Where's Teahupoo

A legendary swell is coming up for this year's Billabong Pro Tahiti. Reason enough to meet Quirin Rohlder to get some insider information about the spot, the dangers and, above all, the Lay Day activities.

Hello Quirin, how often have you been to Tahiti?
QR: I've been to Tahiti five times. Always to moderate the contest live on billabongpro.com.

At the moment there is nothing going on with the Billabong Pro, but a really big swell should arrive in the next hours or days. How is the atmosphere in Teahupoo when such a forecast is due?
QR: So there has never been a forecast until now. The first few years I was there it was big, but not that big (when it gets that big). But you shouldn't forget that the guys always step on the gas in the press releases. But it will definitely fuck ... great. The mood is difficult to describe as everyone lives quite a long way apart. I was always in the house with all the webcast guys. Next to us was the ASP and a little further on there was always Occy, Bruce and Andy. But everyone else lives a long way away.

Have you ever been on the water with bigger waves in Teahupoo?
QR: The biggest waves I've ever surfed there were 6 feet. The swell came directly from the west, which makes the wave as sucking as it can be. Basically it is like this: If you make the take-off, if you are not too deep and pull in, then you usually get out again because the barrel is already very perfect. But ... Of course, that can go wrong. The worst thing is when you take a smaller one, pull it out and rush a thick set towards you. Because the wave is racing. And it seems like no matter how hard you paddle, you can't move forward at all.

You have to make a 100% decision when paddling a wave, how does it go in the lineup? How do you make a mistake here?
QR: Funnily enough, everything goes very well when there are a lot of pros in the water. That's pretty neat. But of course you have to look carefully. Usually a few people sit deep on the reef, others wait for the far west sets.

You were probably the only German in the water? Do you still know a few German surfers who surfed there?
QR: Back then. But by now there were probably a few others. I saw a nice wave from Thomas Lange there.

Has it ever washed you really nasty there?
QR: I tore my outer ligament in my right foot when I fell in a barrel.

How do you get to safety after a wash? Do you always have to go back to the channel?
QR: It depends where you are. If you fall at the very end, then of course in the direction of the channel. Sometimes you are simply washed into the lagoon. If you fall early, it is sometimes better not to paddle towards the channel, but rather in the other direction, because you just don't want to get a big west set on your head that simply has the most power.

Is it the most brutal wave you've ever surfed?
QR: Yes.

What do you do when there are no waves?
QR: sweat, kill mosquitoes, go to paper tea, walk around the island, watch DVD, go to Moorea, surf the beach breaks ...

Recommended for German surfers?
QR: Actually only if you have a certain level, because if you get injured there, that's not great. There are also many other great reef waves on the island that are definitely worth surfing.

Top. Thanks to you and hopefully it will start soon!