"Teahupo'o" loosely translates to "Place of Skulls," and for good reason: The wave's prized hollow shape is due to the extremely shallow coral reef which lies approximately 20 inches below the break's surface. That's not a big deal as long as you don't take a wipeout, but becomes a major concern as soon as tons of water start piledriving you into the sharp coral.
Nathan Florence found himself in that unenviable position during a recent trip to Tahiti, and came away with chewed-up feet and forearms. However, as he freely admits, it could have been much worse. Listen as he explains his strategy for avoiding serious injury during heavy wipeouts.