Tikanui Smith rides the tube at Teahupo'o in Tahiti.

Enjoy box seats as Tahiti pulls back the curtain on Teahupo'o season 2018

© Shane Grace

The South Pacific jewel shines as winter's first swells show up in style.

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We all know how easy it is to delete some emails within seconds of them hitting your inbox, but when you get a message from filmmaker Ryan Moss that says: "I'm in Tahiti and the forecast looks incredibly exceptional for the next week," you save it to your favourites and figure out how to make an edit happen ASAP.
Teahupo'o has laid relatively dormant over the past few years, an occasional show of strength here, a day or two of pumping swell there, but something looked different when the maps lit up for the first time in 2018. The crew were a combination of local chargers – take a bow Mihimana Braye, Tikanui Smith, Ruarii Atani and pals – while an underground posse of Hawaiian and European hellmen made their way to Papeete for the swell too.
Were suspicions of solid swell proved true? Hit play in Ryan's incredible edit above to confirm or deny, and soak up Shane Grace's stunning stills while you're at it. Cloudbreak may have stolen the South Pacific spotlight of late, while Nazaré and Jaws have hogged the heavy wave headlines, but let these three minutes of beauty serve as a reminder that you should never turn your back on Teahupo'o for too long either. Enjoy.