Among its many other reputations, Tahiti is known for its big wave surfing. In fact, the famed Teahupo’o was recently featured as a top ten “adventure junkie” destination. Known to attract pro surfers like eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, the waves at Teahupo’o are some of the biggest and most challenging in the world.
For this reason, Tahiti has played host to a number of surfing events and competitions. Each year, the annual Billabong Pro Tahiti invades Teahupo’o as part of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour. We’ll be bringing you coverage of this year’s event as it gets underway in August, so stay tuned!
Teahupo’o, known in the surf community as “Chopes,” is often celebrated for setting the ultimate stage for some of the industry’s most epic rides. The nominees for the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards were recently announced and some surfers in the running were chosen based on their performances at Teahupo’o. However, it is also just as famous for its grueling wipeouts. Surfers Felipe Cesarano and Rodrigo Koxa were both nominated for a Wipeout Award for their falls this year, and while they walked away uninjured, some surfers have sustained major injuries while surfing Teahupo’o.
If you haven’t seen it already, we recommend watching the Ultimate Wave Tahiti staring Kelly Slater and Tahitian surfer Raimana Van Bastolaer. It’s a wonderful documentary that helps explain the science behind the waves at Teahupo’o. Once you see it, you’ll have a better understanding of what makes them so dangerous.
Fortunately, there are a lot of other great surfing sites beyond Teahupo’o. Tahiti just hosted the Billabong Tahiti Nui Pro Junior at Papara Beach, where the waves are smaller and better suited for young surfers. Or there’s also the nearby Maoti Beach, which was recently revealed as a “secret” surf spot among the locals.
Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you can find your wave in Tahiti. If you’re an avid enough surfer to bring your own board, you’ll be happy to know that Air Tahiti Nui was rated as one of the best airlines for traveling with surfboards, meaning your trip will be an easy one. Although, depending on where you choose to surf, we can’t promise the same for your ride!