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Paradise Found by Evan Schell

"Paradise is equal parts location and the people that you surround yourself with. Last month, I was extremely fortunate to spend two weeks on one of the most beautiful islands on the planet. The fabled “End of the Road”, most commonly known as Teahupo’o, is a small village located roughly halfway along the south-east corner of Tahiti. Growing up my first introduction to Teahupo’o came attached to the newest issue of Surfer Magazine in the form of Jack McCoy’s 2005 surf film entitled “SOLID: The Two Days That Teahupo’o Blew Minds”. Having just learned to surf the previous summer, the film lived up to its title and then some. It was absolutely mesmerizing watching a group of the world’s best big wave surfers tow and paddle into perfect lefts with Tahitian locals, Manoa Drollet, Malik Joyeux, and Raimana Van Bastolear.
When the opportunity to visit this beautiful slice of paradise came about, I jumped at the opportunity immediately. After a quick jaunt down the Pacific Ocean I met up with a small crew compromised of young Hawaiian surfers, Shiloh Tennberg and Liam Wilson, funtographer John Hook, and the ultimate travel dad and good friend, Gbo Tennberg. An overwhelming amount of rejoice blanketed us as we paddled out for one of the first sessions and watched a perfect head high set race along the infamous shallow reef shelf. The first swell of the season had arrived and it did not disappoint. We spent the following two weeks immersed in crystal clear, cerulean water, underneath cotton textured clouds, alongside vivid green valleys, and atop colorful coral heads aplenty. Thanks to a healthy dose of local hospitality from our host and former pro bodyboarder, Tahurai Henry, Teahupo’o’s charm and natural beauty felt more familiar than foreign. It’s experiences like these that reinforce the importance of surrounding yourself with great people while searching for your personal paradise."
 Camera: Canon AE-1
"I've never been more distracted by the view from a lineup before."
"Sights from a day trip exploring the island's black sand beach breaks"
"John Hook is one of my favorite people to travel with. There's never a dull moment with John and his youthful energy is infectious."
"Just a fraction of what lies below at Teahupo'o."
"Although the forecast for our trip looked rainy for both weeks, we were fortunate enough to experience a full week of clear skies like these."
"This crew made my time in Tahiti the trip of a lifetime."
"Like father, like son. Gbo & Shiloh Tennberg after a quick dip."
"After a fun run of swell, the weather shifted and we found ourselves exploring other sides of the island. Before heading out on a spearfishing mission our host, Tahurai, guided us to this magical watering hole."
"Our wonderful host, Tahurai Henry, broke his back at Teahupo'o five years ago during one of the biggest swells in recent memory. He picked up surfing after recovering from his injuries and is a pleasure to watch out at his home break (he also cooks up a mean poisson cru)."
"John basking in a brief window of golden light during one of our final nights on the island."