Why? Probably the most insanely beautiful idyllic place ever.
What you need: Money, lots of it. It ain’t cheap.
Boards: For barrels.
Also: Bring a bit of French, and lots of mosi repellant.
Try: Kayaking to the surf to save money on taxi boat.
Try not: To get a Polynesian tattoo
Get there: (via LA) from €1750.
We’ll spare you the hibiscus cliché, tales of the amaaaaaazing water colour in the lagoon, the flower necklace welcome, the unrivaled taste of Poisson coco and cold Hinano (which are all true). Wave-wise choosing Tahiti is a bit like choosing Hawaii – a surf trip there in the right season is a rite- of-passage type pilgrimage that will put hairs on your chest (if not tattoos). A lot of people will say Tahiti is about barrels… but Indo is also about barrels, and they are longer, easier, cheaper. Tahiti is perhaps more about feeling the force, that raw swell power as you take off, that unusual speed as you draw off the bottom… the rest is kind of anecdotal and down to your own ability to deal with looming reef and gaping sections. Sure, you’ll get cuts, but no cuts before would have made you that proud.
Tahiti is an eye opener for any experienced surfer, even if that means you might have to start at the very bottom of the ladder. On land, you can easily live both lifestyles, modern or traditional and we fully recommend the latter. It will make your trip somehow a little bit less disastrous for your bank account, because Tahiti is one of the most expensive surfing destinations anywhere. If you paddle to the breaks and save on renting a boat/ driver, and eat local produce (don’t buy anything imported) you’ll save some dough. But hey, if one surf trip is gonna render you bankrupt, it might as well be to one of the most perfect surfing destinations of them all…