Body Glove Archives: Tatiana Weston-Webb's First Trip to Tahiti

December 15, 2023 3 min read

Hey Guys! It’s me, Tati, and I’m here to tell you all a little story about one of my first trips ever to Tahiti. To be clear, this trip happened way, way back when! All the way back in 2014 to be honest, before I was on tour and one of the first trips in my professional career. (FYI it’s currently December of 2023)!

It all started when my fellow team rider (at the time), Anthony Walsh reached out and asked if I wanted to do a strike mission “to the middle of nowhere” in Tahiti. It was a wave on the outer atolls called Apataki. My young and ambitious self said “sure, why not?” And so it began, Anthony and the Body Glove Team started to plan our travels. About 24 hours later, tickets were bought, bags were packed, and hopes of scoring empty left hand barrels by ourselves were at an all-time high. The journey began leaving LAX flying to Papeete. It was myself, Anthony Walsh (pro surfer), my brother Troy (all around waterman), Greg Browning (videographer and ex pro surfer), Scott Smith (videographer), and last but not least Brent Bielmann (professional photographer). Our mission was to surf, but of course with all the cameras we did some bikini shoots too, haha. We were soon to arrive in Tahiti and meet our other team rider (at the time) and friend, Tikanui Smith, who was our local legend in the mix. (We all know as surfers it’s better to keep a local by your side just in case!! Haha) It only took about 40 short (but long) hours to arrive at the place we were going to call home for the next week. And when we arrived we were in awe (not of our home to be honest, it was more of a shack on the beach without a toilet and no Wi-Fi at all! hahah) but of the real rawness that that island in the middle of the South Pacific had to offer: crystal clear blue water, left hand barrels with no one around, a bazillion coconut trees, and white sandy beaches. Not much more a goofy footed surfer could ask for!!! (Well maybe a toilet would’ve been nice haha!) The wave was across a big deep blue channel from our little shack on the beach. It took about 15 minutes of paddling or a 3-minute dingy ride. Most of the time we took the dingy because we were fearful of what lied in the depth of the deep blue channel. (A bunch of scaredy cats!) The wave didn’t get bigger than double over head the whole time we were there (which was perfect for me!) 

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It was rippable on the beginning and end sections, and in the middle was a barrel the whole way across. The reef was vibrant and the fishies and critters were the happiest I’ve ever seen. It was truly something out of a picture book, an unexplainable paradise. We spent the next 4-5 days getting absolutely cooked from the surf and sun and had a blast whilst trading off barrels amongst friends and work buddies. In between surfs we ate fresh poisson cru and drank coconut water, sat in the shade underneath the coconut trees and traded stories. We would go to sleep with the sunset and wake up with the sunrise, without a care in the world. (Except for how the waves would be the next day!) It was honestly one of the most memorable trips in my life, and I know by the sounds of it, it seemed picture perfect! But we did have our ups and downs thats for sure! Reef cuts, rashes, sunburns, scabies, sharks, did I mention no toilet??? No shower, mosquitoes… all that fun stuff was probably the worst I’ve ever seen. But did that stuff stop us from having a hell of a time?? Nope, we just kept on keeping on, a bunch of sunburnt smiley stinky Body Glove surfers! It was the reality of the situation but looking back I really can’t remember the negatives; I just remember the good.

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