Surfing in Tahiti and Moorea

Surfing guide to Tahiti and Moorea, ,

Tahiti and Moorea has 1 surf spots . Go explore!

Overview of surfing in Tahiti and Moorea

Tahiti is the largest island in the French Polynesian chain located in the South Pacific. Although many will be thinking about the terror of large Teahupo’o when Tahiti comes to mind, there are many waves for all levels around, and even old Chopes gets playful when small. Tahiti is known for it’s natural beauty, like other island chains like Fiji or the Philippines, which allows visitors to enjoy so much more than surfing. Tahiti is forecast to be the site of the Summer Olympics, which will hopefully be more exciting than the last edition in small beachbreak in Japan (sorry Italo). Come for the surf, stay for the culture and natural beauty, French Polynesia and Tahiti are calling.

The Surf

Tahiti is very well known for it’s reef breaks. The island is surrounded by coral reefs and the many reef passes all offer opportunity for swell to bend and shape itself into a barreling perfection.

Most of the waves here are suitable for intermediates on small days and advanced only surfers on the bigger ones. There is a small beachbreak or two on the Northern side of the islands, these are the areas that will be alright for beginners to surf. That being said for the most part you will be finding shallow, barreling, and fast reef breaks.

Top Surf Spots


Haapiti is a lovely reef pass that offers up the Tahitian perfection we expect without the shallow, terrifying factor that many others have. It starts with an easy take off into a long wall with the occasional barrel. And it is a left, perfect for goofy footers to practice a frontside rail game. Learn more here!


Papara is a small and mushy beachbreak on the Northern side of the island. Yes, this is not one of the premier spots, but it is the best spot to learn on the island. Most Tahitians learned here and there are plenty of surf schools and amenities around. Learn more here!


This is one of the best waves in the world, and also one of the most consequential. Chopes is an ultra shallow left hand reef pass that offers one of the scariest barrels at size but one of the most perfect barrels when smaller. Watch out for the crowds, thick lips, and make sure to kick out after the barrel. Learn more here!

Accommodation Information

There is something for everyone in Tahiti. You can stay at high quality 5 star resorts all the way down to camping on the beach. Generally the top level resorts will not be the closest to all of the top surf spots. If you would like to stay closer to Teahupo’o you will need to manifest a home stay with a family. Many of the smaller towns do not have accommodation built up, so make friends with the locals or stay at a very bare bones surf hostel. Either way you’ll be scoring some surf!

The Good
Perfect Barrels
Tropical weather
Friendly locals
The Bad
Far away from everywhere
Some areas will lack amenities
Not the best for beginners
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Getting there

Surf Regions

There are two parts of the island; Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti. Tahiti Nui is the larger and Northern part of the island. This area is more built up than the southern part and the surf spots will have more amenities around them. This is the area that you will find some of the resorts and top level accommodation. Tahiti Iti, or the southern part of the island is more remote and will generally have less amenities that the northern part. Here you will find waves that tend to be heavy but less crowded than the spots in Tahiti Nui.

Access to Surf and Location

Transportation once you get to the island is straightforward. Scooters and rental cars are your best bet, although local buses are also pretty reliable. Many spots, being breaks in the coral reefs, will be accessible only by boat or a very long paddle. Most will be flying into the international airport on the island. From there getting your transportation sorted is not too difficult.

Visa and Entry/Exit Information

Most travelers will need a passport valid for six months past the date of entry. Most nationalities are able to enter without a visa for up to 90 days. Make sure to check in the government’s site for more information.

The 1 best Surf spots in Tahiti and Moorea

Overview of surfing spots in Tahiti and Moorea


Left | Exp Surfers
50m long

Surf spot overview

Lineup Lowdown

Due to the high level of difficulty and consequences of the waves here, lineups are generally tightly regulated. Make sure to know your spot in the pecking order and take care to respect the locals and follow etiquette perfectly. That being said, if you do this you will be welcomed by the local community which is known around the world for its friendliness and hospitality.

Surf seasons and when to go

The best time of the year to surf in Tahiti and Moorea

The peak season for surf in Tahiti is the Southern Hemisphere winter, May to August. During this time Tahiti is lit up from the South and all the classic spots start pumping. The off season will still see swell, just smaller and less consistent. This is the time that beginners will find more of a footing on the island.

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Tahiti and Moorea surf travel guide

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Activities Other Than Surf

Tahiti is not just a paradise for surfers; it’s a treasure trove of activities that cater to all interests. Beyond the thrilling waves, the island offers a rich cultural experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local Polynesian lifestyle. Explore vibrant local markets where traditional crafts and fresh tropical fruits are abundant, or be mesmerized by the enchanting traditional Polynesian dance shows. Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the island’s lush landscapes, with opportunities for hiking through verdant rainforests, snorkeling in crystal-clear lagoons, and discovering hidden waterfalls. The island’s beaches, with their soft white sands and tranquil waters, provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and contemplation. Whether it’s adventure or tranquility you seek, Tahiti offers a multitude of experiences that extend well beyond its world-famous surf.


French and Tahitian are the primary languages spoken in Tahiti, creating a unique linguistic atmosphere that adds to the island’s charm. While French is the official language, Tahitian is widely spoken and cherished as a vital part of the local culture. Visitors will find that English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, making communication relatively easy. However, venturing into more remote villages may require some basic knowledge of French or Tahitian. Learning a few key phrases not only eases communication but also shows respect for the local culture, often leading to warmer interactions and a more authentic experience. Embracing the linguistic diversity of Tahiti can significantly enhance your journey, offering deeper insights into the island’s rich heritage.


The currency in Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc (XPF), and understanding its value is crucial for budget planning. Tahiti can cater to a wide range of budgets, from luxury resorts to more economical lodging options. While some services and accommodations can be pricey, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the island without breaking the bank. Budget travelers can opt for guesthouses, local eateries, and public transportation to minimize expenses. Markets are great places to find affordable, fresh food. For those looking to splurge, there are numerous high-end resorts and fine dining options. Being mindful of your spending and planning ahead can help you manage your budget effectively, whether you’re seeking a lavish getaway or a more modest adventure in this Polynesian paradise.

Cell Coverage/WiFi

Connectivity in Tahiti generally aligns with what you would expect from a popular tourist destination. In urban and populated areas, cell coverage is reliable, and most accommodations, cafes, and restaurants offer WiFi access. However, it’s important to note that in remote areas or on smaller islands, connectivity can be limited. For international visitors, considering a local SIM card for data and calls can be a cost-effective choice, especially if planning to venture beyond the main tourist spots. Alternatively, international data plans might be suitable for short stays or if extensive travel outside Tahiti is planned. Staying connected in Tahiti is generally straightforward in populated areas, but part of the island’s charm lies in its remote spots, where disconnecting can be a refreshing part of the experience.

Get Stoked!

Tahiti stands as a beacon for travelers seeking a blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation. Its world-class surfing spots are just the beginning; the island offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to every taste. From its rugged, mountainous terrain and lush rainforests to its vibrant cultural heritage and serene beaches, Tahiti promises an unforgettable journey. The warmth and hospitality of its people make every visitor feel welcome, creating a sense of belonging that’s rare to find. Whether you’re riding the legendary waves, exploring the depths of its cultural roots, or simply soaking in the serene beauty of its landscapes, Tahiti leaves an indelible mark on the heart. It’s a place where memories are made, adventure abounds, and the allure of the island calls you back time and again.

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