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The phone rang . .  “Scott – I don’t have details yet, but would you like to bring your flying thing to Fiji?”

Who cares about the details. Yes, of course.

I’d been wanting to visit Fiji for a while, and what better way than shooting aerials with my friends at ROXY?

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The project was a surf and lifestyle shoot on Tavarua Island with the ROXY surf team. My job would be capturing aerial stills and motion when weather conditions allowed and assisting the motion crew otherwise. As it turned out the weather was particularly difficult (by Fiji standards) for any kind of shooting, let alone flying. As any crew that works around surf knows, you have to be patient and stay ready to go at a moments notice. And that’s just what we did to make the most of the few breaks in the wind and rain. I know, I know –  nobody feels sorry for me.

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Tavarua Island is a small heart shaped island surrounded by incredibly clear water and coral reefs. The first thing my pilot eye noticed when we arrived was how small the beach area was. It only took about 10 minutes to walk around the entire island and I only found a couple spots that were appropriately sized to launch my wing from. As it was, we had no shortage of wind so the takeoffs were short affairs.

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Photo: Dave Ricks

Being able to visit a place like this for the first time with my own flying machine was a thrill. The ROXY crew is always great to work with and they were happy with the aerials. You can see a selection on the ROXY blog. It was both inspiring and humbling to watch this crew of girls surf critical waves in marginal conditions with so much finesse and confidence. I’ve surfed enough myself to recognize the skill that was on display. I’m not surprised they are the world champions.

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If you are a surfer, you’ve probably heard of cloud break. A well known wave in fiji that I had the pleasure of flying over a couple times.

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In the photo below you can see Tavarua Island and its neighbor Namotu. These tiny islands have larger than life reputations in surf culture.

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photo: Dave Ricks

 

My bags are packed and I’m standing by at 907-399-7873 if you want me to come shoot aerials in some tropical islands. I’ll try not to complain about the weather.