Stab Magazine | John Florence Ruptured His ACL, Will Likely Be Out For Entire 2019 Season

John Florence Ruptured His ACL, Will Likely Be Out For Entire 2019 Season

The world title race just opened wide. 

news // Jul 2, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thirty minutes ago, John John Florence announced his probable departure from the 2019 Championship Tour, citing a ruptured ACL that occurred while surfing in the Oi Rio Pro. 

Via his Instagram, John stated:

This has been a really fun year in competition and outside of the jersey. Unfortunately, in Brazil I ruptured my ACL. I’ll be pulling out of J-Bay and likely the rest of the CT season. I’m opting for surgery so I can be 100% next year. I’m excited for this new adventure and everything I will learn along the way. Thanks for all of the support!

This news is devastating for the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of surf fans around the globe, who even if they have a different favorite surfer, surely must appreciate the unique and powerful lines Florence draws on a wave. To our eye, he’s the most talented surfer in the world, which is proven further by his first-place ranking on the Championship Tour, despite having to pull out of the Brazil event before the quarterfinals.  

If you recall, John initially injured his right knee surfing in Bali last year, where an air that was 95% completed somehow buckled his hinge, forcing John to remove himself from the remainder of the Tour. This year, the injury was born from an even more innocuous-looking fall, which was more of a fly-away kickout than it was an aerial attempt (see below).

Initially we thought it was the leash extending John’s leg that had caused the pain, but we’ve since learned that it was the force of the lip that ruptured his ACL. But no matter how many times we watch the clip, we can’t understand what caused such a significant injury.

See 4:52 for the innocuous-enough looking fall that re-injured John’s knee.

Following the diagnosis, John will have to weigh the only two options before him: to operate, or not to operate. According to his IG post, he’s going for surgery. 

John chose the latter last year, but seeing how quickly that decision has failed him, it seems the 2x World Champ will be forced to take the scalpel-carved path. 

We can’t overstate how upsetting this news is. The only people who might feel a guilty sense of relief are Kolohe, Filipe, Jordy etc., who now find themselves embroiled in a very winnable World Title race. Hell, even Gabby is back in it now. 

Stab wishes John the speediest recovery and strongest return. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Surfing’s Decadent And Depraved Kentucky Derby: Day One

'It's still a wavepool comp'

May 28, 2023

Stab In The Dark With Italo Ferreira, Episode 4

And the shaper behind 2023’s best high-performance shortboard is…

May 28, 2023

Your Loss, Tahiti’s Win

Betonline.AG are donating 100% of their earnings (your losses) from Lemoore towards Tahitian flood victims.

May 26, 2023

The Surf Ranch Pro Preview: 2% Wildcards, Sudden-Death Duels, And Game Theory

Same swamp, (slightly) different rodeo.

May 26, 2023

Exclusive: Stab Speaks With El Niño 

"I’m just focusing on staying potent, moist and warm. I’m not really thinking that far…

May 25, 2023


Watch: Gabriel Medina Ping Pongs Off Brazil’s Most Exclusive Pool Coping Before Lemoore

'The waves at Boa Vista Village are so extravagant, they come with their own personal…

May 24, 2023

Stop Yelling At The Air Reverse 

I will no longer tolerate senseless attacks on the go-backwards community.

May 24, 2023


“He Fingerpainted BEACH HEAD In Big, Bloody Letters Across The Wooden Table”

Ian Crane describes his dysfunctional European escapades.

May 24, 2023

SEOTY: How Does A Mediterranean Surfer Get This Good?

Watch Barcelona’s Hugo Ortega’s ‘Bad Influencer.’

May 23, 2023


Another Reminder Of How Stacked This Year’s Challenger Series Is

All rail, no brakes with Shion Crawford

May 22, 2023

Cole Houshmand Weaponizes Powerful Diff To Bank 18.97 Points In North Narra Final

Issy Nichols gets a w, Aussies lead the Challenger Series.

May 22, 2023

Why Do So Many Surfers Wear Chains Now?

We asked, Italo Ferreira and 8 other surfers weighed in.

May 22, 2023

2% Book Two Spots In Lemoore, 16-Year-Old Ladybird Makes North Narra Finals

A howling southerly puts the remaining four heats on standby.

May 21, 2023

The Stab Interview: Brisa Hennessy 

The Olympian and CT winner competed this whole season while battling a brain tumor.

May 20, 2023

The Pirate’s Guide To Surf Forecasting 

How to do ur own research.

May 20, 2023


“Brazilians Don’t Mess Around On Jet Skis Or Dance Floors”

The Vans Duct Tape Festival does Rio.

May 20, 2023

Dane Reynolds To Continue Love Affair With Buell Wetsuits

Plus, a hefty giveaway to celebrate.

May 19, 2023

Australia’s Most Surfed Wave Is A Pool, Mex Is Best For Reps, Sri Lanka Is The Home Of Surf Enthusiasm

Insights from 3124 SearchGPS users on the fastest, longest and busiest waves in the world.

May 19, 2023