South Pacific

South Pacific

The Pacific Islands are made up of over 20 thousand islands, so plenty of opportunities for empty waves. The islands are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and have a wonderful tropical climate. 
The main surfing destinations are the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Western Samoa and Tahiti.
The majority of the waves are reef breaks, breaking over live coral. It's not really a destination for the beginner. Here you'll find some of the most challenging and daunting of surf breaks with thick powerful waves and hollow barrels breaking within a metre from the coral reef - wipe out here and you're in great danger of cutting yourself up! 

Samoa 
Given the right conditions, surfing in Samoa is probably the best of the South pacific destinations. There are a couple of dedicated surf resorts in the country and a great many breaks available which work on different tides and swells so there's always something to surf any time of the year. Best of all is that Samoa is a quiet destination and few surfers venture this way.

Fiji
Often featured as the most exciting event of the ASP world series (usually held in June at Tavarua), Fiji has world renowned breaks such as Desperations, Cloudbreak and Wilkes all along the Malolo Barrier Reef and easily accessible from Nadi. But there are other great breaks too with virtually no crowds including Frigates in Beqa Lagoon and King Kong off Kadavu.

French Polynesia
Apart from the utterly hair-raising Teahupoo (on the south coast of Tahiti Iti) where another ASP world series takes place, there are another seven good breaks along this same stretch of coastline which generally have fewer surfers than Teahupoo which is often overcrowded and regulated by local pecking order. Other fun waves can be found off the west coast of Tahiti and south coast of Moorea. If visiting in summer (November to April) the best waves are likely to be found in the northern passages of the Tuamotu atolls.

Tonga
If you're looking for a laid back holiday with some great surfing close to the beach, then head to Ha'atafu on Tongatapu Island which has reliable surf which sometimes gets gnarly.

Vanuatu
There are a few decent passages on the south coast of Efate Island, namely at Eratap Beach and a glassy left-hander at Breakas just south of Port Vila.

Surf
But what rates these waves so highly is not just in their size and power, but there are only a handful of surfers vying for the same wave so crowds in never a problem.  If you've got the money, you can really take advantage of some of the best waves on offer. Many are only surfable if you stay at the resort that 'owns' the wave. Other breaks are only accessible by boat, and there are plenty of surf charters willing to take you out.

Equipment
You'll need a full range of boards, waves can break in excess of 20 feet. The water temperature is generally warm, but consider bringing a shorty or thermal rashie for comfort.

Booties are advisable for many of the waves, and urchins are abundant.