Jay Christenson won top honors at the 2016 REVOLT SUMMER SURF SERIES – Pier II Pier – Pro Am Prime event in San Diego. Jay surfed against some of the top Men’s Pro Am surfers on the planet that day & bested them all. For his efforts he scored this amazing, all inclusive, week long stay for two in Fiji courtesy of Waidroka Bay Resort. At the awards ceremony he graciously invited along his #1 Fan & major contributor to his professional surfing career… his father Greg Christenson. This is Greg’s take, on the surf trip of a lifetime – and an incredible adventure with father & son
From our initial contact with the resort managers to drive home from LAX to SD… we nailed it! We communicated via e-mail with Boris (Waidroka Bay Resort GM) a couple months ahead of our trip to lock in our dates and get the general idea of what to expect (since neither of us had traveled to this island before). Both Jay & I had busy work schedules to navigate around & it took awhile before both of us finally got a week off together. Always friendly and accommodating, we worked back and forth with Boris a few times until we were able to secure dates for both our stay and our flights (Boris provided available dates with 8 day windows & we found flights that coincided perfectly). We also discussed fee’s and taxes so we were prepared for everything.
Upon arrival to LAX we were greeted warmly at Fiji Airways and treated like Kings. No hassles with our bookings or our excess baggage. Surfboards are often a hit and miss as to whether they do or don’t dig through them to count boards (a common hassle surfers bump into) but Fiji Airways was awesome. The direct flight was key, as we left late in the evening and arrived perfectly in their and our morning… Great nap!
On the ground we were greeted with a resounding “Bula!” A Fijian all purpose greeting and salutation (much like the Hawaiian “Aloha”) Our shuttle driver ‘James’ was all smiles and ready for us and our 1 to 2 hour drive (depending on traffic). We were lucky, as it was 6 am. We stopped a couple times on the way for coffee and to check out the local artist contributions & souvenirs we had heard of. The legendary weapons from the native culture were astounding works of art…. Don’t even think of bashing a head in with my skillfully designed ‘Skull Masher’!
We arrived at the resort shortly after most of the current visitors had left on their daily excursions, be it surfing, diving or sightseeing. Some guests even visiting local schools to spend the day participating in art and cultural games with the students. This is an amazing activity, with huge impact for the local kids who participate (and the travelers) that get to exchange wisdom and heart warming, good cheer.
We were greeted by the resort staff who immediately welcomed us like brothers and sons. They took us for an initial tour to familiarize us with the grounds and amenities, and then got us squared away with our amazing room. It didn’t really matter which room they gave us – all rooms on the property have great views, amazing landscaping and intoxicating aromas from the plant-life we were blessed to be surrounded by for the next week.
The room options at Waidroka Bay are varied. We stayed in a row of about 5 rooms that were elevated from the sea-level main building by about 50 steps (a tad harder after some local beers, but not too bad…) These rooms allowed us to look over the entire resort as well as a perfect view of the ocean in all it’s beauty. The room itself had everything we needed… fan, AC, hot shower, mini-fridge (to keep our brews cold for happy hour) and of course island style decor, so we knew we weren’t at home. Other options included stand-alone Ocean Front Bures or small cottages that were similarly stylized to reflect the awesome island culture.
All of the dwellings were set up around a beautiful main building. Most of the food, drinks and socializing took place in this central location. The main building also including an immaculate swimming pool. That pool hit the spot on soooo many occasions while we were there. It was a cool break between surf sessions & those hotter times of the day.
Each morning we woke up to an awesome breakfast (with so many choices), followed by a quick packing of lunch food & essential gear… and then a short boat ride to any one of the 5-7 local surf spots – all on world-class reef-break waves.
Our first day was at Pipe… not the Hawaiian Pipe, but a real close second. Barrels abound… too heavy for my skill-set, but Jay was ripping. I was taking photos, videos and throwing the occasional lure out to see if the fish were around. They were…. they just waited until Jay threw lures at them before they bit. He inherited my good luck.
We were fortunate to get waves almost every day of our stay, and even more fortunate that the waves at Frigates Pass, broke 3 out of the 7 days we were there. Even though it was a 30-40 minute ride to this break from our resort, it was worth the trip. Also the crew of surfers we stayed with were totally into the bigger surf… so one big happy crew.
We met up with a really cool crew of Hawaiian guys, also here for the surf, diving and all around great time. We bonded with them instantly and it seemed like we had known each other for years. A really special group of guys, who we will never forget…. too many stories in that short window of vacation. Good times boyz!
We had one flat day the entire trip. Jay and I took the 30 minute taxi ride to one of the sickest golf courses ever cut out of a jungle. Top notch landscaping and insanely tough holes. Quite an adventure, and not for the golfer who likes it easy… it was not!
Every meal we had at the resort was better than the previous… Good food is so important when you travel… & we travel a lot (both with Jay’s surfing and with my work). But great food was what we got! The chef’s fresh dishes & presentation were consistently a ‘five-star’. To dine like this at every single meal, was a real treat. One night, chef took our fresh fish we caught earlier that day & prepared it for us with the best of the best local ingredients… one spectacular meal! Just amazing!
We were treated like family at every turn on this trip. We enjoyed the company of the entire staff tending to us. A mix of local families with multiple generations, as well as some seasonal staffers from Australia and New Zealand. Their job was to make sure we wanted for nothing…. and they excelled at that! From the morning we woke up with a hangover… when they climbed up the trees and brought us fresh coconuts to drink. To the Kava Ceremony, where we were serenaded by their local music (as well as one of the Hawaiian crew)… the entire staff was just amazing! Thank You all!
The overall experience was beyond our expectations and was made even more special by the friendships we made during our stay. If life does grant us the opportunity, we will gladly return to this awesome location sometime in the future… Bula Fiji & Waidroka Bay Resort!
Greg & Jay Christenson
Pacific Beach, CA
NOW SCORE YOUR OWN SURF TRIP OF A LIFETIME – WE’RE GIVING AWAY ANOTHER TRIP TO FIJI THIS SUMMER AT THE 2018 REVOLT SUMMER SURF SERIES – PIER II PIER – PRO AM. OVERALL SEASON POINTS WINNER OF THE MEN’S PRO AM DIVISION WILL SCORE A WEEK IN FIJI WITH A FRIEND COURTESY OF WAIDROKA BAY RESORT AND RVLT SURF & PADDLE.
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