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Biggest Teahupoo - Extreme Wave Riding

Many are calling this day the biggest and gnarliest Teahupoo ever ridden. The French Navy labelled this day, during the waiting period for the legendary Billabong Pro surf contest, a Double Code Red, prohibiting and threatening to arrest anyone that entered the water. Chris Bryan was fortunate to be there filming for Billabong on a day that will go down in the history of big wave surfing. Images where shot by Chris on 27th August 2011using the Phantom HD camera - to see more of his great work www.chrisbryanfilms.com

Teahupo’o (pronounced Cho-Po) is a village on the south west coast of the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia, southern Pacific Ocean. The wave at Teahupo'o is a reef break. The swells mainly break left, but the outer reef also creates right breaks that surfers must be cautious of when paddling out. Teahupo'o is also renowned for the consistent number of barrels it delivers. It is widely regarded as being on the 'must-surf' list of every surfer. However, only experienced surfers in peak physical condition should attempt Teahupo'o as heavy waves, combined with a shallow shoreline, can result in serious injuries and even death in a wipeout.

Teahupo'o's legendary reputation for wave riding is partly due to its unique form. An extremely shallow coral reef, which ranges up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) beneath the waters 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. Thank you Wiki.

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