John John Florence (HAW), 19, is fresh off of his first ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) victory. The young Hawaiian put on a stellar performance, topping Parko, Josh Kerr and Julian Wilson on the final day of competition. STAB Magazine caught up with Florence and the young natural-footer breaks down the details on what went through his mind on the final day of competition. This… is their story…
John Florence is cursed. Cursed by all the terrible possibilities that face a prodigy of his mould. Possibilities like world domination. His style is totally raw and uncoached! Can you believe it? He learnt it all on the North Shore, too, felt it out on the sand of Ehukai, then took it over to the reef at Pipe. And the skating helped, especially with the tech. “He’s so comfortable being upside and inverted from skateboarding that it’s difficult to even comprehend what he’s doing,” says fellow WT-rookie, Kolohe Andino. “He’s so technical and comfortable in such awkward positions.” John just won the Billabong Pro, Rio via a collection of dazzling moments, like dragging his kicker through an impossibly small backside barrel, a frontside tube-to club sandwich combo and the event’s biggest air (a backside full-rote). With one Triple Crown in the bag (probs more to come) and a maiden WT victory freshly in pocket, John’s on track to be Hawaii’s best-ever surfer. When Stab dialled, John was in California before heading home for a week then flying into Tavarua (amazingly, for his first-ever trip to Fiji). We discussed not being in control of heats, a preference for backside airs and being (happily) made to stay in Rio for celebrations.
Stab: Can you describe for me, what it’s like going through the last coupla rounds? Is it kinda blurry?
John Florence: It doesn’t really blur, actually, ’cause I think carefully about every heat that goes by. It’s a total step-by-step. I didn’t feel in control of any of the heats I surfed on the last day. On the WT, every heat you have is the scariest heat ever. I was going out there, not thinking about it as a heat. It ended up working out. You freesurf, but kinda with a heat strategy at the same time.
For the full interview log on to STAB Magazine.
For more on Florence view his full ASP PROFILE.