The world’s top surfers are on the South Pacific island of Tahiti, home of the world’s heaviest wave, Teahupoo, for event 5 of the 2010 ASP World Tour.
Jordy Smith the current World No 1, is the main seed for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, a career first for the young South African.
“I realize that it’s not always going to be a walk in the park,” Smith said. “Being No. 1 is much like being No. 2, 3 or 4 as there is still a long way to go this season. I am working heat to heat, and that is really all that I can do.
“My goals are to win heats and stay in range to win battles which, in the end, will win the war. For me, nothing has changed in my formula – my preparation is the same and my focus stays heat to heat. A win would be great.”
Despite having yet to get a solid result in Tahiti (a 17th in 2008 and a 9th in 2009), Smith’s growing familiarity with the wave gives him confidence moving forward.
“Teahupoo is known for its power and stands alone as one of the most unique waves in the world,” Jordy said. “I don’t think there is any surfer on the planet who does not respect it, even if it’s breaking at a mid-range size.
As perfect as it gets, it can still crush your dreams even if you favour big waves, and I don’t think anyone gets into a comfort zone out there. You can’t get too cheeky.”
With the added intensity of the midyear field reduction and the minefield of Teahupoo specialists lining the wildcard ranks, Smith understands the challenge awaiting him in this island paradise.
Jordy will take on former World Champion C.J. Hobgood (USA) and wildcard Manoa Drollet in Round 1 of competition.