All Three Florence Brothers Kept Surfing Alive Today
Nate Flo’s YT live stream had 6.3K viewers while brothers, John and Ivan rinsed the field at their local.
Is guerilla broadcasting the future of surf events?
The HIC Pipe Pro is a regional QS event, with non-endemic sponsors, a small budget, and no live broadcast. Despite being held at the world’s most famous reef break, and attracting multiple world champions (JJF, Billy Kemper), there was no way of watching the final’s day action unfold without doing some digging around social threads looking for good samaritans to point you in the right direction.
Soz WSL but the channel coverage was a little twopenny.
As a result of a fortunate tip-off, I found myself with a tessera of windows open, Surfline’s Pipe camera, the WSL’s live scoring page, and Nathan Florence’s live YT beach commentary to fill in the blanks. A fine visualisation of media fragmentation, a cumbersome user interface with which to watch surfing, plagued with unsynced audio, visuals and score updates.
Still, it was still fucking exciting – and to my surprise, 6,300 other people were watching Nate’s YT with me, despite a pixellated and shaky picture, “Sorry guys, I have so much adrenaline going through my veins RN” admitted Nate watching his bros from the beach.
John and Ivan met up four times in the HIC pro, in the Round of 64, quarters, semis, and final. Being on the same side of the draw as your brother is not ideal if you both hope to make the finals, but the Flo’s got the nod over their non-bloodline-related competitors in both fractioned-heats.
Ivan, perhaps the least outspoken Florence with one of the most fluid styles in the game, got a tapped 10 in the quarters for a late swoop under an already projecting lip, into a gurgling drainer that JJF claimed from the wash. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. What a special moment for the Florences.
In the final, it was JJF who clinched his fourth Pipe victory, surpassing Andy Irons as the most successful Hawaiian competitor at Pipeline. Barron Mamiya took home second, Ivan, third, and Kainehe Hunt, fourth.
John almost looked like he might’ve been jumped by Barron, before he swung into a cathedral in the last two minutes and got blown out into the channel – a 9.67 heat sealer. Game over, see you bye.
Learnings from today: 1.) A one-man media machine with surf-cred and a guerilla broadcast is enough to keep 6,300 people engaged with a surf contest, 2.) Thank god for Surfline cameras, 3.) The Florences are special, 4.) I wish I was a Florence.
- John Florence (16.07)
- Barron Mamiya (13.87)
- Ivan Florence (11.00)
- Kainehe Hunt (5.16)
- Moana Wong (11.34)
- Brisa Hennessy (8.37)
- Gabriela Bryan (6.50)
- Brianna Cope (5.83)