John John Florence has been in the public eye since he was a kid toying with Pipeline, but 2012 was the year he proved once and for all that he was a serious competitive force.

It's hard to imagine there was ever any doubt. But remember, this was a kid who grew up in the spotlight, dealing with a weight of expectation heavier than just about any other CT rookie.

He was a household name as a small boy, with a story compelling enough to have a legion of fans on the edge of their seats.

Day 7 Highlights - 2012 Billabong Rio Pro
The Billabong Rio Pro, Event No. 3 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, returned to the powerful beachbreak of Barra da Tijuca for the second ...

The 2012 Billabong Rio Pro was Florence's first Championship Tour victory, secured care of a final against Joel Parkinson, then at the peak of his career (this was the year, after all, that he would bag his World Title).

This win was the final note in a melody that proved Florence meant business, and would be a long-term force on the Championship Tour, coming as it did after he took out the 2011 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro and the 2012 Telstra Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River.

No one was ever going to question Florence's ability at locations such as Hawaii or Tahiti, but the fact the then-19-year old was able to stick to a competitive plan and out surf the likes of Parko, Josh Kerr, Julian Wilson and Taj Burrow in punchy, fun-size waves was a huge statement.

John John Florence of Oahu, Hawaii (pictured) dominated his round four heat at the Billabong Rio Pro, top scoring with a 17.73 (out of 20.00) to advance directly into the quarterfinals on Tuesday May 15, 2012.Florence defeated Julian Wilson (AUS) and Taj Burrow (AUS) posting a pair of excellent barrel rides including a near perfect 9.63 (out of 10.00). John John Florence (HAW) - WSL / Matt Dunbar/ ASP Handout

Importantly, it foreshadowed even bigger achievements, including becoming one of only five surfers in men's Championship Tour history to clinch their first two World Titles in back-to-back fashion, in 2016 and 2017.

So on Monday, tune in for The Vault: 2012 Rio, and see one of the most exciting and progressive surfers to ever do it crack the code and announce his intentions to the world.

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