John Florence Hits Backdoor Buzzer To Lead Battle Of The Beards
Launches into No. 2 on Vans Pipe Masters leaderboard.
In one of the more anticipated heats of the day in a contest loaded with good matchups, John Florence came out on top against his younger siblings and one of surfing’s best backside tube wranglers.
John snagged four waves on his 6’4 Pyzel Next Step to notch 54.80 points (Good for second place on the overall leaderboard, trailing only Mikey February). His best score, a 23.5, came with him trailing Ivan Florence with less than a minute left. He took off on an overhead Backdoor runner, threaded it cleanly, and then stomped his trademark wraparound cutty. It wasn’t as dramatic as his 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro buzzer beater versus Jamie O’Brien, but the shades were there.
Ivan snagged the highest single wave score of the heat with a clean Pipeline gem to finish runner-up position at 39.2 points. Nathan Florence (28.6) barely edged out Eimeo Czermak (28.5), who impressively negotiated the family dynamics and got his fair share of tube time. You can see all the results, here.
Not many people would relish taking on the Florence bros at Pipeline with cash on the line. But Eimeo is not most people, and not just for his technical chops. The guy is uber-competitive, and word on the Kamehameha Highway is that the 20-year-old Tahitian relished the opportunity to face the trio.
“Eimeo is a submarine,” Mason Ho said of the matchup on the night of the heat draw. You can catch the full bit on this week’s episode of The Drop. “You don’t see him when you surf. He’s so under it. I don’t know if he’s under the ledge or in the barrel the whole time.
“They’re all fucking freaks. It’s the Florences versus the submarine.”
After the spray settled but the beards still dripping, Mahina Florence conducted a stellar post-heat interview with the brothers. Nathan led off by describing how they premeditated their heat selection.
“With this format, you surf three times so why not be surfing with your brothers?” Nathan said.
“The way the draw worked, somehow it ended up that we were able to get all three of us in the same heat.”
“It’s not a competition, it’s just a regular day out at Pipe,” said Ivan, before the trio burst into laughter.
“Ivan was paddling back out over his shoulder going, ‘You guys better watch out,’” John guffawed.
And the best part about this matchup? They get two more attempts. Sixty more minutes of Florence and the submarine.
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