Surfing in Micronesia (Carolines)

Surfing guide to Micronesia (Carolines),

Micronesia (Carolines) has 1 main surf areas. There are 2 surf spots . Go explore!

Overview of surfing in Micronesia (Carolines)

The Caroline Islands are a massive stretch of small atolls and islands making up a decent expanse within Micronesia. These paradisical islands (think Moana but real life) have long captivated those who have set eyes upon them. Best of all for surfers, there is a large amount of uncrowded and high-quality surf. Imagine Fiji or Tahiti, just more spread out and highly unexplored (at least surfing-wise). Those looking for a trip filled with empty lineups and boat rides to barreling reef passes should look no further than this archipelago. Although the surf can be a highlight one should not forget that the natural beauty and wildlife in these islands are also unrivalled in the world.

The Surf

The surf here is entirely made up of reef passes and bends in the reefs, similar to breaks like Cloudbreak or Teahupo’o. This tends to make for heavier surf, but for most of the year a lot of the options are intermediate and even beginner-friendly. A chest-high day and passes renowned for top-to-bottom barrels can be downright playful for most levels of surfer. That being said, when serious swell hits, usually from the north, most breaks get advanced very quickly and are best left to surfers with plenty of experience and bravery. Although the surf can be somewhat similar to the North Shore of Oahu, the swell angles that are best are different. Surf here is very consistent with the biggest swells hitting during the winter months.

Top Surf Spots

P-Pass

P Pass is an incredible reef break that throws out barreling rights. this is also one of the most consistent waves in the archipelago. When smaller it is high performance and user friendly. Learn more here!

Walung

Walung is a great right hander that tends to get hollow and shallow fast. It is gaining a little in popularity, but when it gets firing it tends to keep the crowd down. This break is one of the best spots on the island of Kosrae. Learn more here!

Maap Reef

This is a stretch of reef found off the island of Yap. This area is generally good for intermediates and advanced level surfers offering high performance rights and lefts. Take time to explore nearby reefs as well!

Accommodation Information

When you are on an island in the middle of a remote archipelago, your options for accommodation will be limited. Getting a boat charter is always an option, and a good one if you can get a captain for guide that knows the surf spots. Otherwise there are some hotels and resorts on the larger islands. There are also surf resorts which are a fantastic option to be able to stay near quality surf and have everything taken care of.

 

The Good
Quality Surf
Uncrowded
Consistent year round
The Bad
Low on Infrastructure
Remote
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Getting there

Surf Regions

Well there are over 200 islands/atolls in this archipelago which makes a breakdown highly difficult. There are a few main islands with scouted surf spots. Pohnpei is the biggest and is home to the best discovered wave in the chain, P-Pass. This island will also have the most infrastructure available. Kosrae is another island with decent infrastructure, but more remote that Pohnpei. The surf here is more secluded and less crowded while the natural beauty is unmatched. Yap is another even more remote island. The surf spots here are somewhat more inconsistent but high quality when on.

Access to Surf and Location

You will need to fly in to the island or sail. Flights arrive from Hawaii, Guam, and Australia to name a few major hubs that you can fly out of. Access to all surf is by boat, so plan accordingly. Local transportation on an island will be by taxi or scooter.

Visa and Entry Exit Information

Traveling to the Caroline Islands generally requires a valid passport and, for some nationalities, a visa. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days, but it’s always best to check the latest entry requirements before your trip. Upon arrival, travelers might need to provide proof of onward travel and sufficient funds for their stay. Ensure your passport has at least six months’ validity beyond your intended departure date. Visitors should also be aware of the customs regulations, particularly regarding prohibited items and import restrictions.

The 2 best Surf spots in Micronesia (Carolines)

Overview of surfing spots in Micronesia (Carolines)

P-Pass (Palikir Pass, Pohnpei)

9
Right | Exp Surfers
200m long

Walung

8
Right | Exp Surfers
200m long

Surf spot overview

Lineup Lowdown

There aren’t too many surfers in the Caroline Islands, so the vibes tend to be very laid back. That being said make sure to show respect and let the locals get their choice of waves, especially if you are surfing at a spot that tourists tend not to go to. Crowds are minimal though, it is likely you will be surfing alone if you avoid the known spots.

Surf seasons and when to go

The best time of the year to surf in Micronesia (Carolines)

There is surf year round on the islands, however the most consistent time to go is the winter. This time of year will see some of the bigger surf. The summer months will still have waves, but they will generally stay below the head high mark. The predominant winds in the winter months are offshore as well, making for enticing surf conditions. The water is tropical year round as well, meaning boardshorts and bikinis are the way to go.

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Micronesia (Carolines) surf travel guide

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Activities Other Than Surf

While surfing is a primary draw, the Caroline Islands offer a plethora of other activities for visitors. The islands are renowned for their stunning scuba diving and snorkeling spots, with vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, including manta rays, sharks, and colorful fish. Hiking through lush rainforests and exploring waterfalls, particularly on Pohnpei, provides a glimpse into the islands’ natural beauty. Cultural experiences, such as visiting ancient ruins like Nan Madol, engaging with local communities, and participating in traditional dances and ceremonies, offer a deeper understanding of Micronesian heritage. Kayaking, fishing, and bird watching are also popular activities that showcase the islands’ diverse ecosystems.

Language

The Caroline Islands are home to several indigenous languages, with Pohnpeian, Kosraean, and Yapese being the most commonly spoken. English is widely understood and used, especially in business, tourism, and government settings. Travelers will find it relatively easy to communicate in English, though learning a few basic phrases in the local languages can enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture.

Currency/Budget

The official currency of the Caroline Islands is the United States Dollar (USD), making it convenient for American travelers. Costs can vary, with accommodation ranging from budget guesthouses to more expensive surf resorts. Meals are generally affordable, with local markets and restaurants offering a variety of fresh seafood and traditional dishes. Budget travelers can manage with modest expenses, while those seeking more comfort can find mid-range and upscale options. It’s advisable to carry some cash, as credit card facilities may not be available everywhere, particularly on the smaller islands.

Cell Coverage/Wifi

Cellular coverage in the Caroline Islands can be spotty, especially in remote areas and on smaller islands. Major islands like Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Yap have better coverage, but it’s still advisable to check with your service provider about international roaming options. Wifi is available at most hotels, resorts, and some cafes, though the speed and reliability can vary. For those needing consistent internet access, renting a portable wifi device or purchasing a local SIM card might be beneficial.

Book Now!

The Caroline Islands offer a unique and unforgettable surf adventure in one of the world’s most pristine and culturally rich regions. Beyond the excellent surf, visitors can immerse themselves in breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant marine life, and a welcoming local culture. The islands’ remoteness ensures uncrowded waves and a sense of discovery that is hard to find in more commercialized surf destinations. Whether you’re riding world-class waves, exploring ancient ruins, or simply soaking in the tropical beauty, the Caroline Islands promise an experience of a lifetime for surfers and adventurers alike.

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