The strange thing about Teahupo’o is that it remained unknown to even the local surfers for so long. On my first trip to Tahiti with Haole Reeves in the late 80’s, we were riding a spot called big pass. Big pass is about 15 minutes before the end of the road. We had driven around looking for other waves to ride using some tips from the local surfers, but no one mentioned there was a wave there, so we never surfed it....A few years later the Tahitian surfing federation hosted a team challenge against the top PSAA surfers and bodyboarders. Chris Tennberg, Mike Stewart and my self were invited.
When we first got to the end of the road there was no visible wave to surf just a big reef pass and a lot of white water. Since it was such a long drive we decided to hang around and cruise. Some one noticed there was an occasional puff of mist in the middle of all the disorganized white water.
As we pin pointed the location of these occasional puffs we thought there must be a wave spitting, but the angle we were watching from did not let us see any ridable waves. So down the beach we went trying to get a better view. Since the waves break so far out it is hard to judge the size and ridability. A day or so later Chris and Mike went back and came home with a report of 6-8 foot pits spitting so hard the only comparison they could use was, heavier then pipeline... Since then I have made about 10 trips there, and after having a few pics published some of the locals started asking me were the spot was. I could not believe they did not know. I wish I never took any Photographers there now and you can be sure next time I find a wave like that it will remain unphotgraphed. For the record there was one local Bodyboarder that was riding it for years with no one around.