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John John Florence wins Volcom Pipe Pro

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John John Florence claimed his fourth Volcom Pipe Pro win as he took down 112 of the world’s best surfers on Feb. 2. Florence has won the event—held at Pipeline on the North Shore—four times in the past five years, solidifying his reputation as one of the most dominant Pipe surfers of his time. Florence said to Surfer Magazine, “It feels amazing; I’m pretty stoked. To win four—I can’t believe it yet, to be honest. It’s crazy. I’m just stoked to take the trophy home . . .again.” Scott Messick, a senior from California studying business, said, “John John is surfing like a freak of nature, as always. Since he’s grown up on the North Shore, he has such a better understanding of the break compared to everyone else.” Messick continued, “He has a sixth sense with the ocean, knowing where to be, and which waves to go on. He doesn’t just get barrels, but throws something radical in at the end that just blows your mind.”The Volcom Pipe Pro kicked off round one action with plenty of swell on tap and a light wind that kept the waves groomed to perfection, on Jan. 29. The group of 112 professional surfers and watermen took to the infamous Banzai Pipeline to conquer the most dangerous wave in the world and solidify a good result for the beginning of the 2105 season. “Any event in Hawaii is really important for Hawaii’s competitive surfers, and there are only two that locals can get into: the Pipe Pro and Sunset. But Pipe is the only wave I really care about. I focus all my energy here,” said Reef McIntosh, a professional surfer from Hawaii.The conditions for the contest were not perfect, but they were acceptable, explained Taylor Bramwell, a senior from Kailua studying biology. “It was big and had good potential, but most the time it was a bit funky. It was tough for the boys to find the good ones in some of the heats.” Surfers found it very challenging to pick the waves that would lead to the highest scores. Surfer Mag reported Florence as saying, “Having grown up surfing here, knowing the waves is always an advantage, but at the same time, it’s not really like this that often. And I normally wouldn’t surf it if it were like this.”Florence continues, “But then again, knowing the reef and the boils and the lineups in general always helps. But it was pretty random out there. There were deep ones, there were wide ones. If you had priority and you were in the right spot, then you were going to get the wave.”“I’m glad John John won,” said Bobby Poort, a recent graduate living in TVA. “It’s good to see the local kids doing so well on a wave that means so much to them.”
Writer: Trenton McCullough