Billabong Pro Tahiti Daily Update: Groundhog Day At Teahupo‘o


Groundhog day. The guys woke up in business mode but went back to trying to figure out what the hell to do with all of the down time on yet another lay day. There really isn’t much to do around here so we try to find any way to kill time. It seems like being on the WCT is similar to being locked up; you get 3 hots and a cot and try to come up with some ingenious shit that everyone will get a kick out of. Yesterday, Freddy P ran into a 6-foot black tip shark while diving and today he came by the house looking for a spear gun because he was so bored that the threat of getting bitten by a shark was better then waiting for the contest to begin.

The boys in the house I’m staying at decided to get out of the house so we all set up a few trips. Some of the guys took a boat ride to a different surf spot but ended up passing it by to go check out a waterfall. Why you want to go see a waterfall beats me. I mean, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, right? I think Simpo said it best, “F—k, if it ain’t Niagara Falls I ain’t going.” I guess the place was pretty sick though. The boys brought back video clips that everyone checked out right before dinner. The scene while we were watching the video was like what you’d find at a surf movie premiere.

Everyone was hooting and hollering and having a great time. While the boys were at the waterfall, Bobby and I went on a hunt through town to look for a heavy bag to box with. It didn’t take to long to get to town but since there is nothing but country from here to there it seemed like forever. Trying to find a heavy bag was hard. Since we don’t speak French and the people here don’t speak English we were kinda screwed from the get go. Our best way of communicating was by acting things out by playing charades and we ain’t no Emmy winning actors if you get my drift.

We didn’t find a heavy bag, but the people next door had one so after another game of charades in which I asked if we could use it we managed to get a good workout for the day. Immediately after we finished our boxing session Damo, CJ, and the rest of the guys were going out to Teahupo’o for surf, and we decided to go along. As I told you before the backdrop is amazing, but today sitting out there with the rain provided to us by the offshore winds was fuc*ing rad. The waves crashing behind weren’t what I’m used to looking at. In Cali we get that dark brown color coming off of waves but here at Chopes it’s almost like a baby blue hue. The way the sun reflects off the reef as you look at it through the emerald green ocean is pretty kick ass too. I mean in the brown sh*t I’m used to surfing your lucky if you can even see your feet but here you get to see everything. Catching a wave at Chopes for my first time was one of the sickest things I’ve ever experienced. They say that catching your first wave ever is probably the best feeling you’ll ever get surfing but catching a wave here topped that by all kinds.

The experience went something like this. I dropped in, stood up, and forgot about going down the line. Picture the scenery I described to you, add to that the all pro line-up yelling and encouraging me to make the drop, and combine that all with the adrenaline rush that comes with facing my fear, and you’ll have a good idea of what catching my first wave here was like. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like if I’m ever fortunate enough to get barreled here. I’ll tell you one thing. If I so happen to get barreled my friends better stay away from me for a good while because I ain’t gonna stop talking about it for quite some time.

As far as the contest goes, the boys think it will most likely be postponed again tomorrow. It looks like there may be some swell coming through the later part of this week so maybe the world’s top 45 can try to top my stand n fall wave. I’m sure my wave is probably the smallest weakest sh*t ever to be ridden at Chopes but I don’t give a damn. For now, I’m just going to lay back and enjoy the stoke.—Manny Raya