Surfline’s predictions for “epic” surf, hitherto cartoonish, became accurate this morning as Teahupo’o, site of the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, came to life. Armies of darkened water, marching toward the famed reef, attacking it ferociously. A sight to behold as both the World Surf League and Strider Wasilewski turned their phones to “Instagram Live” mode ahead of the first morning heat.
And that first morning heat? An exciting draw featuring an iconic relic in Nathan Hedge, the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater and the current number one surfer in the world Filipe Toledo.
Toledo, with reputation for not enjoying the Teahupo’o battle, would certainly spear naysayers in the throat by dropping in to infamy, no?
Slater and Hedge traded waves, big and perfect, one after the other after the other with Toledo holding priority well out the back, refusing to paddle, one after the other after the other.
Slater, barreled, unable to contain smile.
Hedge, barreled, unable to contain smile or beat, smartly, boss.
Toledo, un-barreled, holding priority for fifteen-odd minutes while Slater and Hedge swapped beneath him.
In the dying seconds, the King of Saquarema swung on a baby tube then punched board in channel.
Elimination round later today.