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Tahiti Surf Guides and Hotels

The Surf

Remember that Tahiti is not the name of the island chain, but the name of the main island. Shaped kind of like Maui, the larger piece is Tahiti Nui and the smaller is Tahiti Iti. There is surf all the way around Tahiti, some places legendary, some lesser known. Some still secret as there are a lot of nooks and crannies and reef passes, and the constantly changing variables of swell direction, tide, wind and current calls for local knowledge with many years of experience behind it.

All roads on Tahiti lead into and out of Papeete, and there are a couple of waves there. Some people love Papeete and others use it as an indicator for what is going on around the island. The left at Papeete Harbor only breaks on a big north or northwest swell, but if Papeete is good that means the southwest coast is off its face. The right breaks on smaller swells, and if it’s breaking and you want bigger thrills, go to the north coast.


Most of the surf breaks in the Society Islands are reef passes and reef breaks, but there are exceptions. Moving from northwest to northeast over the top of Tahiti you have a long stretch of coastline mostly unprotected by barrier reef and void of the big lagoons featured throughout the Society Islands. Along this stretch you will find “fringe reef” extending off the beach creating miles of rights and lefts, beach breaks and points.

Some of the spots you may visit during the N swell season include:

La Fayette – rights and left
Taharaa –rights and left
Point Venus – right hand point for advance surfers only
Orofara Point – right hander
PK 15 – rights and lefts
Papeno – rights and lefts beach break and river mouth, very consistent
Faaone – rights and lefts


The South and South West coast of Tahiti and Tahiti Iti is the location where you find the more classic reef breaks featured in the magazines. This long stretch of coast works on swells from South East to South West and is generally best March through October. However, small south swells can pass through any time of year and you do not need much swell for these spots to get good.

Some of the breaks you may visit include:

Taapuna – good left hander not far outside of town
Sapinus left
Maraa – good left reef
Papara – Right and Left Beach Break
Big Pass – Left reef
Teahupoo – the heavy left which made this area famous. Still super good and fun when only a few feet overhead or smaller for more reasonable surf.

There are many other breaks along this stretch of coast running East to West.