TAHITI is facing a dark horizon, blustery winds and a macking swell. What's your worst nightmare and/or greatest high as a competitor? Probably 8 to 10ft slabbing Chopes pushing up and over an exposed wall of coral with gusty trades attempting to pluck you from your stick.
Competitors at the Billabong Pro Tahiti could get hurt over the coming days and the medical tent on the point has been busy stocking up on lime juice, splints, bandages and scalpels.
An about switch in perspective summed up by Cory Lopez on Twitter. "Last week we were puppets. this week we r gladiators. thnx #billabongpro and Tahiti for makin surfers look good." Aint that the truth, technically exciting as spin to win might be in pushing the mushy beachbreak envelope, the idea of gladiatorial do-or-die has caused a collective rush to the head of the surf media and fans alike.
The surfers meanwhile are readying to do what they get paid for, love to do but can't fail to get worried about and bloody hell it's something to look forward to. Action, be it tow or paddle kicks-off here, Thurday at about 6.30 Zulu time.
© msw/Jason Corroto