My friend Tepo (Timote’s nephew), shot this clip from the channel with his GoPro. He thought I got vaporized by the explosion, so he stopped filming before the fly-away finale. Somehow managed to get blown out and eject over the lip just before it closed out on dry reef. Tepo’s been filming all our friends from his bodyboard as he kicks back to the takeoff spot after catching waves. Stoked he captured this one.
Like the handful of underground charger friends of mine who have moved to Tahiti for Teahupoo, I’ve developed an addiction to the wave. It’s the best feeling in the world getting drained-out of such an anomaly, and to be able to do it consistently is a tube junkies dream. It’s so dangerous but so rewarding. Deadly waves like Mavericks and Pipeline are some of the only other semi-consistent beasts that compare to the feeling you get surfing solid Teahupoo.
Yesterday evening the surf got pretty big (top clip was shot in the morning). It was my turn in the rotation as one of the biggest and best waves of the season marched toward the reef. I spun and paddled as hard as possible, but just before I was about to get in and challenge the best barrel of my trip, the lip stacked-up, bottom dropped-out, and the wave denied my entry. I rolled off the back without getting launched into the flats as the beautiful mutant warped down the reef, blowing it’s guts 30 feet into the sky.
Was absolutely shattered I couldn’t catch it. Felt like everything I’ve ever worked for in surfing had lead and prepared me to ride that wave, and when the opportunity came to catch it, I blew it.
Was holding my head in hands when Timote called my attention. He paddled over and told me it was all good, and I was lucky to be safe out the back. That meant a lot, and pulled me out of the instant bummer.
Timote’s the first surfer to ride Teahupoo, and did so on a single-fin nearly 30 years ago. He’s still getting barreled, ruling with classic Tahitian style and power.
My friend Tahurai who was out said “she was not meant to be ridden.” Still, I’ll be thinking about what I could or should have done to catch that wave until another opportunity arises, which could be a while, but hopefully sooner than later.
Leaving Tahiti to work the summer as a lifeguard for the City of San Diego in a couple days. Will be great to see family and friends in La Jolla and make some dough working a gratifying job in a positive environment.