A couple of months Surfing Magazine ran a shot of David Wassel getting dropped in by a lid in a huge Tahitian wave that wasn’t Teahupoo but Sapinas. It seemed pretty wrong. One of the world’s premier big wave riders getting smoked in a truly terrifying position.
A couple of weeks after that shot was run, they then posted this clip below of Wassel talking about that wave. In the clip Wassel is holding two machetes, seemingly caught in a mid tuna filleting session. Just a coincidence, or was it there to add an extra element of threatening malice?
Well the bodyboarder in question, John Duval, and his local crew have posted this clip explaining their side of the story. They reveal that Wassel turned up to tow after they had been paddling for hours, and then proceeded to take every bomb set for an hour. Eventually Duval, in his own words, “had had enough and decided to make a statement.” The ten minute clip shows Duval’s response plus what seems to a load of Tahiti locals who have had enough. Oh and some crazy footage. Duval also claims that after the wipeout Wassel left him in a dangerous position at sea, and wouldn’t offer jet ski assistance even though he was without his board and in danger of drowning. Now who is right and who is wrong is hard to say. As usual with localism, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Take a look and make your own mind up. We’d be interested to hear what you have to say.