Teahupoo: mistakes end up over the falls

Wipeouts at Teahupoo have severe costs. You may pay them with your life or with nasty injuries. Whatever your surfing skills are, don't try this at Teahupoo.


They say it's one of the most dangerous waves in the world. Thierry Vernaudon, a Tahitian surfer, was the pioneer of Teahupoo, back in 1985.

Since then Teahupoo has claimed five lives. When fired up, Chopes is deadly. So, it's important to remember how not to surf the Tahitian gem. Rule number one: don't be where the wave breaks.

"Don't be in the lip. Get down before the lip", adds Joel Parkinson. "Don't go right and don't go on close-outs", says John John Florence.

Rule number two: don't hesitate. Then, if you take off too deep, you're peanut butter. Matt Wilkinson throws a good one. "Don't not paddle hard".

In the end, you want to survive Teahupoo. Forget the medieval idea of conquering that particular wave. If you ride the beast, feel blessed.

Now, if you're ready to lose appetite for dinner, take look at what happened to Keala Kennelly after an horrific wipeout at Chopes.