Sad times for any fan of surfing. Photo: WSL
John Florence Ruptured His ACL, Will Likely Be Out For Entire 2019 Season
The world title race just opened wide.
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.
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.