The Real Story Behind Tahiti's Code Burgundy Swell - Stab Mag

The Real Story Behind Tahiti’s Code Burgundy Swell

Threats of arrest, 12 waves ridden.

elsewhere // Jul 23, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Love em or hate em, Surfline’s marketing strategy is undoubtedly effective. By creating narratives around each and every swell, they generate compelling reasons for people to tune into their premium cams and follow the swell pattern up any given coast. 

With their hype-train forecasts and daily reports, Surfline has effectively diminished the need for swell charts or local knowledge, meaning far more people have the potential to score on every swell. Despite this, very few pro surfers made it to Teahupo’o for last week’s megaswell.

July 13th was the second time ever that officials in Tahiti called a “Code Red”, which essentially meant that no nautical activities would be permitted for 24 hours. Despite this, we still saw more than a handful of jet-skis in the channel at Chopes.  

Matahi Drollet, Eimeo Czermak, Billy Kemper, Kala Grace, Lucas Chumbo, and a few other loose units weren’t going to let a little bureaucracy stop their fun.  

In the above video, Surfline’s Kevin Wallis breaks down the swell and the story behind Code Red 2.0. We also get to see all of the significant moments from the day in Tahiti. Truthfully, half these waves almost look like attempted suicide. Noah Beschen’s ride to start the video has shades of Nathan Fletcher’s famous wave, and Eimeo’s wipeout nearly gave us whiplash.

Worth it?

Admittedly, this swell didn’t seem quite as clean or impressive as the original Code Red swell, and only about a dozen waves were ridden throughout the day. Still, we’d say everyone got their money’s worth. 

Click above for a 9-minute adrenaline rush, courtesy of the Southern Ocean x Surfline.


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