Who doesn’t love when World Champions clinch their crowns with an event win? Florence was officially champ once Jordy Smith lost to Conner Coffin in the semifinals, but it feels so much better that John John got all the glory in Portugal.
Florence lost in Round One, then smashed everybody the rest of the event. None of his heats were close. Draining, sucking, storm-washed waves poured over the Portuguese sandbars, and there was Florence, no trouble finding fillet-able, punt-able sections, and even less trouble finding the most gurgling of tubes. He dispatched everybody by at least two points, then, after clinching the title at the end of the semis, he mic-dropped his Rip Curl Portugal win with an absurd alley-oop-to-lip-smash combo for a 9.5. It'll be an enduring bit of contest surfing history, an exclamation to one of the most pleasing, yet expected, World Titles the sport has ever seen. Photos: Moran