There’s nothing in this world that can prepare you for the sight of a full blown 10-foot Teahupo’o drainer exploding over the coral as you sight a few meters away in the channel. All the clichés and all the quotes and comments from over the years do the sight some justice. Articles with names like, ‘The Killing Floor’ and references to ‘The Most Dangerous Wave In The World’ and Mark Occhilupo phoning his wife back home, convinced that ‘someone is going to get killed’ surfing the wave. It’s hyperbole that is not hyperbole. Gross exaggeration that is not one bit of exaggeration, amplification that is actually succinct. Teahupo’o is all these things, and more.
Jordy Smith is sitting at second in the world after his recent win at the Billabong Pro Jeffrey’s Bay, and another really good result will most likely see him pole vault over the current series leader Joel Parkinson, to see him at number one spot. In the spaces between, there’s a swell on the horizon that is going to quite literally ‘separate the men from the boys.’ It has been called a ‘death swell,’ and a ‘tow-only swell,’ and expectations are high for this swell to be a real swell. Even the event website – http://billabongpro.com/tahiti11/ – are describing it as ‘large to life-threatening conditions in the second half of the event’s two week waiting period.’
Jordy Smith is somewhat of an enigma at Tahiti, with no one having ever seen his prowess when the lefthander gets big. Jordy is no slouch when the surf gets solid however, showing in the past how much he likes big Sunset Beach in Hawaii, as well as solid Haleiwa and Pipeline. It should be an cinch for the big guy to get over some ledges, set a line and fly through some of the heaviest left barrels in the world. With his incredible focus and controlled Big Match temperament, Jordy could very possibly go all the way to the finals.
Slater is at the event after missing the previous event in Jeffrey’s Bay, Bobby Martinez is out after apparently retiring from the World Tour, and fellow South African surfer Travis Logie is the first-up replacement surfer who will be taking Bobby’s place. A goofy-footer, Travis has been known to charge at Teahupo’o and together with Jordy the duo could wreak some serious damage. There are also the likes of local Tahitian Michel Bourez in the mix, as well as two-time world champion Mick Fanning, along with a super-focused Julian Wilson, and the rest of the world’s best.
Jordy will be up in heat 5: The heat consists of Jordy Smith (ZAF), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), and Ricardo dos Santos (BRA).
For more on this and other Red Bull and Jordy Smith stories go and have a look at the Red Bull South Africa website.
Blog post by Craig Jarvis
Photo by ©ASP/Kirstin