Teahupoo went XXL on Saturday August 17, so big and raw that the annual trials to get into the Championship Tour event had to be put on ice. But that didn't stop a few of the hardier souls wrangling with colossal waves off the coast of Tahiti. And session that went down? Safe to say it will firmly plant itself in the attendees' collective memory for years to come.
The standouts include Koa Rothman, Benji Brand, Kauli Vaast, Lucas Chumbo caught a bomb, Raimana pulled into a monster. “Guys were sending it”, says Koa Smith. “Anthony Walsh was willing to take anyone's jersey that doesn't want to surf.”
“Crazy day,” says our lens in the channel Romuald Pliquet. “Trials were cancelled for safety reasons after a few XXL sets steamed through early in the morning. But most of sets were for paddling. So a few of the traillists decided to free surf... most decided to stay on shore. That forecast sure kept its promise.”
The footage emerging is mind-melting. Conner Coffin's ultimate selfie from the channel. Deivid Silva's video taken on a mobile makes for dramatic viewing.
This swell capped out at 10.5ft@17 seconds, shooting in from the SSW. Wind was fresh, moving in from the E before swinging ENE in the afternoon. As XXL Chopes sessions go, it's the largest of the season so far. Now, let's hope for a few more days like these.
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