Welcome to Solomon Islands Surf. Please see our guide below on surfing in the Solomon Islands. We cover accommodations, travel, how to get there, which boards to bring, types of waves and more.

The Ultimate Guide to the Solomon Islands


Found halfway between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the former British colony of The Solomon Islands are the third largest archipelago in the South Pacific. There are six major islands forming a scattered double chain of 922 islands, atolls and cays, which vary from forested mountainous islands to low-lying coral atolls. Warm water, amazing snorkeling/diving, fishing, and incredible natural beauty attract travelers from around the world each year. These islands don’t immediately come to mind when thinking of top surf destinations but rest assured you can find great waves year round at a cheaper price than top destinations.


Visa Requirements

Visas are not required for travelers from most countries around the world. Instead you will receive a visitors permit on arrival that is valid for up to 3 months. In order to receive the visitors permit you will need: a passport (valid for 6 months beyond your departure date), a return or an onward ticket, and to be able to show evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself while in the Solomons. Check to see what your native countries requirements are here.


When to Go

The Mentawai Islands experience year-round swells, but the most consistent surf season is between November and April. Warm weather and water all year long also make coming here a good option if you want to escape the cold winter in your home town. Like with any island, different swells will hit different parts of the island you are on and certain seasons are more prone to good swell. The best time for waves along the northern shores is from October through to April when the North Pacific is getting the most storms. Long period groundswells will have the perfect swell direct to hit north-facing stretches including Malaita, Ysabel and Makira islands. The same swells that hit the North Shore of Hawaii will hit the Solomon’s a few days later, usually in the 3-6 ft range. Southerly swells from the Coral Sea are less consistent, but they can reach south facing Guadalcanal. The swell window between Australia and New Caledonia is narrow, but straight south swells that tend to miss Australia in late winter can make landfall on the Solomon’s. Tropical storms in the Coral Sea and Western Pacific can also generate localized swells so keep on eye on the forecasts to get a good estimate of the type of swell you are likely to encounter.


How to Get There

Getting to the Solomon Islands by air is generally pretty easy and accessible from most major cities around the world. Access is especially easy if coming from Australia or Fiji, as you can take a 3-hour direct flight into Honiara International Airport. If you are traveling from elsewhere, your best/cheapest option is probably to fly into Sydney or Brisbane then continue on to Henderson from there. You could even take a day layover in Australia to explore. A sample flight itinerary could look like this.


[LAX ->BNE(Brisbane) ->HIR(Honiara)] Round trip cost $2535






Typical Costs



            As with any surf destination, your preferences on quality and price of the lodging you choose depend on how much money you and your group want to spend and the amenities you require. You can find bungalows and Airbnb for around $30 USD/night that offer basic amenities and are close to the beach. For $50-100 per night you will get a substantial upgrade in quality and amenities.


Boat Charters

If you are buying a surf package this will usually be included in the price you pay. If you are trying to book boats each day to take you to different spots you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-250 USD per boat/day. If you are splitting the cost with 6 guys the price isn’t too bad but if you have fewer it might be difficult to find other surfers to share the cost with. If you are really trying to cut costs you can try to negotiate with a local fisherman to take them out on their boat if you know the locations of the spots you want to hit.



Food in the Solomons can be found cheaply if you eat at local restaurants and opt for seafood and rice for $3-4 per meal. Breakfast usually revolves around fruits, eggs, and rice. If you buy a surf package, meals will generally be included in the total cost, however they generally don’t allow for much flexibility on the types of meals you can eat. Eating at resorts will give you more options and the average meal will be around $10 USD.



Packing Tips

            It’s recommended that you bring three boards with you on the trip. Only bring clothes for warm weather and a rain jacket in the case you experience a storm. The Solomons have a variety of waves but you should bring at least one long board and one short even if you primarily longboard. While there are definitely longboarding waves, many spots are pretty much short board only. Renting new high performance short boards here will be more difficult than in Bali or the Mentawais but if you are flexible on the type of boards you ride you can definitely find some to rent. Also remember that most of the basic essentials (Toiletries, Advil, contacts) you may need on your trip will be much harder to come by on the islands so prepare accordingly.


Board Packing

    1. Remove all wax, remove fins
    2. Get PVC Insulation from hardware store, conveniently in 6-8ft tubes, throw that on the rails and tape
    3. Wrap in bubble wrap – this will not add any weight but very much protect the board – better than bringing towels / wetsuits etc which you wont really need
    4. Board Bag with wheels is nice for airport transit, but not necessary, you can almost always get porters to help you for a few bucks, or throw the bag onto a cart
    5. Put a piece of duct tape on your board with your name, email, and home address in case it gets lost

Surf Accessories

  1. Leash Tethers – These are worth their weight in gold only when you don’t have them, bring 5
  2. FCS Keys – Again, expect these to go missing when you leave them out and about, so bring 4 or 5, that way you don’t have to stresss, can leave them on the tin boat, can leave them on the surf deck, one in your board bag and a few hidden in your room
  3. Leashes – Get good leashes – ¼” Don’t get comp-lite. Last think you want is for your board to go into the reef. It’s a huge pain, especially if you don’t have booties, you will get cut up, and your board will also get destroyed. You want the confidence if you have to ditch your board that your leash wont snap
  4. Sun screen – Headhunter or some super extreme sun screen. Don’t worry about how you look. You are near the equator and the sun is extremely hot. You will want the most cakey hardcore stuff you can.
  5. For body you might want some more generic stuff, avoid banana boat which has oxybenzone and octinoxate which kills the reef – Link
  6. Surf Shirts / Rash Guards – I prefer tee shirts, they may get sun damaged but they seem to rash less than rash guards. Keep in mind you will be paddling, surfing, chafing etc more than you will anytime in the year. Tee shirts seem to be the best for this
    • If you suffer from intense rib issues, consider a wetsuit vest or something specific for “kook ribs”
  7. Vaseline / Rash Cream – Headhunter makes rash cream use it preventively in arm pits, nipples etc if you start getting chafed. Treat it like a marathon runner – last thing you want is to be to cool and end up with a rash that turns into a staph infection.
  8. Small Day bag to pack all your surf stuff, easy pop into the tin boat, dissuade others from taking it.
  9. Fins – The harder the better, carbon fiber fins preferred. Obviously it would be best if all your boards are the same system, but if not, you probably want minimum 2 sets of each system, or enough to have two operational boards at any point and so you wont be pooched if you lose a fin.
  10. Wax – Tropical temperature rating. This will become communal very quickly, bring more than you think you need, (6 bars for 2 weeks) if you have extra leave them on the boat.

Surf Resorts

There are numerous surf camps and resorts in the Solomon’s, each catering to different budget levels and types of breaks you want to surf. Some are ran by surfers for surfers and will the most knowledgeable about what breaks to visit each day. We’ve compiled some of our favorites based on surfer experiences, accessibility, and overall bang for your buck. Please note that many of these resorts will not offer surf tours on Saturdays due to cultural and religious beliefs.


Fatboy’s Resort ($180) is located in the Western Province (Gizo) of the Solomon Islands. This area has been well known for years by locals and tourists as an awesome surfing destination. Gizo boasts South Pacific swell with wave sizes varying from 3-6 foot. If the swell isn’t on the whole time during your stay, there are plenty of amazing snorkeling and diving spots within a short boat ride from the resort. All breaks are on coral reef and are best surfed in November through to April.


Papatura (Inquire for price) is a crowd free surfing paradise located in the Santa Isabel region of the Solomon Islands. The resort boasts a wide variety of breaks from beginner to advanced with most a 20 minute boat ride away. The breaks are heavily influenced by swell, wind and tide. Surf can be found year round, but is most consistent between November and April. Waves range from 3-6 foot and are all coral reef breaks. During high tide there is plenty of water and less so when low tide. The swell that hits Hawaii hits the Solomons a few days later.


Sanbis Resort ($80-150/night), located in Gizo in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, is another uncrowded gem. To maintain total exclusivity, the resort has six bungalows, generally limited to 12 guests at any one time. Each bungalow incorporates a modern ensuite bathroom with hot shower, has its own secluded beach and is totally separated from the others. One of the staff members at Sanbis is one of Gizo’s best surfers and usually takes the guests out to all the breaks around the island. The main breaks in the area consist of Titiana, Paelongge and Outside Naru. Titiana is about 13 minutes from Sanbis by boat, Paelongge about 20 minutes and Naru about 7 minutes. Surf transfers are provided to guests in boats that fit up to 8 people. Surf transfers are provided to guests in boats that fit up to 8 people.


Zipolo Habu Resort ($70-130/night), located in the the Western Provence of the Solomon Islands on Lola Island. The resort can be accessed by a quick 20-minute boat ride from Munda Airport. The resort is in close proximity to what some have deemed the Solomons longest right hand break. The break ‘Skull Island’, is an extremely long, right hand break over deep coral reef. When it’s breaking, it’s usually very clean and you almost always have it all to yourself. There are two other confirmed surf breaks 5 to 20-minute boat ride from the resort. The resort has a range of bungalows from more traditional style to deluxe, some of which are located right on the water. This area is also known for its great sport fishing so if you are into fishing this would be a good option.


Solwata Surf Camp (Inquire for price) is located in the spectacular Lau lagoon amidst unique and ancient man made islands and stilted villages, fringed by a massive reef system on one side and spectacular mountains on the other. You will be staying among a living cultural and environmental treasure. It’s also an incredible surfing playground with more than a dozen world class reef set ups. This north shore destination has over a ten exclusive world class left and right breaks to surf that cater to a full range of swell, wind and tide conditions as well as surfing levels and styles. Solwata Surf Camp itself is a traditional style building on stilts above aqua blue water. There are spectacular views of the nearby breaks, lagoon and village life and rain forest clad mountains. Within the camp the focus is on simple tropical comfort with chill out lounges and hammocks, quality bedding and linen, and a bar with cold drinks.


Kagata Village ($90 per person)  is tucked into a remote north corner of Santa Isabel with hundreds of islands that make up the group. This back to basics blissful island living along side a local village family is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and save money at the same time. It’s timeless and a stay here will never become a vague memory of just another bland resort. You can catch your own dinner, Dog tooth tuna,  Spanish mackerel, mangrove jacks and mud crabs. Your nightly rate includes the following: return boat transfers from the airport to the lodge, Lodge style accommodation, 3 meals per day using fresh local ingredients, and transfers to the surf daily with surf. This is one of the cheapest options we have found in the Solomons.


Vavaghio Guest House (Contact for price) was established on Vavaghio Island in the Solomon Islands in 2012 and is the only residential property on the island. The well-equipped bungalows stand back from the beach in the cool of the mangroves. There is a walkway leading out through the trees and across over the pristine sea, with its perfect surf breaks, wonderful marine life and abundance of fish. This guest house if more of a Bnb type option but allows you to have the island (basically) to yourself and enjoy empty waves.




Surf Breaks


Western Region


PAILONGGE – A long right-hander that picks up a lot of swell and breaks in front of a village. It has two sections that join and become perfect on large swells. Hollow inside sections. Can be easily reached with a short paddle from the village on Gizo Island.

MAKUTI ISLAND – A short left-hander, very hollow and shallow. Best on high tide. Be sure to act respectful here towards the local villages.

SKULL ISLAND – A 2 hour boat ride from Gizo & near Zipolo Habu Resort. It’s possibly the longest right-hander in the Solomon’s. Needs a medium to large swell, best at 3-6 foot, the wave starts breaking about 200 meters south of Skull Island.

MECHANICAL – Walling wave that ends in a deep water into a lush lagoon. When a good swell hits this spot will get hollow barrels.

DESPERATES – A peaky right-hander that breaks close to shore. Great take off that barrels down-the-line. The wave breaks on a point at the end of a beautiful lagoon that you can enter by boat through a break in the reef. This is also a picnic and snorkeling spot if you have people in your group that aren’t surfing.




Northern Region


ANCHOVIES  Barreling right-hander. This wave tends to wall up and twist setting up for easy hallow barrels to pull in to. Offshore on south south/west wind leads to the best conditions.

DOLPHINS –  Clean left-hander when outside breaks are big. Sucks out on the reef Mid to high tide leads to the most ideal conditions.


PT’s – This spot holds a big swell and can get scary. All tides best with west or north west wind. Shifty and consistent, always a wave if the swell drops out.

KUMMAS – A wally left south east of PT’s, surfed on mid – high tide, offshore if blowing northerly. One of the prime waves in the area. Great spot to take photos from the boat.

ZOLI’S – Fun left hander with the odd right about 15 – 20 mins away from Papatura. Another great wave with a hook section at the end that gets hollow.

BLANCHEY’S – Offers a series of lefts breaking along a 1 kilometre long reef. Barrelling sections, long walls and a few fun rights.


TARZAN’S – a fun right and left peak on the mainland, a great family wave with local gardens in the background.

DONUTS – a longer right hander which breaks that’s loads fun. Located 25 mins away from Papatura but this is a great longboard or beginner wave.


Other Activities


Even when the surf is flat there are plenty of other activities to do around the islands to fully immerse yourself in the culture and environment.


Diving and Snorkeling

The Solomon’s are a world class destination for diving and snorkeling because of its clear waters and impressive biodiversity. You can even dive through some old World War II shipwrecks and witness the impressive reef formations growing off the ships. Many of the WWII relics remaining in the Solomons lie submerged, some deep under water and include oil tankers, seaplanes and submarines. A few spots can also be snorkeled and are just a short distance from shore while others are only accessible by certified divers.


Kayak and paddle board

Most resorts and surf camps offer kayaks or stand-up paddle boards for guests to explore the surrounding coastline and venture to nearby villages. Kayaking is a great way to embark on some wildlife viewing of birds, dolphins, and much more. Rentals are cheap and can be a great way to get some exercise with the family while enjoying the weather and beauty around the islands.



There are ample opportunities to catch fish around the islands. The Solomons haven’t been effected by tourism and overfishing the way other places have around the world so you will find abundance and wide array of marine life. Around the islands you can find: sail fish, shark, sweet lip, coral trout and cod, job fish, king fish, Trevally, Wahoo, Mackerel, Barracuda, Wrasse and Snapper. In some of the rivers on the islands you can find: huge Mangrove Jacks, Spot Tail Bass and Ox Eye Hearing. Fishing gear can easily be rented as well as hiring a local fisherman to take you out on a boat which usually costs $40-50 USD/hour.




You can experience ancient traditional rituals, contemporary village life and a warm local welcome. Locals care deeply about their environment and will help make your stay in the Solomons incredibly rich and special. Take a tour through a local village where you can see the schools children attend, ancient dances, and local food preparation. The Solomons are filled with archaeological monuments including ancient ceremonial shrines. There are opportunities to visit and learn about ancient Hillforts, known for their headhunting or skull shrines.





If you are planning your next adventure and want to go to a place off the beaten tourist path that features world class waves, cultural immersion, and activities for friends/family; the Solomans are the islands for you. With easy access from Australia and no visa required, a trip here will be less expensive and tedious than other top surf destinations (Mentawais, Tahiti) so we feel that a trip to the Solomans is one of the best complete surf trips one can take.