Stab Magazine | John John Florence And The Never Been Done

John John Florence And The Never Been Done

An accolade only Kelly Slater and Andy Irons have reached for unsuccessfully. 

news // Dec 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

By winning the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau, the Triple Crown and the World Title, John has pulled off a feat that has never been accomplished and is unlikely to be duplicated. 

For starters, the Eddie commenced back in 1984 and has only run nine times, which makes the chances of winning all three slim at best. Then consider what it takes to get invited to the Eddie. For example, this year only four CT competitors were on the invite list, John John one—the others being Kelly Slater, Jeremy Flores and the new addition to the tour Zeke Lau.

Brushing the pages of the history back a bit, there are only two people in the last 30 years that could have achieved what John did: Kelly Slater and Andy Irons. Kelly won the Eddie in 2002, but he struggled on tour. He was just coming out of semi-retirement and spent most of the CT season getting smoked by Andy; who beat him at the Pipe Masters, won the world title and the Triple Crown—but not the Eddie.

In 2004, Andy came back fierce and had at shot taking all three. He won the world title. He won the Triple Crown. But his brother, Bruce, bested him at the Bay.

“All I wanted to do was beat my brother. I would have died to beat him that day,” said Bruce in an interview years later.

At the end of last year when John John released his film, “View From A Blue Moon,” he made it clear he was going to buckle down and focus on competing. He trained with Kid Peligro. He hired Bede Durbidge to coach him. Jon Pyzel whittled him a consistent quiver. And, he kept is entourage tight.

Twelve months later, VFABM has become one of the most downloaded surf movies on iTunes and Amazon. And John was able to parlay the cinematic success into his hit web series, “Twelve.” He currently commands a social media audience of 1.6 million—a number that has increased nearly 600k in the last 12 months. This year he won Surfer of the Year at Surfer Mag’s annual Surfer Poll popularity contest and Best Performance for “Twelve”—a testament to not only his skill but the adoration his fans have for him. A few years ago, when John John was in negotiations with Hurley and then signed a contract for roughly 3.5 mill a year, it sure seemed like a lot of money for a brand to shell out, even if it was Nike money. After this year however, it’s looking like a stable investment.

John John may not have won everything he entered in 2016, but he did win everything that mattered. 


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