John John Florence

John John Florence has the tools and the experience at nineteen to trump King Slater as the quickest to the crown, but only time will tell. WWJJD? Photo: ASP/Kirstin

The Inertia

Fresh off of his stellar year-end performance, North Shore native John John Florence looks towards the future and we ask: WWJJD? We can decidedly say that 2011 was his coming of age, qualifying for the ASP Tour and becoming the youngest surfer ever to claim the coveted Triple Crown of Surfing, at nineteen years old. What can we expect from him in 2012?

Considering the fact that he’s been surfing Pipe since he was in elementary school, look for JJ to shine this year in similar conditions. That means that Cloudbreak, J-Bay, Teahupoo, Supertubos, and especially Pipeline should all be places where his experience will be a major advantage. This is where Florence sets himself apart from his recently appointed ASP peers, a group that includes Kolohe Andino, Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina, to name a few.

Amidst this changing of the guard on tour, Florence is unique in his ability to surf well in all conditions, showcasing classic power surfing and tube riding along with his impressive aerial game. His consistency is something that also bodes well for his future, with an average heat score of 15.07 points out of 20.00 in his five World Tour events last year. It’s a safe bet to say that there’s a bright future ahead for JJ, especially when he has the 11X World Champ, Kelly Slater, singing his praises. At the age of twenty, Slater won his first World Title and was the youngest ever to do so. JJ has the tools and the experience at nineteen to trump King Slater as the quickest to the crown, but only time will tell, WWJJD?

  • ctwalrus

    we should probably not put too much weight on the kids shoulders.   i recall david eggers and matt archoblod being the ‘next  great thing’  also and we can list many more  who rose/fell and disappeared from shght…..

  • Eric

    This kid is the real deal.  Love rooting for him.  Fearless and dialed-in in waves of consequence.  Nimble and explosive in the smaller stuff.  Laid back and humble.  The total package for sure. 

    Plenty of Pipe Masters, Triple Crowns and World Championships in his future. 

  • Bert

    Those very young kids (Medina, Florence, Andino…) have a huge load of pressure on their shoulders for sure! As of today, it seems like they can handle it, but pressure will be the real issue for all of them…
    On the other way, they already have won prestigious events, and they could be ready for a whole season at the top level. This season will show if they’re able to handle the pressure. But if they are, I guess the three of them can be in the top 5 next December.
    CTwalrus is right, but I think the pressure is already here!

  • Eric

    I’d rather watch a surfer with a casual style than 90% of the surfers on tour who “flail” on mere top turns.  The “look! me so ripping!” style…or lack thereof. 

    As for his being dim, do you even know the guy?  He’s been on camera, what? a couple of times in the back half of last year’s tour?  Watch Slater speak when he was 19.  He was no Rhodes scholar then. 

    Speak softly and carry a big stick.  So far, that’s what I’m seeing.

  • Al Baydough

    Jeez, Wyatt. I thought I was harsh.

     JJF is a good kid. Surfing genius? Definitely. He isn’t a style master in the Curren or Machado sense but he is ultra smooth and casual. Nothing would wreck his surfing more than to obsess over how he looks on a wave. And I’ve see Slater completely blow easy heat wins because he got too lost in his head. Taylor Knox likewise should have many more wins but he also gets stuck in a mental process that blows his toes off.

     Comparing him to Ward is pretty stupid in itself in that Ward has a shitty attitude, which is what holds him back more than his level of intelligence. 

     AI was a very intelligent guy but he completely lacked discipline (as does Bruce – they were both too pampered by everyone from an early age). 

     JJF could title because he takes things in stride, he has aplomb in the water and on land and that level of chill confidence takes you a lot further than being Kieren Perrow. 

    • Firsttime_Poster

      Haha, you said AI was intelligent.  Classic.  Guy was dumber than a box of rocks.

      • Al Baydough

        Where the acorn falls…

         Stupid people fail to comprehend the difference between uneducated and ineducable.

  • Tsgarlin

    Totally off the topic here, but Conor McMullen is a dead ringer for Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay QB!

  • Eric

    Ha.  Uh, oh yeah..I like to skate alot.  Spiccoli-esque?  Absolutely.

    BFD.  Do I think his dudespeak in this SPY AD (not interview) portrays him in the most intelligent light?  No.  He’s hawking SPY to groms.  If you’ve met him and talked to him, share some of your own findings that “he’s extremely not smart.”

    I’m Slater’s biggest fan but everyone knows he’s an anomaly on tour.  A very smart, well-spoken guy who happens to make a good percentage of his peers look a little dim.  To try and make some sort of comparison between the intelligence and wisdom of a 40yr old like Slater and a 19yr old is absurd.  We’ll never see another competitor and ambassador the likes of Slater again but JJ is young.  He’ll get it together.

    Save for a rookie mistake, he surfed Pipe better than anybody.  Even Perrow.  When you average nearly 18 points a heat in your first Pipe Masters, tabbing your scores can be slightly overrated.  Youngest Triple Crown winner ever = winning big on tour.  Good tube sense and a few air reverses?  Really?

  • bert

    Win the CT in 2012, I guess? His performance in Rio was amazing, reminded me the performance of Medina last week at Trestles, but in front of the whole CT…
    JJF world champ as soon as this year sounds possible, ’cause if he can win in Rio’s conditions too…

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