The best way to surf Haapiti?
Stay at Moorea Surf Inn!
Moorea is that picturesque tropical paradise that you dream of visiting one day: iridescent and crystal-clear lagoons, lush mountainous vistas… perfect peeling waves. While Moorea is known as a honeymoon mecca, it is on the map for surfers, and for good reason. The wave at Haapiti pass will have you leaving your spouse and not wanting to go home!
A quick look on AirBNB or internet search will show you that there are not too many accommodation options near the world-class wave of Haa’piti. While many choose to stay at the surrounding luxury resorts like the Intercontinental, if you want to stay right by the surf, the best place to stay is at Moorea Surf Inn – A family-run lodge, located in front of one of the best surfing spots in French Polynesia. Right on the water, in comfortable bungalows, surrounded by a beautiful garden. AND you will have your own surf boat for easy access. Way better than the Intercontinental!
Ease of access is one of the main reasons we recommend staying at The Moorea Surf Inn. It’s hassle-free surfing in a beautiful location, at a very affordable price. You are so close to the wave, when the surf is big, you can feel it rumbling from your bed.
One thing it is well worth noting about surfing Tahiti or Moorea is that surf access is not easy. The waves are all on the outer barrier reefs and passes. It’s no Bali, you can’t just rent a scooter, throw your board on the side and go search coastlines of waves. Going surfing involved logistics and if you are staying a distance away from the wave, it will involve even more logistics! Brace yourself for an expensive taxi, then a 1-2km paddle that will exhaust your arms before you’ve even caught a wave. Or there is the option of an adventure of hiring a kayak or paddleboard, and then finding a buoy to tie up to, or trying to make your own anchor so you can moor by the surf break!
Surf access on either Moorea or Tahiti is an adventurous mission. Having a surfboat at the accommodation where you are staying will afford you more waves, longer sessions, and an incredible overall vantage point of the lagoon, and the stunning views that surround it.
So saying that, the ease of surf access is one of the main reasons we recommend staying at The Moorea Surf Inn. It’s hassle-free surfing in a beautiful location, at a very affordable price. You are so close to the wave, when the surf is big, you can feel it rumbling from your bed.
The Moorea Surf Inn consists of comfortable, newly built bungalow accommodation on Tama’s family property, with garden, water, and mountain views. There are four rooms and two bathrooms in the bungalow with single or double beds, a wardrobe, and fan. All of a generous size, simple, but comfortable. Bathrooms are shared as is the kitchen which has everything you would need including a pool table. The gardens are beautiful and very well looked after – a lush little paradise on the water.
Just a short walk away you have a local shop to buy fresh baguettes and any food you might need, and over the road, there is a food truck that does 350franc fish skews ($3.50 – a really good price for food in Moorea!). But the best bit has to be access to the lagoon, as the property is right on the water! You can see the break rumbling out there on the outer reef and by the afternoon, the whole sky has turned pink for the most incredible sunset show. Tama has built a viewing tower right on the beach – It’s the perfect place to listen to The Grateful Dead and sink a few Tahitian Himano beers.
Kayaks, bikes and standup paddles boards are also available to use for free to enjoy the lagoon. Tama can also arrange tours for you to swim with the Sting Rays, go dolphin watching, see the waterfalls, go ATV exploring or mountain biking. There are many other activities in Moorea other than surfing.
Tama also surfs and knows the wave as you would expect from a local Tahitian frother. On big days he told us what the currents would be doing (the current in Haa’piti pass is gnarly when the wave gets some size), how to exit over the reef if you get washed in, and when the best time to surf would be. That local knowledge as you will know, is second to none. It was also a welcome thought to know that there was someone in the channel looking out for us, should a big wide one come in and catch you out of position. And this did happen!
If you don’t end up staying at The Moorea Surf Inn you can still book a spot on Tama’s boat in the morning and he can even come pick you up from your hotel. The water in the lagoon by the property is ankle-high, and it is remarkable to watch as he navigates the coral heads and slaloms the boat through ever-changing depths of water to bring everyone back to land safely. Just that, is an experience!
The Moorea Surf Inn starts at $100USD a night per room.
Boat trips are inclusive in your stay or you can arrange a boat trip with Tama, if you are not staying at the property.
Remember to pack all the surf trip essentials like a solid first aid kit for the reefs. Check out our surf packing list & get 5% off World Nomads travel insurance with code STOKED5. For the ladies looking for a new surf bikini, we have tested all the best brands and got you a load of discount codes to enjoy. Have a read of our directory of all the best surf swimwear brands.