Billabong Pro Tahiti: it's all about the barrel | Photo: Cestari/WSL

Teahupoo. The word says it all. And if you're a pro surfer competing on the Championship Tour (CT), you just want to prevail in what is widely considered one of the most hair-raising surf breaks in the world.

The Billabong Pro Tahiti returns in 2016 with new surfers, and new world title contenders. Matt Wilkinson leads the top 5 list, which includes two world champions (Gabriel Medina and Adriano de Souza), a surfer on a break (Mick Fanning), and a Hawaiian prodigy (John John Florence).

From August 19th through 30th, a total of 36 surfers will try to win the prestigious tube riding event. Jeremy Flores, winner of the 2015 edition, is looking forward to jumping up the rankings.

"I always loved this place. I have been coming here for many many years. It reminds me of my island back in Reunion. It feels like home, and that's why I love it. The energy of this place is like no others and, of course, the waves... best waves in the world are here in Tahiti," notes Florence.

"Winning here was a dream come true. I always wanted to win Pipe and Teahupoo. I got to win Pipe a few years ago; then Tahiti was definitely the one that I felt like I could win. Eventually, when I retire, I will be happy no matter what now that I won my two favorite events in the world."

With Taj Burrow and Mick Fanning out of the game, Adam Melling and Dusty Payne are into the main event. The Billabong Pro Tahiti Trials will deliver two additional tickets to the ultimate showdown.

Billabong Pro Tahiti 2016 | Round 1

Jordy Smith (ZAF), Dusty Payne (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Italo Ferreira (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Adriano de Souza (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
John John Florence (HAW), Davey Cathels (AUS), TBD
Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), TBD
Michel Bourez (PYF), Kelly Slater (USA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Josh Kerr (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Caio Ibelli (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Filipe Toledo (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)