Call it a distraction tactic, Teahupoo was not closed for the filming of Point Break 2. It was never going to be. There was room at the table for everyone.
It might have fooled the internet sheeple, but the locals knew filming could not close their break on one of the banner swells of 2014. Sticking mainly to the west bowl, surfers and bodyboarders happily co-existed with the bread and butter being brought to the Tahitian table by Hollywood. We only heard of one fistycuffs incident early on. Working the larger inside section, the production crew trained 50-odd cameras of all shapes and sizes on a perfect Teahupooo swell, which came in bang on forecast. Big, fierce and perfect looking, but about 30 percent smaller than Code Red.
Matahi Drollet blew everyone away towing around the Hollywood show and into the bomb of the day.
Unexpected highlight of the day was Matahi Drollet, the 17-year-old brother of local legend Manoa Drollet. He blew everyone away towing around the Hollywood show and into the bomb of the day. These brothers were the only tow surfers not involved with the production working the inside section, and they ended-up, serendipitously, waltzing off set leaving everyone's jaws on the reef.
Teahupoo is never short on drama and like a good soap opera there was pride, ego and machinations upon machinations, but as Raihei Tapeta said, it was a beautiful day, one which makes you glad to be alive. "The young Matahi Drollet and his brother Manoa impressed everyone, including the water production." Said Raihei "He was even allowed to surf the bomb of the day, a perfect and huge wave and Manoa knew exactly where to place him. You should expect to see more of these brothers in large swells at Teahupoo because the show they put on was exceptional."
You should expect to see more of these brothers in large swells at Teahupoo because the show they put on was exceptional.Raihei Tapeta
Film maker, Tim Bonython, said after the swell: "Today started on a high note with perfect light, light offshore winds and 8 to 10ft surf. By 9am the bombs started to appear. Laurie Towner got smokers as did Dylan Longbottom. Laird Hamilton was towing as was Raimana Van Bastolaer. In short, it was slow, but when the big ones came they were truly magnificent."
Whilst there might have been a tense moment or two this wasn’t an unwelcome invasion. You can't just rock up and surf Teahupoo with a stunt man and walk away, the people on the waves would always have been there: Bruce Irons, Dylan Longbottom, Tuhiti Haumani and Laurie Towner (who cracked his head on the reef and went for stitches - we hear he's ok.) These faces are familiar and with the production employing as many locals as the tour, the welcome mat has been out for weeks. Having been a little skunked on a previous swell, which came in with wind and rain, the production was rewarded for its patience with a bluebird morning. After all, the arrival of 100 million Hollywood blockbuster is not an every day occurrence the The End of the Road.
All photos Raihei Tapeta