The Tahiti Report By Justin Cote

The following is an e-mail sent by Justin yesterday: a follow up to his report sent on April 29.”I nearly fucking died yesterday! The first round of the trials was held in six to eight foot stormy gnarly shit. I got tangled up with another guy and was stuck underwater taking six foot sets on the head. Hyperventilating, I finally surfaced only to have a wave right there. Got a tiny bit of air, went under, and came up waving for the ski—Poto’s my hero. The waves were so fucking big April 29th as you probably know. The boys got crazy shots, Reposar was on the front row. Some of the biggest Teahupo’o ever ridden—straight up. Laird’s record wave smashed by many rides—especially Malik Joyeux. Bruce, Cory, Strider, Poto, and many more rode the hugest waves ever.”From April 29:The surf: waves have been between two and twelve feet for over two weeks now. The weather has been excellent, not much rain and plenty of sunshine. Thursday April 17th the scaffolding for the Billabong contest was demolished by a twelve-foot plus swell. A week later and the three story structure has been rebuilt and tied down with more ropes. Nature, one, man, zero.

Now that some of the world’s best barrel riding freesurfers are in the small village of Teahupo’o, the level of surfing has gone through the roof. Bruce Irons, Danny Fuller, Reef MacIntosh, Tamayo Perry, Strider Wasilewski,Jamie Sterling, Mark Healy, and Brian Pacheco are just some of the guys laying it all on the line daily at Teahupo’o. They are joined by fearless local Tahitians such as Poto, Manoa Drollet, Nicola Litham, Malik Joyeaux, Raimana Van Bastolaar, and Heimata Carroll among others.

The feeling in the water can best be summed up by Danny Fuller’s afternoon Hinano time quip, “When there’s a ten footer comin’ at you, you look at the thing and just think to yourself ‘What would Andy do?'” Everybody knows what Andy would do. The champ should be arriving soon so look forward to an even heavier level of balls out, death defying surfing.

Everybody has been talking about this massive swell coming and perhaps this morning it began to show some of it’s girth. What looked to be four to six foot and fun was interrupted every half an hour by a ferocious ten foot lagoon sucking beast. Speaking of the lagoon, have you ever heard of a place that has created it’s own jargon? For instance, the new verb, lagooned. Example: “Dude yesterday I got lagooned twice in a row. Can you take me to the hospital?” To be lagooned is to be washed up and over the razor sharp reef and spit into the serene lagoon in between the waves and the shore. Not fun. Strider got lagooned five days in a row, but yesterday caught one of the finest paddle in waves ever at the cartoon-like confines of Teahupo’o.

The trials could be fucking massive. People have been psyching for big surf and here it comes. As Tamayo Perry stated to me this morning-“Everyone better be careful for what they wish for!” Yikes.It’s on down here. Blood has been shed and more will flow.