SYDNEY, New South Wales / Australia (Thursday, September 15, 2011) – The anticipation of John Florence’s (HAW), 18, arrival on to the elite ASP World Tour stage has been talked about since the Hawaiian began charging Pipeline as a young boy. While Florence established himself as a barrel-seeking animal from an early age, his home amidst the seven-mile miracle of Oahu’s North Shore provided the perfect training grounds to hone his skills in every type of wave imaginable. While Yadin Nicol (AUS), 25, was forced to withdraw from the back half of the ASP World Title season due to an ankle injury, Florence got the call as the next alternate in line, and will make his highly-talked about debut at the upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles. STAB Magazine caught up with Florence to get his thoughts on joining the elite ranks. This… is their story…
John, Johnny-Boy, John-John, the Other J-Flo, whatevs y’wanna call him, Mr Florence, 18 years old and from Hawaii, has had an explosive year. First in two Pipe events at the start of the year (Volcom Pipe Pro, Da Hui Backdoor Shootout), a second in Ballito at the Mr Price Pro, clips in Lost Atlas, etc. Now he’s just found out that, ’cause Yadin Nicol (who recently qualified for the WT) busted his ankle, he’s officially pulled outta the Dream Tour, leaving the space free for John to fill. John was an alternative, but now he’s legit. Is he ready for the big leagues? Damn yeah!
Stab: So, do I call you John, John-John, or Johnny?
John: Anything you want really, I don’t have a preference.
What’s the name on your passport? It says John Alexander Florence.
So, John, you’re a WT surfer now. Discuss. I guess I am (laughs). I’m super psyched. I haven’t really taken it all in yet. I’m kinda tripping. I just found out two days ago. I was with Yadin in Japan when he broke his ankle, so I had an idea… but I didn’t even think about it, I didn’t think I was gonna qualify. I was just cruising, at home, then I watched the New York contest and all the right guys lost. It kinda just happened.
Were you obsessing over the NY webcast with a list of names, ticking off each time someone lost and you took a step closer? No, it was like, the second day, someone lost – I can’t remember who – and Liam McNamara was all, “Oh, did you hear so-and-so lost? You’re getting pretty close up there.” So I checked it out, and kinda waited till the contest was over, and it ended up that way.
For the full interview log on to STAB Magazine.