Tahitian Vahine Fierro's recent performances at Teahupo'o has proved yet again she is leading the charge at one of surfing's heaviest surf breaks.
"Not so many waves,'' wrote Fierro after a recent session at Teahupo'o, "But I learned so much and it was great to spend time in the water." The accompanying footage captured by Tim Provost of the 20-year-old Tahitian negotiating some serious barrels however was at odds with her modest appraisal.
Fierro's performances in the last few paddle swells has seen her, yet again, take tuberiding to the next level. It has also gained her the respect of her peers. Local legends like Matahi Drollet, Tikanu Smith and Michel Bourez have all voiced their admiration for her surfing at Teahupo'o.
Having endured an extended time out of the water due to Tahiti's lockdown restrictions Fierro has come out on a tear. Now she already has history at the End Of The Road. Last year she won the 2019 Surfer Award for Women's Best Barrel for another wave at Teahupoo, defeating her heroes like Carissa Moore, Steph Gilmore and Bethany Hamilton.
The wave ridden in the last swell maybe was not quite as long, but is definitely bigger and thicker. It also confirms Vahine's upward trajectory. She was taught to surf by her father when she was just two years of age and he remains her shaper, inspiration and surf rival. With her two younger sisters Heimiti and Kohai the family grew up surfing the perfect and empty waves of the Huahine Islands, about a 30-minute plane ride from the Main Island.
Her talent was undeniable and despite coming to competition relatively late in 2017 she won the World Junior Title. Since that win the ever-smiling Fierro has been concentrating on her ultimate goal of qualifying for the CT. Last year she finished a respectable 20th on the QS ratings and started 2020 strong with a runner-up finish at the Corona China Open.
The outbreak of the pandemic has obviously put a temporary halt to her competitive dreams for 2020. However after enduring two months out of the water, she is now clearly setting about pushing her surfing to a new level. Other footage of waves at home shows she also is no slouch on her backhand, but it is the performances at Teahupo'o prove that she really is a special talent.
We can't see wait to see just where that talent takes her, and surfing, next.