John Florence At Quite Large Rockpile This Afternoon
One hour of surfing equates to a one minute edit.
This morning the North Shore woke to a washed out mess. With sand aplenty, a lot of the reefs have yet to uncover. The surf was quite large, sucking up brown sugar tubes. In an area with surfers lining their sponsor's rented, coastal beehives, it was rare to see anyone in the water. Around three, however, the weather started to clean up.
Driving up Kam Highway, leaving the food trucks at Sharks Cove through Sunset Beach, white lines avalanched towards shore. They stacked atop each other. From cracks in the foliage that engulfs the bike path and open visions of the waves not a bobbing head could be seen. Sunset was massive. Empty. Unruly.
Log Cabins looked somewhat, er, manageable. Occasional tubes snuck through the ruckus. Rockpile was much larger. As the clock struck four, the wind, instead of incessantly battering the shore from the side, came front and center; waves feathered towards the horizon. The sun continued its descent. The sky turned. Strokes of grey, orange and a tinge of purple set the tone against a blue backdrop. The ocean screamed. John Florence and Kiron Jabour paddled out.
Knowing there’d be a show we returned to the house across the road to fill a backpack of beers, and grab a camera. The sky became darker; the ocean, cleaner. Chatter lined the beach - conversation started with a J. A drone hovered above, offsetting the surreal tropical scene. There were a few red Go John John hats (a popular accessory here at the moment) that complement the signs lining the highway and, really, all the North Shore.
John’s the mayor of the town. He’s the dearly beloved. The title favorite. The way he takes to hefty surf on a board just breaking the six-foot mark puts him apart. He's truly a specimen. There’s no bobble in his turns, no stress. Rare flaws. The John going after his second world title is home. He’s comfortable.