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Article: Tavarua from a Surf Guide

Eli VIszolay in Tavarua, Fiji

Tavarua from a Surf Guide

We caught up with our friend and surf guide Eli Viszolay about his "office", Tavarua Island, Fiji. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tavarua aka "Tavi", it's a remote island off the west coast of Fiji. The island is famous for it's proximity to a variety of waves such as Cloudbreak, Restaurants and Tavarua Rights. 

Eli with a surfboard on a Fiji Beach.

My name is Elijah Viszolay and I'm a boatman, surf-guide, and lifeguard here on Tavarua Island, Fiji.

Eli surfing in Tavarua

Best Surf Season: 

Typically, April-June see the biggest swells that come up between New Zealand and Australia but the biggest swell I’ve ever been here for was on Christmas Day (Off Season) so you can never be too sure.

How to get to Tavi:

LAX > Nadi is more or less a 10 hour red eye flight. If you’re staying on Tavarua there will be a driver meeting you at the airport and taking you to the boat dock. It’s about a 45 minute drive but I always lose track of time because I’m a mix of jet lagg/awe-struck by the difference in culture you witness on the way. The end of the route is a blurry dream and you’re basically off roading while you cross a big field surrounded by green as you reach the dock. The ponga boat awaits as you pull up to the dock and there you can see Tavarua in the distance. Boarding that ponga boat, you slowly switch into island time and reality sets in. It’s about 20 minutes away. As you get closer you may or may not see Restaurants firing, but either way, the moment you set foot on the island you’re stepping into a place where the most pure moments occur.

Eli walking in Fiji jungle with surfboard

What a traveler can expect wave wise: 

There’s always a wave to find on any given day. Although Cloudbreak is every goofy foots dream, there’s plenty of other waves that offer fun, rippable surf with the right wind and tide. That’s basically the gist of the job here as a boatman. Take the guest to the best waves at that particular moment. Make sure they’re safe, happy and surfed out.

Eli surfing a barrel in Fiji

Describe the island and accommodation: 

Tavarua has an array of boats, bures, activities, food, and the most heart warming staff members who make you feel at home. It’s incredible how much this small the heart shaped island has to offer. If you don’t want to surf, you can fish, foil, dive, check out the clams, play tennis, gym, play music, party, explore, and much more.

Eli walking on a paradise beach in Fiji

What to pack:

Board Shorts or a bikini is all you really need here lol. The rest is taken care of. Every Thursday they have a Kava ceremony so something nice like a dress shirt or dress is good for the occasion. The Fijians also appreciate generous gifts with anything you can offer. I’ve been around the world and this is by far the kindest culture I’ve ever experienced. Really puts things into perspective. 

Roark gear that is most helpful to you:

I basically live in the passage board shorts. Some people switch shorts but these things stay on me the entire stint lol. The convenience is too easy.