For a moment it looked like our Saffa Jordy Smith was going to successfully take the Title Race to Pipe. All he had to do was win the Ripcurl MEO Pro and after dropping a perfect 10 in the Quarterfinals, it wasn’t an impossible ask for Jordy. But Connor Coffin put an end to the madness by eliminating Jordy in the Semi Finals – meaning John John Florence claimed the 2016 WSL World Title before the contest was even over.
In truth, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Since we first saw the Hawaiian shredding when he was just a grom and all the times he’s left us wondering ‘How did he land that?!’ John John Florence has been claimed to be the best surfer in the world – and now he’s just proved it.
World Surf League’s statement:
“John John Florence clinched his first WSL World Title in Peniche, Portugal, Tuesday after advancing to the Final of the MEO Rip Curl Pro. By assuming the throne, the Hawaiian fulfilled what appeared to be his destiny from a young age.
“My whole life has gone toward this,” said John John. “I can’t believe I’m the World Champion. That was my goal. This is my dream. I’m so stoked.”
Raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Florence was mentored by legends. Those same legends pegged him as a future World Champion from the time he was eight years old and routinely surfing Pipeline.
But his road to the top hit some bumps along the way. Numerous injuries, longtime legends, and a fresh rival in Gabriel Medina became huge obstacles in his path. But in 2016 Florence made a public commitment to making a Title run his primary focus, and through some guts, grit, and amazing surfing he made it happen.
Congratulations John John Florence.”