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What to Pack for the Ultimate Tahiti Surf Trip

12 August 2019

Planning a trip to Tahiti? Here are your packing must-haves.

As you read this, Rip Curl’s elite athletes are gearing up to make their way back to Teahupo'o for the 2019 Tahiti Pro. Located on the south-west coast of Tahiti, the infamous reef break is known for its glassy perfection and monster swells – one of the most powerful waves on the planet. It’s a tropical paradise that serves up big barrels and a whole lot of adrenaline.

If you’re planning on taking a trip over to brave the famous break yourself, you’ll need to go prepared. Teahupo’o isn’t inaccessible, by any means, but it’s at the end of the road – once you’re out there, you’re staying.

To help you pack your bag, we’ve asked Owen Wright what a few of his must-haves are for a week spent at one of his favourite waves in the world.

1. Reef Shoes or Booties

French Polynesia is home to one of the most venomous fish known – the stonefish. You don’t want to step on one of these bad boys. These fish hide on reef bottoms and can inject fatal venom deep inside your foot, so grab yourself a pair of reef shoes or lightweight booties and protect your feet from these dodgy bottom-dwellers.

2. A Spring Suit or Wetsuit Jacket

Although Tahiti is all about crystal clear, bathwater warm waters, you will be needing a spring suit or a wetsuit jacket. It can get quite windy and those afternoon tradewinds can make you feel the chill towards the end of your session. Another factor is the reef. When you’re surfing Teahupo’o, you’re close to the reef – and chances are you’re going to hit it. Having that extra layer of rubber between your skin and that razor sharp coral is a blessing, and truly a must-have. Owen tends to opt for the Short John wetsuit.

3. Board Bag

If you’re planning on getting a taste of the firing surf over at Chopes, you’ll want to make sure your board arrives safe and sound with you. Our F-Light board bags are made for travel, packed with features like 10mm high density foam protection, durable rip-stop fabric and multiple carry points. Our board bags ensure maximum heavy-duty protection so you can forget the stress and travel with peace of mind.

4. Mirage Boardshort and Boardwalks

First off, you’ll need a good pair of boardshorts – and there’s no better short out there than Owen Wright’s Mirage Salt Water. Designed with the our most advanced stretch material, made for waves.

Secondly… post-surf, you might want to spend some time hanging on the beach or in the shallows. And if you’re heading straight from the beach to the closest bar or restaurant, a pair of boardwalks will have you covered. With the appearance of a walk short, these shorts are flexible, quick-drying and designed to be worn in and out of the water. Pack a pair of boardwalks and be sorted for every occasion.

5. Party Shirt

After a few long, sunburnt days out in the water, it’s only fitting for a night out in town. You’re on holiday, after all! Hop in the car, grab a hotel and make the drive from the end of the road to the city centre in Tahiti. Go all out and turn heads with a button-up party shirt that can take you from the beach straight to town.

7. Betadine

The Tahitian surf break explodes over super shallow reef, and you don’t want a reef cut to ruin your fun while you’re in a tropical paradise. If you find yourself with a nasty reef cut or scrape, applying an antiseptic solution like Betadine will prevent infection so you are back in the water sooner.

8. Warm Water Wax

Keeping warm in the tropical waters down at Chopes will not be an issue! With water temperatures soaring up to the high twenties, applying hard wax will keep you gripped to your board and is less likely to melt off. Don’t forget to bring stacks of warm water wax to last you your trip.


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