Teahupoo doesn’t always look inviting… actually, sometimes it’s quite obviously telling you that it needs to be left in peace!
I captured this image in August 2015 during the Billabong Pro WSL surf competition.
Teahupoo is a really famous wave, known for it’s clarity and perfect shape and the volume of the actual wave breaking onto the deadly shallow reef. It’s a very dangerous wave and has taken quite a few lives over the years. It’s actually located in a very scenic spot, a 10 minute boat ride out from the very end of the road at Teahupoo. Once at the wave you can look back onto the famous green, tropical mountains of Tahiti iti – a very unforgettable scene! Probably my favourite spot in the world.
For this shot however the wave was anything but perfect. A howling off-shore wind, grey skies and a rough swell was producing a very different looking wave. One that you’d not want to find yourself in – unless you really have to. Just like the professional surfers had to during the Billabong Pro competition. It was mesmerising to watch this seemingly untamable wave being surfed by the world’s best surfers!
I spent over 5 hours out at the wave that day in an uncomfortably rocking little boat, protecting my camera equipment from the massive, salty sprays coming off the back of the wave and the pouring rain. This shot was a lot of work and I really tried to show the effort and struggle that went into this shot as well as the mood and climate of that particular day.
Location: Teahupoo – French Polynesia