BOHEMIAN LIFE | Tahiti’s Surf Culture and Infamous ‘Teahupoo’ compels Pipeline’s “Expert Only” Surf Travelers episode 1 by WITHINcast film director Eric Schnitzler
HAUTEOC met again with WITHINcast’s Film Director Eric Schnitzler on a day in the life of tahitian surfers featuring his latest film which debuted Withincast, a new series of Tahitian podcasts; an extension his original film “Within.” It’s primary focus is to expose the talent of these local surfriders whose skill level can compete with some of the best in professional surf world. ”These guys are seriously putting their lives on the line, just for the love of their waves and the sport. WITHINcast also focuses on showing the world a bit of Tahitian culture and lifestyle. – Eric Schnitzler”
HAUTEOC: In our last talks Eric, you mentioned that surfing in Tahiti is really unique and lot of folks may not yet identify it as a major surf destination, tell us how its growing and the surf culture surrounding “Teahupoo”
ERIC: Well, a lot of Surfers are intimidated by Tahitian waves as the infamous “Teahupoo” has been well publicized and is not for the average surf traveler. It’s an “Experts Only” kind of wave that has taken lives, hopefully will not happen again. But yes Tahiti is known more for it’s “Piloti” overwater bungalows that hang over it’s beautiful coral reef lagoons and of course it’s friendly people. But I think it is a growing surf destination as there are more user friendly waves available to surf.
HAUTEOC: Who are the Tahitian Surfers you interview and feature?
ERIC: Yes the 4 named in the intro are the main characters that represent WITHIN. They are there to promote the growth and recognition of themselves along with the rest of local wave riders in Tahiti although each individual has their own goals. I mean, considering how famous the Tahitian waves are… Why not give a bit back to the locals? It is there place after all and they ride their own waves better than anyone in my opinion. Tahitians are naturally ocean people and to me, are the best wave riders in the world. They don’t fear jagged, razor sharp coral or 10-15 foot waves. I see kids playing on reefs like we in the states would play on sand hehehe. They’re made for the ocean and are super comfortable with it which creates a breeding ground for talented surfers.
HAUTEOC: Its looks very compelling.. what is the location, how high do the waves get, would you compare it to Pipeline, how does it compare to other major surf destinations..
ERIC: In this podcast, waves all over the island of Tahiti were featured including Teahupoo, Taapuna and many other spots. There’s just endless possibilities in French Polynesia.
Pipeline is considered by many to be the best wave in the world. Everyone has their own views, but to me, I’d have say Tahiti is better. It’s more consistent, more perfect and easy to read, not to mention, much less crowded which is always a plus.
HAUTEOC: What can we expect from the next episode.. And how can surfers learn more about traveling there to hook up with locals etc.
ERIC: I plan on continuing these series of episodes with the same prospect but hoping to have new waves, new angles and new places to keep it interesting. Every episode has the same goal as in giving locals exposure, but each episode with a different story.
As far as hooking up with the locals, Tahiti is not a hard place to make friends. I would say the best thing to do is just show up and paddle out at a spot with a friendly and humble attitude. Tahitian people are some of the most welcoming people on earth. I mean, where else on the globe can you paddle out to someones local spot and see locals going out of their way to shake your hand and welcome you to their waves. Sadly it’s pretty rare these days. Tahitians have the right idea on life and I think people can learn a lot from them.
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