Where to Surf in Tongatapu
Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga, is where you’ll find some of the nation’s best surf breaks. Most of the island’s surf breaks can be found on the northwestern tip of the island off Ha’atafu and Kanokupolu Beach, which are either a 100m (330ft) paddle from shore or can be accessed by boat. The beaches are lined with accommodations and resorts to complete your surf holiday experience. However, it’s best to bring your own surfboard, as hire here is limited. Check out some of the top surf breaks in Tongatapu in the list below.
Starting with one of the most consistent waves in Tongatapu, Motels is a surfable wave at three hours on either side of high tide. The fun wave has a fast barrelling take-off which mellows out as your ride along. The wave is known to hold a good shape up to 3-4m (12ft), fun for seasoned surfers as well as suitable for beginners. The lefthand break is best surfed in winter (April to October). Find this break in front of Ha’atufu Beach.
A not-so-consistent wave some 150m (500ft) north of Motels is Kamikaze’s. On good days, preferably with a south swell (winter), the wave can peel perfectly for about 50m (165ft). The wave is named after the fact that it takes no prisoners, taking you across a very shallow reef. Needless to say, good reef protection is need for this one. Hit this wave three hours on either side of high tide.
3. The Peak
In summer, swap Kamikaze’s for The Peak, which breaks off the same peak. The righthander is a small wave but peels for around 40m (130ft) along the reef for a fun ride. Hit it at three hours on either side of high tide.
Intermediate to advanced surfers can enjoy Fishtraps, a long lefthander with more than 2.5m (8ft) faces and a length of 100-200m (330-650ft). Fishtraps is suitable for surfing at any tide, just mind the inside section which can be dangerous at low tide.
5. Pass Lefts
Located in front of the Vakaloa Beach Resort at Kanokuplou Beach, Pass Lefts is a popular wave for beginners or those who prefer an easier wave to ride. The wave is best tackled during a south swell at three hours on either side of high tide. Learn more about the Vakaloa Beach Resort and other resort you can surf from in the 7 Best Surf Resorts in Tonga.
6. Pass Rights
Another option at Kanokupolu Beach, Pass Rights is another easy wave for beginners to intermediates. It’s best tackled during the summer north swell where it has a barrelling take-off and a mellow 30m (100ft) ride from then on. Rips here can get dangerous when the swell is big, so keep the surfing to small to medium swell days.
Your final option at Kanokupolu Beach is Leftovers, located near Pass Lefts and Pass Rights. It’s suitable for beginners and surfers who want to take it easy, but it’s often overshadowed by better lefthander breaks in the area. Check this one out at around three hours on either side of high tide.
8. The Bowl
Although The Bowl needs ideal south swell conditions in order to work, when it’s on, it shows no mercy! The Bowl is a short and intense wave producing powerful barrels. Be sure to have your reef protection on, whether you’re surfing at low or high tide (best mid to high tide).
Corners is a wave you can hit in either season in Tonga, however, the nature of the wave dramatically changes between summer and winter. In winter, Corners requires a strong south swell, blasting you some 40m (130ft) along a reef and into a channel. In summer, the wave becomes much more beginner-friendly featuring a hollow take-off and a mellow ride the rest of the way. The surf break is surfable three hours on either side of high tide.
Last but certainly not least, Lighthouse consists of two different breaks on the same reef. There’s Outside Lighthouse, which is a fast barrelling righthander that can be surfed at all tides (best at low tide but be careful of the reef). Inside Lighthouse is an intense wave for intermediate to advanced surfers, best surfed at mid to high tide.