- 25 September 2013 | Surfing
The Tahitian wave riders have sent a clear message to the tow-in surfing community. No jet skis will be tolerated at Sapinus.
The tow-in versus paddle in controversy has reached a new climax, following the Dave Wassel versus John Duval wave battle, in Sapinus, Tahiti.
The local surfers and bodyboarders say tow-in is not good, and if it can be paddled, there's no towing allowed in the French Polynesian spot.
John Duval has delivered his side of story, after watching the Dave Wassel knife video. The Tahitian says Wassel denied jet-ski rescue after the incident in the perfect-blue barrels, on 14th May 2013, leaving him in trouble in the reef pass.
"I never dropped in on anyone. That day was too much for me. I dropped on him just to make a statement because he didn't show respect to us", says Duval.
The entire surfing community at Sapinus has backed him. David Tuarau, Tahurai Henry, Alvino Tupuai and Niko Richard have left warning signs to all foreigners.
"This is a message going out to the foreigners who come to our country. First, respect our country. Second, respect our Polynesian people. Third, be humble and don't put yourself above us", says Tuarau.
"When locals are there and foreigners come over and surf the waves with skis around them, in every set, I guess I understand why my friend John dropped in on that guy. Locals are here in Tahiti waiting for perfect waves, too. Respect and you'll be respected", underlines Henry.
"It's not a war between bodyboarders and surfers. In Tahiti, everyone is united, everyone surfs with joy between surfers and bodyboarders, everyone respects each other", adds Tupuai.
"So far, we can't really say there's been localism in Tahiti, but if people continue to disrespect... I can see why the vibe changes and the mentality here evolves. Tension could grow stronger. Respect the spot and don't just do whatever you want here. This isn't your place to take over", concludes Richard.
Heiarii Williams leaves a last message to Wassel and the tow-in teams. "You're not coming here anymore".