Many surfers after exploring Tahiti opt to go Surfing in Bora Bora only to be disappointed after finding out that the island is a safe haven for marine life as it is surrounded by reefs that form part of the protected islands.
To some extent, surfing lovers are often disappointed when in Bora Bora due to the lack of massive waves that are attributed to the coral reefs.
The reefs act as a barrier breaking up the massive waves before they make way to the protected and secluded beaches within French Polynesia.
However, there are a number of places that are perfect surfing spots within Bora Bora and the surrounding islands.
These few spots experience huge waves that are perfect for surfing. Additionally, the conditions are also conducive for kitesurfing, which can serve as an option to surfing.
Surfing in Bora Bora – Your Ultimate Surfing Guide
Early explorers like Joseph Banks were amazed by the skills of the local people who had the capability of surfing around the island.
Surfing in Bora Bora is possible because there are two spots that are ideal for surfers. They are the Motu Piti Aau and the Teavanui pass.
The Teavanui Pass is the best in terms of accessibility and is the most frequented by surfing lovers.
It has a great set up that faces Mt. Otemanu and Motu tapu on one end and the Pearl Beach Resort on the other.
The pass is surrounded by a ring of reefs which break the waves on the east end of the Motu Ahura Island.
After breaking, they glide towards the Pearl Beach Resort. Surfers who utilize this spot can experience amazing rides with waves of about 150 meters.
Due to its wideness, the pass is able to offer conducive conditions that are able to accommodate powerful waves.
Additionally, the surrounding landscape offers magnificent views.
The surrounding Mount Otemanu and Motu Tapu serve to spice the already amazing surfing experience.
To access the Teavanui pass, you have to do it from the Resort side and their friendly staff will provide any information regarding the pass readily.
However, skilled surfers caution those yearning to surf in this pass that they have to possess some serious surfing skills in order to enjoy and avoid adverse events.
Due to the presence of reefs all around the islands, it is recommended that you explore the place with the help of an experienced local surfer.
Motu Piti Aau
Covering an area 2.25 km2, the Motu Piti Aau Island is located in the Bora Bora group of islands within French Polynesia.
The same winds responsible for waves in other passes power this surfing spot.
The winds break along the western point leading to waves that surfers can exploit.
This pass also requires one to be accompanied by an experienced local surfer who is familiar with the surrounding conditions.
Important Facts About Surfing in Bora Bora
- No surfboard renting on the islands. Therefore, when planning for a surfing trip to Bora Bora, make sure you carry your own surfboard.
- There is only one airline that permits passengers to board with their surfboards – Air Tahiti Nui airline. Unfortunately, Air Tahiti does not accept any surfboards on board.
- The Bora Bora area does not have any officially registered surf school. However, locals are willing to help visitors take a tour around the islands at a small fee
Kite Boarding and Kite Surfing in Bora Bora
Both kite boarding and kite surfing are similar, only differ in terms of the board utilized.
Kitesurfing utilizes a directional board while taking advantage of the waves to ride while kiteboarding involves an individual being dragged along a flat-water surface on a twin tip board.
For visitors and surfers who find themselves in unideal surfing conditions of Bora Bora, kite boarding and kite surfing are also better options.
Both use the wind power to move across either a flat surface on water or ride on waves.
Depending on the wind speed, in some instances, the speeds may reach up to 63 miles per hour.
Therefore, Bora Bora provides a perfect haven to learn about kiteboarding and kitesurfing.
The waters in these islands are crystal clear making it fun while enjoying your best sport.
The transparency of the waters makes it easy for visitors and surfers to get a clear view of the coral reefs that make up marine ecosystems in the ocean where the islands are.
Bora Bora Surfing Lessons – Are there Kitesurfing Schools in Bora Bora?
If you are interested in learning kitesurfing in Bora Bora, there is a learning institution dedicated to helping those interested master the art of kitesurfing.
The school is known as Kite Surf School Polynesie.
Located on the Matira Point, the kitesurfing school is surrounded by restaurants, resorts, bars, white sand beach and lagoons, with a conducive environment for the learners to enjoy their sessions.
The school accepts both amateur and expert kite surfers. The school has an elaborate curriculum.
The reviews of the school are excellent and the school promises those who have never tried kitesurfing that they will be able to surf after the first learning sessions.
The learning sessions may last up to 2 hours and they are fun for the learners.
The school provides all the equipment including safety gear for the learners.
The school is open to learners throughout the weather conditions.
Some of the courses offered include kiteboarding, wing foil boarding, wakeboarding, water skiing, and activities such as tubing and stand-up paddle tours.
Once you sign up for the classes, the school will send a boat to pick you up at your hotel.
The school instructors have been accredited internationally by the relevant bodies and also have French certification.
The school admits learners from as young as 12 years old for the beginner’s course.
Additionally, the school offers a ride with a safety boat and expert course for skilled individuals.
Motu Mute – Kite surfing
Located in the lagoon with no corals, this spot offers a perfect environment for kitesurfing especially for skilled individuals.
Kitesurfing here is not recommended for beginners because of the risks involved. Due to its location and the surrounding ecosystem, there are no tides or waves.
The spot is located next to a small shallow beach and it experiences good winds of up to 22 knots.
The trade winds offer a perfect opportunity for visitors to enjoy kitesurfing and this is possible from the months of May to October.
Other Islands near Bora Bora
French Polynesia has many islands surrounded by coral reefs meaning that the majority of these islands do not have good sports for surfing.
However, there are a few spots that offer perfect conditions for surfing lovers to enjoy surfing.
This spot offers a perfect place to enjoy kite surfing.
The spot is surrounded by a small beach meaning that surfers have to launch from the waters due to the shallowness of the beach.
Due to its location (within the lagoon), surfers and visitors do not have to worry about tides and waves.
The best months to surf are between May and October where the winds average between 15-23 Knots. This spot is recommended for expert surfers.
This small island is located on the far end of the French Polynesia’s Society Archipelago, approximately 40.2Kms from the Bora Bora Island.
The island is the nearest neighbor of Bora Bora but with little development.
Dubbed as the “Little Unspoiled Jewel” due to lack of glitz, glamor and fancy hotels and restaurants, the island offers a perfect spot for surfing.
The island has an identical topography as Bora Bora meaning that it has one pass that experiences a strong current.
This makes it a perfect spot for surfers to enjoy huge waves before being broken by the coral reefs.
Motu Tuanai is a small islet of the Maupiti atoll and is home to the Maupiti Airport.
The island has some of the best beaches with the best one being located right next to the airport.
The entry into the water is good with a considerably decent depth but the rest of the surrounding coastline is shallow making it hard for the visitors to enjoy surfing and swimming.
The island is surrounded with amazing landscapes but it is not popular among the tourists.
There are ferry services to move passengers from Maupiti to Bora Bora and back in addition to charter boats.
The island does not have fancy hotels and those visiting can be accommodated in family-owned guest houses that vary in pricing depending on different features.
The main delicacies in this island are sea food. Do not miss out tasting their tantalizing meals.
Other Activities one can Engage in While in Bora Bora
Surprisingly, there are other numerous activities visitors can engage in apart from visiting the beaches and swimming.
They include hiking, snorkeling, cave visiting, diving, kiteboarding and kitesurfing among others.
For those who love hiking, test your limits with a 3-hour hike of Mt. Teurafaatiu where one can have a marvelous view of the whole island.
Those who love visiting caves, they can and have an opportunity of visiting some archeological sites.
Additionally, you can watch the Manta rays, kiteboard and even snorkel and much more.
Huahine and Raiatea Surfing
Huahine and Raiatea have better surfing conditions compared to Bora Bora.
In these islands, surfing is taken more seriously compared to other islands such as Bora Bora. Huahine is accessible through air transport.
Air Tahiti has frequent flights from Papeete that are approximately 40 minutes.
Additionally, there are daily flights services from Moorea and 25-minute flights from Bora Bora and Raiatea.
There are local travel agencies to help arrange your visit including airport transfers.
Surfing lovers know that a one-of-a-kind experience awaits them once they land on the islands of Huahine and Raiatea.
The locals are not welcoming to foreigners.
The inhabitants of these islands have a history of resistance to their colonizers who were the French.
Due to their habits, they consider waters and waves in their islands to be theirs.
There are gangs on the islands that have a big say on who is to surf on their waters.
Dressed in black shorts, these individuals only permit visitors who have proven beyond doubt that they are respectful therefore necessitating the need to exercise caution when visiting the islands.
Surfing activities happen throughout the year with the northern winds contributing greatly to these conditions.
These winds are dominant between November and April whereby huge waves and swells are created towards the north side.
The southern swells are also incredible and happen from May to September.
There is a fluctuation of tides with a maximum length of 600 cm therefore expect the currents to have an effect on the water heights.
Raiatea Island Surfing
Raiatea is one of the islands that is adored by the inhabitants of the region.
The island was and is still considered as a sacred and cultural island as the expansion of the Polynesians began there.
The island is also the second largest and it is the only one with a navigable river.
Since the first Polynesians lived here, the island is full of marvelous sceneries and archeological artifacts.
Visitors love it for its marvelous sailing. Additionally, those who love hiking can visit Mt. Temehani.
Though remote, the island has numerous good surfing spots.
Some of the famous ones are Patii, Apu, Poutoru and Vaito’are among others.
The maximum wavelength is 1.7M while the average swell period is 14 seconds. The average wind speed is 27 km/hr.
The best time to surf is during the winter period with the southwest direction being the perfect wind direction.
Due to their location, the surfing spots are not crowded even during the peak periods. Visitors are urged to keep an eye on sharks, coral, sea urchins, rips and rocks.
Due to its sheer size, visitors are encouraged to rent cars to aid in their movement around the island.
Public service vehicles and taxis are rare on the island.
There are numerous accommodation options within the island and information can be accessed through travel agencies.
Huahine Island Surfing
Much smaller in size compared to Raiatea, Huahine island is located in the South Pacific and is among the less developed islands and tourists rarely visit.
However, the island has amazing white sand beaches, lagoons, a road network lined with palm trees, archeological sites and great surfing spots.
Due to its location, there are no restaurants and hotels to offer accommodation services and visitors are encouraged to either camp on the beach or stay in the local guest houses.
The surfing spots on this island are good for thrill seekers as the reef waves are hollow and powerful.
Among the favorite surfing spots is the village of Fare. The Fare village has two surfing spots that are both “reef breaks”.
Due to their location, the two are identified by their location with the first one being “Fare Left” and the second one “Fare Right”.
Fare Right is the most easily accessible and is deeper compared to the other one. The Avamoa pass permits huge waves that close very quickly.
Two more spots are located in the village of Maeva near Motu Mahara and the village of Tifii.
Surfing is good during the winter period and most experienced surfers love this period due to the gigantic waves occasioned by the winds from the north.
Surfing in Huahine is recommended for experienced surfers only.
Final Thoughts on Surfing in Bora Bora
Bora Bora is one of the most exquisite places to visit in the world.
The islands are filled with incredible surfing spots. However, apart from surfing, there are also numerous activities visitors can engage in like kite boarding and kite surfing.
If you have never tried surfing before, do not be worried, Kite Surf School Polynesie has got you covered.
Wishing you lots of fun as you explore Bora Bora and the surrounding areas.