Absurd Teahupoo & J.O.B Bursts into Flames

Ed Temperley

by on

Updated 790d ago

Absurdly thick swell hits The End of the Road, man sets himself on fire mid tube and there’s at least one wipeout which appeared impossible to survive. Welcome to the circus Teahupoo in 2015.

"Niccolo Porcella's wipeout was so scary,” says Raihei Tapeta of a moment now inked into his memory. “The swell has too much west in it to be ideal and that's why we saw a lot of the wipeouts. I would say the biggest sets were larger than the Point Break filming session last year.”

Of the wipeout itself, Niccolo said, "It was definitely the most violent and intense experience of my life. I really feel that all the hard training and my loyal angels came together." Not one to be deterred by such a minor matter, Niccolo returned to the fray. "I spat blood a few times and had a little headache for a few minutes and went straight back out to catch a bigger heavier bomb. Now I just have a slightly stiff neck, back, and a few reef kisses, I should be back in the water by tomorrow, maybe Saturday."

Niccolo Porcella finds a glassy mutant before his gut wrenching wipeout.

Niccolo Porcella finds a glassy mutant before his gut wrenching wipeout.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Also vying for most memorable moment was Keala Kennelly who dropped deep into the bowels of the beast.

That thing swallowed me faster than a Tijuana prostitute.

"I thought I had a good line and was gonna pull it," she posted on Instagram. "Then the thing went mutant. The west bowl bent at a 45 degree angle at me right as the bottom dropped out and that thing swallowed me faster than a Tijuana prostitute.”

Bear in mind Keala left a good portion of her face on the reef back in 2011, she knows how it feels for everything to go tits up at Teahupoo.

Keala on her second wave of the day, late afternoon.

Keala on her second wave of the day, late afternoon.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

To be honest I was expecting a supzilla or maybe a motorcycle in the tube.

The third moment worth a mention was the whole setting yourself on fire in the barrel thing with Jamie O’Brien. With flames licking around his face he was undoubtedly referencing Bruce’s exploits from all those years ago plus a healthy dash of escalation.

“He's with Raimana filming a Red Bull project and to be honest I was expecting a supzilla or maybe straddling a motorcycle in the tube,” continued Raihei.

Where do you go from here? Dodging live mines? Or perhaps having open heart surgery in the tube? Answers on postcard.

J.O.B on fire and in the tube of the heaviest wave on this planet.

© 2017 - Red Bull Surfing

This has to be one of the most brutal wipeouts we've seen at Teahupoo. Niccolo Porcella feeling Tahiti's wrath.

This has to be one of the most brutal wipeouts we've seen at Teahupoo. Niccolo Porcella feeling Tahiti's wrath.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Matahi Drollet finds the speed line.

Matahi Drollet finds the speed line.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

The Teahupoo spin cycle. Imagine being under that shag-pile carpet.

The Teahupoo spin cycle. Imagine being under that shag-pile carpet.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

It wasn't the largest swell but its proximity to Tahiti meant a lot of the raw size could get to Teahupoo without significant decay. Swell peak: 12ft @ 16 seconds.

It wasn't the largest swell but its proximity to Tahiti meant a lot of the raw size could get to Teahupoo without significant decay. Swell peak: 12ft @ 16 seconds.

Matehau Tetopata proving his worth as one of the few to paddle this swell.

Matehau Tetopata proving his worth as one of the few to paddle this swell.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Scratching over a bomb.

Scratching over a bomb.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Koa Rothman from Hawaii is officially part of the furniture every time Teahupoo cranks up the scale.

Koa Rothman from Hawaii is officially part of the furniture every time Teahupoo cranks up the scale.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

The super tow team, Matahi Drollet and Coco Nogales.

The super tow team, Matahi Drollet and Coco Nogales.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Local Matehau Tetopata on another paddled bomb.

Local Matehau Tetopata on another paddled bomb.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Pato from Brazil negotiates the west bowl.

Pato from Brazil negotiates the west bowl.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Who wants the shot?

Who wants the shot?

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Raimana comfortably in the spot.

Raimana comfortably in the spot.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

A backdrop to compete with.

A backdrop to compete with.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Morning glass.

Morning glass.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Rava enjoying the spectacle of Teahupoo at size.

Rava enjoying the spectacle of Teahupoo at size.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Raimana's flat bottomed bomb.

Raimana's flat bottomed bomb.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Empty rainbow.

Empty rainbow.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta

Front row seats from the channel.

Front row seats from the channel.

© 2017 - Raihei Tapeta


Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley