Teahupo'o Code Red
August 29, 2011 12:49 AM   Subscribe

"At 7 a.m. Saturday morning the reports from the lineup were mixed. Big sets in the 20-foot plus range, some bigger ones and all on the verge of unsurfable. Tow-in crews who'd flown in from all over the world were sitting in the lineup watching the waves hit the reef and timing the sets. Meanwhile photographers and video crew were stuck on land arguing with government officials who had declared a "Code Red Alert" and shut down the channel leading to Teahupo'o."
posted by Ahab (24 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Those are some spectacular photos Ahab, thanks.
posted by arcticseal at 1:21 AM on August 29, 2011

Balls out, and not just for the wave height - there had to be little to no water covering most of that reef with breaks that big.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:25 AM on August 29, 2011

Insane. I agree with the guy who said it makes him feel sick to see that wipeout.

The first time I learned about Teahupo'o was when Brice Taerea died there about ten years ago (the grizzley story was circulating on surf forums.) The reef there is just below the surface ... worse than Pipeline for danger ... and a crazy jacked up wave to boot. Someone back then said it was more like a waterfall than a wave.

Thanks for the post, Ahab -- good links.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:57 AM on August 29, 2011

That wipeout in the end...no words.

Teahupo'o is always impressive, but this is the thickest, fastest and with the farthest reach I've ever seen. Yes, I realize that sounds raunchy. And believe me, I'm lying in bed, scared of it.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:44 AM on August 29, 2011

posted by nathancaswell at 4:34 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love to surf. I love the ocean. And still footage like that makes my testicles crawl up inside my body. When you fall, because of the wave speed, you fall UP. That's just not right.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:23 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I grew up bodysurfing in the 4-foot wash on the North Shore while the big boys were riding boards farther out, and watching footage of Teahupo'o makes me want to hork.

Laird Hamilton on Teahupo'o.
posted by rtha at 6:37 AM on August 29, 2011

Wipeouts, in slow-motion HD – terrifying.
posted by niceness at 6:39 AM on August 29, 2011

Oops, sorry - missed the link
posted by niceness at 6:40 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Advice: Mute.
posted by schmod at 6:44 AM on August 29, 2011

Teahupo'o makes me ill. I love to surf, but I love my life more and I'm not that skilled a surfer.
posted by NationalKato at 7:08 AM on August 29, 2011

Eddie would go, I would stand on the beach with my stomach churning.
posted by ecourbanist at 7:21 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Jesus. Those waves are a good 20 feet thick. That's insane.

Pic 7/16 in the gallery from that first link contains a surfer's bum; possibly NSFW. It is a bum worth getting fired for, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:56 AM on August 29, 2011

I still don't understand how anyone can survive having so much water dropped on them.
posted by chemoboy at 12:49 PM on August 29, 2011

Most of the laws of physics and hydrology to not apply to that place, it seems.
posted by Danf at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2011

Jaw = dropped.

This makes me miss the ocean even more than I already did.
posted by schyler523 at 3:07 PM on August 29, 2011

I think it also helps if you're not a mere mortal, like the rest of us.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

The "some bigger ones" vid is jaw dropping. I've seen videos of taller waves being ridden, but I don't know if I've even seen anything that looked like it had that much speed and power.
posted by markr at 4:35 PM on August 29, 2011

So, is anybody else seeing what I'm seeing?

At ~1 00 in on this video, it looks like Dear Morrison loses it and starts to fall off backwards, his back contacts the face of the wave which bounces him upright and he carries on and kicks out?
posted by Relay at 7:08 PM on August 29, 2011

Pic 7/16 in the gallery from that first link contains a surfer's bum

Thanks for the tip: I missed the bum the first time around, and it was definitely worth going back for.
posted by lollusc at 8:09 PM on August 29, 2011

Super slo-mo HD footage. I seriously don't understand how this doesn't wind up being a snuff film.
posted by the painkiller at 7:41 AM on August 30, 2011

and I shouldn't be surprised if surfers trembled
before the mighty waves, the waves of Teahupoo.
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 6:14 AM on September 1, 2011

Whoa. That's just...messed.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:50 PM on September 6, 2011

posted by rtha at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2011

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