What is your magic board these days?
This tow board by Stretch, it’s made from balsa wood. It’s really, really fast. It has a weight on it so it doesn’t bounce. If you bounce, you lose speed and Teahupo’o is a freight train so you need to be heavy and fast.
What are your other favorite waves in the world?
Besides Teahupo’o, I really love the Tuamotu north of Tahiti, Le Taha’a Relaix Chateau Hotel, Restaurants at Tavarua, Fiji. Moorea here in Tahiti, I also love Point Dume Malibu in California, France, and even Ireland.
Who are your biggest influences?
Chris Malloy, Laird Hamilton, Strider Wasilewski.
Who is your favorite person to surf with when they are in town?
Laird, Strider, Jon Jon, Kelly, and Andy — he was so happy in the water here. Those are the guys.
Besides surfers, you host a lot of celebrities out here too.
Yeah, Julia Roberts stayed here recently with her family and some others. They heard about me through a friend in Kauai and wanted to come here and experience my life. So I set them up with accommodations and got two catamarans to go out to the outer islands, we had an insane time. Before that, I had Cindy Crawford and her family out here. There is also this Russian billionaire guy named Andrey Meinichenko who has this crazy big yacht designed by Phillip Stark.
When you travel, what part of Tahiti do you miss the most?
The smell. When you get off the plane for the first time, it smells like home… Also poisson cru, our local seafood dish (raw fish in coconut milk), and our local Hinano beer.
What do you want visitors to know about Tahiti and any parting words?
I want everyone who visits here — no matter if they surf or not, I want everyone to get what they pay for. It could be surfing, diving, hiking, whatever. We make sure you get what you came here for — and paid for. Because if you came here, you paid a lot of money to get here, so the experiences you go home with are most important.
Oh and don’t get Chikungunya!
Thank you: God, Air Tahiti Nui, Ford Tahiti, Air Tahiti, Brasserie De Tahiti (Hinano, Tabu), Casamigos, Quiksilver, RedBull, C4, Nixon, Oakley, Dafin, Raimanaworld, family and friends.
Take a peek into the wild and crazy world of Raimana here:
/ Interview & Photography by Ron Thompson
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