Billabong Pro Tahiti: Daily Update From Chopes

A small Sunday afternoon at Teahupo‘o. Photo ASP/Robertson

A small Sunday afternoon at Teahupo‘o. Photo ASP/Robertson

We woke up today to pouring rain and a flooded front yard. Word going around was that the waves were going to be pretty small. It’s the day before the contest waiting period starts so even though there’s still a lot of joking around things are a bit more serious. While some of the guys went for an early morning surf, Bobby and I decided to go for a run. Something about being on this island made the both of us feel a bit lethargic so we decided we needed to do something to wake us up. We jogged for 40 minutes at a good pace and when we returned to the house Damo and a few other guys were about to go out to Chopes, so we decided to go along. It was a little bigger then yesterday so I guess the word going around was mistaken. Besides being a little bigger today the line up was also way more crowded. I guess being the day before the competition begins, a lot of the guys wanted to get some time in the water before their heats. Everyone caught a couple waves and we made our way back to the house right before a storm tore up the Teahupo‘o lineup. Obviously I kicked it on the boat since it was bigger than yesterday and good thing I did—some guy in the line up got sucked back by the lip of the wave when trying to duck dive and ended up washed up on the reef and all cut up.

Our boat ride back to the house was crazy! Looking behind the boat while motoring in, we saw two waterspouts. The boys were telling each other about the damage a waterspout can do to our little boat, each one trying to best the other. “Shit, that waterspout can pick up our entire boat and rip it to shreds, bro!” “No way man, that waterspout can pick you up way high, look it’s as tall as the mountain. That thing will lift you up and drop you down, you’ll hit the water and it’ll be as hard as concrete. No coming back from that.”

Once back at the house we all kept it pretty mellow. Bobby travels around with boxing DVDs so we invited a bunch of the guys to our room and watched the Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo fight. It’s one of the best fights ever so all the boys were pretty amped after watching it. Heading downstairs there were some media guys interviewing the boys for webcast sound clips. While some of the boys gave interviews other guys were watching surf DVDs and talking about the grind on the WQS, the new rating system, and the different waves that they see on tour. Other then that the rest of the day was pretty mellow. The heat draw was passed around and everyone made arrangements to get rides out for their heats. Make sure to stay tuned to the contest because even though the waves aren’t supposed to be all time, some of the heats are going to be insane! I’m going try to score a few interviews but I don’t want to be all weird about it, so we’ll see how that goes. Today was a pretty slow day on the island so there aren’t any fireworks I can tell you about. Bobby said there are a lot of days like this so I guess if things stay mellow I’ll just try to peer pressure him to do something crazy. Stay tuned and see what I can come up with…—Manny Raya

Who is Manny Raya? Manny is one of Bobby Martinez’s best friends and on occasion goes with Bobby to stops on the World Championship Tour. We hung out with Manny and Bobby this past May in Oaxaca and after learning that Manny was in the process of becoming a professor at San Francisco State University, we signed him up for a few projects. We hope you enjoy his first-time-in-Tahiti posts  from the Billabong Pro Tahiti, he’ll be doing the write ups as long as Bobby’s still in the event…