Cook Islands surf is best suited to experienced surfers and is popular because it is similar to Tahiti but much cheaper and far less crowded with tourists. The Cook Islands are a string of lovely volcanic islands surrounded by stunning coral reefs and covered in lush mountainous terrain. Cook Islands surfing is characterised by a consistent array of reef-pass waves that hit hard and are most suitable for surfers who feel comfortable in shallow waters.
Rarotonga is the capital of the Cook Islands and is great for surfing year round thanks to waves generated by a number of reef passes that face different windows of swell. However the best Cook Islands surf occurs from November to March during the austral summer. Prevailing trade winds from the southeast meet strong storms from the North Pacific that feed the swell to the south, creating the best offshore conditions on the western and northern shores.
Some of the most popular Cook Islands surfing spots are Montutapu, Ava avarua and Black Rock where the surf is generally shallow and intense, offering short rides. Due to the stunning, secluded location of the Cook Islands you won't find crowded beaches or the need to fight for a wave anywhere. It's important to remember that the waves can be quite powerful and where they break is over shallow reefs so you do need to be careful but if you're an experienced surfer, you should find the Cook Islands to be a real treat.
The locals enjoy surfing too so there's not too much you'll need to have a good time and most of it can be found on the islands if you forget anything. But really, all you need are some board shorts, plenty of sunscreen, a bit of tropical wax and a barrel-tuned board. Sometimes spare boards are a good idea in case the powerful waves catch your board in the wrong position, causing it to snap. The only other major necessity are reef booties to protect your feet as you make your way over coral and urchins to the best surf spots.