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The Inertia

John John Florence is one of the best surfers in the world for a few reasons. Sure, he’s insanely talented on a surfboard and he has a lifetime of muscle memory built up, but more importantly, is his relationship with the ocean. There are some surfers who need to, for lack of a better word, force things. John doesn’t force opportunities. There’s a quote attributed to Michelangelo that goes like this:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

That’s a little like John’s surfing. He doesn’t surf on the wave, he surfs with it. In each wave, he sees a perfect ride before we do. And once he’s done his work, we then see the beautiful form he’s created but knew was there all along. Part of that ability comes from not forcing things. He simply takes full advantage of every opportunity the wave offers.

While he was filming for his film, View From a Blue Moon, John’s opus released in 2015, he found a wave at home, saw the air that lay within it, and did an alley-oop that made the surfing world sit back and breathe a collective exclamation that went something like this:

“Holy shit.”

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