TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Thursday, August 8, 2013) -John John Florence (HAW), 20, has developed in to arguably the best barrel rider in the world. The young Hawaiian’s surfing in heavy conditions has redefined the idea of progression in waves of consequence and while Florence has put in countless hours in critical surf around the world, he’s still admittedly intimidated by the Tahitian monster of Teahupo’o.
Entering the upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti, the ASP World Championship Tour Sophomore will descend upon Tahitian paradise to charge in to seemingly unmakable waves alongside the world’s best surfers over the ominous South Pacific reef. Florence is quick to admit the the dangers presented by Teahupo’o are very real, but is convinced that harnessing the Tahitian barrel is well worth the gamble.
“Chopes fazes me, I think it fazes a lot of people,” Florence said. “It’s a scary wave, especially once it hits that 8-10 foot mark. There’s those random ones that come in that aren’t quite paddleable and you don’t know if you should go or not, but it’s an amazing wave and the reward outweighs the risk that much.”
Touted by fans and critics as a future ASP World Champion due to his progressive small wave game and prowess in big waves, the prodigious Hawaiian has quickly turned heads during his early career among the ASP Top 34, snatching his first elite victory at the Billabong Rio Pro in 2012. With an early season injury behind him, Florence hopes his passion for Teahupo’o and backhand barrel-riding abilities will levitate him an additional Billabong Pro Tahiti Podium finish.
“Chopes is definitely one of my main events that I want to do good at,” Florence said. “I love that place. I’ve been going there since i was little and it’s definitely an event I want to win or try to. I definitely want to some point in my career. It’s a gnarly wave. It’s scary.”
Watch Florence compete at the upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 15-26 via www.billabongpro.com