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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaya surfboard in Macaroni, MentawaÃÂ¯, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.
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By pete howcroft
haapiti tahitis crown jewel - I have jsut returned from a one week holiday to Tahitit with my wife and three grown up kids.
My son and I both surf and we were stoked to find waves at haapiti coinciding with our stay at Marks place.
We had booked ourselves in to an apartment in Cooks bay not properly understanding the that the northern side normally breajks over the winter time.I rang Mark asked if he had any accomadation and he simply moved out of his own house and let my family have it for the three days as his camp was full.Awesome hospitality,the man is a real hero !!
my son and i were a bit unsure with the surf on our first day.It was double overhead and only one guy out so we had to kinda figure the place out.it was awesome though as the takeoff was easy enough but the wave super grunty with nice barrell sections.I had a lot of trouble geting used to surfing transluscent waves as the water clarity made it real tricky to figure where you were on the wave face.Kinda cool problem to have though!
The next coupla days just slowly dropped a foot each day with teh wave salways biggest at lunch time.
We paddled Marks kayaks across the reef enjoying the dolphins jumping and playing.
The backdrop was amazing but the most amazing feature was the locals welcoming and wonderfull attitude- a rarity anywhere else on the planet.How amazing if we all welcomed visiting surfers to our home breaks with the attitude!
Bring Binoculars - Like everyone else is saying great wave, long paddle, we stayed at the Haapiti Surf lodge with owner named Petero ,right in front of the break. Current can be dangerous, we paddled out one day before sunrise to beat the crowds, big mistake. We got out there and in was double overhead and I was close to getting sucked out to sea all of a sudden. After fighting with the current for 20 minutes I just went into the line up and took a couple on the head and I finally caught one in. Was scary feeling because no one else was out but me and my buddy. So bring binoculars to at least get an idea of the conditions and size or at least to see if anyone is out surfing.Look at break to the left of you, which it is a righthander to give you an idea of where you are at kind of like a guide your position. If you find yourself floating past it all of a sudden the be careful. If you do stay with Petero at the Haapiti Surf lodge bring him a big bottle of Jack Daniels and he will take care of you.
careful - when it gets big (doubleoverhead +) theres a current which drags you out to sea, this makes paddling back out really easy but once you get to the take off zone you have to keep paddling to stay in position, gets quite tiring, quite hard to catch the waves at this size, a big board (7ft) would be the go, really fun at head high
Cyclones or surf - heading to tahiti in a week. Wondering if anyone has spent some tim ether during feb, the cyclone season? Looks like the weather is crazy right now.
By captain black
cant think of a negative quality - This wave is unreal. The water is invisible, the view is mind boggling and the people are like old friends. I just got back from moorea from my honeymoon. We stayed at the Pearl, rented a car and went to Mark's Place Paradise (Haapiti camping). We rented a kayak for 1,000 xpf which is around 10 dollars U.S. and headed out early am. This wave looks like the Berlin Wall when it stands up to greet you but still peels slow enough to carve your name into it. I had surfed waves as big but never surfed a reef so I carved something more like a straight line... away from danger. When I built up the balls to cut back to the white water after the initial line and re-enter the wave at its re-form, I discovered a whole new gear gear. I anminister one solid pump to get back in the race, sneak under the lip and pull off the back like a skipping rock. At this time it seemed appropriate to laugh outloud for a reason I could not identify nor control. If the wave alone isn't enough to dazzle you, it doesn't hurt to observe the clearly visible, vibrant live reef that is refracted onto the wave from behind like a mural. And as you're screaming down the line of this thoroughbred, look back to land and whitness the view of Moorea blasting out of the pacific reaching over 3,500 feet. I may not be an expert on this wave, but it only takes one time to realize that it is something amazing. If you're from florida and are accustom to fighting for waves, leave the attitude at home and enjoy it.
Too many sailing boad - I just want to say that I do not have nothing about American people... I, myself have friends in America. However, the past week there have been four sailing boat anchored in front of Haapiti. This surfers were taking of all the waves. It is a warning you are going to have problems if you do not change your behaviour.
By Josh P
Haapiti vs. Taapuna - I'm a surf photographer and recently took a boat trip from Salinas, Ecuador to Maupiti in the Societies. I would have to say that Haapiti is a magnificent wave. Absoultely perfect on so many levels. We approached Haapiti on the 45 foot sailboat I was on and it was a major bitch getting through the pass because the swell coming up from the SW was nuts. We wondered why no one was surfing these beasts and figured that no one had a jet ski. Yeah, it was that big. Me and the brother went out but as i dived under the first monster I was instantly sucked out the back to sea. What a bitch. Matt charged the breaks on his 5'10" and needless to say was severely under gunned. We stayed at the Haapiti break about a week and got some good video and surfing in. The wave was never unsurfable and always fun. Since I was on a boat, getting to the break was no trouble since we anchored right off it. I would like to compare it to Taapuna (the break near Faa'a on Tahiti) like the last poster. Taapuna is way more hollow and pitches like a ma fucka when the swells roll in. Its an amazing sight seeing the swells go from relaxing to epic in the space of one set. Hearing the roar of the southern ocean. If anything, go to the Societies for this reason alone - raw power of nature being unleashed on poor humans.
Don't miss it, and go to mark's.... - I know this place very well for having lived in tahiti for 17 yearsHaapiti is really the best left on Moorea, the longest in the two islands (tahiti and moorea) with Vairao big pass....It can grow to 5 metres or maybe more, until 2 metres it's quite easy, if you're already a good surfer, the hugest I've surfed was a bit more than 3 metres, but the waves were growing up and i was already tired and a long paddle was expecting for me....so I left but it came bigger that dayThe thing I like the most on that place (apart from the locals and their kindness) is that the reef is very deep, and even in big days (I don't talk about more huge days, when even the locals stay at home) it's rare to hit the reef, by my side i never hit it (contrary to taapuna by example), but you can spend a long time under the water (a very long time, take your breath !!) when bigI always went by paddle and I confirm that's really tiring after a 4 ou 5 hours session.....The last recommandation I can give to you is to go to mark's camping, moorea camping, I know him well, he's the most cool and welcome man i ever saw in my life, the fare is really cheap (you can sleep on a good bed for around 20$ US a night, and he can bring you to the shop close if you ask him, this man is a wonder.....have a good surf ont that wave, my favourite left....
WELL WORTH THE LONG PADDLE! - It's about a 40 minute paddle out and 50 back, assuming you've saved any arms to get back. This break is every bit as good as anywhere I surf on Tahiti, but not near as sketchy. The takeoff varies. The whole wave stands up at once, but almost always holds. After about 50-80 meters, it turns right and follows the candy-cain shaped reef around the inside. Consider bailing out a few seconds after the curve, as it goes from shallow to dry soon thereafter. There's a lot of water moving around and when the clean-ups come you'll want to get out of the way. Little to no crowd and the friendliest locals I've ever seen. Always be respectful and bring your smile. This is a magical place that should never be spoiled by bad attitudes or big mouths.
uber fun - this is the most consistent wave in the south pacific- always has something going on. take off on big days and wait for the second section to pitch and shack you. only happens sometimes but when it does its amazing. its curves around a horseshoe reef so you kind of almost start going in the opposite direction. great wave.
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