What's The One Wave That Knocked John Florence's Lights Out? - Stab Mag

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What’s The One Wave That Knocked John Florence’s Lights Out?

Nathan Florence and Co. pay for Portuguese Cave-diving.

elsewhere // Oct 26, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Don’t let the soothing violin melody fool you. The Cave is anything but approachable. 

Of all the waves John Florence has danced over, it’s an exposed reef at the end of an unpaved road in Ericeira that gave him one of his scariest moments. 

“My brother John said he was knocked unconscious here surfing alone,” Nathan Florence says in his latest globe-trotting vid. “He woke up underwater and made his way in safely. But he definitely warned me the wave is gnarly and it was the one place he’d ever been knocked unconscious underwater by the reef.”

Like many rock shelves around the world, the Cave was once thought untouchable by polyester resin. The boogs surfed it alone for years, until Portugal’s Tiago Pires gave it a go in the early 2000s, proving it was possible to approach on a stand-up board. 

Portuguese glory is just a boil away. Screengrab from Nathan Florence.

At first glance, this lineup looks like a Jackson Pollock painting. Never mind the pack of tube-hungry pros — just try counting the number of boils popping up out the back and down the line. Fortunately for us, we can watch Nathan Florence and other standouts like Zeke Lau, Torrey Meister, Brodi Sale (starting at 3:10) navigate the bumps and bruises on a solid but not death-defying day. 

Hit play above and picture yourself eyeing those boils on the way down. You still going?

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