Stab Magazine | John Florence Showed Up Early (But Not Empty-Handed) To The Gold Coast Party

John Florence Showed Up Early (But Not Empty-Handed) To The Gold Coast Party

Testing sixteen new Pyzels (all 6’0″) 6 weeks (!) before the opening event of 2018. 

full frame // Jan 31, 2018
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yesterday we received an email containing photos of John John Florence, the recently minted World Champ, tickling lips in southern Queensland. This was surprising because, well, it’s currently late January, and the first event of the CT season — the Quik Pro Snapper — doesn’t begin until mid-March. To say that John’s a little early to Australia would be like saying Larry Nassar was kind of a creep. 

So we decided to chat up Jon Pyzel, who along with filmer Erik Knutson is with John in Australia, to talk about what the hell they’re doing over there six-weeks before the event. 

Stab: Jon! We saw the photos of Mr. Florence surfing Snapper yesterday and, well, what the hell are you guys doing over there six weeks before the event?
Jon Pyzel: Well, mainly we’re testing surfboards for this season. I just shaped John a quiver for the Australia leg, and we saw some fun waves on the forecast, so we just decided to come over for a few days. It’s not too bad a flight from Hawaii. 

I love the commitment. So: how long are you there, who’s with you, and how many boards did you bring?
We’ll be leaving tomorrow night, so it’s just three full days of surfing. Over here it’s just John, Erik, and me. This trip was really last-minute so Ross wasn’t able to make it, but Erik has been sending him all of John’s clips and labeling them with each board’s dimensions, so Ross can remotely dissect what John’s seeing and feeling. We ended up bringing 16 boards, plus one or two for me [laughs]. 

Screen Shot 2018 01 30 at 2.31.32 PM

Just a taste.

And tell me about these boards. What is John riding?
These boards are mostly Ghosts or variations of the Ghost, and then there are a few Phantoms, which are kind of a step-down Ghost. We’ve been playing around with dimensions — some of the boards are thick and narrow, while others are wide and thin. We’ve also got some variation in the tails — mostly just the last eight inches of the boards. And the majority are PUs, but there are also a couple epoxies.

And all of them are 6’0″. 

What has John been liking?
He’s been liking a lot of different boards. He rode a squash-tail Phantom yesterday that went really well, and then a few thumb-tails that he didn’t really like at first, but then he switched from medium to large fins and they worked really well. 

Will you make John another batch of boards before he comes back to Australia?
Yeah, this is just the beginning. We’ll actually leave these boards over here with Pyzel Australia, and then I’ll go home and make copies of the ones he liked, so that he can ride them around Hawaii for the next month. Then we’ll take the best of those boards back over here. 

Ah, quite the system you’ve got. So since you’ll be heading back to Hawaii tomorrow, can we expect to see John in the Volcom Pipe Pro?
Yeah, hopefully. They’re running the event right now — we’re actually watching his brother Nathan’s heat before we go surf this morning — but I think we’ll be back before he surfs on the third day. 

So it would seem that Team John has all the bases covered. He’s getting to test 16 boards, practice at Snapper without 34 of the world’s best surfers, and he’ll likely make it back in time to surf the Volcom Pipe Pro.

That’s called having your vegan meatpies and eating them too. 

Oh and, for what it’s worth, a Gold Coast friend wrote me this morning:

“I’m putting John John straight into my Snapper team after filming him today.”



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