Scuba on Tahiti
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There's great scuba diving on the island of Tahiti...
Watersports on Tahiti
Similiar to her sister islands of French Polynesia, the big island of TAHITI is a water lovers paradise!
Although a beautiful lagoon surrounds a good portion of the island, Tahiti is not entirely surrounded by shallow waters...
The open ocean combined with the shallow lagoons allow waterlovers a great and diversified amount of watersports to be enjoyed on the island.
Imagine Tahiti as a giant recreational playground available to all types of water lovers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Worldclass scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and surfing are among the more popular activities, but there's also waterskiing, swimming, kiteboarding, and more. It's no wonder that many travelers come to Tahiti just for the watersports alone!
This is your WATERSPORTS guide to Tahiti. Get ready to get wet...
TST makes choosing your favorite island activity easy! If you want MORE choices, simply check out our other "To Do" pages: ISLAND FUN, ADVENTURES, RELAXATION, RECREATION & GAMES, or SHOPPING, SERVICES & RESTAURANTS.
For activities of an urban nature, see our PAPEETE ACTIVITIES section now, or check the "WHAT TO SEE" section for lots of sightseeing and exploring ideas, touring, island attractions, and other interesting things to see and do!
After snorkeling and swimming, scubadiving is one of the most popular water activities for all the Islands comprising Tahiti Polynesia. It's certainly one of the most exciting. The South Pacific waters are warm and clear and world famous for their scuba diving opportunities.
The island of Tahiti offers a variety of underwater sights, relatively unknown in diving circles, but quite spectacular and diversified; wrecks, caves, dropoff walls to spectacular depths, and dazzling coral gardens.
A wonderful variety of marine life dazzles the underwater visitor here as well. Common to all Polynesian waters, all the various species of fauna are present: rays, sharks, Napoleon fish, tuna, barracuda, jackfish, and moray eels. Spectacular schools of multi-colored tropical fish can be seen swimming among the many species of coral...
You may even get lucky and spot a sea turtle, or, during the best diving months from July to October, its possible to dive with the humpback whales that migrate here and a few different species of dolphins as well.
Overall, there are a number of multi-level dives available for scuba divers around Tahiti, fulfilling most diver's wildest expectations. To get started with the diving adventure that best suits your level on Tahiti, the following local scuba experts are ready to help.
Tahiti Sun Travel Recommends
Based at the Sheraton Hotel Tahiti Resort & Spa
B.P. 42692, Fare Tony Papeete 98714 - Tahiti
Telephone- (689) 86.49.06, Fax- (689) 83.61.94, Mobile (689) 26.96.86
E-MAIL & Reservations
Come join Tahiti's exceptional scuba atmosphere under the guidance of a dynamic and professional team of divemasters. We have 3 high performance scuba boats 23- 30 feet, all equipped with the most modern safety and diving equipment. Whatever your scuba wish is, we can provide it!
First dives, lagoon and ocean dives, all levels of training
and scuba instruction available with top level certified experts.
Please see our website for all the details.
And the rest of the listings...
PK 7, 5 Punaauia, (seaside)
B.P.2192, Papeete 98713 - Tahiti
Telephone- (689) 41.00.62, Fax- (689) 42.26.06
Tahiti Charter Island
Arue, Moana Center
B.P. 21262, Papeete 98713 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 41.38.33
Scuba Tek Tahiti
PK 4, Yacht Club Tahiti
B.P.1456, Papeete 98713 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 42.23.55
Taina Marina, Punaauia
B.P. 2006, Punaauia 98703 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 85.41.46
Taina Marina, Punaauia
B.P. 13029, Moana Nui Punaauia 98717 - Tahiti
Telephone- (689) 42.49.29, Fax- (689) 48.04.04
Bathys Diving Tahiti
Based at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort Hotel, Faa'a
B.P.6014, Faa'a 98702 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 53.34.96
French Polynesia's waters are perhaps best suited for snorkeling more than any other recreational activity.
Various access points on the island of Tahiti can yield surprisingly good snorkeling opportunities, provided you're
not walking through someone's private property to get there.
The best spots are often in front of a hotel waterfront or beach pension, or in places you will need to be shown by a local. Ask around...
It's also possible to find good snorkeling along the roadside on the Tahiti-Iti peninsula. The best way to find these spots is to rent a car and experiment. Just get wet and get snorkin'!
Most hotels offer snorkeling equipment for their guests, however TST recommends bringing your own gear.
TST Comment: Snorkeling Equipment
There are many places on Tahiti to obtain "adequate" snorkeling equipment, but we highly recommend bringing your own! The reason for this is because of the sad CONDITION of most equipment...
Althought it's true almost all the hotels, pensions or beach huts nearby a good snorkeling spot will happily rent or lend you equipment, it's very possible that little or none of it will work or fit! The mask will leak or be too small, the fins will hurt, and the snorkels can be cheap, or tired...
For the low price of a decent new mask, fins, and snorkel, combined with relatively low space needed to carry them with you, we feel the clear waters and freedom of being able to just break out your own gear is well worth the effort!
Most tourists and travelers who have never been to Tahiti tend to believe windsurfing is a really big activity on Tahiti. Surely, they think, the chrystal blue waters and strong tradewinds would make for world class windsurfing possibilities? Sadly, for all you windsurfing enthusiasts out there, the truth of the matter is it's hardly to be found at all...
Although some locals are quite active in the sport, you will not encounter too many places that rent them out to visitors. This is the same situation on the other smaller Society islands too.
The main reason for this is twofold:
1) All the Tahitian islands have numerous, strong, and unpredictable currents inside their lagoons as well as the open ocean.
2) There are a lot of beginners and non-experienced people thinking that windsurfing is easy to do and would be a great way to spend the day... True enough... BUT...
Apparently it's the COMBINATION of beginners learning how to ride and the unpredictable currents that make for a recipe most hotels and businesses don't want to deal with. High insurance rates and potential lawsuits make it problematic to the point that it's not worth it.
Many hotels USED to rent boards and sails in their past, but have
slowly fazed out windsurfing as a rental activity.
Having said all that, there IS one place we know of that windsurfs on Tahiti:
"Te Mata'i" Windsurf School
Hitimahana beach, Mahina
B.P. 111375, Mahina 98709 - Tahiti
Mobile Telephone- (689) 79.98.06
Private or group windsurfing lessons for beginners or seasoned windsurfers from 8 years of age. Board rental by full or half day. Equipment sales.
Note: IF YOU KNOW HOW TO WINDSURF, and have your own equipment, don't let any of the above information stop you from
bringing your own setup...
The overall conditions are excellent, (although the winds are sometimes unreliable certain times of the year), and if you know where to find them, you'll see locals ripping it up on any day of the week and loving it. Talk to the local surfshops (or the Windsurf school mentioned above) when you arrive to find out the best spots to go for it!
Based on its history, Tahiti's surfing can only be described as legendary. It's historically acceptable that the first people to ride waves on wooden planks were Polynesians. Hawaiians will argue that it was them who first invented the surfboard, New Zealanders will tell you the same using a different set of facts. Tahitians have their own stories...
Either way, we know that all these islands share common "surfing ancestry" to one another... with the overall point being: the Polynesians know how to surf and have been doing so for a long time!
As with all Polynesian islands, the best surfing areas are at the "passes", or open ocean entryways into the lagoon. This is where a wave can achieve some size as it avoids the coral barriers defending the lagoon.
Tahiti has several well known surfing areas at different points on the island.
East, (or North Coast) prime spots are: Papenoo break at PK 17, just west of the village of Papenoo.
West, (or South Coast) hot areas include: Paea break at PK 21, Papara Black Sand beach at PK 36, Punaauia and Taapuna passes, and the awesome Teahupoo on the Tahiti-Iti peninsula!
Closest to Papeete are a few breaks around Arue and Point Venus. Of course, these are just a few of the break locations and beaches from which to start. To be able to fully understand and know the waves of Tahiti takes years of experience of knowing each break and it's nuances, complete with knowing the best times of the year to surf them.
Although there are quite a few amazing surfers on Tahiti, finding them isn't always easy. Besides for the listings below, the best way to meet locals is to just start "talking surf" to people who have barrels in their eyes. Go into the many surfshops of Papeete, and meet "dudes" looking for replacement gear... Hang out at the bars or the pool halls.
Also, hit the surf competitions if you notice them advertised anywhere. Although the surfers can be a bit protective of their
breaks, the overall attitude is pretty laid back on Tahiti.
We'll be attempting to keep building on this surfing section of TST as time goes by, but for now, this is what we offer: Surf shops are listed in the "To do/ shopping & services" section of Papeete.com.
Known surfing tours and schools are as follows:
Free Surf School
B.P. 111878, Mahina 98709 - Tahiti
Mobile Telephone- (689) 29.46.85
Lesson packages for groups of 4 or more... Also, surfing for physically disabled persons and in partnership with the Polynesian Federation of Sports for Physically Handicapped. Rental equipment and accompaniment to surfing spots available upon request.
Iti Nui Surf School
Taravao, Paparoa Center
B.P. 7532, Taravao 98719 - Tahiti
Mobile Telephone- (689) 73.14.21
Surfing for beginners, intermediate, and seasoned levels, including participants in competitions (from 5 years of age). Some equipment included and small distance transfers available upon request.
B.P. 61277, Faa'a Centre 98702 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 57.47.22
Surfing classes by a certified instructor, former world champion, (Mr. Michel Demont) on the beach or at the reef. Transfers and equipment supplied.
Tehani Surf's Cool
PK 17,2 (mountainside), Teuira 2 side Road, Punaauia
B.P. 2033, Punaauia 98703 - Tahiti
Mobile Telephone- (689) 72.02.27 / 22.10.38
Surfing, longboarding, and body-surfing lessons.
Toa Moana Surf School
B.P. 43115, Fare Tony Papeete 98713 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 83.12.90
Choice of different surfing lessons and options, depending on the level of the student. Packages of 10 lessons, beginners, short course, advanced, intensive, private, or group.
Tura'i Mataare Surf School
PK 18,3 (mountainside), Paea
B.P. 4232, Paea 98711 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 41.91.37
Surf initiation, improvement, and discovery training. Lessons for children aged 5-12 during school vacations at Moanalou Tamarii Surf Camps.
If you're planning on visiting Tahiti and surfing, here's a surf friendly lodging choice we recommend:
PK 32, Papara - Tahiti
B.P. 120055, Paea 10865 - Tahiti
Telephone- (689) 57.93.93, Fax- (689) 57.94.44
Contact: Mr. Steve Brotherson
E-MAIL & RESERVATIONS
4 Mid- range bungalows on lagoon side, next to Papara and Paea surf breaks and golf course.
Minimum stay: 2 nights. Lounge, TV, private equipped kitchen, bathroom (hot water), terrace, fan, laundry service, private pontoon, swimming pool, House linens furnished.
Round trip transfers are available for a nominal fee. Accept Mastercard, and Visa
We are a favorite place to stay among surfing enthusiasts. Let us show you the hot spots to surf on Tahiti!
Please see our website for all the details.
Sorry, this section needs work... We're working on getting you the information and details.
There is one place on Tahiti we know of to waterski and participate in other similiar sports. Here is the information:
Te Puna Nautic Center
PK 7, 5 Punaauia, ("Bel Air" site),
B.P.50136, Pirae 98716 - Tahiti
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 45.39.36
Member of the French Federation of Water Skiing. Introductory and advanced water-skiing lessons, wakeboard, monoski, barefoot, towed buoys, and a floating pontoon for sunbathing. 3 boats for water skiing, wake board, wake skate and baby ski (from age 3) Training course on request.
This is the hottest sport to hit any beach in years!
It's called kitesurfing, kiteboarding, or Flysurfing to the French and it's absolutely WILD! (and also happens to be TST's founder, president, and webmaster's passion).
Cruise along the waters edge with "your engine" pulling you being a powerful kite called a traction kite, and "pop" big air whenever you get the urge... Its fun stuff but not for the faint of heart.
Tahiti is the most reliable island in French Polynesia for winds and solid kiting conditions and also has the largest amount of kiters there.
Check out our special KiteTahiti website for all the info...
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