One of the most dangerous, exciting, action-packed waves on the planet is about to have its yearly event. AND, it’s going to be 3ft. Noooooooooo. The forecast for the Tahiti WSL event at Teahupo’o is pretty much as bad as it gets.

This is after an absolutely cracking trials event too. It’s been a tough year for waves on tour, but hey, Filipe ain’t complaining. He’ll be happy as a tube pig in pits with a manageable 3-5ft opening day, and mostly chest to head high for the rest of the window. Unless there are some surprises, it’ll be advantage whippets and goofy footers. Not so great for goats.

With that in mind, here’s your best fantasy surfer picks Tahiti 2023…


Molly Picklum –
Molly has grab-railed her way into our hearts this year with her fearless approach and razor-sharp surfing. Her tube riding is some of the best on tour as well. Considering she’s in Tier B this time around, she’s an easy pick to roll into your fantasy surfer team for Tahiti. I’d even consider doubling her up. Time to tick the pickle.

Tatiana Weston-Webb –
Big call not putting anyone in my Tier A for the definites. I’ll explain in a sec but let’s start with Tati. The lone Goofy sitting in this tier, she has a great shot at making the podium. Chopes can be quite almondy when it’s small, which definitely favours forehand tube riding. Tati made semis last year here too, so recent history tells me she surfs this wave better than most. 

Now, I’ve left Tier A out because it’s borderline on who to pick. Carissa is great, but she’s going to draw Vahine, who is epic at Chopes in all conditions. Tyler is great, but she’s going to draw Johanne Defay, who is also insane in shallow reef lefts. Caroline is likely the pick here with her forehand tube skills, but maybe only by a slight margin over Carissa who’d normally be my go to. Throw a dart and go with your heart. You’re on your own with that one.


Vahine Fierro –
Normally, I put wildcards in avoid. Not this time around! Vahine finalled here last year and her surfing has only gotten better since then. A bigger forecast would play even better into her hands, but she’s still a force to behold at Teahupoo in any size. If she can get past Carissa in rnd 3 (a big if), she’ll take top seed for the rest of the event too and have a nice run to the final. Well worth considering.


Steph Gilmore –
Australia’s golden girl is unfortunately fools gold when it comes to lefts. Steph couldn’t crack out of the 3 point range for any ride last year at Teauhpo’o. Against Courtney Conlogue (who scored 14+ in their heat) Steph only managed a couple of 2s. The smaller forecast doesn’t do Ms Gilmore any favours here either. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m calling she’ll be out in the eliminations and out of contention to defend her world title. Prove me different, please.


Gabriel Medina –
It’s hard to argue with Medina’s record at Teahupo’o. Since 2014 he’s made semis or better every time he’s been in the event. That includes 2 wins and 2 second place finishes. The guy is a weapon. There’s no question in my mind he’s the one to beat this event, even with the smaller forecast. I mean, especially with the smaller forecast. If anyone is going to thread needles out there it’s Gabby. Get him in. Powered.

John John –
If Double John didn’t already have two first names, you’d call him Johnny Pitpig. That’s probably his middle names. John John Johnny Pitpig Florence.  Are you seeing where I might be heading here? Zero surfers have won Chopes without getting barrelled. Nada. Niet. Bupkis. Even at head high on his backhand, our friend John John Johnny is a tube riding maestro. He’ll be fuming after his last-minute loss at J-Bay too, ready to prove he’s still the biggest pit pig of them all. In tier B it’s an easy choice. I only wish I could put him in twice.


Yago Dora –
Oooooweeee. A tier A dark horse? Is there such a thing? There is if most of you are looking at the top top seeds like Filipe and Griffin. Lurking down there in 5th in the rankings, Yago is going to have to hold off Cyborg Medina if he wants a shot at surfing for the title this September. He’s also on his forehand, the forecast is perfect for him, and he’s in great form. Even better, if you rearrange the letters of his name, you can spell Agro Yoda. Let’s get angry, tube Jedi. Win the event, you must. 


Ethan Ewing –
Have I gone mad?! Everyone’s favourite carve lord is normally at the top of my pick list. Unfortunately not this time. Ethan’s track record in Tahiti isn’t amazing with just a 9th and a 13th in his bag. Considering he’s a top tier pick, it’s hard to justify him. One to sit on the bench this round, then cheer madly for at Trestles, sense he’s already secured his top 5 spot. Let’s go Than Wing!

Remember that teams now lock as soon as the event starts! The first day is one of the better days in the waiting period too, so it’s likely to kick off right from Aug 11th. Stay steady, get ready. Lock in those best fantasy surfer picks Tahiti for 2023.

Photo Credits –
World Surf League