French Polynesia is world famous for the quality of its waves, to the delight of surfers all over the world.
These waves are generated by the swell; an undulating movement of the sea surface, without breaking.
And if French Polynesia is one of the kingdoms of surfing, it is thanks to its geographical location. It is indeed on the trajectory of several types of swells. Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific, this group of five archipelagos, which covers an area as vast as Europe, benefits all year round from swells generated by the four winds. The conditions are therefore ideal for the many wave lovers, whether surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, canoeing, etc…
The island of Tahiti benefits from particularly favourable climatic conditions.
To make the most of these ocean pleasures, a knowledge of marine forecasting is essential. To do this, the Polynesian branch of Météo France counts among its teams real swell specialists, such as Kenji Flohr, a Polynesian forecaster and surfer. His mission is to anticipate the waves that will break on the Polynesian coasts, by analysing the swells, their direction, period, energy, length, and dimensions.
The expertise of this surfer forecaster enables to popularize a set of advanced analyses. This makes this didactic documentary accessible to all.
New technologies now make it possible to assess the various phenomena that cause waves. And thanks to Kenji Flohr’s crystal-clear explanations like the water of the Pacific Ocean, this complex system becomes clear and above all… fascinating.
Wave formation has become a real science. And in the event of exceptional swells, this forecaster also explains how the thresholds of vigilance and alert are set up.
Calculation methods have become so advanced that the particular case of Teahupoo, a mythical wave internationally known to surfers, benefits from its own predictions.
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