In French Polynesia, you will never find an island where natural forces express themselves as intensely as in Tahiti. From black sand beaches to gigantic waterfalls, nature is a raw gem. On the sea, the elements are also unleashed. Discover one of the most mythical waves in the world: the Teahupoo wave.

Legendary Teahupoo Wave

Terrific Surf Spot

If surfing in Tahiti is a demanding sport, some spots sublimate it and transform the moment into an epic show. This is the case of Teahupoo, world famous and feared. Off this small fishing village, the waves impress even the most experienced and talented surfers.

The wave of Teahupoo is a perfect left tubular with disproportionate dimensions. Depending on the swell, it can reach more than 26 feet high. The surfers are faced with a real liquid wall, overpowering, which breaks violently on the reef. For the most daring, technical mastery and excellent physical condition are essential.

Incredibly beautiful, the Teahupoo wave is extremely dangerous. Wipeouts are frequent and the unfortunate ones will be thrown on the sharp reef. Some have escaped with more or less serious injuries; others have lost their lives. Teahupoo means “mountain of skulls” in Tahitian. However, many surfers are still pursuing the dream of riding the wave.

Surfing in Tahiti: Spots for beginners and experts

Features of the Teahupoo Wave

The Teahupoo wave forms in the Pacific Ocean, just behind the coral reef. It rises from a very deep seabed and quickly crashes onto a reef that is barely 3 feet underwater. Therefore, the immediate change increases its strength tenfold and the coral wave becomes overpowering. The surge is then irresistible.

The south swell favors gigantic and hollow waves. More than their impressive height, the waves feature equally huge tubes. With a possible diameter of more than 16 feet, they offer real aquatic tunnels, from which surfers try to escape before they close on them.

You will find in the Teahupoo wave a remarkable regularity and aesthetic. Its monstrous dimensions cannot make us forget that it is also and especially a marvelous natural. As such, Teahupoo belongs to the Polynesian heritage and is a must-see in Tahiti.

Watch the Teahupoo Wave

Go To Tahiti Iti

The Teaehupoo spot is exclusively reserved for experienced surfers. However, you can watch their exploits while being close to the wave thanks to taxi-boats. These boats will take you as close as possible to the peak, in complete safety. So, go to the peninsula of Tahiti, more than 43 miles from the capital Papeete!

Although there is a bus network to reach Teahupoo, it is better to get around Tahiti by rental car. When you arrive in the village, the road ends at the famous traffic circle where the sculptures of a surfboard and a wave are standing. If you feel like it, you can take a picture of yourself surfing the mythical wave of Teahupoo.

You will then look for a boat to reach the surf spot. Depending on the season and the competition calendar, the crowd will be more or less big and, in this case, you will have to wait until a place becomes available. Therefore, we advise you to reserve your seats before arriving in Teahupoo.

Safe Watching

The Teahupoo wave watching boat ride lasts between 60 and 120 minutes. During the trips, your captain will tell you the legends and stories of the site. He will also explain the codes and priority rules for surfing. Soon, the adrenalin! The spectacle that surfers offer on the wave will not fail to arouse your enthusiasm.

This activity is not only for surfing enthusiasts. Everyone can enjoy the excursion which will delight young and old alike. It is also a great way to discover the Polynesian natural heritage and to learn more about Tahitian culture.

You can watch the wave of Teahupoo all year long. To watch the greatest champions at work, choose the best time to visit Tahiti. Indeed, the biggest surfing competitions, notably the Tahiti Pro, take place during the southern winter, between April and October. The show is even more grandiose, but the crowd is bigger and the places are few.

Activities in French Polynesia

The Queen Island of French Polynesia has a fascinating and exuberant nature. After surfing, discover hiking in Tahiti in deep valleys and black sand beaches that recall the ancient volcanic activity. There is so much to do in Tahiti! Contact us to organize your activities on site.