You must be able to surf in paradise …………….. Well, Bora Bora has got you covered!
- An enjoyable outing especially for the surf nut;
- Check the huge lemon sharks ‘out the back, below you’ when surfing Teanvanui Pass;
- A ‘left’ but the chance of a ‘right’ in the ‘blowy’ season.
During Captain Cook’s 3rd voyage in 1769, Joseph Banks remarked how impressed he was with the skill with which Tahitians were able to surf the breaks around the island. This is the first-ever recording of the sport of surfing – it’s an interesting insight into Tahiti’s place in the history of surfing & one has to wonder if Banks actually made it out to Teahupoo!
There are 2 spots on Bora Bora to surf – Teavanui Pass & a right off the reef out behind Motu Pitiaau. They play to different weather conditions opening up an extended surf season of sorts. We jumped in the boat with Raimanu & headed off in search of the perfect break.
The best known, most regular & easiest to reach is the left off Teavanui Pass. It’s a great setting overlooking Motu Tapu & Mt Otemanu on one side & the Pearl Beach Resort on the other:
In a south/south-westerly swell it pumps & Raimanu headed on out to show us how it’s done in waht what were pretty good surf conditions:
The right on the opposite side of the pass also works but in a north/northwesterly blow, the prevailing wind in the event of a cyclone! From around December each year, the right can be the go, especially after cyclonic conditions in the area. The right also pumps in a good south-easterly swell. The wave will break just past the eastern side of Motu Ahura & follow the reef around towards the Pearl Beach Resort offering surfers a great ride of 150m plus.
The same winds also open up the chance to surf Bora Bora’s other spot, a little known right which breaks along Point Tupititi, a westward-projecting section of the reef behind Motu Pitiaau. We headed over to check it out, to the westernmost point of Motu Pitiaau, a magic spot once reserved for the clients of Club Med & where Raimanu’s family have landed:
From here it’s a bit of a hike but the rewards can be there as reef breaks tend to give a good consistent wave in the right conditions. Leaving the boat near Raimanu’s we headed off by foot along the coral-filled section that separates the motu from the seaside extremities of the reef. You’ll find the spot quite easily but it’s a decent walk. Here’s what greets you:
If you should happen to cross through the island’s interior you’ll well pass through beautiful plantations of Tiare Tahiti & pandanus & then be knocked out by the sudden appearance of surf backed by the looming islands of Tahaa & Raiatea:
Given the anticipated conditions I had taken a mask rather than a surfboard. There’s an excellent, effortless drift to be had in taking the current from near the surf spot for a fabulous ride back to the point where we’d left the boat taking in bands of leopard rays along the way.