This video displays the best surfers in the world tackling one of the world’s most powerful waves: Teahupo’o in Tahiti. The size of the waves ridden in this video are preposterous. The fact that no one in this video even makes the entire wave is mind blowing. How do they survive these wipe-outs? If you’re anywhere near the impact zone when that lip hits, you’re in trouble.
Teahupo’o literally translates to “to severe the head” or “place of skulls” in Tahitian. That right there is a strong introduction into the type of wave Teahupo’o is. And the name feels appropriate.
Teahupo’o is a bizarre ‘below-sea-level’ wave where the lip ends up looking like the entire ocean is above you. It’s an enormous tube and the lip can actually can be about 20 feet thick. This hasn’t been well documented, but we’d be surprised if any other wave has as large a lip thickness to wave height ratio.
A wipe-out a Teahupoo is bad at best. Horrible and potentially deadly at worst. It’s only about 4 feet deep at the bottom of a breaking wave face.
The have a competition here each year to see who can surf it best. Kelly Slater has won it 4 times:
Teahupo’o ASP World Tour Event Champions
- 1999 – Marc Occhilupo
- 2000 – Kelly Slater
- 2001 – Cory Lopez
- 2002 – Andy Irons
- 2003 – Kelly Slater
- 2004 – C.J. Hobgood
- 2005 – Kelly Slater
- 2006 – Bobby Martinez
- 2007 – Damien Hobgood
- 2008 – Bruno Santos
- 2009 – Bobby Martinez
- 2010 – Andy Irons
- 2011 – Kelly Slater
- 2012 – Mick Fanning
13 thoughts on “Swell Saturdays: Teahupo’o, The Heaviest Barrel in the World in Super Slow Motion”
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Fidji?????? Are you dumb?
If you don’t know what you’re talking about, then don’t try unless you’re sure.
That’s so disrespectful and rude.
And it’s not Tahitii but TAHITI.
Dude go sleep or something but don’t ever write about surf… like… ever…
Thanks for the note.
That’s an oooollddd post written by an intern.
Got it all fixed up.
We’re on a 6 month surf safari in South America right now and it’s been INSANE!
Where you surfing?
Teahupoo is located in French Polynesia … Tahiti!
In the pic at the bottom, it says Teahupo’o is in Fiji. That’s a mistake. It’s in Tahiti. With a name like Teahupo’o it should be obvious that it’s Polynesian (not Melanesian).
You’re right, my bad. Changing it now. thanks.
certainly like your web site however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts.. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again.
That lip is thick. be fun to watch in the channel