Teahupo’o, or at least the wave that breaks at the “End Of The Road” itself, is unmistakable. The bottom of each wave is below sea level. The lip throws out further than anything else you’ve seen. And it’s often thicker from front to back than it is tall. When you see a photo of it, captioned or not, you instantly know where it is. Oftentimes, the images and highlights we see from its best days include more than one moment of surfers getting pitched over the falls or airdropping an impossible takeoff. We gawk at people getting as deep as humanly possible, knowing that not making it out of a barrel could be devastating.
This week, the CT will be kicking off their annual stop at Teahupo’o for the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o. We’ll all watch in amazement because it’s the world’s best on one of, if not the world’s heaviest waves. All this is to say that most of our first thoughts about Teahupo’o and what’s about to go down there in the middle of a World Title race are most closely tied to heavy wipeouts, jaw-dropping waves, and utter amazement with the people talented enough to turn the thing into something surfable. But here are a handful of Chopes’ most serene, and sometimes nearly unrecognizable moments. She’s a beauty, ain’t she?