It's been a fairly slow few years over at Teahupoo. But that's all changed this year, with a few solid sessions already under the hood. And then, Monday came. What transpired may have been the biggest, gnarliest Teahupoo seen in some time, featuring a cast of tow and paddle aficionados.
But with this sort of commitment comes a few clashes with that razor-like reef. Matahi Drollet, the prince of Teahupoo, hit it but also hucked into some mackin' kegs.
With tow making such a resurgence in recent years, the surfers decided to split the lineup into two bowls, one for tow and one for paddlers.
And while old hands at Chopes picked out some of those pristine gems that rifled into the reef, it was 16-year-old Kauli Vaast who was one of the standouts, with one of the heaviest, gnarliest rides in recent memory. Check the vid, here.
Capturing the stills you see throughout here is lensman Romu Pliquet. “XXL, scary wipeouts, paddlers, tow in, epic line up and locals only,” he said. “Monday was the biggest Teahupoo over the last three years. The forecast predicted 8-to-12 foot waves with a SSW swell.
“In the morning, all the new generation of Tahitians were present in the line up. Matahi Drollet, Tikanui Smith, Mateia Hiquily, Heiarii Williams, Enrique Ariitu, Matehau Tetopata, Kauli Vaast, Tereva David and the legend Vetea Poto David.
“At the beginning of the day, conditions were a quite sketchy. Paddlers took some bombs and Matahi Drollet hit the reef, then, suddenly Enrique Ariitu took a 20ft bomb. Three tow in crews were in the water and it was decided to divide the lineup, so, two bowls, one for tow in and and second for paddlers.
“Only Matehau Tetopata and quiet bodyboarders stayed in the paddle lineup and the others stayed patiently to wait for some others bombs.
“Tikanui Smith decided to go back on the first lineup for paddlers but two scary wipeouts slayed him. Teahupoo was wild and not easy to take by arms.”