GOLD COAST, Queensland / Australia (Wednesday, April 6, 2011) – John Florence (HAW), 18, has been followed by the surfing world for nearly a decade and touted by many as the next Hawaiian prodigy to eventually dominate the sport. At the ripe young age of 18, Florence’s countless amazing performances at his home break of Pipeline, including his victory at the recent ASP 5-Star Volcom Pipe Pro and several wildcard appearances at the Billabong Pipe Masters, have backed up the talk regarding the young Hawaiian’s potential. Aside from his polished barrel-riding skills, Florence has built an amazing repertoire in all conditions made available by the seven-mile miracle that he calls home. Tracks Magazine recently caught up with Florence to hear about his next major goal, a spot on the ASP World Tour. This… is their story…
John John Florence first competed in the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the tender age of 13. That’s right – 13! While you were keeping goal for your local soccer team, John John was skimming reef and bumping boards with the worlds best… But it didn’t come easy. John began his Pipeline apprenticeship when he was eight, relying on nothing but puppy dog eyes to milk scrap waves off the Pipeline hierarchy. These scraps formed the building blocks of John’s now bulletproof rep at the famed break. In January of this year, at just 18 years of age, John won the 2011 Volcom Pipe Pro [a five star ASP World Qualifying Series event], after earlier taking out the sixth annual Da Hui Backdoor shootout. He has a raft of lucrative sponsorship deals [with the likes of O'Neill International and Vans], and harbours a strong thirst for qualification onto the 2012 ASP World Tour. Although John is known a proven Pipe specialist, it’s time for him to test his skills on the world stage. Tracksmag.com caught up with John while he was in California recently, to gauge where his head’s at on all things surfing.
Firstly, winning The Volcom Pipe Pro back in late January, amazing feeling?
So stoked, it means everything to me. To win (what was my second event there), and it being my homebreak and all – it was amazing! First I won the shoot out, and then when I made it to the semis in the Volcom event where I’d made it before… And then I found myself in the final which I wasn’t expecting to win at all – but I got lucky and got some good waves.
Maybe that’s the strategy to take into future finals?
That worked out for me this time for sure, yeah, so it could be my future strategy for sure.
For the full story, check out TracksMag.com