The APB & VAIRAO Surf Club are proud to announce the 2016 SPARKGREEN TAHITI CHALLENGE
Article written by:
RIPTIDE MAGAZINE (Michael Saunders)
It is regarded as one of the most dangerous waves in the world, and now it will be taken on by the world’s best bodyboarders.
The Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) will make its triumphant return to the infamous Teahupoo, Tahiti for stop two of the Men’s World Bodyboarding Tour, the Sparkgreen Tahiti Challenge presented by OPT and Air Tahiti Nui taking place from April 18 to May 2.
The APB three star event will feature 48 of the world’s best bodyboarders battling it out at the notorious reef break in the quest for $15,000 prize money and the glory of being crowned the first bodyboarding champion of Tahiti since 2004.
APB CEO Alex Leon said putting the Teahupo’o stop back on the bodyboarding world tour was “vital” for the growth of the sport.
“By returning to Teahupo’o, it will enable us to showcase the sport in its best light by putting the best bodyboarders in the world in the heaviest waves in the world,” Leon said.
“The bodyboard was built for thick, heavy slabs with steep faces and Teahupo’o provides just that.
“The tour has suffered without Teahupo’o the past 12 years by not being able to really show the potential of this amazing sport, so it is vital we get waves like Teahupo’o back on the world tour.”
Renowned one of the most dangerous, mesmerising and downright scariest waves on the planet, Teahupo’o – translated roughly as “broken skulls” – has grown a reputation as the ultimate test for wave riders.
Situated on the south-west coast of Tahiti, the wave can hold anywhere between six and 20 feet, producing a hollow and heavy barrel of razor sharp coral reef.
This year’s event marks 30 years since bodyboarding pioneers Ben Severson and MikeStewart first surfed the wave in “large” conditions, and since then it has become a popular spot for thrill-seeker bodyboarders.
The contest will be run over four days, with a two week waiting period and will feature the APB top 30 plus 18 trialists and wildcards.
So far wildcards include:
Sponsor wildcards: Davis Blackwell (ISS), Jason Finlay (JG Boards), Jake Stone(Bodyboard King)
Tahiti Wildcards: Tahurai Henry, Angelo Faraire plus two more to be announced next week.
APB Wildcards: Three to be announced this Friday.
The event will also feature a high-production webcast, with commentary by Manny Vargas and Erik Apple along with co-host Dave Hubbard.
Leon said he hopes the event will feature bodyboarding in it’s purest and most entertaining form, with judges looking for deep, heavy tube rides and “huge” air moves.
“If it’s big it’s all about making the drop and being able to ride the extremely powerful tube that breaks over a very dangerous and shallow coral reef,” Leon said.
“We will have the most experienced water safety crew on hand so I expect the best athletes to be going as hard as possible in this event.
“The judges will be focused on how deep riders can get to the shockwave inside the tube and ride out successfully with possible air moves.
“The bodyboard was created for deep, heavy tube rides and this is what we will see come late April.”
The SPARKGREEN TAHITI CHALLENGE
Presented by OPT & Air Tahiti Nui
Teahupoo April 18 – May 2
The top 30 APB athletes will collaborate with the top trialists and wildcards to make the 48 man main event to commence over 4 days of competition in a 2 week window. Live event broadcast on http://apbtour.com/live with hosts Manny Vargas and Erik Apple.
Trials positions will be capped at 64 athletes being first 32 Internationals and first 32 Tahitians to pay and secure their spots. International athletes to register online Wednesday on 14th March 9:00am Sydney time. (A Paypal account will be required) Tahitian riders to pay direct to Vairao Surf Club (email@example.com)
Air Tahiti Nui Airline discounts:
All international riders coming to the SPARKGREEN TAHITI CHALLENGE will get promocode on AIR TAHITI NUI FLIGHT ONLY in economy class + 1 extra luggage per participant. This has to be done 3 weeks before the event at least on minimum time on available seats only.
Accommodation and Transfers: