“That was heavy,” says Nathan Florence.
A couple of days back, Teahupoo was big, skis and boats everywhere, drivers’ faces wet with spray and sweat as they manoeuvred photographers into position to shoot the wave’s extravagant barrel in a game of potentially fatal choreography.
Pretty rare for a boat to go over, or lose a passenger, especially in the hands of the experienced drivers who work the two-lever steering wheels, forever treading an ultra-fine line between deep water and the slightest incline of reef that’ll drag ‘em back into the hole.
In the incident below, Ted Grambeau, possibly the best, definitely the sweetest, surf photographer ever to draw breath, and Chris Bryan, the high-def video gun for hire, for whom the phone tolls every time a studio wants the finest in surf-cinematic vision, are tossed from their vessel, along with their lunch baguette, only seconds after recording an epic ride.
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The Tahitian driver is catlike in a scenario that would have most leaving wet web stains on the front of their red bunny pyjamas.