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Best Surf Spots in Tahiti, French Polynesia


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Visit Tahiti – French Polynesia

Papeete - Paofai Gardens

Tahiti is a gorgeous place to visit in the South Pacific.  With its black sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls, two extinct volcanoes, the island of Tahiti is a popular vacation destination, particularly for honeymoons.

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, which is a set of islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately halfway between Australia and California.  Tahiti is home to the city of Papeete which is the capital of French Polynesia.

Vaihiria Lake - Papenoo Valley Tahiti

French Polynesia is part of the French Overseas Collectivities (or Collectivité d’Outre Mer in French) which means it is one of the French overseas territories which have specific status and institutions.  Therefore you should absolutely add Tahiti to your France Bucket List!

While Tahiti is popular among newlyweds, no matter what sort of traveler you are, there are plenty of cool things to do in Tahiti. Tahiti is also great for travelers interested in:

  • Diving and snorkeling
  • Gastronomy
  • Fishing
  • Surfing


Tahiti Surf Holidays

Morea - Haapiti

For surfers with all levels of experience– nothing beats Tahiti surf holidays!  While Tahiti is famous for its legendary Teahupoo wave, across Tahiti’s coastline you’ll find waves of every length, size and difficulty. This makes a Tahiti surf trip excellent no matter whether you’re a beginner or a serious pro surfer.

There are so many factors that make Tahiti surf vacations the best!  The setting is spectacularly stunning, the water is warm, and you can pretty much find the perfect Tahiti surf breaks year-round. Also if you want to better your surfing skills, there are also plenty of great surf schools around too.

If you’re planning a surf Tahiti trip, be aware that there are two surf seasons – Summer (November to March) and Winter (April to October).  For those looking for beginner level waves, the best time to visit Tahiti is during the Summer season, while the professionals are probably best to visit Tahiti during the Winter months.

In fact, during the Paris 2024 Olympics, which corresponds to the 2024 winter Tahiti surf season, Tahiti is going to host the surfing events! The events will take place in Teahupoo (Teahupoo 2024) which is home to some of the biggest and most powerful waves in the world – often referred to as the most beautiful wave in the world.

Of course when you’re not surfing, on your Tahiti holidays you can also enjoy the surrounds of one of the most beautiful islands on earth.  Tahiti is reasonably uncrowded, has some gorgeous places to explore as well as a range of excellent French and Polynesian culture and cuisine to enjoy.

Best Spots to Surf in Tahiti (+ Tahiti Surf Map)

This is the list of best spots to surf in Tahiti, French Polynesia. For your convenience, we have included a Tahiti surf map so it is easier to locate them. For tips on where to surf in Tahiti, keep reading our brief Tahiti surf guide below.

Teahupoo Surf Spot 

Big Barrel Wave - Teahupoo Tahiti

  • Surf Season: May to October
  • Surf Skill: *****

When you think of the best surf spots in Tahiti, you no doubt think of Teahupoo. Located on a reef break on the island’s southern tip, Teahupoo is home to the world’s heaviest wave and hosts surf competitions such as the Billabong Pro and soon also Teahupoo 2024, where the 2024 Paris Olympic surf events will be held.

Teahupoo is world-famous for consistently producing some of the world’s biggest, most powerful and challenging waves. This Tahiti surf break has a left break direction which is best with a gun, semi gun or short boarder.

To access the Tahiti surf spots Teahupoo has, you will need to be prepared for a 30-minute paddle out into the reef or better yet have boat access to get you to the Teahupoo surf spot.  To get the best out of these Tahiti waves, visit during the Winter season and leave the waves to the professional surfers.

Click here for the best hotels near Teahupoo

Teahupoo Wave - Tahiti

Teahupoo Wave is the best of Tahiti waves!

Maraa Surf Spot

  • Surf Season: May to October
  • Surf Skill: ***

Located just south of Taapuna; Maraa is an exposed reef where the waves break quite a distance out and wrap around into the pass.  The waves at Maraa are shallow left-handers, which do require surfers to have a good level of experience and it is recommended to use a short boarder.

While you can surf at Maraa right from the beach, you do need to paddle around 20 meters out when the tide is high or a long walk if the tide is out. In fact, surfing here is not recommended at low tide.

Surf conditions are best in Maraa during Winter, where you can expect a relatively quiet surf spot, with a cool local vibe.

Click here for the best hotels near Maraa


Papara Surf Spot

Papara - Tahiti

  • Surf Season: May to October
  • Surf Skill: **

If you’re looking for Tahiti surf spots suitable for all levels, then Papara is a great spot to check out.  Papara is located on a gorgeous black sand beach, on the south side of Tahiti and the wave is pretty standard of a beach break.  Just take note that given its easy access and being suitable for all levels, it is one of the more popular spots to surf in Tahiti.

The surf in Papara is best during the winter months where you can expect both right and left-handers, ranging from small and gentle to fast and powerful.  To get the most out of surfing in Tahiti, Papara, use either a funboarder or short boarder.

Given Papara’s gorgeous beach location, this is a great place for surfers to come with their non-surfer family and friends who are looking for a relaxing holiday.

Click here for the best hotels near Papara


Papenoo Rivermouth Surf Spot

Papenoo Rivermouth Tahiti

  • Surf Season: January to April and November to December
  • Surf Skill: **

If you’re planning a Summer Tahiti surfing trip, then Papenoo Rivermouth is a great place to check out.  Located on Tahiti Nui’s north shore, Papenoo Rivermouth is another gorgeous black sand beach, which offers surfers both beach and reef breaks.

At Papenoo Rivermouth surfers can expect both right and left-hander waves around 2-3 feet.  Low tide, during the Summer months, offers the best conditions and it’s recommended for short-boarders.

Keep in mind it is a popular surf sport and so can get relatively crowded at Papenoo Rivermouth.

Click here for the best hotels near Papenoo Rivermouth


Taapuna Surf Spot

  • Surf Season: May to October
  • Surf Skill: ***

Located near the capital of Papeete, Taapuna is an exposed reef break that has fast, powerful and hollow left-handers which are suited to surfers with a reasonable level of experience.

To access the surf at Taapuna, you will need to paddle around 20 minutes out from the shore or have boat access.  The surf has the best conditions in the Winter and for the best experience, use a semi gun or shortboard.

Given Taapuna is so close to Papeete, it can get hectic here, particularly on weekends.  For less crowds visit during the week, outside of school holidays.

Click here for the best hotels near Taapuna


Vairao Surf Spot

  • Surf Season: May to October
  • Surf Skill: ***

If your Tahiti trip happens to be in Winter, another great surf spot is Vairao.  Considered one of the best Tahiti waves, Vairao is a great surfing spot for surfers with a bit of expertise.

To reach the break, you will need to paddle out for around 20 minutes, or better yet have a boat take you out.  Once you’re out there, you can expect great left-hander waves best experienced with a gun or short boarder.

Given Vairao is best with a boat, this does tend to keep the crowds away, which gives the area a great chilled vibe.

Click here for the best hotels near Vairao

And there you have it, some of the best surf spots in Tahiti for beginners right through to the professionals.  Where will you choose for your Tahiti surfing trip?

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