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John John Florence: 5 Simple Tips For Tackling Big Waves

When you grow up on the North Shore of Oahu, like 2x World Champion John John Florence, getting acquainted with dangerous ocean conditions isn't a choice, it's a matter of survival. Florence started surfing Pipeline when he was just eight. He was charging good-sized Waimea Bay at 16, and lest we forget, in 2016 he nabbed an impressive win at The Eddie, which became an instant classic.

Florence takes the 9th title in 32 years. Florence enjoyed a big moment at Waimea Bay after nabbing a win at the 2016 Eddie. WSL / Freesurf/Keoki

But don't think for a second that Florence doesn't know fear. He'll be the first to admit he does, because every surfer has their own version of the unridden realm. This is one of many great topics Florence hits in his new booklet: A Field Guide to Waterman Things, which he just released in collaboration with Hurley.

Here's what Florence recommends you do to push the boundaries of your comfort zone.

Watch for a While

"Watch from the beach longer than you normally would. Look for patterns and be a skeptic with your mindng. It's usually twice as hard to do in real life what you're doing in your head."

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Know Where You Go

"Paddle out to the zone and let a few sets go. Watch carefully what the wave does each time."

Sets roll through maxing Sunset Beach during day 2 of the 2017 WSL Vans World Cup Big wave breaks look a lot different once you're actually in the lineup. This is especially true at Sunset Beach. Let a few go and learn where you need to be to get in properly. WSL / Tony Heff

Bring Support

"Surround yourself with friends who will push you. Self motivation is overrated."

Review the Results

"Video that first session. Look where you missed opportunities and try again next time."

Brad Domke at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 15, 2016. Photo by Aaron Lynton. An entry into the 2016 Tube Award category. Reviewing your mistakes is the fastest way to make progress. Compare what you did wrong to those who were doing things right, like Brad Domke here, and adjust accordingly. WSL / Aaron Lynton

Never Be Afraid to Walk Away

"If you're just not feeling it."

2018 Biggest Paddle Entry: Grant Baker at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 27, 2017. Photo by Randy Sarrow. Whether it's 3 feet or 30, everyone has their own limits. These tips apply regardless WSL / Randy Sarrow

Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of John John's instructional booklet: A Field Guide to Waterman Things at your favorite hardcore surf shop. All proceeds are going to the Kokua Foundation and Sunset Beach Elementary.

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