Set in the remote Caroline Islands of Micronesia, 800 km north of the equator, you’ll find the hidden paradise of Pohnpei Surf Club. Here you’ll experience a mix of world-class waves, epic fishing opportunities, natural beauty and a vibrant culture.
Pohnpei Surf Club was founded in 2004 by Allois Malfitani and Chris Groak, and is the original surf resort in Pohnpei. With environmental conservation at the heart of the club, as well as good old-fashioned hospitality, Pohnpei Surf Club has become the go-to destination for anyone looking for a unique surf trip in Pohnpei or just a fun family holiday in the Pacific.
Pohnpei Surf Trips
Located right on the waterfront, just a 10-minute drive from the airport, Pohnpei Surf Club has amazing facilities and even better views. It’s situated close to many epic surf breaks as well as local restaurants and bars.
If you’re an ocean lover looking for an unforgettable escape, Pohnpei Surf Club has unlimited possibilities with surfing, fishing, diving, snorkelling and sailing available from the club’s marina located onsite. You can even check the local breaks from their ship’s telescope, giving you a glimpse of the waves before you set off on your adventure.
Surfing in Pohnpei
Waves in Pohnpei are incredible, with P-Pass being one of the best right-handers in the world. Surfing P-Pass you can expect unforgettable barrels and swells ranging from 2 to 6 ft, and a wave so consistent that it can be surfed on any tide, between October and April.
Pohnpei Surf Club has a comfortable fleet of boats on the island to take you to P-Pass and a variety of other waves in the area, and the friendly team, led by Allois and his crew, will ensure you get to surf the best waves during your stay.
At Pohnpei Surf Club the accommodation options include eight lagoon-front double rooms overlooking the water, a stunning location to watch the sun rise and set. Each room is air-conditioned and features a spacious balcony, double and queen-sized beds, a full bath, a TV and a refrigerator.
Pohnpei Surf Club has the great Mangrove Bar, Sushi and Grill, plus another three restaurants within walking distance, or another five a short taxi ride away. There are a variety of local vendors, supermarkets and small stores close by to purchase any necessities.
Surf Pohnpei Surf Club – PPASS
Pohnpei is the most wind-friendly island in all of Micronesia. The trade winds are offshore and sideshore for most of the breaks on the north side of the island. Even when the winds are blowing strong, the surf breaks P-Pass and Main Pass offer perfect conditions.
Unlike many of the other Micronisian Islands that have sketchy exposed reefs, the reef at P-Pass (Palikir) is one of the most user-friendly reefs in Micronesia and can be surfed on any tides without booties. In Pohnpei you can surf all day and on Sundays, irrespective of the laws on the other surrounding islands.
In Pohnpei you can expect warm water and powerful waves similar to areas such as Tahiti and Fiji. Surfing Pohnpei requires access to a boat, but once you get there you’ll experience long rides, epic barrels and fast, down-the-line rides.
The surf in Pohnpei is generally between 2 to 6 ft, however a few times a year you can expect top to bottom barrels from 8 to 10 ft. The surf scene in Pohnpei is generally a group of 20 laid-back surfers, with a great friendly vibe in the water and fewer crowds than many other surf destinations in the world.
Most waves in this region are for more experienced surfers, and 90% of them are located on the reef passes. The other waves are located on the bends of the barrier reef and hardly ever surfed as they can only be accessed by boat and by leaving another perfect wave.
The North Side
The surf season on the North Side of Pohnpei is from October through to April, with occasional swells in September and May. Winds are light and variable from August through to December and trade winds blow from December until June or July.
During winter, there will be a time when the trade winds blow stronger, then suddenly disperse and offer perfect conditions for surfing. P-Pass can handle trade winds unless they start blowing too strong or with too much north which is rare.
P-Pass, short for Pailikir, is one of the best right-handers in the world and is named after the area in which this wave is located in the district of Pohnpei. This perfect wave works in most conditions and the predominant trade winds are always offshore or sideshore. Swell can be from 2 ft to 10 ft depending on the conditions.
When it’s small, P-Pass is fun for the novice surfer, but once it reaches 5 ft you’ll need more experience. It has a predictable take-off, followed by perfect wall and barrel sections. On most days there’s no current, but it can get strong on extreme tide days and move towards the channel for 30 minutes to an hour. The tide variations on Pohnpei go from 3 ft to almost 6 ft on the most extreme tides of the year.
This wave will work with a swell from the northwest or northeast, with a straight northerly wind being the best for P-Pass. Too much east on the swell and it starts to miss the reef. Swells require the same low-pressure systems as Hawaii, but from a different location in the Pacific Ocean.
While the line-up at P-Pass is laid back and hassle-free compared to many other world-class breaks, surf etiquette is always respected and will win you many friends in the surf.
On a high tide, the Lighthouse can be a fun wave and the Main Pass is always bigger and more challenging. To surf the Main Pass, you have to make the wave or expect to spend some time walking the treacherous reefs.
The east side has really fun and perfect waves from August through to mid to late December and the west side has several epic spots with big swells and epic surf conditions.
Pohnpei Surf Club’s host Allois Malfitani has called Pohnpei home for the last decade. He’s a keen waterman and has a quiver of boats and jetskis to ensure everyone staying at the club has ample opportunity to surf P-Pass and the other Pohnpei breaks when they are pumping.
With the help of a team of local boatmen, Allois can help you navigate the reefs better than anyone else. Not only are they awesome surf guides, and the go-to fishing guides for all-time game fishing, they’ll be sure to keep you entertained during your stay with plenty of laughs and good stories.
Besides surfing, Pohnpei Island has so much to offer to keep you busy during your stay. Visit the mysterious ancient ruins of the Nan Madol, a relic that dates back to civilisation from the third century AD. There are also beautiful waterfalls, rich cultural heritage sites and some of the best fishing and diving in the world.
It’s hard to describe Nan Madol in words, as its mystery and allure is nothing you would have ever seen before. Nan Madol is a world heritage site that truly needs to be seen to be believed.
Whether you want to embark on an all-day hike through the lush green mountains, or a shorter five-minute stroll, there are a variety of beautiful waterfalls on Pohnpei Island that are definitely worth a visit.
Outer Atoll Excursions
Take off on an adventure to the outer atolls and make the most of your Pohnpei surf trip. Ant and Pakin are located 16 and 50 km offshore and offer incredible diving, deep-sea fishing, beautiful beaches, reef passes, snorkelling and bird watching. Previous guests have said it’s one of the most beautiful places they have seen in their lives.
Visit Nahlap and Black Coral, two islands located on the barrier reef to the southwest side of the island. These tranquil local-style resorts have thatched roofed bungalows and are great destinations if you’re looking to explore further afield than Pohnpei Surf Club.
Black Coral is a protected marine area where you can find Grouper spawning during certain times of the year. It’s one of the best places to dive and see these fish in their hundreds. Nahlap is one of the best fishing grounds in the region.
If you want to get out and about and love to hike, there are some beautiful hikes and lookouts like Sokehs Ridge, the World War II historical sites located in many different locations around the island. Rest stops include some great restaurants and bars!
Watersports & Fishing
There are plenty of other activities available at Pohnpei Surf Club, including kite-surfing, wind-surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and incredible fishing.