What He Rode: John John

Breaking down John John's Florence's European sled

The Golden Boy and his Golden Board atop the surfing masses in France. Photo: ASP
The Golden Boy and his Golden Board atop the surfing masses in France. Photo: ASP

Between his win in France and his quarterfinal finish in Portugal, it’s safe to say that the Old Country was definitely kind to John John. Below, Jon Pyzel of Pyzel Surfboards breaks down the golden board* that John John rode throughout the European leg of the Tour.

JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
HEIGHT: 6’1″
WEIGHT: 167

SHAPER: Jon Pyzel
MODEL: “The Bastard”
TAIL: Round
LENGTH: 6’1”
WIDTH: 18.65”
THICKNESS: 2.31”
VOLUME: 26.5L
TAIL WIDTH: 14.25”
NOSE WIDTH: 11.63”

BOTTOM CONTOUR: This board has quite a bit of rocker. It’s very even and smooth all the way and doesn’t have a “flip” or kick in it. It also has single concave throughout the bottom with a touch of double concave running through the fins to keep feeling free and help it “tip” on to the rail at full speed.

GLASSING: Single 4 oz. bottom with a 3/4 x 4 S/E Hybrid cloth on the deck. The S/E Hybrid cloth is an experimental cloth we have been using for the past year. It’s stronger than the standard “E” cloth, yet not a stiff as the regular “S” cloth that you often hear about on pros’ boards. Also, the blank I used was from Arctic Foam and had a “yellow” weight, which is very light, yet holds up under the harsh beatings it gets from modern surfing. We’ve found that the blanks are a very important, but often overlooked ingredient in the process of building a really good surfboard. That being said, we build all of JJF’s boards out of Arctic, which I believe is the best foam on the market.

Was this board specifically cut for France? 

I made the board along with a bigger batch of boards for John right before he went to California for the Trestles event, knowing that it would go with him onto the European leg. When we crafted these boards, our thinking was while France could be pumping, he would still want a shortboard, not a full-on step-up. And that’s exactly what happened.

Did John ride this board the whole event?  

In the beginning he was riding another Bastard, which was a squash tail version of the same board/design. In his Round 3 heat against SeaBass, he fell hard on the board halfway through the heat and buckled the nose. Although he was combo’d, at this point (with a 4.24 total), he went in and grabbed his back-up,  a 6’0” round tail Bastard. He got a quick Jet Ski ride back out and grabbed an 8.17 under Seabass’ priority, then backed that up with a 7 to win the heat. I was kind of stoked that he buckled that squash tail, because it was looking a little over powered in the conditions in that heat and I have never seen JJF switch boards mid-heat before.

Do you recall how many boards John brought to France?

He had two bags with him, which means probably 10 or 11 boards, from 5’11” up to 6’2” step-ups.

If an average Joe were to order a variant of JJF’s Bastard model, what would you recommend he change?

I would tell them to order the same board, but I would customize their dimensions to suit their surfing ability and weight/size. The Bastard is a great high-performance board that everyone can ride, they just need to get the right size stick, with enough volume for their weight.

*On the final day of Portugal, JJF rode the same model, but went up an inch in length.