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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 27° 10.194' S
User rating (36)
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Check first if the reef's sucking dry (it will on a SE). Then gauge your equipment against the speed and girth of the swell. Paddle out from the north side of the channel (off the finger line of rocks), move into the lineup, toward the peak, with caution and exercise good judgment. Take an extra stroke over the ledge, then drive it into the hole and make your wave—otherwise you're doomed. No putzing around. Papa Tenga Roa is a full trim experience.
DistanceTake a car
WalkLong walk (>30 mn)
Easy to find?OK
Public access?Public access
Special accessDon't know
Alternative name Tangaroa
Wave qualityWorld Class
ExperiencePros or kamikaze only...
FrequencyVery consistent (150 day/year)
DirectionRight and left
BottomReef (coral, sharp rocks etc..)
PowerHollow, Fast, Powerful, Ledgey, Slab
Normal lengthNormal (50 to 150m)
Good day lengthNormal (50 to 150m)
Good swell directionSouthWest, South
Good wind directionNorthWest, West, SouthWest
Swell sizeStarts working at 1.0m-1.5m / 3ft-5ft and holds up to 5m / 16 ft and over
Best tide positionMid and high tide
Best tide movementRising and falling tides
Week crowdFew surfers
Week-end crowdFew surfers
- Rips / undertow
- Shark protected
One word to describe the spot is heavy. It's a lot heavier than it looks and most of the time it looks really heavy. It's a full on committed surfing experience only for expert surfers looking for the wave of a lifetime. Coral heads popping up everywhere with low tide. It's a sunset style take off with a Pipeline bowl over shallow urchin infested lava rock reef. Bring a pintail or round pin a wetsuit always even though temperatures is warm enough but just to avoid cuts and bruises.
First surfed in the early nineties but never documented by an american and australian surfer who say got the best waves of their life. It wasn't really surfed until the Brock Little/Laird Hamilton in 1993 which showed the potential of the wave to the world and locals. Some Brazilians and other crews (Longs Brothers, Tamayo) ) have surfed the spot as well.
Depending on the swell direction and size it can have two different peaks breaking just a couple of yards apart. it requires surfers to be top shape and in top of their game in order to ride the wave successful and avoid any injuries or horrible wipeouts. If you do love waves like Pipeline and Teahupo'o but cannot handle the crows this is uncrowded and will have a hard time getting a local to surf along.
True test of an authentic big-wave rider's savvty at size. Potential for psyche expanding tubes—not so much of duration as intensity. Hawaiian-style power
Supreme mana experience. Time, patience and synchronicity required in order to really pull off an epic session at Papa Tenga Roa. Only the truly intiated need apply.
By anonymous , 02-03-2006
pappas - Checked it a few years back while on the Island and was quite content to watch and wonder. Truely scary!!!
By K.P. , 15-11-2005
Wrong Spelling, Gringos - 'Papa Tangaroa'. It means the reef/platform of Tangaroa, the Ma'ohi god of the sea. You're on your own re: some of the other incorrect info about the spot
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