When John John Florence captured the World Title in 2016 the only real question on everybody's mind was whether or not he'd be keeping his foot on the gas the following year. After all, his landmark 2016 season included a win at the Quiksilver Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau, a Triple Crown Championship, and his long-awaited finish at the top of Jeep Leaderboard. After five years on Tour he deserved to exhale.
But John was having none it.
Instead he doubled down enhancing his approach, and with the help of his new coach, Ross Williams, put every aspect of his game under the microscope. By the time he arrived at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in March, he looked a lot like the same old John John, but trained eyes noticed something different: He was looking sharper, surfing smarter, and carried himself with greater purpose.
His new form was on full display at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, where he turned in a performance for the ages. In four of the six heats he won he racked up more than 19 points out of a possible 20. His average margin of victory was an astounding 5.5 -- truly next level.
The 2017 edition of John John Florence seems to relish challenges, which is helpful considering he's got a massive one on his hands heading into the Billabong Pipe Masters, where this year's World Title will be decided. A surging Gabriel Medina is hot on his heels, and both are beyond eager to claim the Pipe Masters win that's eluded them. Yeah, another World Title would be a nice perk, too.
The Billabong Pipeline Masters event window opens December 8.