What He Rode: John John Florence

A look under the hood of John John's Volcom Pipe Pro sled

Photo: Kueny
John John understands Pipe like no other, but his dominance there also has to do with what’s under his feet. Photo: Kueny

JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
HEIGHT: 6'1"
WEIGHT: 173 lbs.

SHAPERJon 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, but it's evenly displaced. It has a single concave throughout the bottom with just a little bit of double running through the fins.

GLASSING: For John John, we use a single 4 oz. bottom with a 3/4 x 4 S/E Hybrid cloth on the deck. The S/E Hybrid cloth is stronger than the standard "E" cloth, yet not a stiff as the regular "S" that a lot of the other pros are riding. This is really important: For John, we use an Arctic Foam Yellow blank, which is light, but firm. When you surf the way he surfs, it's important that you get the foam right or he's gonna be breaking even more boards.

FINS:
Futures John John Techflex

SIDE FINS:
HEIGHT 4.56″
BASE: 4.45″
AREA: 14.98″

CENTER FIN:
HEIGHT: 4.52″
BASE: 4.42″
AREA: 14.90″
FOIL: Flat

Photo: Kueny
He rode the same board to a win at the Quik Pro France, specially designed for big, hollow waves. Photo: Kueny

What makes this model, The Bastard, unique?
It has a full concave on the bottom. Single throughout it, but with a very slight double towards the fins. Quite a bit of curve to this board and it has an even rocker, which makes it really responsive and peppy. It's intended to be ridden in hollow, juicy waves, but he's also ridden this model out at Trestles as well. It has some concave in the center of the board as well, which helps carry you through the fatter sections of the wave.

How many boards do you make for John John a year?
Ha, a lot. I think between 80 and 100. But it's really not that bad considering the way he surfs. He's actually really considerate when it comes to boards. If I make him 10, he'll pick two that he'll use for contests, and ride the rest in freesurfs.

When it comes to design, how close do the two of you work together?
John's great about giving feedback, but for the most part, we have his boards so dialed in that we're not reinventing anything. By in large, we'll just tweak a few things here and there. We'll have meetings where we talk about things and what we can change, but yeah, it's pretty minimal.

How important is feedback for you?
It's great. John does his homework too. As I mentioned, most of the changes we make are pretty small, but he films and studies most of his sessions. So he'll surf, then watch the footage and dissect it. If he feels like a rail may be digging a little on a certain type of top turn, we'll talk about it and see what's going on and fix it.

How’s demand changed since John started winning events on The Bastard?
Yeah, there are definitely more orders. I'm actually looking at stacks upon stacks of The Bastard right now. But the way the board is shaped makes it accessible for a lot of regular surfers. We would just alter the volume or the rails a little bit to accommodate weight and ability. But yeah, it's an all-around good board.

Photos: Kueny
John John’s signature Futures fins on his signature Pyzel model, a winning formula for Florence. Photos: Kueny

PHOTOS: The Volcom Pipe Pro
READ: John John & Jon