I'm in Tahiti for my annual April/May trip. This is my 16th trip here. I usually start my 6 months of circling the globe off with French Polynesia the same time every year. Surfing the famed spot Teahupoo never gets old. The butterflies never go away no matter how many times you've surfed Teahupoo. I'm accompanied by young photographer Tyler Cuddy. I met him in Hawaii this past winter and he asked to travel along and document the surfing action.
We arrived on April 24. Norman James picked us up at the airport and drove us to his house. We are shacked up at his new house near big pass. It's a 5 min Jet Ski ride to Teahupoo. I'd rather be staying closer to the wave but since Norm stores my ski and my 4—4 Daihatsu Rocky I'll be staying with him. At the moment its just Tyler and I staying here.
Are second day here 4/26 we were greeted by a 8-10 ft south swell that was all worth the trip over here. I knew it would be a worthy one and booked my ticket to coincide with the swell. I'm stoked it all worked out logistically and the weather cooperated beautifully.
I rode my new 6'8" Rusty quad with my go pro camera attached. The footage I got complimented the waves I rode very well. I was lucky in the morning to catch some of the bigger sets that rolled through the morning. I remember two of my waves very well. One of them was a super late drop to a deep tube that blew me and its guts out. I was super stoked to get the rush and feel the juice of a heavy 10 ft wave. The other wave I recall was super west set that was so boxy and hollow. I threw some huge pumps but was swallowed right at the end of it. Both waves photographed very well. I feel I pretty much got what I was looking for and got the job done. Everything else is cream on top!
Tyler and I are planning on staying here until May 7. I doubt Ill stay that long. It all depends on the forecasts of course. I checked the models today and it looks like it's going to be small. I'm entered into the Billabong trials but may pull out if the surf is going to be small. I'll be monitoring the forecast and decide by Friday, May 1 if I'm going to compete.
Its been a great trip. I scored some of the biggest set waves on the first swell. I played with my go pro cameras daily and got some incredible shots. Even the small days at Tevaitit were fun. We did some wake boarding behind Moes boat. It's so perfect for wake boarding in the glassy lagoon.
I decided not to do the trials. The waves were going to be small. I was not mentally ready to compete in small Teahupoo. I had been visualizing it to be big but it turned out to be only 3-5ft. Plus finances are hard for me right now. Instead of the trials we initially decided to go back to Cali early. We went to dinner with Norm's family Monday night and missed the flight. It was ok though because we never changed the true flight that leaves on Thursday May 7. I said to Tyler screw it lets go to Moorea and surf Haupiti. He agreed and we left the next day.
We drove the Rocky onto the ferry and arrived here on Moorea at 11:30. We drove to Marks Place Moorea. Norm recommended it to me. It's a super nice lodge with a kitchen. Mark the owner built all the houses himself. It has a real custom feel to all the woodwork he made. The beds are cool. Each one has curtains for privacy and little windows at your feet and head. To top it off the house has screens. First house in Tahiti I've seen with screens. Tyler and I are sharing a whole house for 3000 FCP which is about $35 a night.
There's Kayaks here to rent for 1000FCP which is about $15 a day that we paddle out to to Haupiti. It takes about 20 min to get out there. The wave reminds me of Jockos a lil' bit. Yesterday was 3-5ft w/current running through the lineup and super fun. I randomly ran into Joe Tosi, Danielles brother. Small world! He came over to where we are staying to rent a kayak. It was cool we surfed the afternoon together. Random huh!
We have one last night here then we go back to Tahiti tomorrow night then fly back to Cali. We will meet Norm in the evening to drop the Rocky back with him and get some dinner then check in for the 8 hour flight to LAX.
P.S. Check Out the GoPro Camera video clips:
Photos: Tyler Cuddy