The soft and sandy waves of last weeks US Open seem pretty piddly in comparison to what awaits the ASP world tour deep in the South Pacific. Not for the faint it of heart, this event is the real deal. It’s the one that separates the men from the boys. It’s all about who has the gonads to charge the hardest, tame the beast and come away without suffering what the waves name in Tahitian literally means, “Broken skulls”.
Known as the planets heaviest lefthander, Teahupoo (Chopes) is back to test the elite surfers on their 5th world tour stop. Last year’s thunderous swell still sends shivers down our spines, where the legendary “Code Red” session took place with some incredible rides. A fella you may have heard of… Kelly Slater, won the event in quality conditions by a slight 1.33 point margin over Owen Wright.
The Tahitian crown’s back up for grabs this year, and it could go to anyone. With a tightly packed leader board, this event will prove to be critical for a world title campaign. Mr Fanning stomped down strong performances at the last three events to take 1st place and will be ready to do what it takes to hold onto the lead. Comfortably at home in mammoth grinding tubes, the Hobgood brothers are always a favorite at heavy reef breaks which makes them strong contenders. Also watch out for the Tahitian wildcards who surf this wave every day and obviously have a hefty home advantage over the world tour surfers.
The swell forecast isn’t entirely off the charts this year, but there still will be barrels, high performance surfing and fierce competition, the ingredients of an exciting surfing extravaganza! For the inside scoop and a little taste of what this magical wave is all about, sit back and enjoy these awe-inspiring videos from Billabong below.