* By Daniel D’Ascenzo Zach Gorecke * * Teahupoo is located in Tahiti, French Polynesia. * Sits on the 17th parallel south in the Pacific Ocean. * Island formed by two dormant volcanoes. * Surrounded by reefs formed by nutritious ocean water. * * Consistent swell year round comes primarily from the Roaring Forties. * Most powerful swell is during the winter months (May – October). * Best swell is from S, SE, or SW because of south facing reefs. * Wave periods of greater than 16 seconds ideal for big waves. * Receives some swell from Northern Hemisphere storms. * * Why aren’t all reef breaks like Teahupoo? * Unique seamount configuration to the south * Perfect depth for refracting long period swell(>16 s) so that it focuses on Teahupoo * Deeper water following seamounts, allowing no energy loss * * Teahupoo is a reef break that primarily breaks left. * Waves break at the same point at a pass in the reef. * Water depth changes from 100m to 10m almost instantly. * Slope from reef to seafloor is about 1/6. * Roughly equal to slightly less than the maximum slope a wave can endure before breaking. * Teahupoo translates to “broken skulls”. * * Break is about 1 km offshore * It is very difficult to paddle out to where the waves are breaking. For an experienced surfer it would take a solid 25 to 30 minutes of constant paddling. * It is recommended to be taken out by boat or drug out by jet ski. * * Considered the world’s “heaviest” wave. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYQQtxb8wv0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfPYVYc0U3M * Face often 10 times larger then the back. * Greater wave heights caused by more powerful swell. * Under 6 feet 95% of the time. * Best wind direction is from the NNE(offshore) * occurs 36% of the time. * * Summer months: November thru April * Increased: Temperatures, precipitation, and humidity * Winter months: May thru October * Decreased: Temperatures, precipitation, and humidity * Average air temperatures: 77-85 * Average water temperatures: 77-84 * * Seasonal Prevailing Winds * NE trade winds dominate from January to April * SE trade winds from May to August * Easterlies from September to December * Chance of hurricanes during summer * Offshore winds do not coincide with winter * Local weather patterns controlled by local topography * Rainier on windward side of islands Yellow = NE trades Brown= SE trades * • Easiest way to travel to Teahupoo is by plane. The average time it takes would be about 15 hours on the plane and additional time spent waiting for connecting flights. • Very Expensive • US Airways flight out of Philadelphia to Tahiti totals $1,128 with stops in Charlotte and Los Angeles then finally arriving at Papeete, Tahiti. • American Airlines flight out of Philadelphia to Tahiti totals $2,077 with stops in Chicago and Los Angeles then arriving at Papeete, Tahiti. • Once in Papeete, Tahiti one must either rent a car or take public transportation to Teahupoo. * *Friendly locals because tourism is a major component of French Polynesia’s economy and therefore provides many jobs. *Local Languages *French *Tahitian *Local currency is the CFP Franc *1 dollar = 86 CFP Francs *Local wildlife *Tiger sharks *Giant centipedes * * Teahupoo is home to the annual ASP Billabong Pro. * Fifth stop on ASP World Tour * This single event brings out some of the worlds best surfers * Former stop on bodybuilding world tour * * It is recommended that you have a board that fits the curve at Teahupoo. No long boards because the curve will toss any rider with a long board. Around 6’9’’ is a good board size. * It is also recommended to bring two spare boards. There is an increased chance of board breakage at Teahupoo. * Bandages and power for reef cuts are also recommended. Since the break is on a reef, many people get cuts and scratches on the coral. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlzSy_lUUvc&feature=related * Wave Period and Direction Wave Height * * Actual breaking wave heights corroborate to what would be expected. Teahupoo wind and swell statistics Approximately what waves would look like * * "Teahupoo." GlobalSurfers an Online Surf Travel Resource, by Surfers for Surfers with Free Surf and Travel Guides. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.globalsurfers.com>. * "Teahupoo Surf and Swell Size and Direction | SURFLINE.COM." SURFLINE.COM | Global Surf Reports, Surf Forecasts, Live Surf Cams and Coastal Weather. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://www.surfline.com/surf-report/teahupootahiti_8366/>. * "Teahupoo Swell Statistics." Surf Report, Surf Forecast, Surfing. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.surfforecast.com/charts/Teahupoo/surf/statistics/year>. * * Wilson, Peter. "Kelly Slater Wins 2011 Billabong Pro Tahiti - ESPN." ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. 30 Aug. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/story/_/id/6908358/kelly-slaterwins-2011-billabong-pro-tahiti>. * "Tahiti Surf Season, Surfing Conditions Tahiti- Waterways Travel." Surfing, Surf Charters, Surf Trips- Waterways Surf Adventures. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.waterwaystravel.com/surf_tahiti/tahiti_seasons.php * "Search for Cheap Airline Tickets at Cheapoair.com." Cheap Flights, Airline Tickets, Cheap Plane Tickets, Cheap Airfare â€ “CheapOair. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.cheapoair.com/default.aspx?tabid=1682>. * "Surfing Teahupoo – Tahiti | The Big Wave Blog." The Big Wave Blog: A Chronicle of Big Wave Surfing From Oahu's North Shore. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.thebigwaveblog.com/surf-spots/teahupoo-tahiti>. * * National Weather Service: Environmental Moeling Center. NOAA, 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/viewer.shtml?-multi_1latest-pacific-hs_sw1->. * Stanley, David. "Tahiti Travel Guide." South Pacific Organizer. N.p., 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.southpacific.org/guide/tahiti.html>. * Waldie, Adam. "Teahupoo-Anatomy of a Monster." Tracks. Tracks Magazine, 24 Mar. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http://www.tracksmag.com/Spotlight/Postcards/TEAHUPO O-–-ANATOMY-OF-A-MONSTER.html>.