4 Things I Wished I Knew Before Learning to Surf in Bora Bora

Learning to surf in Bora Bora is a dream shared by many adventure enthusiasts worldwide. This enchanting island in French Polynesia, renowned for its overwater bungalows and pristine beaches, offers a unique opportunity to combine the thrill of catching waves with the beauty of a tropical paradise. However, before you embark on your journey to conquer Bora Bora’s waves, there are some vital insights that can make your experience even more rewarding. In this article, we will delve into four key lessons I wished I had known before learning to surf in Bora Bora, providing you with valuable tips to make the most of your surfing adventure in this stunning corner of the world. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer seeking new challenges or a novice eager to ride your first wave, read on to ensure your time in the water is as unforgettable as the island itself.

surf-instructor-Learning to Surf in Bora BoraThe Importance of Choosing the Right Surf Instructor

When you’re eager to learn a new sport like surfing, it’s easy to get excited and jump into the waves with just about anyone who offers to teach you. However, in Bora Bora, as in many other surf destinations, the quality of your instructor can make or break your experience.


Before heading to Bora Bora, I didn’t realize the significance of selecting a qualified surf instructor. I assumed that anyone with a surfboard could teach me the ropes. However, I quickly learned that the right instructor can provide valuable insights, ensure your safety, and help you progress much faster.


To make the most of your surf lessons in Bora Bora, do some research and read reviews about surf schools and instructors in the area. Look for instructors with experience, proper certifications, and a good reputation. Don’t hesitate to ask for references or to check if the instructor is affiliated with a reputable surf school. Investing in quality instruction will undoubtedly enhance your surfing experience.

The Unique Challenges of Surfing in Bora Bora

Bora Bora is known for its picturesque lagoons and calm, inviting waters, but don’t be fooled – surfing here comes with its own set of challenges. The tranquil lagoons that attract honeymooners are often protected by barrier reefs, creating smaller and slower waves compared to other surf destinations. While this can be perfect for beginners, it also means you may not experience the powerful, towering waves you’ve seen in surf magazines.


Before arriving in Bora Bora, I had romanticized notions of riding massive waves, and I was slightly disappointed when I realized that wasn’t the norm here. However, I soon discovered the unique beauty of Bora Bora’s gentle waves. The clear, shallow waters make it an ideal place to perfect your technique and build your confidence as a beginner surfer. Plus, the stunning surroundings and the feeling of gliding across the water make up for the lack of massive swells.


So, my advice is to adjust your expectations and appreciate the beauty of Bora Bora’s surf in its own right. You’ll still have an incredible time learning to surf, even if you’re not riding giant waves.

The Importance of Sun Protection

Bora Bora is bathed in tropical sunshine year-round, which makes it an ideal destination for outdoor activities like surfing. However, the intense sun can be unforgiving, and I learned the hard way just how important it is to prioritize sun protection during my surfing adventure.


Before my trip, I didn’t realize how vulnerable I would be to the sun while spending hours in the water. I ended up with a painful sunburn after my first day of surfing, which not only made me uncomfortable but also forced me to take a break from the waves.


To avoid the same mistake, make sure you pack and use sunscreen with high SPF, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and invest in a good-quality rash guard or wetsuit. Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial not only for your comfort but also for your long-term health. Don’t let a sunburn ruin your surfing experience in Bora Bora.

sunset, surfer-Learning to Surf in Bora BoraThe Impact of Local Surf Etiquette

Surfing isn’t just about mastering the art of riding waves; it also involves understanding and respecting the local surf culture and etiquette. This is something I wished I had known more about before I started surfing in Bora Bora.


Every surf spot around the world has its own unwritten rules and customs, and Bora Bora is no exception. It’s essential to be aware of the local surf etiquette to ensure a positive experience and avoid conflicts with other surfers.


In Bora Bora, the surf community is relatively small, and surf spots are often shared by both locals and tourists. To avoid tension in the water, remember these basic surf etiquette guidelines:

  • Wait your turn: Don’t drop in on someone else’s wave. Wait for your chance and respect the lineup.
  • Be friendly and respectful: Greet fellow surfers with a smile and a nod. Show respect to the local surfers and their home breaks.
  • Know the rules: Familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the surf spot you’re visiting, including any local customs or practices.
  • Leave no trace: Keep the ocean and beach clean by disposing of your trash properly and respecting the environment.

By following these guidelines, you’ll not only have a more enjoyable experience but also contribute to a positive surf culture in Bora Bora.


Learning to surf in Bora Bora is a dream come true for many, but there are essential factors to consider before diving into the experience. Choosing the right surf instructor, understanding the unique challenges of surfing in Bora Bora, prioritizing sun protection, and respecting local surf etiquette can greatly enhance your surfing journey in this tropical paradise.


So, whether you’re a seasoned surfer looking to explore new waters or a beginner eager to catch your first wave, keep these lessons in mind. Bora Bora offers an incredible backdrop for learning and enjoying the sport of surfing. With the right preparation and mindset, you’ll create unforgettable memories as you ride the gentle waves of this stunning island.


If you’re ready to embark on your own surfing adventure in Bora Bora, consider booking with Far and Away Adventures, a company dedicated to providing exceptional surf experiences in this tropical paradise. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your Bora Bora surf dreams a reality with Far and Away Adventures.


Ready to experience the thrill of surfing in Bora Bora? Contact Far and Away Adventures today to book your unforgettable surfing adventure in this tropical paradise.

Our Top FAQ's

Yes, Bora Bora offers gentle waves and clear waters, making it an excellent place for beginners to learn to surf.

Choose a qualified instructor with experience, certifications, and a good reputation for the best learning experience.

Absolutely. The tropical sun can be intense; use sunscreen, wear a hat, and consider a rash guard or wetsuit to protect your skin.

Bora Bora’s waves may not be massive, but the beauty lies in their clarity and tranquility, perfect for honing your skills.

Be friendly, wait your turn, know the rules of the surf spot, and leave no trace – all vital elements of local surf etiquette.

While Bora Bora is great for beginners, experienced surfers can also enjoy the stunning surroundings and relaxed surf atmosphere.

Pack sunscreen, a hat, a rash guard or wetsuit, and your surf enthusiasm. Surfboard rentals are usually available on-site.

Far and Away Adventures offers experienced instructors and personalized surf packages, ensuring an unforgettable surfing adventure.

Book your dream vacation here