We’ve been talking a lot lately about dangers to surfers — namely, sharks. And while sharks are scary-as-hell, they’re only one of the risks a wave rider takes when entering the water.
Another threat? The waves themselves. Many of the biggest waves on Earth break when swells rise out of the deep to collide with shallow coral reefs. This is the case with the Banzai Pipeline (“Pipe”) and Teahupo’o in Tahiti. Teahupo’o is often called the “heaviest wave on Earth,” and has claimed the lives of five surfers since the year 2000.
This week, Uproxx will release a piece of original reporting that profiles Kelly Slater’s semifinal battle with John John Florence at Teahupo’o in the 2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti. In the meantime, this newly released drone footage of the wave will give you some idea of Teahupo’o’s tremendous power.