Shore leave: Teahupo'o

Teahupo'o needs no introduction and chances are if you head to French Polynesia, you'll want to at least stop by and have a look. Do we recommend you surf it? No comment... The world-famous break, which plays host to the annual Billabong Pro Tahiti, can be viewed from taxi boats which leave from Teahupo'o Marina. Engineer of a 34 metre sailing yacht, Matuanui, who's originally from Tahiti says the drive to Teahupo'o Marina itself is well worth it and full of beautiful places to stop along the way. "Then on a good surf day, there's plenty of taxi boats there to get out and see the surf pumping."

The unique form of the wave is down to the specific shape of the reef beneath it - the semi circle drops down sharply to create a below water effect, with the extreme angle creating instant instability in the wave. A steep wall of reef causes the entire mass to fold onto a scalloped semi circle-breaking arc. The lip of the wave can be as thick as it is tall - resulting in one very scary break.

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