• Emily Newsome


Updated: Apr 11

As one of the youngest girls to surf the infamous Teahupo'o break, Aelan Vasst is a force to be reckoned with.

The 15-year-old grew up in Tahiti and learned how to surf on some of the best waves in the world. Not only did Aelan grow up surfing this break with her brothers and her friends, she also gets to surf with some of the elite pros in the world. Aelan is an inspiration for many young surfers, because of her courage in the water and her love for the sport. She is currently ranked #95 on the 2020 QS and placed 5th at the Mothernest Great Lakes Pro back in February.

Read below to learn more about this young grom, and check out her footage to understand exactly why Vasst is being talked about as “the future of surfing.”

When did you start surfing?

I started surfing when I was six, at the beaches situated on the North Coast of the island.

Are there many female surfers at your local break?

There are not many female surfers at my local break because it’s only reef, like Teahupo'o, and you need a boat to go there. Where I'm living, there are only reefs and it is not easy for girls who are beginners. I always go surfing with my brothers and their friends.

Which pro surfer do you enjoy watching the most?

I like watching Jeremie Flores because he is powerful and has a beautiful flow.

What is your favorite thing about surfing/competing?

My favorite thing about it is to discover new places and people all around the world—and to progress too, for sure.

Do you have a favorite move: barrel, turn or air?

My favorite move is the barrel because I like the sensation on the wave to be locked up and suddenly come out.

How did you get good at that move?

I practice a lot, I always try to be more confident to fall and to always push my limits. My big brother Kauli is always close to me and helps me to be better.

Tell us about the most exciting moment you’ve had whilst surfing?

It was in Teahupo'o a while ago. I went on a wave, I grabbed the rail, and then the barrel came and completely locked me in and I couldn’t see the way out, and suddenly I came out. I was the most happiest when I made this wave. I couldn’t stop smiling!

Who do you like to surf with the most?

I like to surf with everybody from the place I live (Vairo) because it’s always fun and a good ambiance. Everyone respects each other, it’s friendly and it’s all friends from school, the village, and my family, especially my little brother Naiki.

What motivated you to charge a wave like the one at Teahupo'o at such a young age?

To exceed my limits, to prove that even girls can surf big waves at Teahupo'o too, and to be recognized for it.

Who are your friends that you surf with in Tahiti?

It’s friends who lives close to my house. We all come from the same school and we always hang out together to surf, hike, or fish!

Are you competitive with your family members when it comes to surfing?

Yes, we are competitive when it comes to surfing! We always want to be the one who will catch the best wave, who will do the best turn, who will take the most waves … but it is always fun. When we go back home, we talk about the session and laugh about funny moments together.

What are your specific hopes for the future?

Actually, I'm going into the « POLE FRANCE SURF » for two years in Biarritz. It’s a school and surf program with the Fédération française de surf.

I would also like to pass all my exams for the next two years and progress in beach breaks.

How does it feel knowing that you grew up surfing one of the most famous breaks in the world, Teahupo’o?

I feel very lucky, not only because it’s Teahupo’o, but I learned to surf this magic wave with the best surfers of the spot, Raimana Vanbastoaler, Matahi Drollet, Matehau Tetopata, Tahurai Henry and my brother Kauli Vaast. They explained me how to ride the wave, what you have to do when you fall, where you have to stay when you want a big one and especially the moment you have to paddle when a fat one comes from nowhere!

What motivated you to charge a wave like that at such a young age?

To exceed my limits, to prove that even girls can surf big waves at Teahupo’o and to be recognized for it.

Many people speak about you representing “the future of surfing.” How does that make you feel?

That makes me smile. I think it is a dream of all the young surfer girls!

Keep up with Aelan on social: aelanvaast (instagram)


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