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A very important notch on John John Florence's post. Photo: WSL/Keoki

A very important notch on John John Florence’s post. Photo: WSL/Keoki

The Inertia

In the dying minutes of his last chance at victory, hometown hero John John Florence pulled off the unthinkable by solidifying the score he needed to win the 2016 Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Invitational. John John edged out big-wave superhero Shane Dorian and former event champion Ross Clarke-Jones, becoming the second youngest winner of the most prestigious event in professional surfing.

“It’s one of the most special moments of my life, for sure,” said John John Florence in his post-heat interview. “This event’s only run a couple times in my whole life, and for me to be a part of it is amazing. I’m just overwhelmed with adrenaline. Just from the whole day, looking at big ones like ‘ahh, am I gonna go or not?'”

Today’s conditions down at the contest site were monumental, as faces up to 60 feet roared through the North Shore’s iconic Waimea Bay. Clyde Aikau, event competitor and brother of Eddie Aikau, said it’s the best Waimea Bay he’s seen in over 40 years. And by no surprise, thousands of spectators occupied virtually every inch of the surrounding coast, eager to witness history in the making.

Today’s victory will undoubtedly serve as a serious confidence booster for John John as he heads into the 2016 World Tour season, and it marks an important accolade for the young man who many believe is the rightful heir to Kelly Slater’s daunting throne. While a torch-pass of 11 world titles might take a decade or so, an Eddie victory sure is a good start.

We look forward to seeing John John Florence at Snapper. Will 2016 be John John’s year?

John John Eddie Aikau 2016

Congratulations John John Florence, your 2016 Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Invitational champion.

  • Rio Gordon

    This is so awesome and deserved! Way to go John John. You deserve every bit of the win. You dominated the day and surfed with power and class and truly in the spirit of Eddie himself. So cool to hear you thinking ‘should I go?’ And of course you did and totally rode em to victory cuz. This is an extraordinary benchmark in your burgeoning career! Big ups n Alohaz!

  • Ztrois

    The winner of the Triple Crown should be invited to the Eddie Aikau. It would be interesting to see Gabriel Medina drop backside in Waimea, after having won Teahoopoo in big conditions, and Fiji and participate in the last two finals of Pipe.

  • Christian

    Well worth the wait

  • Dave Mills

    John John Florence is definitely one of the sickest dudes out there.

  • John Panella

    great article Keoki! thanks for re-living the Eddie with me on your way to the airport

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