At the End of the Road in Tahiti

Just in case you have been wondering where I’ve been the last month, since there have been no updates here, I was in Tahiti shooting big wave surfing on the famous wave known as Teahupo’o. I shot over 11,000 images in ten days – hence there is a lot of work to be done editing and working up those image files. All in all, it was a fantastic trip and I shot for a few different clients including TransWorld SURF, PeachPit Publishing (for a new book) and also for an advertising client who shall remain unnamed at this point.

Sadly, I had to leave on August 20th to teach a workshop in Maine at the Maine Media Workshops (and it went fantastically well) but in doing so I missed out on one of the biggest swells to hit Teahupo’o in the last decade – perhaps the biggest swell to ever hit Tahiti.That swell rolled in this past weekend on Saturday, August 27, 2011. It went down as one of the scariest days of surfing ever and the folks that towed into that monster surf showed some serious cajones. Many were injured and female big wave surfer Maya Gabiera took six monster waves on the head before being rescued. The result was a burst ear drum. For a recap of that stormy day watch the video below.

Video courtesy of Billabong

Even though I missed out on the giant swell, I was able to photograph many of the best surfer’s in the world on sizable waves like in the image above of Kelly Slater ripping down the face of an eight-foot (Hawaiian) emerald blue wave. Kelly put on quite a show on my last day in Tahiti and the light was considerably better than that this past weekend. I still have a lot of images to edit and process but I just thought I’d put up a few of the stand outs I have seen so far in my initial edit.

Stay tuned for a full feature article on this trip, and a lot more images, in the Fall 2011 Newsletter due out this coming October.
  • Greg C. - That’s sick Michael. Watching the event right now, Kelly is into the finals. That red alert tow-in session was one of the gnarliest surf surfing I’ve ever seen. Look forward to more pics and stories .

  • Josh Gruetzmacher - That shot of Slater is $$$. Excited to see more from your time out there. I’m sure it’s all solid. A classic “shoulda been there yesterday…” moment on the swell you missed 😉

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