You knew it was going to be the best heat of the round. Sandwiched between Jadson Andre VS Italo Ferreira and Bruno Santos VS Adriano de Souza, there it was. Shining, glimmering, glistening and drenched in hype: John John Florence VS Gabriel Medina in Round 3 of the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Last year’s world champ against next year’s world champ at one of the world’s most interesting waves. And it was everything you’d hoped it would be.
The heat went back and forth for a while, then eventually headed in the direction of Medina. John and Gabe are ranked 14th and 15th (respectively?) right now — so there was no 2015 World Title to yell about — but they are undeniably two of the world’s best surfers and damn, was it fun to watch. After all, Kelly Slater called it the heat of the year.