10 Best Surf Spots In Tahiti, French Polynesia

surf spots in tahiti
Ryan Joshua
Ryan Joshua 
| 4 min read

Known as every couple’s “Fantasy Island”, Tahiti in French Polynesia is a well-known destination for many couples, especially the newlyweds who are spending a post-nuptial vacation in the best honeymoon resorts. Families also flock to the island to spend their vacations and create awesome getaway memories in luxury resorts. Everyone falls in love with the beauty of the island with the crystal clear waters and powdery white sand. Aside from spending the whole day at the breathtaking beach, Tahiti is also a destination for those adventure seekers that love to surf the waves. Plan an exotic vacation with your loved ones and know the best surf spots in Tahiti, French Polynesia, below!

1. Maraa

Source: Pixabay

Maraa is one of the most breathtaking spots for surfing in Tahiti. It is an exposed reef break that is frequented by large waves. The area features turquoise blue freshwater pools, small caves, and the grotto that drips. The best time for you to surf in Maraa is during the winter season. Plus, it is not really crowded, unlike other surf spots in the area. However, you must watch out for rips, rocks, sea urchins, and even sharks.


Address: Pā'ea, French Polynesia

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2. Taapuna

Surfing big waves
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shacktown123 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Near the region of Pape'ete is Taapuna. It is the original Tahitian tube garden and is also a very well-known destination for those who want hollow yet dredging and technically difficult waves to surf. It breaks over a shallow coral reef, just the same as the other waves in the vicinity. However, Taapuna has surfing areas that have various difficulties, making it viable to surf only to professionals and experts. It can be quite crowded during the weekends as it is very near to Pape'ete.


Address: Pape'ete, French Polynesia

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3. Papara

Papara Beach, Tahiti
Source: Photo by Flickr user brownsdj used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Papara is one of the few beach breaks in Tahiti. It is known for its amazing back sand beach that is located in Tahiti Nui’s southern area. It is considered one of the best places to surf on the island because of its gentle to moderate waves. The waves in the area are much just like on usual beach breaks, so you must expect waves between closeouts and tough, difficult rides. If you are just a beginner in surfing or just someone that wants to learn some basic surfing lessons, then Papara would be the best place for you.


Address: Papara, French Polynesia

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4. Moorea

Source: Pixabay

Known to be one of the most beautiful and lush islands in French Polynesia, Moorea offers a very warm and relaxing place for you to enjoy surfing. Located just 10 nautical miles (18.5 kilometers) away from Tahiti, you can access this majestic island easily by either ferry or plane. Besides being a top surfing destination for surfers all over the world, Moorea has a lot of internationally-renowned hotels that cater to couples, families and even locals that would like to enjoy the beauty and the wonders of the island.


Address: Moorea-Maiao, French Polynesia

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5. Orofara

Tahiti surfing
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Caldoche57 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Another great place to surf on the island of Tahiti is Orofara. It is one of the Tahiti surf spots that have an exposed point break, making it a very consistent place to surf. The best time to do surfing in Orofara is during the summer season when offshore winds come from the south. Most of the surfing waves come from the groundswells wherein a lot of them are located in the north northeast of the area. However, you must watch out for rocks and sharks.


Address: Tahiti, French Polynesia

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6. Tikehau

Tikehau, archipel des Tuamotus
Source: Photo by user Benoit Mahe used under CC BY 2.0

Also known as “The Pink Sand Island”, the Left Island or Tikehau Island is a tiny atoll that consists of several white and pink sand islets covered with coconut trees and alcoves. You will surely relax or surf at its serene, calm and graceful waves. Its turquoise blue waters are also rich in marine life, making the area popular among scuba divers as well. In fact, a marine researcher has said that the area has the highest fish population compared to other lagoons in French Polynesia.


Address: Rangiroa, French Polynesia

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7. Papenoo Rivermouth

Source: Pixabay

Another black sand beach break in Tahiti is Papenoo Rivermouth, which is located in the northern part of Tahiti Nui. The river at Papenoo has a constant flow, creating some perfect sandbanks, which in turn will also produce hollow peaks. The perfect time for you to surf at the Papenoo Rivermouth is during the summer season where the direction of the wind comes from the south. However, the area can be quite crowded at times. You must also watch out for rips and sharks as you surf.

Papenoo Rivermouth

Address: Papenoo Beach, French Polynesia

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8. Teahupo'o

Teahupoʻo Surfing
Source: Photo by user The TerraMar Project used under CC BY 2.0

An adrenaline-rushed surfer will surely crave for some heavy and wild waves to surf on, and the best place for you to find these kinds of waves is at the Teahupo'o in Tahiti. It is located right at the southwest corner of Tahiti Iti, the island’s smaller and dormant volcano. Its world-famous gigantic waves form when the ocean swell bends and rushes along the reefs. For a surfer to successfully tame a wave at Teahupo'o, he or she must take off beneath the lip so that you won’t be launched.


Address: Teahupo'o, French Polynesia

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9. Vairao

Source: Piqsels

Formerly known as Matiti, Vairao is a quaint port town that can be found on the southwestern coast of Tahiti Island. It is where the deepest bay of the island can be found, making it frequented by some of the world’s largest cruise liners. Since it is flocked by hundreds to thousands of tourists, Vairao has become a popular venue for you to surf, scuba dive, snorkel, and even fish.


Address: Vaira'o, French Polynesia

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10. Rangiroa

Rangiroa lagoon
Source: Photo by user Frenchytahiti used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Famous for being a natural haven for various kinds of aquatic animals, Rangiroa is truly a destination for both surfers and ordinary tourists and should be a must-visit for everyone. Rangiroa features a large blue lagoon that is surrounded by several flattened islets and small sandbars. It is the largest among the Tuamato atolls and is also the second-largest in the whole world. Since the area is frequented by schools of wild dolphins, you might also get to swim and surf with them when you are in Rangiroa.


Address: Rangiroa, French Polynesia

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Spend your summer vacation at Tahiti, French Polynesia

Bask under the sun and catch the waves at one of these great surf sites in Tahiti, French Polynesia. Surfing is probably one of the best aquatic activities that you can do during the summer season. Make it count by meeting the waves of Tahiti.

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Ryan is a Computer Engineer with a heart for traveling and writing. Born in Pasay City, Philippines, and raised in Melbourne, Australia, he is now based in the Philippines' City of Smiles, Bacolod...Read more

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