I don’t want to be “that guy”, but I’ve been saying that John John is the best surfer in the world for at least two years. And sure, you may disagree with me – and so do the rankings, for that matter – but whatever. He just won the 2012 Billabong Rio Pro, which was, in fact, his first world tour victory, adding to an already impressive list of recent results. Let’s count them down:
2011 Vans Triple Crown champion (arguably the coolest title around)
Vans World Cup at Sunset.
Wins at Pipe (ok, maybe THAT’S the coolest title) and Western Australia’s Drug Aware Pro.
An equal third at Lowers.
See? The kid is good. With his win in Rio, Florence moves to sixth in the world, while the man he beat in the final, Joel Parkinson, finds himself in a place almost everyone who likes surfing wants him to be: first in the world rankings, a race he always seems to falter in.
The next two stops on the tour, however, are probably the best John John could hope for. Cloudbreak and Teahupoo are both well suited to someone who grew up with Pipe in his backyard.
So, as usual, we will sit back and watch the great drama unfold. And it will be exciting.
BILLABONG RIO PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1. John John Florence (HAW) 16.37
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.44
BILLABONG RIO PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.00
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.94 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.86
BILLABONG RIO PRO QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.90 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.60
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.57 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 5.90
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.94 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.43
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.84 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.27
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 10 (after Billabong Rio Pro):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 19,700 pts
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 18,250 pts
3. Josh Kerr (AUS) 18,200 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17,200 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15,750 pts
6. John John Florence (HAW) 15,750 pts
7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15,700 pts
8. Kelly Slater (USA) 13,700 pts
9. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12,250 pts
10. Owen Wright (AUS) 12,150 pts