The summer season from December to April and is associated with shorter duration swells, 1-3 days. During this time though the conditions could be called ‘tropical’ as it is glassy or light winds all day and hot with afternoon showers. This is the time when our local breaks really begin to fire up. During the winter season, the SE trade winds are predominant and they blow offshore at Pipe and Frigates for up to a week at a time. There is usually a few days of calm winds between the weather patterns so we can get to surf the other local breaks if the swell is small enough.
Frigates is definitely a world class left that can rival Cloud break for power, size and consistency. Because of the gradual tapering of the reef it can handle all swell sizes. The SE trade winds are offshore, so when the inside waves near Matanivusi are blown out there is always the consistent Frigates. Because it’s out in the ocean, about 20 kilometers fromMatanivusi, it picks up all swell. However some west in the swell can make it a bit dicey. It definitely makes the end section stand up! Frigates is accessed be a number of resorts and can get crowded. However, once the swell gets up over 10’ there is a drop in the numbers tackling the waves. A longer board is recommended to tackle the big drops and strong off shore winds.View Gallery
Shifities has a deep water take off making the break a ‘not too threatening’ ride. This outside point of the Barrier Reef picks up all the swell and can be double the size of J’s and Vunaniu. It is powerful and thick. When everywhere else is flat you can almost guarantee a 4 foot wave at Shifties. Also it can be surfed at all tides. Again a wind of the north quadrant is needed.View Gallery