Surfing Vancouver Island  

Steve Fagan's 2006 Tahiti Tale  


2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan

part II

Fritz with Aaron Jackson - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 

Andy Irons - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
Andy Irons
Andy Irons - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 

Hira Teriinatoofa - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
Hira Teriinatoofa
Taylor Knox - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
Taylor Knox
Steve Fagan's 2006 Tahiti Tale Part II

At the Billabong Pro a favorite spot for the pros to get warmed up is a spot called Small Pass. Small Pass has both a left and a right and it doesn't take a big pulse to get great waves. On one of the comps "days off", the lineup at Small Pass was full of surfing's Who's Who. We wanted to get out on the water to shoot pictures and video. People who can't bring their own JetSki to Tahiti hire one a local fish boats to shoot from and we hired Fritz and his new boat. I've known Fritz for many years and through many adventures at Small Pass. In years past, I worked with Fritz training water patrol there.

On an outgoing tide the current runs about five knots through the spot that you need to be in to get the best shots. We were filming Andy Irons , Hira Teriinatoofa, Taylor Knox , and Danny Fuller. My buddy Steve Ryan, the surf photographer from down under, showed up in a little 15 foot tinny [aluminum runabout] with a 25 horsepower out board on it. There was him, the driver, his wife, and is 15-year-old daughter who is there to watch her favorite surfer, Andy Irons perform. Unfortunately the real performance of the day was the tinny's. The driver got caught by the second wave of one of the biggest sets of the day. Too much weight in the boat, not enough power, or a moment misjudged, the boat and its contents spilled upside down on to the reef. Aaron Jackson was filming a surfer that almost collided with the doomed tinny. Famed North Shore cameraman Mike Prickett was just meters away from where the boat landed and said he had the whole episode on 35mm film. Steve Ryan's daughter was trapped under the boat on the reef or quite awhile but there was a happy ending. She got to meet Andy Irons who left the lineup and risk injury on the reef and help flip the boat off the girl. I thought it was great to see the No. 1 contender put himself at risk and jump in when other surfers just kept dropping in. Andy gets top marks from this waterman.

This footage and story is sure to be part of my upcoming high-definition movie called Havasu's around the world in 80 waves.
Steve Fagan

» Steve owns Jet Addiction Surf Rescue - services & equipment rentals on Coastal British Columbia

part I

Bobby Martinez - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
Bobby Martinez
Bobby Martinez - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 
Bobby Martinez - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 
Bobby Martinez - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 

2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 
Danny Fuller - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
Danny Fuller

2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 
2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 

Keala Kennelly - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
Keala Kennelly
Keala Kennelly - 2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 

2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 
2006 Billabong Pro, Tahiti - Photo:Steve Fagan
 
Steve Fagan's 2006 Tahiti Tale - Part I

Last month I was planning my trip to the Billabong Pro in Tahiti to shoot a segment for my upcoming movie, Around the World in 80 waves. I started telling Aaron Jackson about working the Teahupoo event over the 3 years, and in days, he was sold and we were off with enough camera gear to sink a jetski. The first week we spent waiting for swell. It was the flattest ocean I have seen over 4 years of traveling to Tahiti. Eventually a swell arrived, but on the second day of shooting, my high-definition video camera died. All I could do was shoot stills through to the end of the contest.

The surfers on this tour never disappoint. I shot the free surf sessions and caught Bobby Martinez pulling off amazing tube rides. I picked him and Danny Fuller as my pics to win.

Keala Kennelly arrived at the comp with a back injury she got in Fiji. They thought she might have a broken back. Local x-rays were not conclusive so I drove her to Papeete for a CAT scan and to see if I could rent a high-definition video camera. No luck with the camera but after hours in the hospital, Keala gets the ok. Her back was not broken. Great news but she could still just barely walk and with the small surf forecast, the girls event was sure to be the first to go. Keala is a big fan of the Tahiti stop on the women's tour it is the last event for the women's tour in Tahiti. Determined to compete, Keala has a doctor shoot Novocain in beside each affected vertebrae. What a trooper. No wonder she is so well respected on the tour.

Look for a few more installments of Steve Fagan's 2006 Tahiti Tale including a story about Andy Irons, a reef, and an unfortunate boat.

» Steve owns Jet Addiction Surf Rescue - services & equipment rentals on Coastal British Columbia

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