Watch: John John Can Fly Again!
Also, did you know that Oahu has its own, punchier version of Lowers?
Physical injuries can take a long time to heal, but it's nothing compared to the psychological scarring that follows.
Take John Florence, for instance.
In 2018, John blew out his knee on while attempting an air during a freesurf in Bali. Opting not to get the ACL surgery, John took half a year off before returning to competition in 2019. Then he blew out his knee out again while attempting an air in competition.
This time John got the surgery, which will make his knee more structurally secure. What remains to be seen is how the PTSD from these injuries will affect his aerial future.
In a recent upload from Haleiwa, we saw John balk at a fairly standard air section (by his measure). This is typical for a victim of aerial assault, along with non-committal launches and last-second bailouts.
All of these, ironically, make a surfer more prone to reinjury. The safest way to attempt an air is with 100% commitment.
Today, we see John take the first step toward breaking down those cognitive hurdles. At a wave with a striking resemblance to Lower Trestles, the eldest Florence successfully launches and lands on multiple occasions while Nate adds some extra horsepower to his forehand carve (the improvement from that Haleiwa vid is remarkable).
Also, can we talk about the first turn on John's last wave? Yowza!