Pacific Island surf spots are best broken into 2 main regions:
The South Pacific Islands and East Asia Islands.
SOUTH PACIFIC SURF SPOTS
The Pacific “Ring of Fire” is arguably the most wave-rich zone in the world. It holds the vast majority of the world’s most perfect waves, all located within a short distance of each other.
To list all of the surf spots in the South Pacific Island chain would be impossible. Each island holds an impressive number of quality reef breaks and is exposed to a variety of swell angles. Furthermore, many of the top-quality surf spots are only accessible by boat. So, here is a brief island guide, breaking down the wave quality in each region within the South Pacific. This is definitely an area that every surfer needs to visit in his/her lifetime. Happy Hunting!!
Fiji Surf Spots
Fiji is centrally located in the South Pacific, making it the main stop-off point for all other South Pacific travel and exploration. The surf in Fiji is very consistent, with a variety of world-class reefs. Some waves are very easily accessible, while others require a boat for access. Its most notable wave is Cloudbreak, a mysto left-hand reef break located off the island of Tavarua, which translates to “Thunder Reef.” That is an accurate translation: Cloudbreak can produce some thunderous left-hand tubes that are best left to the experts. With their close proximity to Australia, the main surf spots in Fiji can see some crowds, but generally it’s not too bad.
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Tonga Surf Spots
Most surf spots are located on the northwestern end of the main Tonga Island. Here there is an impressive stretch of reef that produces very hollow, perfect waves. It is not a heavy travel spot; many surfers pass through this area by boat. Due to its inaccessibility, this can be a fairly expensive area to stay in. Best for a boat trip.
Western Samoa Surf Spots
Western Samoa is made up of two main islands, each with a nice variety of reef breaks that fit all ability levels, on both sides of the islands. Western Samoa surf is very consistent year-round, but local winds do play a big role in the quality of the surf. There are a few resorts scattered about the islands, which make for easy access to area waves. There is a strict No Surfing law on Sunday out of respect for religious services.
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Tahiti Surf Spots
Tahiti is located in the center of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Tahiti is one of 118 islands that make up the Society Islands of French Polynesia. This is one of the most, if not THE most, wave-rich region in the world. There are dozens of islands throughout this chain, each with a variety of epic, barreling waves that are super consistent year-round.
The main draw is the southwest coast, which receives the majority of large, groomed groundswells. This is a very expensive area. There are many options in Tahiti for food and inner island travel, plus easy boat access to reach less crowded, more perfect waves. There are many resorts filled with tourists from all over the world. It’s also a great honeymoon spot.
Tahiti is home to one of the most spectacular waves in the world – Teahupoo. Best left to experts, Teahupoo is a thunderous wave that breaks with more power, volume and force than any other wave on Earth. Just to watch it break is impressive. Surfers get the biggest, best barrels of their lives at Teahupoo. It is now a major stop on the surfing world championship tour.
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INDONESIA SURF INFORMATION
Indonesia is a surfer’s paradise, with thousands of islands waiting to be explored. Some of the best-known surfing spots can be found on the islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Mentawai.
Sumatra Surf Spots
Sumatra has a variety of good reef breaks, but its main attraction is Nias, a world-class right-hand reef break in Lagundri Bay. Definitely don’t miss surfing this wave when traveling through Sumatra.
Mentawai Islands Surf Info
Very consistent swell, loads of world-class spots, and relatively low crowds make the Metawai Islands an awesome region with some legendary surf spots. This area’s main wave is Lances Right, a barreling right-hand reef break that is ultra consistent and very crowded. The Mentawai Islands are wide open to the consistent southwest Indian Ocean swells, and can see weeks of 6- to 12-ft swells from March thru November.
Bali Surf Spots
Bali is home to many world-class, left-hand reef breaks. The most famous are G-Land, Uluwatu and Padang Padang. Bali, also known as the “Island of 1000 Temples,” does get crowded with tourists and traveling surfers. Expect heavy crowds at the more famous spots.
West Java Surf Spots
Home to the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, West Java offers a variety of good surf spots along its southwest shore. However, most of the world-class surf spots are found at Panaitan Island. Here, southwest swells from the Indian Ocean hit Java and produce consistent 6- to 12-ft surf from March thru November. The main draw in West Java is One Palm Point, a legendary left-hand reef break located on Panaitan Island inside Kulon National Park. One Palm Point was made famous by the infamous Rip Curl Search ads.
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OTHER EAST ASIA SURF SPOTS
Papua New Guinea Surf
This is one of the last remaining slices of pure paradise left in the world. Getting to Papua New Guinea can be difficult, but once you are there, everything is within close proximity. Nusa Island Retreat is definitely your best bet for accommodations. The surf in this area is world-class, with a wide variety of waves, mostly reef breaks. The guides at Nusa Island have the surf in this area completely wired. PS – it was voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world.
Surf Spots in the Philippines
The Philippines can be a fickle place to surf: it can be totally world-class, or totally flat…for days! The Philippines rose to fame for a fickle, but epic wave known as Cloud 9…named after a candy bar manufactured in the area. Cloud 9 is a right-hand reef break that can absolutely freight train down the point. This is the most famous wave in the Philippines and can get crowded when it’s firing. Not much is known about the outer islands in the Philippines chain, but this area is packed with thousands of swell-exposed reefs, and can hold many undiscovered gems waiting to be ridden.
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Japan Surf Spots
The Land of the Rising Sun has been known to produce some great waves. Many forget that Japan is a mountainous island, with many coves, rocky headlands and sandy bays. There are a variety of waves throughout Japan, but its main surfing region is in Okinawa, which holds a variety of great-quality reef breaks and point breaks.
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