- WSL / Matt Dunbar

John John Florence, a surfing phenomenon and two-time World Champion, just sat down for an episode of The Lineup podcast. Here are five things from the interview which you may not know about one of the most exciting surfers in the world.

He had moments of doubt on the Qualifying Series

"Competition through my life has had so many ups and downs and my surfing career, whether it's been injuries or a string of losses in events.

"And I remember, when I first started doing the QS, I didn't do very good on the QS for a long time. I would make like one heat, and then lose, then maybe two heats and then lose.

"At one point, I was just like, so frustrated that I even was like, is this what I'm gonna do, you know? Am I going to continue trying to chase after this QS dream of making the Tour eventually? "

His childhood on the North Shore of Oahu has shaped his outlook on competition

"You know, when you're growing up here on the North Shore, every competitive surfer in the world comes here for three months of the year, and that's when we have our best waves. And so every time you go surfing, you're automatically jumping into this tense, competitive atmosphere."

An injury just before he qualified for the World Tour helped him get amped on surfing

"It's interesting in life how different things can snap your path, and all of a sudden you're going a different direction. I remember I was in that mindset, I was like, I don't know what I'm going to do, and I broke my back, and I was out of the water for a while.

"And then when I came back from that, I was just so excited to go surfing again."

Keeping up with Gabriel Medina inspired his surfing

"He's just a machine of a competitor, you know? Even when we were first getting through the QS and on the Tour, you could see it right away, he's so consistent, and so I kind of naturally wanted to be doing that also."

Working with Coach Ross Williams helped his "in between" surfing 

"It was little things, you know, and it was things that I saw in my own surfing that I was like, OK, I see that I need to focus on this here. I think one of the biggest things that I had to work on was the in-between surfing.

"I spent my whole life taking off on a wave and going as fast as I could to get from point A to point B on the end, rather than figuring out what's in the middle there. I would just pump and try and do something big."

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