Ummmm, Excuse Me Sir, But You're Dropping On My Head - Stab Mag

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Ummmm, Excuse Me Sir, But You’re Dropping On My Head

Justine DuPont and local bodyboarder share a potent cask at Teahupo’o.

elsewhere // Oct 7, 2021
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday the waves in Tahiti were quite large.

Not as large as they were back in mid-August, but large enough to dust off the skis and whip some local and traveling nutcases into waves at Teahupo’o. One of those nutcases was French big-wave lady Justine Dupont, who found herself in quite the predicament when a Tahitian bodyboarder decided to paddle into a wave she was halfway through riding.

In the past, we’ve seen instances like this result in serious drama. Most notably, Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard, Dave Wassell, was once “dropped-in on” by a local bodyboarder at a nearby wave, leading to a back-and-forth captured most contemptuously by this video.

We also recently debated the moral value of jetskis in paddle lineups here. The gist is, if a significant number of people are paddling, you probably shouldn’t be towing.

So, how did yesterday’s kerfuffle play out? Justine’s explanation reads:

Sorry for the big fans of controversy, my side of the story will disappoint you ????
The conditions at #teahupoo were really cool today with strong paddling waves and frequent tow sets.
My goal was to gain experience paddling and make a nice one
After a few wipeouts and a good intermediate wave I took a little break
The locals were paddling and towing in, it was really inspiring ????????
The atmosphere was really great and there was no animosity between paddlers and tow surfers. The vast majority of surfers in the lineup have alternated between one and the other.
When the opportunity came with the Tahian legend #Poto Vetea David I took it to go tow few waves.
I didn’t surf the first one well, I found myself in front of the tube ????
I’m happy with the second one, I got a better line (I’ll post it soon)
And then there was this one ????‍♀️
The wave looked really cool, I took my line and saw the bodyboarder turn around and paddle
I hesitated whether to go straight or jump off my board and finally I thought that maybe I could avoid it ????
He touched my arm, it was super close but I could make it????
He told me he was sorry and hadn’t seen me.
It’s part of surfing and there are no problems????????
The main thing is that neither of us gets hurt ????????
Thanks to all the locals for the encouragement and the good vibes ????????
Thank you Uncle Poto ????????
See you tomorrow in the lineup ????

We’ll wait to hear the bodyboarder’s side before we cast judgement.


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