The WSL's Renato Hickel goes rogue! Calls Surfline's five to seven one to two.

Surf fans left in a confused disarray as WSL eschews partner forecaster Surfline’s “cartoonish” five-to-seven-foot wave-size call as it cancels Outerknown Pro for day due to “one-to-two-foot” waves!

And Surfline's chief forecaster comes out swinging, “Next time you take a crack, you should make the effort to get your facts straight. But I guess you only care about clicks with #fakenews.” 

As reported yesterday, Surfline, the world’s preeminent surf forecaster and official partner of the WSL, predicted “five-to-seven-foot” waves for Teahupoo on Monday.

A little time on Surfline’s own  Teahupoo cam, hosted by Havae Bungalows right there on the point, however, revealed one-foot lines folding onto ‘emselves on the famous reef. 

Barely enough wave-power, as I wrote yesterday, to propel an SUP or one of those fantastic pedalo devices that so thrilled spectators at Burleigh Heads last week. 

As readers, and Surfline’s own Senior Forecast manager Jonathan Warren, were quick to point out, the screen-grab of little waves used in the story was from Sunday.

French Polynesia, of course, is on the other side of the international date line to Australia. Monday here, Sunday there.

“Next time you take a crack, you should make the effort to get your facts straight,” Warren wrote. “But I guess you only care about clicks with #fakenews.” 

All very good, and true, points.

Warren included a still from the cam of a Teahupoo drainer that might’ve been almost four foot at the takeoff.

A correct forecast, then, might’ve been one-to-two with the real occasional bigger set.

Wave of the day!

So what did today bring? 

If you were to ask Mr Renato Hickel, the WSL’s own man making the calls on whether or not the event is to run, the waves are “one-to-two-foot.” 

Five-to-seven-(Surfline) foot, Teahupoo, Monday, August 15.

The waves are building, said the famously handsome Brazilian and former beau of four-time world champion Lisa Andersen, but too small for competition.

I watched for twenty minutes and saw a couple of lazy three-footers.

The contest was put on hold for many hours until, even with the rideable sets making reluctant cameos, the plug was pulled until tomoz, or maybe Thursday, when Surfline is calling for a mighty ten-to-fifteen feet of oceanic madness.

Strap yourself in!

Open Thread: Comment Live on the Outerknown Tahiti Pro where courage and a willingness to just go for it, whether it is a conversation or a spontaneous trip or pitching over a ledge onto dry reef is a really attractive quality!

Go time (maybe).

Do you know where this wave is?
Do you know where this wave is?

European news service breaks number one rule in surfing, commits cardinal sin by outing secret location of heavily localized wave!

Heads will roll.

There are a good handful of rules in surfing that we, on the inside, know and generally respect. Person closest to the peak has priority (unless the person not as close to the peak has been surfing the spot for fifty-plus years then he or she is allowed to drop in and also throw board rocks), don’t paddle out at a new spot with more than two Brazilians in tow, ride each wave all the way to the beach and throw a shaka when fins hit the sand etc. but none is as precious as NOT outing the location of secret waves.

Breaking that rule is to commit surfing’s cardinal sin and, thus, surfers around the world woke this morning, mouths agape, to the revelation that, a major French television, radio station and internet news service, not only outed a wave but provided detailed directions on how to get there.

The headline of the story screamed, “This secret surf spot 15,000km from Paris is hosting part of the 2024 Olympic Games” and, once clicked upon, read:

The next Olympic games will take place in Paris in 2024. However, it’s just been announced that the surfing competitions are going to take place a little further away from the French capital than you might expect…

15,716 kilometres away to be precise, in the village of Teahupo’o on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia.

It’s around a 20 hour flight to Papeete, the island’s capital. After that visitors need to cross through the rural areas of Tahiti’s jungle to get to the southern part of the island.

There in black and white, or white and black if you prefer the reverse screen on you phone/computer.

Teahupo’o which can be accessed by flying to Papeete then crossing through rural jungle to arrive south.

Like providing a map and putting a big X where the treasure is.

"X" not exact.
“X” not exact.

There is no telling how Teahupoo’s locals will react to this indignity but if they are anything like Lunada Bay’s Bay Boys, across the Pacific in California, things might get very dicey.

More as the story develops.

Five-to-seven-feet and offshore Teahupoo.

Surfline’s already cartoonish wave-size calls reach hitherto unseen levels of absurdity as “five-to-seven-feet and offshore” is deemed too flat to start Outerknown Tahiti Pro!

Don't believe your eyes!

This morning if you were to take Surfline, the preeminent surf forecaster and official partner of the WSL, at their word you would’ve predicted the door on the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, which has been on standby for the last four days, would’ve have been flung open.

According to the official Surfline forecast, and as published by the WSL, today’s surf is “five-to-seven feet, offshore.” 

If you’ve ever been to Teahupoo, you’l know that anything over four foot and the joint starts to light up, at least if the swell has a little west in it to kick the bowl into life. 

Five foot-plus polished by a light trade wind is the stuff of dreams, perfect, perhaps, to give the gals a taste of non-lethal Teahupoo

Yeah, wave size is a subjective thing, one man’s four foot is another man’s six, etc, but over the course of things we’re all roughly equal or within a twenty percent margin. 

Turn on Surfline’s cam at Teahupoo this morn and it’s two-foot, max.

Enough, barely, to propel an SUP or one of those fantastic pedalo devices that so thrilled spectators at Burleigh Heads last week. 

On Wednesday, Surfline  promises “ten-to-fifteen feet, offshore” which is, according to my accounting, one of those Code Reddish sorta swells, barely rideable monsters, wrangled by only a very few surfers such as Matahi Drollet and co.

Which raises the question, I think, what’s it gonna be when it hits?

Four foot? Six-foot?

Or something historic?

And, maybe most importantly, when are the gals gonna get a chance to shine?

New York's finest etc. | Photo: NY Times

See the insane moment New York cops wrestle and cuff a swimmer at Rockaway Beach for the crime of not surfing, “You should’ve brought a surfboard!”

“I’m not allowed to be in nature? In NATURE??”

Ain’t this a switcharoo. 

Surfers, long accustomed to being blackballed so swimmers can frolic unmolested and without fear of being decapitated during the hot summer months, watched, maybe a little confused, as a man was dragged off Rockaway Beach in cuffs for not surfing on Friday. 

Andres Velasquez, who is thirty-three, was having a little spritz in the warmish waters off the famous Queens neighbourhood when he heard a whistle and a phalanx of cops waiting for him on the sand. 

His crime?

Swimming in an area “designated solely for surfing and where swimming is always prohibited” and swimming after six pm.

A video posted by the New York Times finds the man shrieking, “I’m not allowed to be in nature? In NATURE??”

“Yessir,” chime the cops or New York City Parks Department patrol officers, if you wanna be precise. 

“Dude, I have friends that surf? It makes no sense,” says Velasquez. 

“Where’s your surfboard?” asks cop, wearing a fluoro snoot. 

“At the beach house!” 

“You should’ve brought your surfboard…” 

One of the chief lifeguards at the beach Janet Fash said the arrest was “kind of outrageous.” 

“I feel like what happened, it’s so wrong to do to someone,” Valasquez told the Times. “We’re just swimming at the beach, we’re swimming in a natural body of water.”

Watch here!