midday yesterday and gave me the all clear. I felt like I was going to pass out on the phone, I was so surprised and stoked.

Who’s gonna be gunning for you the hardest? I guess if Gabriel and I do get together, he’ll be trying pretty hard to beat me. Jeremy Flores and I had a good battle at Margies too, so he’ll probably be wanting to cut blood. They’re probably all pretty eggy cause I’m getting another call up actually (laughs). Like, who’s this dickhead getting the free ride?

Photo: Duncan Macfarlane

Photo: Duncan Macfarlane

Was your last trip there that one with Taj and Chippa? Yep, March 2011 was my first time there ever, then I went back for two weeks in May the same year and haven’t been back since. So it’s a while ago. It’ll all be pretty new to me. I’ve been wanting to go back ever since, I just haven’t had the opportunity. I’m super excited to go back and stay on Namotu with TB (Taj Burrow), and hopefully get some info from the boys about the waves before it all happens. But since 2011 I feel like I’ve matured a lot, and know my ability better. Plus I have the best boards at the moment, my Chillis feel that good.

Cloudbreak or Restaurants?I’ve never actually surfed Restaurants. It looks pretty nuts though with all the boils and all those little shelves. It sounds fun, almost like a Desert Point style wave. But I love Cloudbreak. It’s so raw and yI love how you’ve just gotta manhandle it. I don’t mind, either way it’ll be super fun.


Restaurants, the cheeky little devil. Photo: Brian Bielmann


Want a little piece of Fiji yourself? You’re in luck. Corona is taking over Namotu Island for seven days and looking for one very, very lucky winner to handpick nine pals and come along for the ride. 

You’ll surf til you can’t surf anymore (boat rides to seven world class spots) and then drink from an endless supply of icy cold Corona. Life, eh?

To win, just go buy a Corona at selected venues across Australia in June, head here, enter your details and unique product code to get in the mix with a chance to win.


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