Stance: Natural

Achievements: 2005 & 2007 Air Tahiti Nui/Von Zipper Trials champion. Like the Pipe Masters, it could be argued that Trials at Teahupoo are equally as tough to win as the main event. In both ’05 and ’07 the surf was pumping!

If Teahupo’o is the circus of dreams then Manoa Drollet is truly it’s ring master. As twice winner of the Air Tahiti Nui/Von Zipper Trials on his backhand, the man is the clear stand out performer when the world’s gnarliest break starts to flex some muscle. Manoa is also an amazing free-diver and he surfs the heaving Tahitian wave with the confidence you’d expect from someone who can hold their breath underwater for minutes at a time. When not surfing or diving, the softly spoken Tahitian can be found on the water, boating or fishing, otherwise he’ll be whipping his motorbike to its limits up & down the winding Polynesian dirt roads.

As a critic of the seemingly excess coverage that foreign surfers have received over the years at Teahupo’o, Drollet has made it impossible for his actions to go un-noticed by the global media, and whether it be towing-in or paddling he always pushes the limits of performance and flies the Tahitian flag with distinction. In 2007 he scored an amazing 9.60 to steal victory in the last seconds of the Trials final, a victory that never seemed in doubt from the early rounds as “Chopes” produced some of the best conditions ever seen in competition – over the shallow coral reef offshore from the village known as “The End Of The Road”.

As a key member of Billabong Adventure Division, Manoa stays in close contact with team captain Brendan “Margo” Margieson and, when the local forecast is for red-alert swell conditions, he team-ups with fellow division madmen Shane Dorian & Dylan Longbottom to chase ‘em.