Surfing in bora bora

Surfing in Bora Bora 101: Surfer’s guide to the waves in Bora Bora

Are you wondering if surfing in Bora Bora is possible? Is it good surfing destination? This article is a complete guide on the surf in Bora Bora!

Are you wondering if surfing in Bora Bora is possible? If so is Bora Bora a good surfing destination? The truth is ~ not really ~. Yet if you try enough and come at the right time, you might actually find pretty good surf conditions. And this article will help you to do just that!

Also, if you don’t come at the right time, don’t worry. I share other cool surf alternatives so that you make the most out of your Bora Bora holiday! If you’re ready, let’s dive in! 

Surfing in bora bora

Surfing in Bora Bora: Is it even a thing? Can you surf in Bora Bora?

Maybe you’ve already heard of Bora Bora island not having big waves. And, it’s right. The entire island is surrounded by barrier reefs that don’t allow the winds to form any beach breaks around the island. Yet, if you’re skilled enough to surf reef breaks, you have two options:

Teavanui Pass & the reef behind Motu Pitiaau

Surfer Waiting for the waves on Teavanui Pass in Bora bora
Waiting for the waves on Teavanui Pass

Teavanui Pass is the most popular one & the most accessible spot to surf on Bora Bora. Surfing Teanvanui pass will take your breath away by the epic views of Motu Tapu, Mt Otemanu, and Le Bora Bora right from your surfboard! You might also see some lemon sharks swimming around, and enjoy the crystal clear blue waters. 

How to get to Teavanui Pass

Private boat on Bora Bora's surf spot
Private boat on Bora Bora’s surf spot

The wave is pretty far from the coast so there is no way to paddle there. A boat is the only way to get there safely. Shared tours won’t take you there so the only way is to book a private tour that will take you right to this surf spot. Private boats can take up to 12 people on board.

Watch out!!

Another possibility for surfing the Teanvanui pass is to self-drive a boat, but I highly discourage you from this. The currents around the reef are extra powerful and if you don’t know them well, it could be dangerous to go on your own. Here are some of the private tours I can recommend on the island (including the boat above) :

Dangers of the surf breaks in Bora Bora

As I mentioned before, the Bora Bora reef breaks are only for advanced surfers. It is definitely not the best spots to learn how to surf. The swells can get super high and powerful and for the less experienced ones, every fall here comes with a risk. Reef breaks tend to have a shallow coral reef, and if you touch the corals underneath, you might get seriously cut. People also ask about sharks – that are present on the spot – but unless provoked, lemon sharks are friendly and don’t attack humans.  

Stay safe by hiring a local guide and let him explain the surf break to you before entering the water the first time.

The best times to surf in Bora Bora 

Surfing in bora bora
Surfing in bora bora
Surfing in bora bora

The good south-easterly swell season peaks from May to September. For the strongest and best winds, come in between July to September. For the tides, check out their fluctuation on the Windguru forecast

Can I rent a surfboard in Bora Bora?

Know that there are no surfboard rentals on Bora Bora. The only way is to bring your surfboard from home. Not to worry though, Air Tahiti Nui is very used to people transporting their boards and no one’s going to look at you weirdly. Transporting a surfboard It is actually free of charge when using this company.

Surf alternatives in Bora Bora

Still want to glide on the Bora Bora lagoon? Here are other surf-related activities you might love in Bora Bora.

Wakeboarding in Bora Bora

Wakeboarding in Bora Bora
Wakeboarding in Bora Bora

Get your ‘adrenaline-high’ with wakeboarding in Bora Bora! It’s a completely safe & effortless drift, and you might get the hang of it already in the first session.

You’ll slide on the turquoise water of the Bora Bora lagoon and wakeboard towed by a boat. 

Check out Bora Bora Xtrem Sports for qualified instructors that will adapt the speed based on your skill level and this way ensure you get a great ride.

You can choose between a 30-minute session or a one-hour session. You’ll surf in pure serenity on the turquoise water of the lagoon with a light refreshing breeze in your hair.

Safety tip: Before attending your wakeboarding session, it’s required to be able to swim and be perfectly healthy. If you have any serious medical injuries or you’re pregnant, discuss this with your doctor first. 

Kitesurfing in Bora Bora

Kitesurfing in Bora Bora
Kitesurfing in Bora Bora
Kitesurfing in Bora Bora
Kitesurfing in Bora Bora

Want a different kind of unforgettable adventure? The strong winds on Bora Bora, especially during the dry season makes it the perfect place to Kitesurf! Kitesurf school Polynesie offers professional kitesurfing lessons. They welcome beginners to experts and their courses are private in order to achieve fast progress within a short time. They teach anyone from 12 years old to adults as well. 

Keep in mind that learning to kitesurf takes time, practice, and patience. You won’t be able to kitesurf right at your first session. First, you’ll learn to fly the kite, and then all the other things you need to know before riding your board. 

Kitesurfing vs wakeboarding

If you’re not serious about learning a new sport and you only want to have fun on your holiday I recommend choosing wakeboarding. With wakeboarding, you can be up and sliding waves already on day 1.

Good to know: Both companies will pick you up by boat at your hotel deck and provides all the equipment you’ll need.

And If kitesurfing nor wakeboarding are your vibes you can also look at hydrofoil boarding (sliding on the fin of the board)!

Flyboarding in Bora Bora

Flyboarding in Bora Bora
Flyboarding in Bora Bora

If you’re planning a trip to Bora Bora and you want to try something new and exciting, then you should totally give flyboarding a shot. It’s very fun!

Flyboarding is like snowboarding, only in the water. You strap on a jetpack-like device with water jets on it, and then you surf through the air! It’s so much fun—and the best part is that it’s easy to learn.

For the best surfing in French Polynesia, try these nearby islands

Surfing in Raiatea or Huahine (other Society islands)

Surfs spots on Raiatea (left) and Raiatea (right)
Surfs spots on Raiatea (left) and Raiatea (right) @ MagicSeaweed

Looking for the perfect break close to Bora Bora with waves that are always good, Raiatea & Huahine islands offer just that! Here, you’ll get an extended surf season with mainly the same winds all the time, a consistent wave, and a great setting for a fabulous ride.

What to expect in Huahine : The waves here can be very powerful, hollow, very high, and rough. To be able to handle them, you need a fast ‘take-off’ and a great mastery of your sport. 

How to get there? To reach the best surf spot in Huahine or Raiatea, I recommend again, using a shuttle service. Just like by the reefs in Bora Bora, here by both of the islands, the currents can get violent and self-driving a boat isn’t advised. 

Pro tip: Respect the observation time. Get familiar with the waves’ movement and know where the corals are located. I also suggest wearing a surf helmet. 

Keep in mind the ‘localism’

Some locals don’t like foreign surfers – amateurs taking over their waves. To avoid making local enemies, try introducing yourself first, be nice, and politely ask them if you can go for the wave. A few Tahitian words can help. Most of them are kind people and if you’re friendly, they’ll be friendly too and maybe even share a post surf session Hinano with you :) 

How to get to these islands from Bora Bora:

To both islands, you can hop on a quick 30 minutes fly with Air Tahiti or take a ferry.
For more info, see my previous post ‘How to get to Bora Bora’. 

Distance to Huahine by ferry: 4 hours
Distance to Raiatea by ferry: 2,25 hours 

Surfing in Tahiti 

Teahupo'o wave in Tahiti
Teahupo’o wave in Tahiti

Did you know that during Captain’s Cook third voyage in 1769, Joseph Banks remarked huge admiration for the masterful skill of Tahitian surfers? This was the first ever recording of surfing as a sport ever! 

And now Tahiti’s a world-renowned surf destination. Tahiti welcomes surfers of all levels to surf at their variety of swells. You can choose from more than a few surf spots on the island. If you’re a beginner or an intermediate surf nut, you’ll like these Tahiti surf spots: Papara, Papenoo, and Taapuna.

If you’re an expert, Teahupoo on Tahiti’s southwestern coast is for you. 

Insider Tips

Tahiti’s about to host the world’s Paris Olympic Games 2024! The waves at Teahupo’o will challenge Olympic-class athletes, and treat fans with a mind-blowing surfing competition & divine setting. If surfing is your thing, don’t miss out on this world-class event!

In summary, if you’d like to surf in Bora Bora, you can! Just follow the steps above & always have a local guide/friend who knows the waves to stay safe. Besides that just have fun! 

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I’m Billie. With my intimate knowledge of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora I'm your expert guide to crafting the ultimate vacation in French Polynesia.

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