Teahupoo Two.

This isn't your father's perfect wave, and unless seeing your next birthday doesn't rank
on your list of priorities, it isn't yours either. Tahiti's Teahupoo (pronounced cho-pu)
is essentially a glorified closeout -- a hideous, deadly barrel promising a heap of
trouble for even the most capable of surfers. In recent years, professional contests
and high-profile tow-ins have bombarded us with images of her seemingly flawless
barrels, but no other surf spot extracts a higher toll than Teahupoo, the heaviest
wave in the world......

Ages ago, freshwater from the mountains flowed into the ocean, eroding the reef
and creating what is known today as Passe Havae. The pass is located where the
town's paved road ends, thus its early name, "The End of the Road."  The channel
at Teahupoo isn't actually a channel at all, as the wave bends and races along into
a below sea level dry reef closeout. A 15-minute paddle from land, Teahupoo's
severe shape results from a drastic change in gradient  as powerful swells leave a
gently sloping bottom and are hurled forward by the reef. The lip -- as thick as it is
tall -- pitches with such velocity that one must take off under it to avoid being
launched. Guts alone may cut it at some big-wave venues, but here they'll get you
killed. An iron sack must be accompanied by finesse in negotiating a wave that has
relegated Pipeline to mere warm-up status.......

Article via Surfline.com

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