Surfing & Bodyboarding
Not for the faint-hearted, our little paradise is home to hard-hitting reef-pass waves, loved by experienced reef surfers. As most of the breaks are fast and short, breaking over extremely shallow coral reef and is most suited to bodyboarders comfortable in shallow waters.
Footage courtesy of booghouse.com
Best time to surf
Rarotonga has waves year-round, with various reef breaks facing different swells. The best surf is the austral summer November to March, when strong North Pacific storms feed swell to the South Pacific, met by prevailing south-easterly trade winds, creating favourable offshore conditions on the northern and western shores. The austral winter (May-September) is more consistent, offering strong south swell, but can be spoiled by the trades.
For surfers, racy short boards are best suited to the shallow fast tubes. Reef shoes are essential for surfers and body boarders, for protection from coral and sea urchins when accessing the best spots. Those who dare, love the high wave count of thrilling rides on powerful waves all to themselves. It’s similar to Tahiti, but far less crowded. Local riders warmly welcome visiting surfers, more than happy to show them their favourite spots and share expert local knowledge.
Best surf spots
- Nikao Social Centre ('Socials') Very fast A-Frame wave breaking both right and left
- SS Maitai (aka “The Boiler”) – in front of Trader Jacks
- Club Raro on the North – East corner
- Matavera Point in the East
- Avana Passage by Muri Beach