Champion Kiwi stand-up paddleboarder Annabel Anderson shares her secrets for the best spots to catch a wave in the waters around Tahiti.
On the outskirts of Papeete, Puna'auia is paddling paradise beside the city and home to many Sunday raft-ups as the locals bring their families to bask on the sandbars dotted throughout the lagoon at low tide.
Somewhere between Papeete and Moorea
As you leave the safety of the lagoons that surround each island in the Tahitian archipelago you are in the deep ocean waters of the Pacific Ocean. With the wind at your back, the channels between the islands provide some of the best (and most challenging) downwind ocean paddling offered anywhere in the world.
A hop across from the main island of Tahiti, Moorea is a step back in time where you're greeted by bush cascading down to the water's edge, sheltered waters within the lagoon and the feeling of tranquility French Polynesia is famous for.
Halfway to Teahupoo you'll find the village of Mataiea. Home to some of Tahiti's most revered and accomplished paddlers. Mataiea locals never forget that salt water runs through their veins and that the ocean is what brings their families and community together. To the locals it's known as the "Mataiea Lifestyle".
The Tahitians know better than most how to play and any excuse to turn a wave into a party wave with your friends is a good one — especially on days when the waves are small and the sun is shining.
Air Tahiti Nui flies from Auckland to Tahiti.