Face the facts: Rochelle Ballard charges Teahupo’o harder than most guys. That’s not a knock on our manhood-it’s just the way it is. Let’s just deal with it and have a look at what she uses to rip apart one of the heaviest waves on the planet.
1. 5’9″ Al Merrick MX Model
“Normally I would only ride this board at Small Pass (a nearby right), but this year we surfed Teahupo’o as small as it can possibly break, so I rode this one out there.”
2-3. 6’0″ MBM Model
“I have a tendency to break a lot of boards, so I bring a couple of these to Tahiti. I ride this length at three- to four-foot Teahupo’o (Hawai’ian style).
4. 6’3″ Al Merrick Kelly Slater Model
“Once it gets like five foot out there, I like a six-three. If it’s a south swell, I’ll ride this up to six feet, but if it’s west and all gnarly, you need a bigger board.”
5. 6’5″ Al Merrick Kelly Slater Model
“This is my favorite length out there. The thing about Teahupo’o is you don’t want too much board-even though you may think you need more board. The takeoff is so concentrated you need to get under the lip and drop straight in. It’s easy to catch an edge if you have too much board out there.”
6. 6’8″ Al Merrick Kelly Slater Model
“If I wake up one morning and it’s six to eight feet and Raimana is driving by on his ski psyching me up and it’s not that crowded, then I’ll go out. I bring this board in case I’m up for it-eight-foot Teahupo’o is scary.”