Newshub reporter accidentally witnesses surfing history

Fiji amazing waves.
Stars of the surfing world flew in to Fiji just to see the waves. Photo credit: Isobel Ewing/Newshub.

On Sunday I had a front row seat to a spectacle of oceanic power and magnitude that I'll probably never witness again in my life.

And I did it completely by accident.

My brief holiday in Fiji happened to coincide with one of the biggest swells to hit the legendary surf spot Cloudbreak in more than six years.

It lured pros from all over the world. Kelly Slater, Ramon Navarro, Kai Lenny, Luke Shepardson, Evan Valiere and a multitude of others flew into Fiji, having watched the monster swell marching north.

The sky was grey and ominous, and we spent a lot of time wiping drops from our lenses.
The sky was grey and ominous, and we spent a lot of time wiping drops from our lenses. Photo credit: Isobel Ewing/Newshub.

The sky was grey and ominous, and we spent a lot of time wiping drops from our lenses as we were pelted with rain. Not quite the conditions for the glassy blue barrel photographs on surf mag covers but the wild conditions made it more exhilarating.

The set waves were between 15 and 20 feet - enough to earn the title "XXL" - surf lingo I've since learnt.

My boyfriend and I were on our dinghy sitting about 50m from where humans with no apparent sense of self-preservation were either being towed by jetskis or paddling into the monstrous waves.

Fijian surf pro Tevita Gukilau was glad not to be hit by a stray board when he caught this wave.
Fijian surf pro Tevita Gukilau was glad not to be hit by a stray board when he caught this wave. Photo credit: Isobel Ewing/Newshub.

Wooden boats powered by small outboard motors with fearless locals at the helm were terrifyingly close to the action, sitting in what's called "the channel", with professional surfers and photographers onboard.

At one point, we all got a bit close to the breaking wave and a sudden burst of acceleration from everyone was required to get over the rapidly steepening face.

The pros who surfed the house-sized waves are saying these were possibly the best of their lives.

At one point, we all got a bit close to the breaking wave.
At one point, we all got a bit close to the breaking wave. Photo credit: Isobel Ewing/Newshub.

I felt like a bit of an impostor, surrounded by big wave surfing royalty, without a clue who most of them were. My limited surfing credentials certainly didn't justify my presence.

On his Instagram, Kelly Slater said it was "an honour to be in the presence of an ocean doing this", and "this stuff is like people going to the moon... by tomorrow people will say it didn't happen".

Luckily, we have photos to prove it did.

Newshub

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