Tahiti is home to plenty of surfing, but this Friday, the adventure gets beefed up with a competitive event. I’m talking about the Billabong Pro Tahiti surf competition that’s starting this Friday, the 15th of August, and running through to the 26th of August.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti surf competition is a leg of the World Championship Tour. The professional surfers are already arriving for the competition, and many of them, in true pro spirit, have begun to adventure out into the waves to get a feel for the surf. Most importantly, they’re trying to prepare for when they will be called upon to adventure through Teahupo’o, which features the island’s reef break that is home to some of the heaviest waves found around the world.
None of the pros want to suffer what happened to local Kevin Bourez this past Sunday, the 10th of August, at the Air Tahiti Nui Billabong trials. He wiped out into the sharp reef and was taken away by ambulance to treat his head fractures, with initial surgery lasting 4 hours. Before his accident, Kevin was favorite to win one of the 2 wildcard spots, the winners going on to compete with the best in the big competition this Friday, but the honor ended up going to Taumata Puhetini and Nathan Hedge.
Of course, when you’re dealing with the swell, it’s all about the weather. The only time you can accurately talk about the weather is when you’re talking about the weather of that exact moment, but predictions of the weather for this coming weekend and the following week do faintly watercolor an interesting picture for the competition. The weekend will be kind of quiet as far as Teahupo’o is concerned, but Sunday marks a new swell coming in that will build throughout the first half of the week and die down in the second half. That makes Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th the days to look out for because the waves are going to be huge and coming in hot and heavy.
Tahiti is a special place for those who choose to adventure the surf. Sometimes you get hurt, and hitting a reef head first is no joke, but that’s what makes it all the more glorious when you come out on top.