As the swell is pumping at the moment here in Tahiti, I thought surfing would be a perfect subject for today's post.
In Tahiti Iti, where the road ends, on the East coast, visitors looking for lush and abundant nature will find a more preserved territory where the elements are both generous and excessive, to be admired and to be feared. In this part of the island lies a small fishermen’s village: Teahupo’o.
The origin of the name Teahupo’o is ominous; in ancient times, after a famous battle, the victorious warriors decapitated their opponents and built a wall (ahu) with their heads (upo’o) to honor Oro, god of war and fertility. It is thus no surprise to find such rage and power in the waves of Teahupo’o, great roaring walls of water, an echo to the legend and the screams of the warriors who once fought and died here.
The name is world famous... Indeed, “Chopes” (for those in the know) is one of the must-surf offshore spots of the planet thanks to its “mythical wave”. Today, Teahupo’o's modern warriors are no less than Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Michel Bourez, Mike Stewart, Andy Irons, Manoa Drollet and countless other great names of the surf circuit, as well as the children from the village who surf on the shore dreaming that someday their name will be next to their idols'.
One of the greatest battles to take place in Teahupo’o nowadays is the yearly Billabong Pro WCT competition which sees the best surfers of all time rival each other for the world title with hundreds of spectators gathered to witness history being made and new legends written.
Some of the greatest moments in the history of Teahupo'o:
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D staring Kelly Slater and Raimana Van Bastolaer:
Laird Hamilton's Millenium wave:
Manoa Drollet surfing the biggest wave ever in Tahiti:
Please share your memories and impressions of Teahupo’o with us.