Is John John Florence The Best Backside Barrel Rider On Tour?
Round one of the Tahiti Pro says yes.
Hey, it’s not all-time, but it’s not that bad. After all the discussion around the lackluster forecast, Chopes came to remind us that, whether its code “whatever” or slightly overhead, Tahiti is still one of the better shows on tour. And, as expected the usual suspects came out firing.
The day started slow, in the first heat, Dusty Payne didn’t manage to find a single scoring wave. Jordy Smith won with an eight point total, and it wasn’t until the fourth and fifth heats that the event started to entertain. Gabriel Medina, in heat four, found a few tunnels, reminding us why he’s won out here before. Gabs continues to be the deadliest gent on the CT, from his robotic consistency to his competitive drive, we’d be surprised if he’s not a multiple title winner.
Dear John Florence, in heat five, put up the day’s highest score (18.4). John’s one of the top three backside barrel riders in the world, next to Jamie O’Brien and Mr Slater–the only other competitor to slip into a score in the nine range. As always, if you give the King decent surf he’ll wear the crown.
The man with the yellow jersey, Sir Matty Wilko lost to Bruno Santos in heat six and will find himself in the round two elimination. He’s up against local wildcard Hira Teriinatoofa, and to keep his title as the Jeep Leader, he’ll have to surf his way into the later rounds of this event, because John and Gabs will.
In the back half round one, there were still chances for greatness between the slower heats. Adam Melling capped off the day with two waves in the excellent range for a total heat score of 17.67.
This event won’t be the Chopes were hoping for, but there’s still openings and potential for entertainment.
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