Surfing in Gilbert Islands

The Kiribati Surfing Association (KSA) was recently established by the only local surfer, Nicholas (Nick) McDermott and some ex-pat volunteers working in Tarawa. Nick, whose mother is I-Kiribati, started surfing 30 years ago in West Australia and has spent the last 10 years surfing in Kiribati while based in Tarawa. While surfing for many years alone and sometimes with the occasional visiting surfer, it was only last year that he was joined by a small contingent of ex-pat surfers who were working in Tarawa that local I-Kiribati started to take notice. After being approached by young I-Kiribati interested to learn how to surf, the KSA was formed with the vision to promote surfing as a national sport and healthy pursuit.

Nick has extensive knowledge of the surf conditions in the Gilbert Group. Though not as consistent as the eastern Line Island group, the Gilbert chain nevertheless offers quality surf when all the conditions are right.  The Gilbert chain is more suited therefore for longer term visitors that have a bit more time and flexibility to catch the surf when it is “on”. Nick, also the KSA President, acknowledges that the majority of visitors to Tarawa are here for business and work and that surfing can be a drawcard for attracting more visitors that are also interested in surfing. In that respect, the KSA is excited to be a partner with Kiribati Tourism in promoting surf tourism in Kiribati.

For details of surf conditions in Kiribati, please contact the KSA on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Nick McDermott on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mobile telephone (686) 97362.

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