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Up Close: John John Florence

By DAVE SCHEIBER, Times Staff Writer
Published December 2, 2005

[Special to the Times]
Jon Jon Florence is the youngest ever competitor to enter the famed Vans Triple Crown on Surfing, on the north shore of Oahu. This 13-year-old will charge monster waves at Pipeline and compete against industry greats like Kelly Slater and Andy Irons.
[Special to the Times]


AGE: 13

BIRTH DATE: Oct. 18, 1992

BIRTHPLACE: Honolulu, Hawaii



WEIGHT: 4-115/8, 80 pounds


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Received a wild card entry to become the youngest competitor ever in the world's premier big wave series, the 2005 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii through Dec. 20; four straight national amateur titles, including 2003 1st NSSA Nationals Open Mini Grom, 2004 1st NSSA Nationals Open Boy's, 2005 NSSA Open Boys and Explorer Menhune Champion.

HOW HE GOT STARTED: "My mom taught me when I was really young. She's a really good surfer." In fact, when he was 6 months old, she put him in a life vest and sat him on the nose of her board. He grew up in an oceanfront house at the legendary Banzai Pipeline, where he has surfed since age 5.

ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS: "Just practice as much as you can. If you just stick with it and have as much fun as you can, within a few years you'll be super good."

HOW MUCH PRACTICE: "I try to go twice a day. Sometimes I'll surf before school, which is 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. And then I go surfing after."

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "John John's going to know the waves on North Shore like no one we've ever seen before." - surfing champion Kelly Slater.

SIGNATURE MOVE: air reverse

WORST INJURY: Broken ankle from doing a floater in Mexico

FAVORITE FOOD: Salad and seafood.

HOBBIES: skateboarding, snowboarding, reading, drawing, chess

SIBLINGS: two brothers; Ivan (9), Nathan (11)

SCHOOL: Kahuku Jr. High

- Information included from Vans Triple Crown

[Last modified December 2, 2005, 12:05:00]


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