John John Florence

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John. John John. There’s so much uncertainty surrounding his name. Which is it? Did he grow out of the infantile “John John” we came to know and be jealous of? The one who first surfed Pipe when he was eight and who chucked airs that made his blonde locks spin like the blades of a chopper before he hit puberty? Or is it “John” now because he’s matured, no longer just some action figure of a grom? There’s this huge debate over what we should call him. Debates in the mags. Debates online. Debates on webcasts while he’s scoring nines. But here is the glorious, gray truth — he doesn’t give a shit. 

Call him John. Call him John John. He couldn’t care less. He just wants to surf. And he’s doing a terrific job. John’s quietly blossomed into the surf star everyone hailed him to be (but simultaneously didn’t expect, ‘cause predicting stardom ten years out is like forecasting the surf for Thanksgiving 2019). He came through, though. His surfing turned into what many are calling “Jamie O’Brien-esque, but with a good style.” His under the ledge tube riding confidence is unmatched by anyone his age. Anyone. He does full rotators. Rodeos. Power gauges. All of it in his daily repertoire and executed with a front arm that yawns. Ho-hum. Can we try something else soon? Yes, John John answers, and goes to the skate park to loft over hips and spines.

The North Shore wonderkid has turned into the North Shore wonderman, ahead of the crowd from Rockies to Waimea. And he’s just getting better. What’s after wonderman? Superman? Yeah, that’d be fitting. 

Enjoy John with a handkerchief nearby to wipe up the drool that runs down your chin.

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