John Florence, the 2x World Champion, has just announced that he has chosen to withdraw from the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters. In the Instagram post below, Florence stated that he still doesn’t “have full trust” in his movements, thanks to a lingering knee injury that has kept him sidelined him for the majority of the 2018 season.
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Feeling really good to get back in the water the last couple weeks. I think I'm close to 100%, but I’m not there yet. I noticed this week that I still don't have full trust in my movements, which has always been my test for returning to competition. The Pipe Masters is my favorite contest on tour so it's a really difficult decision, but I am going to withdraw from the event. Wishing everyone luck out there!! It has been insane watching everyone send it during this last swell!!
A win at the Pipe Masters has always eluded that de facto best surfer in the world. He’s claimed two world titles, an Eddie and is arguably the most talented Backdoor/Pipe surfer to walk this planet. But unfortunately for Florence, and fans worldwide, that next competitive milestone will have to wait until next season.
Florence was slated to compete against Wade Carmichael and Griffin Colapinto in Heat 7 of Round 1, but it remains unclear who will be taking his place in the event. Stay tuned to find out who will take his place.