Red Letter Day: Dream Weaver

DAY 1

Rider & Words: Joshua Ku
Photos: Rod Owen
Location: Namotu Lefts, Fiji
Date. Sunday September 4th, 2022

We’re going to go out on a limb with this one… Joshua Ku’s day job as a surf guide on Namotu might just be as good as it gets. It turns out most days are Red Letter Days out here… so we asked to hear about two of them.


5.30am, the alarm goes off. This is moments before the sun rises. I walk out of my bure and to the main deck of the island and grab my cup of coffee. I sit down with the other staff of the island and watch out the front… Namotu Lefts reel off as pastel colors start to illuminate the horizon.

I’m a surf guide on this island and my job is to make sure all of the 26 guests get the most out of their week here on Namotu. So I check the tides, get a feel for where people wanna surf and direct them in the best way I can. As Namotu Lefts is generally a fat left hander, I'm letting all the longboarders and not-so-confident surfers know that it’s pretty much firing out there right now. Then I grab my foil, going with the Unifoil Vyper 130, short fuse, shiv G10 tail, 83cm mast and my Amos Raptor 4’5 x 27L board.

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I get a long boat out to the surf zone which is a two-minute ride with the ever-so-happy Fijian boatman, Jone. I position myself at the end of the wave where it fattens up a bit as, even though this is considered a fat wave for Fiji, it’s still got a lot of grunt from the energy in the South Pacific. My game plan is to pump out the back and pretty much ride the swells until it turns into this beautiful left hander.

Even though I was potentially too powered up for the size of the waves I wanted, I was still able to connect two to three waves. It’s incredible how close to surfing the Vyper is, allowing you to get to the pocket of the wave. I was focusing really hard on drawing out my bottom turns to allow me to get real vertical on the face, although these are different, more exaggerated lines than surfing.

After forgetting to apply any sunscreen and getting torched by the sun,  it was time to head into my ready-made breakfast of porridge and a side of açai. Life doesn’t get much better!

DAY 2

Rider & Words: Joshua Ku
Photos: Peter “Joli” Wilson
Location: Namotu Lefts, Fiji
Date: Saturday September 17th, 2022

For Fiji standards this was a pretty average day, conditions wise. We woke up to a mega full moon high tide and the swell was barely breaking. Back in the day you would have been spewing if you traveled the whole way to Fiji and this is what you woke up to. Fortunately for us foilers this just means it's a High Aspect day. Lucky enough to be involved in the new “Progression Project” / Unifoil collaboration, I whacked on the 170 Progression wing this time.

With no one else on the island who foils besides this Costa Rican frother Andrew, we hitched a ride out on one of the long boats with a tow rope tied to the awning of the boat. Usually the boat drops you off in the channel and you paddle to the take-off, however today it was unsurfable for the traditional surfer so the boat drove over the reef whipping us into these swell lines that sometimes would crumble a fraction.

Like the name suggests, this is a left-hander that breaks over very sharp live coral. The wave is generally 100-300m for your average surfer, however, for foiling, the wave at high tide then runs into a lagoon that keeps the swell energy alive enough to ride for another 500m, ripping wedges, left to right. We foiled our brains out, staying out there for the whole of the high tide, making the most of the boat towing us in. I’ve been working on trying to connect swells without pumping and making my foiling as effortless and flow-like as possible. I’m getting a lot of my inspiration from big mountain snowboard films.

Namotu Island is a dream. Expelling all your energy getting as much time up on foil, riding the whole way from out the back to the sand and getting picked up by the boat and getting towed back out to do it again… I was exhausted. Or buggered as us Aussies call it…

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