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Friday, February 27, 2009
Updated: June 15, 1:41 PM ET
Deflowered In Paradise


I've been trying to link up with the Gudauskas boys from some time now. We live less than two miles apart from one another, we've hatched many a plan to go surf Trestles or play a round of golf at the local muni course, but somehow it never seems to happen. One minute they're sneaking off to some remote crag on the Atlantic, the next they're mainlining it down to Mexico. A couple of weeks ago we were all set to go grab an afternoon beer when Pat called and said, "We're frothing right now, we're in the car on the way to the airport. We're going to Tahiti. We've never been. We're psyching."

He told me he'd be home in a week and that we'd catch up for that surf or golf or beer then. So, I get a call from Pat when he gets home. "Dude, Tahiti was amazing," he said. "Best place I've ever been." Then he proceeded to inform me that him and "da boys" were scrambling.

He'd just gotten the call from the ASP that it would be wise to be on the Gold Coast for a possible wildcard berth into the Quik Pro. You see, after nearly making the World Tour last year, Pat is now an alternate and may have a chance to surf in his first Tour event. "Apparently there's some injury issues," he explained, "and I may be able to get in. We're frothing. I've never even been to a World Tour event, so we figured at the very least we'd go and check it all out."

And with that they were back in a car, back up at the airport, and flying out to some foreign shore yet again. But before they left Pat sent me an email with a couple little video clips and quick breakdown of their Tahitian excursion. The following is there tale of paradise found:

Tank tops, neo boardshorts, the only thing stopping this boat ride from being a full on '80s freak-out is Rick Kane. (From left to right) Pat, Nate Yeomans, Nelly, Dane, and Tanner.

"My brothers and I have been watching Tahiti closely during the entire offseason here at home. Tanner's been there once before, but Dane and I had never been and, needless to say, were hell frothed to get over there. Dane was pushing especially hard for the trip to come to fruition because it's a goofy-foot Dreamscape! Or is it? Ok, so I'll be honest. It looks way better backside. You can channel Bruce and Andy Irons barrel-riding style and drag your butt through some caverns. Dane would argue that I'm out to lunch because the whole time there, him and Tanner and Nate Yeomans were exchanging CJ and Damien Hobgood-style takeoffs, pumping through some great pits.

On this little excursion was Nate Yeomans (who actually called us in on the swell), photographer Dave "Nelly" Nelson, Tanner, Dane, and myself. It was a last minute trip based around a small, but fun, 4- to 6-foot south swell. Just a week prior to our trip superstars Jamie O'Brien, Andy Irons, Danny Fuller, Reef McIntosh, and the whole bunch...Cory Lopez included. It really got us excited to make a stab at it over there.

We flew in over night, only to find there were no rental cars available. It rattled us because it was 2:00am, but we recovered by sleeping the rest of the night on the floor in the airport. The next morning we got into this clown car (the only vehicle available), covered the top with four massive board bags, and jetted (or tried to go fast) out to Teahupoo.

As I said, I've never been there and I must say, it was the most beautiful place I've ever seen—lush and crazy and made me want to never again live in a city again. We arrived to a house overlooking Teahupoo with a boat and the whole nine. Mami and Papi were our caretakers, and they were by far the coolest people I've ever met in the entire world. Literally! We didn't speak French or Tahitian, they didn't speak English, but somehow after a week with these people, they were like our grandparents. Papi, still a world-class diver at the age of 71, was continuously diving while we were surfing, catching our dinner for each night. Mami would cook it up in the most amazing coconut juice blend. It was out of this world.

The view from Mami and Papi's. Put your feet up, crack a Hinano, sit back, and enjoy the good life.

While we were there, the waves were retarded: 6-foot, sheet glass, and super uber fun for a first time to Tahiti. The place is a machine, and I can't wait to surf it larger. It was almost too much to wet the pallet and not have more time to spend there. While we were there, one evening we came in from a full day on the passes and Teahupoo when Mami came out to inform us they had just caught a huge tiger shark—a one ton tiger—somewhere off Teahupoo. We went to the harbor to check it out. It was out of control how much girth it had and the size of its head. It looked like a small VW van. Pretty nerve wracking. I kind of wish we didn't see it actually. I've never seen a shark that close up in person. It freaked us out for sure. I'm not sure if they caught it just off the break, or way out to sea, but everyone just laughed and pointed out to where we were surfing. We would just smile and say amongst ourselves, "They get well fed here right?"

Regardless of the shark, it was a hell of a first trip to Teahupoo. I can't wait to go back."

To follow the Gudauskas boys and their friends around the world check out The3Tree.com. And to see how Nate Yeomans gets his day started watch the video below.