For as many surfers who are critical of the ASP’s new two-tiered system, the elite 32-man World Tour, and the mid-season shuffles, there are those who it’s working out for. It certainly worked out for John John Florence, who lives mere steps from Pipeline.
The funny thing is, you might not expect Florence to join the tour mid-season as he did. The Brazilian leg and the California Prime events wouldn’t seem conducive to his surfing. You’d expect him to get on for the start of the year, following a strong showing in Hawaii.
But Florence put together the points he needed, including a Volcom Pipeline Pro win back in January to shuffle into the top 32. And he’s done pretty well to prove he belongs there. It’s quite an adjustment for a kid who just turned 19. And now he’s going to sleep in his own bed while he surfs the Vans Triple Crown.
ESPN: So, you’re on tour now. Is it everything you’ve ever dreamed?
Florence: It’s definitely different than what I expected from the time I was little. It’s hard. You have to go into every event with 100 percent confidence and just surf your best because everyone there is there to win and no one is going to give you the heat. You have to win by a mile to really make a heat.
The last interview we did was in your tree house. A lot has changed since then. What has been the hardest part of adjusting to the tour, in and out of the water?
Yeah, ever since I got on the tour my schedule has been crazy. Going to contests back to back, World Tour and Primes, I’ve noticed a lot more things with my surfing that could be improved for my heats to improve. Staying focused throughout all of those events for months at a time is hard to adjust to, but definitely fun.
“You have to win by a mile to really make a heat,” says Florence of his time on tour so far.
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