A few days ago, we put up a video called John John Sucks at Surfing. Just so everyone’s clear, that post was dripping with sarcasm. He really doesn’t suck. Quite the opposite – in fact, I’ve been saying for a long time that John John Florence is the best surfer in the world, and I’m sticking to my guns. He might not be the best contest surfer, but I think at some point he’ll figure it out and add what it takes to win contests to his repertoire.
In the first heat of Round 5 of the Quik Pro France yesterday, Florence smashed Mick Fanning. After a run of high scoring waves, he pulled down a 9.90. Then, as the horn shut down the heat, he gave his victory lap: a grinding, sandy black death pit that swallowed the Hawaiian whole. “It was amazing out there,” Florence said. “It almost felt like a free surf in Mexican beachbreaks. I love getting barreled. It’s my favorite thing in the world.” After being shot out oh-so-casually, he transitioned into a powerful carve and a quick hit off the lip. On his last turn, though, he fell. He dug the nose in and went over the handlebars… and he still got a ten. All five judges dropped perfect scores as fast as they could. What would’ve happened if he didn’t fall? Would they have given him a 12?