Tahitian Afterparty

The judges tower was disassembled piece by piece after the Billabong Pro Tahiti, but the tease of a northeast wind and a solid 10-15-foot swell called photographers Zak Noyle and Ben Thouard back to the reef, where pit-packers like Bruce Irons and Matahi Drollet were busy indulging in the conditions that Tour competitors missed. Here's Benji Brand, beneath a thick lip. Photo: Thouard

Nathan Fletcher & Danny Fuller

Nathan Fletcher and Danny Fuller. Photo: Noyle

Benji Brand

Benji Brand, a long way from Haleiwa. Photo: Thouard

Evan Valiere

The North Shore's Evan Valiere, covering ground with few inches to spare below his feet.
Photo: Thouard

Matahi Drollet

Young royalty at Teahupoo, Matahi Drollet makes Chopes look easier than nearly anyone else. Photo: Thouard

Drollet

Matahi Drollet. Photo: Thouard

Adam D'Esposito

Adam D'Esposito, whose faceplant-cartwheel into a hurling Teahupoo wall earned him a SURFER Poll nomination for "Worst Wipeout" in 2013, locks in for a smoother ride. Photo: Noyle

Kauli Vaast

To be 14 and fearless. Tahiti's Kauli Vaast, nothing but bright lights in the tunnel ahead.
Photo: Thouard

Benji Brand

Brand, clear skies and crystal ceilings in the Pacific. Photo: Thouard

Bruce

Bruce Irons, casual with/for the camera. Photo: Noyle

Rainbow

Do Tahitian rainbows ever lose their luster? We think not. Photo: Thouard

Enrique Ariitu

Local fixture Enrique Ariitu. Photo: Thouard

Unidentified

One deep and one diving. Photo: Thouard

Dane Gudauskas

Little in the lens but larger than life, the forever stoked Dane Gudauskas gets ready for his close-up. Photo: Thouard

Dane

Dane Gudauskas. Photo: Thouard

Teahupoo

Wide-open Tahiti. Photo: Thouard

Kauli Vaast

Vaast, smartly using protection on another mental one. Photo: Thouard

Ryan Hipwood

Compared to the monster slab ledges and freaks of nature that Ryan Hipwood rides back in Australia, a sheet glass grinder is a different, albeit more beautiful, beast. Photo: Thouard

Danny Fuller

Danny Fuller. Photo: Thouard

Dane

Dane Gudauskas, polishing glass. Photo: Noyle

Jojo Roper

San Diego's Jojo Roper holds on and heads for the exit. Photo: Noyle

Drollet

Another reminder of your tuberiding inadequacy: young Matahi Drollet. Photo: Noyle

Drollet

Drollet, frozen in time. Photo: Noyle