Senior Editor

The Inertia

When it comes to surfing giant walls, there’s no one who does it quite like John John Florence. And when it comes to giant walls near John’s house, there’s no place quite like Rockpiles.

Those walls are tailor made to John John’s turns. It’s pretty much a given that John surfs the way he does because he grew up surfing the powerful waves of the North Shore.

“There’s no one who draws lines the way JJF does on large walls,” wrote Off Da Lip on YouTube. “I can’t think of a single surfer that holds a rail the way John John Florence does, can you?”

John does have something that no one else has in surfing. It’s impossible to define exactly what it is, but it’s something that probably came from guzzling that Hawaiian juice from a very young age.

It’s often said that surfers who start late in life are easy to spot, because they just don’t have the same comfort on a wave that a person who grew up surfing has. John looks about as comfortable surfing big, powerful waves as he does just walking around on land. That ease, paired with his powerful yet functional style, is what gives him the je ne sais quoi.

And aside from Pipeline, there’s no place like massive Rockpiles to show it off.


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