People have very clear expectations of Tahiti – fed by the press and video. The waves are massive and dangerous, the waves are hard to get to and everything is expensive. None of that is true (all the time). Sure, Teahupoo can turn on massive waves but it can also be a perfect 4ft barrel and when Teahupoo is on there are always other less aggressive breaks that will be firing within a short boat ride. Many of the waves are only accessible by boat but many surf holiday packages take that into consideration but there is also a range of breaks that you can paddle too. As for cost; as with anywhere in the world if you stay in a five star resort it will be expensive but there are cheaper options or very cool places to stay and many of the pensions are right on the lagoon edge. Food can be expensive but there are really great inexpensive places to eat called roulettes which pop up every evening around the city and populated areas.
What you can expect is great waves, incredibly friendly people both on and off the water. Tahians are genuinely happy that you have come to experience their waves which is a rare attitude in this ‘locals only’ world – make sure you take spare fins and leg ropes as these are both expensive and hard to come by and make great gifts when you leave.