Chopes. Chow Poh. Cho Poo. Teahupoo. The end of the road. Wave most likely to see surfers shit their pants mid heat. There are three proven ways to score high at this venue – get pitted, get shacked, or get farking cooooooned! You could also get tubed or barrelled, but they don’t sound as dramatic.

Turns are rare. Airs are rarer. A big roundhouse at the end can make all the difference, but it’s the start of the wave that’s the star of the show. Knowing that grade-A tube pigs are going to be the openers in any smart player’s team, here is your WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for Tahiti 2019.


There are two surfers in the field this year with craaaaaaazy track records at Teahupoo. They are both in tier A. The first is the GOAT. He’s had a record 5 wins, 2 runner-ups and a million wild pits here. His last win was in 2016, so not all that long ago. He also scored a ridiculous 19.67 points in the final. The other guy is Gabby Medina. He’s defending champ, has made the final 4 out of the last 5 years, and made semis the other year. In short, he’s a freeeeeeak out there. Big, small or in between, he has to be in your team. Kelly’s probably the same, although if it’s a little smaller there could be other options.

One of those other options is Italo Ferreira. He’s in amazing form and is deadly in deadly barrels. His best result in Tahiti is only a quarters (which he’s done twice), but you have to think he’s a solid option. Another dark hose is Kolohe Andino. I say dark hose, because he’s not the first name you think of when you think Chopes, but he has some sneaky good results here. The last 3 years have seen him rack up a 5th, 3rd and a 5th. It’s actually his best event on tour if you look at his history. Considering he’s been bumping his head against the ceiling for a win for a while now, this could be the place he finally breaks through. The one thing working against Kolohe right now is his high seed. “What? Are you high?” I hear you say. Normally, being high (in seeding) is a bonus, but now it means Kolohe will draw wildcards in round 1 and probably round 3. That’s a tough gig when those guys have a history of shattering dreams at this event more than the reef shatters bones.

Ryan Callinan and Jordy are two are options who are no slouches when it comes to left tubes. Jordy will be stinging to make up for his bonehead performance at J-Bay. R-Cal is simply a deadset legend who I want to see win everywhere. However, given there’s better options up there, you’re going to have to be ballsy to put them in.

Kanoa and Filipe would be my hard nos in this tier. Sure, they could surprise, but I’m putting my money on much, much surer things.

In Short
In – GOAT and Gabby

Back up – Italo
Dark Horse – Kolohe


Tier B is full of maniac chargers you’re going to want in your team. There are proven quantities here like Jeremy Flores (2015 champ) and Owen Wright (2nd last year, 2nd in 2011). Both charge harder than a lithium battery on turbo. You also have Ace Buchan who won in 2013 and seems to have finally turned a form corner this year. Julian Wilson is another ex-champ, winning in 2017. While his form has been flatter than chewing gum on a footy boot, he is more than capable of a comeback win here.

There are also guys like Conner Coffin, Seth Moniz, Joan Duru and the mighty Seabass, who could all potentially hit the final podium with a good run. If you’re looking for sneaky picks that might not be in too many teams, there is plenty of candy to choose from. One trap you might be tempted to fall into is Michel Bourez. Home break. Amazing in the tube. What could go wrong? I’m not too sure, but ask him. A sea witch might have put the local juju on him at some point, because the best he’s done here is a 9th. Once. After that it’s all 13ths and 25th. Not great. You’re better off looking toward Brazilian hopefuls like Yago Dora who could totally exceed expectation. Also, another one in our WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for Tahiti is Wade Carmichael, who got quarters here in his rookie attempt and could be a great option again this year.

Leave out? The first that comes to mind is Peterson Crisanto. He’s totally unproven at Teahupoo. For someone most known for his small wave surfing, he isn’t likely to do well in heavier water like this.

In Short
In – Owen, Jeremy, Julian, Ace

Back up – Seth or Seabass
Leave – Crisanto


Tier C is like an ageing avocado in appearance – plenty of rotten options with some tasty bits if you look hard enough. I’d be sliding my knife around guys like Adriano De Souza, Zeke Lau and Soli Bailey to pluck out and put on my toast. All of them charge and are epic tube riders. Soli especially could be a good get as someone who has wow’d at Pipe before and may be under the radar for many fantisizers teams. Obviously, the wildcards have to be in top consideration too. I’d be likely to see who draws Filipe in round one and go them, since he’s the weakest top seed at this wave.

Surfers I’d avoid include Jack Freestone, Griffin Colapinto and Jadsen Andre. None seem to be in particularly great form and are at a wave that none are major players at. Jesse Mendes could surprise, but there’s more likely options so he’s probably on the bench as well.

In short
Yes – ADS and Zeke Lau

Maybe – Soli or a Wildcard
No  – Freestone and Pinto

And that’s our WSL Fantasy Surfer Guide for Tahiti, so lock ‘em in and fantasise about being showered in winner’s champagne come finals time.