Surfing in Tahiti: A Guide to the Best Waves in South Pacific

Listen to Surfing in Tahiti: A Guide to the Best Waves in South Pacific

Tahiti, an enchanting archipelago located in the South Pacific, is renowned for its pristine sandy beaches and stunning turquoise seas.

It’s also a surfer’s paradise, offering some of the world’s greatest waves and surfing conditions. Tahiti is known as a big wave destination and if you’re serious about hanging ten, Tahiti’s waves will most definitely put you to the test.

However, if you’re keen to learn to surf in the ‘Land of Giants’, don’t be disheartened yet. Tahiti has waves and beaches to suit all degrees of surfing competency.

Photo by Maxwell Gifted on Unsplash

Where are the best Tahiti surf spots?

Teahupoo is Tahiti’s most revered wave. Nicknamed Chopes (pronounced Cho-po), this gnarly beast is now rated the ‘heaviest wave in the world’. Teahupoo produces gargantuan barrelling waves which break, just for added difficulty, over a shallow cheese grater of coral reefs. The Teahupoo surf is fierce, unforgiving and best left to the pros.

The black-sand beach Papara is perfect for the intermediate surfer. It picks up the south swell and its waves vary in difficulty, from small and sweet to big and nasty, so you are able to decide on how hard you go. This beach is Tahiti’s widest stretch of sand, so if the surfing gets too much… grab a beer and chill with the locals.

Papenoo is the beginner’s beach, a favourite spot for those learning to surf. The waves are gentle and forgiving, and the scene light-hearted and friendly. Perfect if you’re not taking this surfing thing too seriously.

When is the best time to surf in Tahiti?

There are two surf seasons in Tahiti, both bring different waves, swells and winds. The prime season is March through to October, however, due to Tahiti’s position – it faces the full force of the Pacific Ocean – good waves roll all year round.

Where can I learn to surf in Tahiti?

If you want to learn to ride waves like a pro in the Tahiti surf, there are two schools which you can visit: Tura’I Mataare Surf School and Ecole Surf Iti Nui. The courses at each school are run by qualified, friendly instructors and include transport to the beaches and all your surfing equipment.

Where are the best Tahiti surf resorts?

Tahiti’s coast is flanked by five-star resorts and hotels, offering everything a guest will need. Here you’ll experience an outstanding level of comfort in a picturesque setting, while soaking in million-dollar views. We recommend the Intercontinental Resort & Spa which is located on the North West coast of Moorea, between the mountains and a crystal-clear lagoon. There’s a high intermediate break a short paddle from the resort – so you can surf all day and relax all night.

The newly-renovated Le Meridien Resort is located on one of Tahiti’s most beautiful white-sand beaches. The surf is literally on your doorstep. The resort offers a wide range of activities from cooking classes to water sports, which is perfect if you’ve got one beach-hungry surfing enthusiast and one hotel dweller – everybody is happy.

Or, if you’re after a traditional Tahitian experience with a touch of elegance head to Royal Huahine Resort. Hidden in a small bay, on its own secluded private beach in Huahine, this resort is all about the serenity. Its charming overwater bungalows all face west and provide spectacular views of the neighboring islands, best enjoyed at sunset with a cocktail in hand. The island of Huahine is known for its perfectly shaped waves, with two of the best breaks only a 10-minute boat ride away.

There are also more understated options if you prefer a place a little more off the beaten track. A family-run Tahitian ‘pension’ gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and enjoy that warm island hospitality.

Interested? Check out our Tahiti Hot Deals!

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