Teahupoo, August 13, 2021: a historic XXL swell hits Tahiti

August 19, 2021 | Surfing
Teahupoo, August 13, 2021: one of the biggest surfing days in the history of Tahiti

It was one of the biggest waves ever ridden at Teahupoo.

On August 13, 2021, Matahi Drollet took off on a massive barreling wave at Tahiti's infamous reef pass.

According to local reports, Matahi and his brother Manoa waited nine hours in the lineup before picking the ultimate wave.

The sun was already setting on the island when the Tahitian duo found the ticket to eternity.

At 5 pm, the jet ski towed the local surfer into a 25-foot liquid monster in what has been one of the largest tube rides in the history of Teahupoo.

The XXL swell that hit Tahiti was so powerful that it destroyed several houses located by the shoreline and sent boats over the falls.

The restricted session reminds us of 2011's Code Red days.

Matahi Drollet: he waited nine hours in the Teahupoo lineup for this wave

Brutal and Terrifying

Manoa's tow-in maneuvering skills were as perfect as the surf line drawn by Matahi Drollet inside the fast-breaking tube.

The Tahiti surfer manages to keep up with the wave's speed, hold his nerve and escape the foam ball in full glory.

The wave was not only big - it was thick, heavy, brutal, and terrifying. A wipeout would certainly have resulted in serious consequences.

Teahupoo provided the wave of a lifetime and most probably the most impressive ride of the year. The degree of difficulty and the intensity of the SSW swell is absolutely mesmerizing.

It was an epic moment in big wave surfing history, similar to Laird Hamilton's 2000 Millennium Wave.

A few hours before, Nathan Florence also found a couple of gems and rode them flawlessly.

"The first wave of the tow session was also the first like this ever at Teahupoo. It was so intense and spooky I felt I was constantly fighting to keep my nose up," explained Florence.

"When the lip lands, you can literally feel the air pressure change and condense inside the barrel as it gears up to spit. It is a vision I'll never forget!"

The historic XXL day at Teahupoo also provided unforgettable moments to Kauli Vaast, Lucas Chianca, Eimeo Czermak, and a few other swell hunters.

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