Board Sports in Tahiti

Relaxing Glides and Thrilling Rides

It's like walking on water. You stand atop a stable, streamlined board that glides silently across the lagoon, with each paddle stroke revealing new wonders in the clear waters below. Coral heads decked in bright colors pass underneath, tropical fish follow in your wake, and a shadow moving across the white sand bottom transforms into a stingray on patrol. Or, if you'd rather dance that walk, trade the long board for a sail and an agile shortboard that harnesses the power of the wind as you skims and skips across the bright chop. The islands of Tahiti offer rewards for both paddlers and kiters.

Highlights

  • Best for: All travellers, watersports and spa enthusiasts and adventures ranging from soft to rugged
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: North America's summer and early fall are the coolest and driest months in Tahiti, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 82 degrees. November to March is a bit warmer, with more chance of rain, but there is no bad time for a visit

Tahiti Information

Board Sports in Tahiti Overview

The fringing reefs that surround mountainous islands such as Bora Bora and Moorea create sheltered lagoons that offer both protected areas for paddlers and flat-water sites for kiteboarders. Similar opportunities await in low-lying coral atolls such as Rangiroa, Fakarava. A number of resorts provide or rent SUPs, and kiteboarding rentals and lessons are also available.

Board Sports in Tahiti Tips

Kiteboarding is a thrilling sport, but not one that is easy to pick up on your own. Fortunately, most first-time riders take to it quickly when provided with the right instruction and equipment. Equally important is the setting, and Bora Bora's lagoon is an ideal place to practice and perfect your technique.

Best Places for Board Sports in Tahiti

In Moorea, SUP riders launch at the village of Papetoai to paddle to a site where carved stone tikis can be seen submerged in clear shallow water. When trade winds blow, kiteboarders take flight in the waters of Bora Bora's lagoon. The atolls of Rangiroa and Fakarava are ringed in small islands that are ideal for exploration by paddleboard.

What to Pack for Board Sports in Tahiti

Both kiters and paddlers should pack board shorts, a rash guard style water shirt and water shoes with grippy soles. SUP riders should add a flotation device and whistle for safety, a sun hat and sunglasses. Backpack-style hydration bladders are a good idea for longer trips and a waterproof fanny pack for snacks. Use an ankle leash for trips in open water.

Specials

Dive
Offroading
Cultural Activities
Board Sports
Paddle Sports

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA - 1 FREE NIGHT + BREAKFAST includes 7 nights garden room accommodations, breakfast daily, One day kitesurf private course including equipment rental, guide and instruction, complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, outrigger canoes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 4/1/17-5/31/17 & 11/1/17-3/31/18. Options to add on Off Roading Tours, Culture Tours, Tahitian Black Pearl Dive and Kitesurf Course.
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From $821 per person double occupancy

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Offroading
Cultural Activities
Board Sports
Paddle Sports

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA - 1 FREE NIGHT + BREAKFAST includes 6 nights garden room accommodations, breakfast daily, complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, outrigger canoes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 4/1/17-5/31/17 & 11/1/17-3/31/18. Options to add on Off Roading Tours, Culture Tours, Tahitian Black Pearl Dive and Kitesurf Course.
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From $574 per person double occupancy

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Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa

BORA BORA - 30% OFF includes 6 nights garden pool bungalow accommodations, 10 boat dives including free dive gear rental, free Nitrox, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 4/1/17-4/30/17 & 11/1/17-12/21/17.
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From $1,910 per person double diver

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Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA - 1 FREE NIGHT includes 6 nights garden room accommodations, 10 boat dives, free Nitrox, breakfast daily, complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, outrigger canoes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 4/30/17 & 11/1/17-12/21/17.
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From $1,228 per person double diver

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Pearl Havaiki

FAKARAVA - 6 NIGHT PACKAGE includes 6 nights premium beach bungalow accommodations, 10 boat dives, continental breakfast and dinner daily, use of bikes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 4/1/17-4/30/17 & 11/1/17-12/21/17.
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From $1,699 per person double diver

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InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

MOOREA - 2 FREE NIGHTS includes 6 nights lanai room accommodations, 10 boat dives, free Nitrox, free use of dive gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 1/8/17-4/30/17 & 11/1/17-12/19/17.
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From $1,464 per person double diver

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Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea

MOOREA - 25% OFF includes 6 nights garden view room accommodations, 10 boat dives, free Nitrox, free use of rental gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 4/1/17-4/30/17 & 11/1/17-12/21/17.
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From $1,487 per person double diver

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Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

MOOREA - 30% OFF includes 6 nights luxury gardenview accommodations, 5 days of 2-tank boat dive, breakfast daily, free mini-bar including water, soft drinks and beer, free WiFI, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 1/8/17-5/31/17 & 11/1/17-12/31/17.
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From $1,620 per person double diver

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Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa

RANGIROA - 2 FREE NIGHTS includes 6 nights beach bungalow accommodations, 10 boat dives, free Nitrox, free use of rental gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip transfers from airport and hotel tax. Valid 1/8/17-4/30/17 & 11/1/17-12/21/17. Book by 4/30/17.
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From $1,843 per person double diver

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Maitai Rangiroa Resort

RANGIROA -1 FREE NIGHT + BREAKFAST includes 6 nights garden bungalow accommodation, 10 boat dives, free use of rental gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Valid 1/1/17-5/31/17 & 11/1/17-12/31/17.
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From $1,413 per person double diver

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Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

TIKEHAU - 33% OFF includes 6 nights beach bungalow accommodations, 10 boat dives, free use of gear rental, continental breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Valid 12/1/17-12/21/17. Book by 3/31/17.
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From $1,796 per person double diver

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Packages

Dive
Offroading
Cultural Activities
Board Sports

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA - 6 nights garden room accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add on Off Roading Tours, Culture Tours, Tahitian Black Pearl Dive and Kitesurf Course.
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Resorts

Dive

Maitai Rangiroa Resort

RANGIROA - This beautiful resort is situated amid coconut palms and features 38 Polynesian style bungalows set among exotic gardens and palm trees or overlooking the beautiful lagoon. The resort offers a lagoon front pool, restaurant and bar serving exceptional cuisine including fresh seafood and Tahititian and French specialties. Diving services are available from either TOPDIVE Rangiroa or The Six Passengers, both located nearby and providing transportation between the resort and dive shop.
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Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

TIKEHAU - Located on the Tuamotu Island atoll of Tikehau, this intimate resort offers 24 suites and overwater bungalows, and 13 beach bungalows and 1 beach villa on a carefully kept 10-acre property. The bar and restaurant are located in an impressive “fare potee” (communal house) overlooking the infinity pool and lagoon. Incredible scuba diving is offered with PADI 5-Star TOPDIVE Tikehau Dive Center. Pearl Resorts signature Manea Spa provides extraordinary traditional Polynesian massage and spa services.
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Dive

Vanira Lodge

TAHITI ITI - Vanira Lodge is situated high above the coastal road with spectacular views of the barrier reef, lagoon and Tahiti in the background. The world-famous surf break is also located in nearby Teahupoo, and diving is also available with Tahiti Iti Diving. Each bungalow is uniquely Tahitian and hand-crafted from local wood and river stones in garden settings, most with sweeping ocean views. The property offers a small pool, a restaurant and a relaxed and serene atmosphere.
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Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa

RANGIROA - Offering 60 Polynesian bungalows nestled in tropical vegetation among coconut groves on a white sand beach, this 5-star resort offers luxurious accommodations and the highest level of guest satisfaction from an incredible staff. TOPDIVE Rangiroa is located right onsite and provides daily dive excursions to the famed Tiputa Pass as well as Rangiroa's many exciting dive sites nearby.
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Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

MOOREA - This luxury resort offers a wide variety of accommodations including overwater, beach and garden bungalows, all situated for maximum privacy and views. Two restaurants, a stunning infinity pool, So Spa and onsite Ia Ora Diving Center offer all of the indulgences necessary for a perfect dive escape. Combination packages with Sofitel resorts in Tahiti and Bora Bora are also available.
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Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa

BORA BORA - A member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World and located on its own private white sand “motu” and covered with palms, this resort offers an unsurpassed view of Bora Bora’s famous Otemanu.
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Offroading
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Paddle Sports

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA - Located at the south tip of the main island of Bora Bora, near Matira Point and its gorgeous beaches, Maitai Polynesia is nestled on a hillside overlooking the lagoon in lush tropical gardens. A variety of accommodations from well-appointed hotel rooms to some of Tahiti's most affordable overwater bungalows are available.
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Dive

Pearl Havaiki

FAKARAVA - Located on one of the largest of the Tuamotu atolls, this small family-owned and operated resort has its own pearl farm as well as beachfront and garden bungalows, a restaurant/bar, beach snack bar and of course, black pearl boutique. Great snorkeling is available right off the pier where a lagoonarium also offers views of resident marine life. Diving services are available from TOPDIVE Fakarava with free transportation between the resort and dive shop nearby.
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Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

MOOREA - Nestled between two bays on the heart-shaped island of Moorea and set against a beautiful mountain backdrop which melts into a crystal clear lagoon, Hilton Moorea Resort & Spa is the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation. The resort's white sandy beach is perfect for a spot of sunbathing or sports with family and friends, while the scenic lagoon is teeming with friendly tropical fish and a gentle water playground for guests.
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InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

MOOREA - InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa is nestled between mountains and a lagoon on a stunning French Polynesian island. Right on the resort grounds is Moorea’s widest range of activities, which includes the Moorea Dolphin Center, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, skiing and Jeep tours. The Arahurahu Marae temple is also worth a visit.
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Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea

MOOREA - This charming "boutique hotel is a perfect blend of luxury and serenity making it an ideal destination for couples, honeymooners, divers and families...This traditional Polynesian style resort offers 94 rooms and bungalows. It features 28 Over Water Bungalows, 8 Beach Bungalows, 28 Garden Bungalows and 26 Garden Rooms & Family Rooms. Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea offers garden bungalows with private plunge pool, but guests may also enjoy the clear water of the hotel's infinity swimming pool, the largest one of the island. In addition, all bungalows offer a direct access to the lagoon. Premium overwater bungalows are set right above the reef drop off that allows fabulous snorkeling.
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Liveaboards

Dive

French Polynesia Master

FAKARAVA AND THE UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE The highly-anticipated French Polynesia Master will start service in December 2016 offering 7 and 10-night itineraries including UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Tuamotu Islands of Tahiti. This 138’ (42 meters) steel-hulled super yacht has been custom designed to provide extraordinary diving experiences and luxurious liveaboard accommodations in one of the most spectacular archipelagos on Earth. Click below to explore 7-night Fakarava and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve departures. See separate listing for 7-night Tuamotu Archipelago departures. These trips sell out quickly so contact us to confirm current availability.
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From $4,095 per person double diver

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French Polynesia Master

TUAMOTU ARCHIPELAGO ITINERARY - The highly-anticipated French Polynesia Master will start service in December 2016 offering 7 and 10-night itineraries including UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Tuamotu Islands of Tahiti. This 138’ (42 meters) steel-hulled super yacht has been custom designed to provide extraordinary diving experiences and luxurious liveaboard accommodations in one of the most spectacular archipelagos on Earth. Click below to explore 7-night Tuamotu Archipelago departures. See separate listing for 7-night Fakarava and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve departures. These trips sell out quickly so contact us to confirm current availability.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A valid U.S. passport is required for entry into Tahiti which must be valid for 3 months beyond your date of entry. Your passport needs to have at least 1 blank page for the Tahiti entry stamp. Proof of return or onward ticket is required. No visas are required for tourist stays of less than 90 days.

Exit Requirements: There is a departure tax of 1822 XPF approx $17 U.S. which should be included in your international ticket.

Immunizations

No immunizations are required for entry into Tahiti, but we would always suggest that you check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel to Tahiti at Traveler's Health CDC.

Culture and Customs

Tahiti and the Society Islands loom large in our collective images of tropical paradise. These are the islands that seduced the crew of the Bounty to mutiny, inspired the works of Gauguin and Melville, and now entice celebrities, newlyweds and dreamers to escape the every day for a thatch-roofed bungalow perched over an electric-blue lagoon. As a semi-autonomous territory of France, the islands combine Continental flair with the ancient traditions of Polynesia. Evidence of this blending begins at breakfast, where a bowl of cafe au lait and a buttery croissant are accompanied by fresh papaya, mango and breadfruit, served with a spray of tropical flowers. Tattoo is a Tahitian word, and body art is considered a sign of beauty. Dance has always played an important role in island life, with performances for everything from welcoming visitors to challenging an enemy or seducing a mate. Traditions are kept alive at the annual gathering of Heiva i Tahiti, when islanders from across the archipelago gather at Papeete for celebrations that include elaborate spectacles of song and dance, along with arts and crafts fairs and traditional sporting events such as canoe races and strong man contests. A year-round staple of Tahitian culture are flowers, which grow in abundance across the islands. Bright blossoms are worn in floral crowns or as single displays behind the ears, denoting either one's availability or commitment. The same long-standing traditions of hospitality that welcomed early European explorers and subsequent generations of sailors are now lavished on arriving vacationers, who will discover not only some of the friendliest people in the world, but also some of the most seductive landscapes, where sea, sky and island come together in riotous shades of blue and green.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in Tahiti is 220 Volts, 60 cycles. Hotels may use 110 or 220 Volts depending on your location, so a converter/adapter is often required for appliances you bring, including computers.

Direct dialing international calling is available in most hotels. When calling from the U.S. to Tahiti, dial 011 and then the country code of 689 along with the local number. Check with your cell phone provider to see if they have an international plan that is compatible in Tahiti for voice, text and data.

Internet access is available in many hotels and resorts.

Water Quality

Tap water is safe to drink in Papeete and Bora Bora. Elsewhere bottled water is recommended and readily available.

Language & Currency

French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas.

The currency of Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc (XPF). Bank notes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000, and coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.

Credit cards are readily accepted in most tourist destinations. Most guests exchange money at the airport upon arrival or at their hotel, but the best exchange rate should be at a local bank.

Time

There are three time zones in Tahiti. The Society Islands including Papeete and Moorea and the Leeward Islands including Bora Bora, and the Tuamotu Islands including Fakarava and Rangiroa are all 10 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-10 GMT). The Gambier Islands are 9 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-9 GMT). The Marquesas Islands are 9.5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-9.5 GMT). Tahiti does not use daylight savings time.

Location, Size and Population

Tahiti is located south of the equator halfway between California and Australia. The islands of Tahiti, known as French Polynesia, consist of 5 island groups. There are 118 islands with a total land mass of 1,544 square miles.

The population of French Polynesia is 285,699 (2016).