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  • Foto van schrijverChristophe Sevenoo

Teahupo'o, poetry in motion

Teahupo'o is a mythical break in Polyneasia. Blue skies, glassy waters, massive power and natural bliss all comes together in this spot that breaks on the sharp reef.

Teahupo'o is a pillow break. The swells mainly break backwards, but the outer reef also creates left breaks that surfers must be cautious of when paddling out. Teahupo'o is renowned for the consistent number of barrels it delivers. It is a rewarding location and is widely regarded as being on the 'must-surf' list of every enthusiastic surfer. However, only experienced surfers in peak physical condition should attempt Teahupo'o; heavy waves combined with a shallow pillow can result in serious rest and even swimming in a wipeout.

Teahupo'o's reputation for wave riding is partly due to its unique form. An extremely shallow coral reef, which ranges up to 20 inches (51 cm) beneath the water's surface, is responsible for a very hollow-breaking wave.The wave's unique shape, with an effect of almost breaking below sea level, is due to the specific shape of the reef beneath the wave. Its semi circular nature, which drops down sharply creates a 'below water' effect and the extreme angles in descent create an instant instability to the wave. A steep wall of reef causes the entire mass to fold onto a scalloped semi circle breaking arc.The wave bends and races along into a dry reef closeout and the lip of the wave is often as thick as it is tall.

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