© Morgan Maassen
Growing up on a remote island in French Polynesia, surfing was a fun, family pastime for Tahitian surfing champ Vahine Fierro. Despite not competing until the age of 14 (when she moved to Tahiti for high school), she quickly became one to watch, and within a year, had surfed Teahupo’o – widely considered one of the world’s heaviest and most dangerous waves. (Incidentally, also the location for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games surfing competitions).
At the age of 18, on a wildcard entry, Vahine was crowned Junior Pro World Champion. Then, at 19, she won Surfer Magazine’s Best Barrel (women) award. Now she has her sights set on achieving Rookie of the Year in 2022.
Once you’ve read our Q&A, check out filmmaker Morgan Maassen’s short film, Goddesses, below, which goes behind the scenes of Tahitian life for Vahine and her surfing sisters, Heimiti and Kohai.