St Francis Bay surfer Dale Staples who grew up surfing Kitchen Windows is among an elite field of 32 internationals who have been invited to contest the prestigious Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials at the notorious break of “Teahupo’o” in Tahiti.

 
The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials is a precursor to stop 5 on the ASP Men’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro and only the winner is guaranteed a wildcard seed direct into the Billabong Pro . A second position is open to the highest placed local Tahitian surfer.

Dale Staples surfed the Billabong Pro and is off to Tahiti to surf the next VonZipper Trial. Photo: Billabong

All surfers have been chosen based on previous performances at either Teahupo’o or abroad, and for their dedication to riding the world’s most intimidating surf spots.

The nature of the Teahupo’o break and the intensity of competition make the competition like no other. In surfing circles, the trials winner is lauded as a minor hero – required to put his life on the line inside the huge barrels that break across dangerously shallow, tropical reef and the respect earned from his peers is on par with the eventual champion of the main event.

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

Former Champions

2009 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2008 Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
2007 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2006 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2005 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2004 Heimata Carroll (PFY)
2003 Alain Riou (PFY)

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