So it's well overhead at Teahupoo. The Billabong Pro doesn't start till tomorrow but it's epic enough for them to run a webcast of the freesurf. The world's best are dicing off before it kicks off tomorrow -- getting the tube time logged. Every wave is being ridden and the swell is building all day.
It's difficult to imagine this happening at other less stellar tour stops. Teahupoo is different, the wave here is unique, a vertical transition in sea level rather than a pitching lip. Today it's a a pressure cooker with 30 plus frothing testosterone fuelled pros in the line-up waiting for the contest to (maybe) go on day one.
The forecast is stacked, not one but two epic swells loading the heat on those who haven't surfed here at size. It hasn't been big here for years and during this contest it will get heavy. The webcast was running and this was in many ways more loaded than a heat, there are no official rules, no priority, it's a line-up where the best have a couple of hours under the spotlight to prove they are the dominant apes.
Who ruled the freesurf? Kelly with a couple of Hinanos shoved down his boardies, Bourez, Hobgoods, Josh Kerr, Bruce Irons, Fanning, Parko, Wright. A pecking order established itself as you'd imagine. Thursday 25th is going to be the first really chunky day leaving the contest directors with the unlikely question -- is it going to be too big?
At some point this coming week they will have to call the contest off and start towing, at some point someone will have to surf that heat when it all gets too much. This is interesting, man on man, fear against ability, logic verses bravado.
© msw/Jason Corroto