John John won the Sunset Junior Pro, open to competitors up to the age of twenty, when he was just thirteen. Yes, Sunset, one of Hawaii’s most challenging waves, famous for its incredible power, unruly line-up, and conveyer-belt rips.
But then again, he’s been surfing Pipe since he was even younger. In his 2003 autobiography Pipe Dreams, Kelly Slater reflected on what he’d be doing ten years down the line. “Competing at Pipe, against kids like John John Florence,” he predicted after consulting his crystal ball which also serves as his head. “He is only ten years old, but already charging Pipe.”
The accuracy of his prediction was remarkable. Around this time last year, Kelly found himself up against John John in the final of the Pipe Masters; Kelly would ultimately come out on top, but it was an extremely close-run affair, with John John almost nicking it in the dying moments. A rematch this year is surely in order.
Further to the short documentary about Gabriel Medina and his shaper Johnny Cabianca, this little video courtesy of the ASP points the spotlight in the direction of Hawaii’s Jon Pyzel, who shapes boards for John John.