Meet the Billabong Pro Tahiti Trialists
It's time for the 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti. We're four days away from the event's waiting period window opening, and some of the best tube riders in the world are here to compete with local chargers in the Trials. Here are eight Billabong riders that have been given an invitation into the trials.
Jack is lethal in all waves, but especially those that harness all of the raw power and aura of Teahupoo. Robinson, hailing from West OZ, is regarded as one of the world's best tube riders. He'll be looking to gain entry into the main event, and if the waves are pumping there's not much that can stop him.
This 18-year-old from Sunset Beach has quite the personality. He surfs all day, and in between he'll be playing practical jokes like it's his job. He's been snagging plenty of solid ones at Teahupoo in the past few days and is no stranger to facing the top 34 having won the Billabong Pipe Masters trials this past December. Keep an eye out for him!
Central Coast, Australia is his home, but Riley Laing calls home wherever the waves are death defyingly pumping around the world. Riley had a crazy performance at the Red Bull Ours event in Maroubra. He never holds back and that'll come in handy when he's going for it in the trials.
Fresh off of a runner up finish at the US Open Pro Junior, Reef's confidence is riding high. He's just as good in theTeahupoo barrel as he is at linking maneuvers in wonky beach break waves. He's a dark horse and one to keep an eye on.
Seth is a true warrior. He won Surfline's Standout Performance award this past winter for going all out on the North Shore and getting some highly touted waves. Tahiti is like a second home to him. He's comfortable and if he gets the right waves he'll do extremely well.
He's from San Diego, CA and is known for his small wave expertise, but Ryland is far from just that. He's been bred on the Blacks Beach barrels that are just down the street from him every winter. He's been here ti Teahupoo a few times and it's showing already with some of the waves he's been getting spat out of.
Kevin Johnson is a local stalwart who is part time flight attendant for Air Tahiti Nui and part time pro surfer. Kevin also acts as our boat driver for the entirety of the event. Don't be fooled, his humble attitude and mellow demeanor goes out the window when the waves are on. He knows this wave as well as anyone.
Tai "Buddha" Graham
It's ironically his first time here in Tahiti. He got the call up for the trials after Victor Bernardo became injured. Tai dropped everything and made it over here with 24-hours notice. He had his first session out there this morning and about mid session things started to click. He had three gems and was feeling it out there.
SPECIAL NOTE: This morning the trials almost went, but bad wind was forecasted so it was called off. It's looking like tomorrow will be bigger (6-8 feet) with a slight side shore wind. Could be a very interesting day of trials to say the least. Stay tuned!