Huahine and Raiatea Surfing

About Huahine and Raiatea

Tahiti is the crossroads of French Polynesia's 118 small islands, shared between 5 archipelagos (Society, Marquises, Tuamotu, Gambier and Australes) spread over a surface as large as Europe. Best known are the Society Islands consisting of the Windward Group (Tahiti, Moorea, Tetiaroa) and the Leeward Group (Huahinè, Raiatea /Tahaa, Maupiti and Bora Bora). Being only 200km (125mi) west of Tahiti, the Leeward Islands get pounded by the same swells; reef passes being the only surf spots. Most local wave-riders have escaped the Tahitian crowds to enjoy a privileged environment of idyllic tubular waves with a handful of close friends. Because these islands are so remote, with a long history of resistance against the official government, a strong feeling of ownership of the spots, namely localism, has developed. The Black Shorts on Huahine and Raiatea will only let outsiders surf with them once they have proved themselves to be their friends and loyal to the surf. This involves a long process of copious drinking at the local bars with them and much banter, handshaking, chest pounding and talking surf. Not everyone can do this so a cool attitude, a very low profile and a willingness to leave the surf if harassed are all essential ingredients.


  • Year round swell

  • Powerful reef passes

  • Postcard scenery

  • All types of accomodation


  • Fierce localism

  • Reef pass dangers

  • Difficult access

  • Very expensive trip

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