Killer Teahupoo

Gary Kewley
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Friday - May 06, 2005
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Aloha, stoked surfers!

Our arms are heavy but our heads are light! What a round of waves we’ve had … “round and round” in town and country! As of this writing on May Day, all sides of the Islands — except the Windward — were “firing” … and they’ve been firing for several days. Those light and variable winds gave us many, many mornings of clean “glassy” ocean textures for all to surf and reflect on. This spring will linger in our surf memory banks for years to come … even if you surfed your brains out!


Billabong Pro wildcard Manoa Drollet (Tah) was towed
into a wave that locals claim was one of the biggest ever
ridden at Teahupoo, Tahiti, May 1

But wait — that’s not all folks … There’s more! Indeed, the first Big South Swell of the season will have already arrived in full swing by the time you read this (I’m assuming, of course, that each and every Thursday/Friday you enthusiastically grab your MidWeek-The Weekend and read my column like your whole life depends on it. Seriously, yet another seven-day-old storm from the east side of New Zealand (5,000 miles away) should be bringing big 6-footers (Hawaiian scale) on Thursday. High surf advisory stuff! Wow! Gimme more. Get the details with 596- SURF (local scale) or 596- WAVE (face scale).

Now, if you think this is exciting for us on Oahu, it is! However, I now want to take you on a special journey … to Tahiti. To a shallow, death-defying reef Earth’s best surfers will try to conquer on the third event of the Fosters World Championship Tour … more specifically, “Teahupoo.” It is arguably the “heaviest” wave on the ASP World Surfing Tour, and possibly the world. This wave can often be more dangerous than Big Pipeline. Current World Champ Andy Irons says “it’s the most respected spot on the tour.” Crazy Big Wave-man Brock Little has said this wave at Teahupoo “isn’t meant to be ridden.” Mr. Little spoke these words years before Hawaii’s Surf Legend Laird Hamilton towed into it. Mr. Hamilton survived (with tears of elation and gratitude) the heaviest 20-foot wave ever ridden! There was one year in the late ’90s when Aussie Mark Occhilupo called his wife prior to the contest and told her “someone’s going to die today.” Sound like fun to you? Well, that’s where we are right now! From May 5-17 … Let the action begin. And for those of you who think the wave looks great, don’t let its beauty deceive you — it’s a killer.


On May 1, Tahitian charger Raimana Van Bastoloer came
within an inch of losing his life in one of the most radical
surfing near-misses ever witnessed

I have to say congrats to perennial Pipeline tube master Liam MacNamara for placing second in the “trials” for a spot in Tahiti’s main event …BTW, Liam is Garrett MacNamara’s brother … and Garrett is simply one of the world’s most outstanding — and astounding — big tow-in behemoths. Look for more here and out there in the water with these two brothers … Guaranteed.

Reminder to get that entry blank in with your name on it … for the three-day Local Motion Surf into Summer 2005! Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and you don’t wanna miss out on your spot in the lineup. It’s Hawaii’s biggest amateur surfing event. It’ll be right where it’s been the past umpteen years … Magic Island + Ala Moana Bowls=Fun in the Sun and Surf!

See you back where you belong — in the surf and here in MidWeek — next week! I’m GQ dropping in for you!

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