Surf Seasons & Weather
North Coast Season information
South Coast Season information
Just as French Polynesia has two distinct faces – French and Polynesian – so do the islands have two very distinct surf seasons. The Tahitian summer is November to March when winter swells from the northern hemisphere push past Hawaii to Tahiti - sweeping the reefs on the north and west coast of the islands. However, it is not uncommon to receive small clean consistent south swell during these northern hemisphere winter months. This is also the rainy season, when Tahiti can be visited by the rare tropical cyclone.
April to October is winter in Tahiti and while the leaves don’t change and Tahitians don’t bust out their wool sweaters, there is a distinct change in the surf as swell generated off Antarctica moving north through the South Pacific lights up all those reef passes on the south coat of each island. The shoulder months of March through May and mid Sept through early November are often best combining mid size South Swell with glassy/light and variable wind conditions. The fact that the ASP holds their annual WCT event at Teahupoo in May will give you some idea as to what is prime time in Tahiti.
Tahiti is relentlessly tropical, which means air temperatures stay between 75° and 85° year around. The air temperature peaks in March and then dips to its lowest from June to September because of the southeast trade wind called the maraamu. July through September are the coolest months to be in Tahiti – and you might even see local people wearing cotton sweaters, but not wool.
Out at sea, surfers in Tahiti don’t need more than a pair of trunks, because the water temperature stays between 78° and 82°. But newcomers to French Polynesia are advised to bring booties, rash guards, hats, and consider helmets, waterproof sunglasses and even rubber, to ward off the potential dangers of coral reefs below, and relentless tropical sun above.