When you mention the word ‘Teahupoo’ it puts fear into the minds of every surfer. It is the heaviest wave in the world full stop. You’ve all seen the photos of death slabs draining off the shallow reef. It’s your worst nightmare or a heavenly utopia to a rare few.
The name ‘Teahupo’o’ loosely translates to English as “to sever the head” or “place of skulls”. Just think about that before you paddle out. Teahupoo is situated right at the end of a road from Papeete (the capital of Tahiti). No need a GPS or map – just keep driving until the road stops.
What you probably don’t know is Teahupoo (or Chopes) is a super fun wave at 4-5 foot. Any smaller and you’re on dry reef being skinned – any bigger and consequences kick in. The season doesn’t start until next month where the winter swells arrive from the souther hemi. The Hawaiian winter north swells just aren’t as relevant here (even though the North Shore is just around a big ditch).
The people are amazing, warm and extremely welcoming. The village of Teahuppo is super chilled, quiet and lush green. I am coming back in winter when there is a mega swell (Like this). They haven’t had a big one for 3 years, so I am hoping 2018 is it. It’s now on my bucket list.
Special thanks to Air New Zealand for delivering us to this Pacific paradise.