If you happen to find yourself in Tahiti over the next week and a half, then you’re in luck! The Billabong Pro Tahiti, one of the world’s greatest surfing competitions hosted here annually, begins today and ends August 27, packing in 12 full days of spectacle from both local and international surfing experts. Witness athletes from all over the world dominate the Teahupo’o beach as they scale tumultuous ocean waves, and let us be your tour guides through it all.
Where Is It?
Say it with us: Teahupo’o. Teahupo’o is a village off the southwest coast of the island of Tahiti. Originally an underground location for body surfers, a trend started in 1986 by bodyboarding pioneers Mike Stewart and Ben Severson, Teahupo’o became widely recognized as one of the most intense wave riding spots in 1998 after the Gotcha Pro Tahiti was held there. Teahupo’o boasts an extremely shallow coral reef, which is responsible for a hollow-breaking wave unpredictable in its course; swells mainly break left, but can also go right, earning the location its reputation as a “must surf” on every serious surfer’s bucket list.
Thirty-eight rockstar athletes will be in attendance, all of whom are among the top world ranking surfers. The top five world ranked athletes competing include John John Florence, a Hawaiian native, Adriano De Souza of Brazil, surfing veteran Kelly Slater, also of the USA, who will return defend last year’s title , Gabriel Medina from Brazil, and, finally, Australian Mick Fanning. Though athletes may be of varying ages, experience levels, and favor different waves and maneuvers, they will all bring fierce competition, making for an edge-of-your-seat series of preliminary rounds, quarter finals, semifinals, and finals.
What’s the Surf Looking Like?
To keep updated on the day-out-day surf forecast, you can always take peek at the swell outlook from Surfline. As of today, the swell is predicted to fill in through the afternoon with 5-6’ faces and occasional max sets up to 7-8’; a local, shorter period of head high south windswell may give the surf a jumbled up and stormy feel. Swells will peak today and peter out slowly throughout the weekend, although, no matter the size of the waves, any spectator will be left in awe as surfers conquer towering walls of water.
Whether you’re a surfing aficionado or brand new to this event, it’s sure to please attendees of all sorts. Throughout these 12 action-packed days, anyone ready to watch surfers take on goliath sized waves above and shallow shorelines below will be craning their neck to see if the competitors made it out safe.
For more information about this year’s event, visit the Billabong Pro Tahiti website.
Photos courtesy of ASP.