Most well-known for being home to the world’s heaviest wave, the famed reef break of Teahupoo, Tahiti offers many surf spots for visitors and locals alike to find the perfect waves.
Located in the South Pacific about an 8 hour direct flight from Los Angeles or San Francisco, Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. It is actually made up of two parts, the larger part of the island, called Tahiti Nui and the smaller section called Tahiti Iti. The island is a paradise for water sports of all kinds, including stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking and body boarding, but the surfing here is a second to none, especially if you like your waves heavy!
Surfing The Islands of Tahiti
The best time to surf in Tahiti is from May to August during the dry season. The surf breaks along the south and southwest coasts are reef breaks, with large hollow waves similar to those found in Hawaii. Another popular season for surf is October to March when swells from the north and are generally better for less experienced surfers as they are less heavy and more wall-like than the hollow waves that hit in the summer. Powerful waves can be surfed all year round and you’ll find plenty of barrels here. The water stays between 80 degrees year-round.
The Best Surf Spots On The Islands Of Tahiti
While Teahupoo is definitely the best spot for the pros, you can find good surfing all over the island of Tahiti and the neighboring island of Moorea. For beach breaks, you can stay in the northern part of Tahiti and scope out the black sand beaches of Papenoo, Orofara being the most popular beach for surfing. Here the locals and visitors ride waves which are about 2-3 feet. For something a little more intense visit Papara where waves are rolling in at 4-6 feet. Another great spot is Passe de Mara’a in Paea, where the waves are fast, hollow, shallow and towering at 4-7 feet tall.
You can reach the nearby island of Moorea from Tahiti via a short ferry ride. There, you can find more great surfing options. At Haapiti beach, you can find more gentle waves reaching about head high. The water is crystal clear, and you can see the coral breaks. You may want to hire a boat to reach this spot or face a 40-minute paddle from the town.
On the other side of Moorea is Temae, a great spot for barrels that is coveted by the locals. Near the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa on the island of Moorea is a little spot known as Hauru, a narrow cut in the reef on the northern coast. Currents are strong here and you can also search out sharks on the nearby motus.
Surf Spots on Tahiti and Moorea By Wave Height
Papenoo, Tahiti 2-3 ft
Taapuna, Tahiti 2-4 ft
Papara, Tahiti 4-7 ft
Papeari, Tahiti 4-7 ft
Passe de Maraa, Tahiti 4-7 ft
Teahupoo, Tahiti 6-9 ft
Hauru, Moorea 1-2 ft
Temae, Moorea 3-5 ft
Haapiti, Moorea 3-4 ft
Maharepa, Moorea 2-3 ft
Kitesurfing, Funboarding And Windsurfing:
Whether it’s kitesurfing, funboarding or windsurfing – in Tahiti and in the islands, even the smallest breath of wind and a hint of the sun are enough to bring out the kiteboards and windsurfers. These sports are very popular and it’s easy to see why. They are 100 percent ecological and they open up new horizons for lovers of nautical adventures. The Islands of Tahiti combine all the ingredients that let you fully appreciate these disciplines, whatever your level. Go water sporting on calm, safe waters – learn on the lagoons to start with, then increase speed and cover distance, and then on waves for surfing and jumping. And all this, together with a tropical climate, warm, crystal-clear water and breathtaking landscapes.
Outrigger Canoeing And Sailing
Whether it’s outrigger canoeing or sailing – the lagoons with their calm waters offer tons of opportunities for sailing and anchoring. So, everything from the traditional outrigger canoe to the racing course pirogue, from the great sailing ship to the simple kayak navigates over this marine paradise. These boats can be hired in most of the islands, including Taha’a and Raiatea.