John John’s Win Win

John Florence takes his second consecutive Volcom Pipe Pro victory against J.O.B.

| posted on February 01, 2012

John John Florence, into the tube and onto the podium for the second year in a row. Photo: Courtesy of Volcom

At every Pipeline event we always hope for the same two things: heavy tubes, and dramatic finishes. Today the Volcom Pipe Pro gave us more than we bargained for on both counts. No one accidentally wins in epic Pipeline, so it’s not surprising that in the past three years we have seen two of the best surfers to ever surf the break holding a giant check by event’s end—and surely it’s no coincidence that both grew up within a stone’s throw from the wave.

When John John Florence and Jamie O’Brien faced off against each other in the final today, it seemed like a heat bound to happen from the beginning of the event. It was a heat that left their fellow finalists, Maui’s Kai Barger and San Clemente’s Nate Yeomans, with the cards seemingly stacked against them. But within the opening minutes, Kai and Jamie traded off phenomenal tubes, leaving both of them with combined totals over 18 points.

In most events, with most competitors, this would have meant an early end for their opponents, but in what seems to be becoming typical John John fashion, a shocker was in store. In the dying minutes John took off on a beastly left and sat in the barrel until after the spit, earning a perfect 10. Jamie saw the writing on the wall and stayed on John John like he was his shadow, but in the final seconds of the heat, John John took off on an impossibly deep wave at Backdoor and threaded the kind of barrel that very few human beings can. The scores came in, and Florence came out on top with a 9.93, edging out his friend and mentor by just 0.53.

Everyone wants to see the best surfers at the break that elicits the best performances, and anytime Jamie O’Brien faces John John at decent Pipe, the universe smiles on competitive surf fans. If last year’s win marked John John’s coming of age, this one just cements what most of us already know: He’s one of the best Pipe surfers alive today.


1st – John John Florence (HAW) 19.93pts, $20,000
2nd – Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 19.40pts, $10,000
3rd – Kai Barger (HAW) 18.20pts, $6,500
4th – Nathan Yeomans (CA, USA) 7.57pts, $5,500

H1: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 17.77pts ; Kai Barger (HAW) 17.10pts ; Billy Kemper (HAW) 7.90pts ; Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 5.10pts
H2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.56pts ; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.83pts ; Bruce Irons (HAW) 12.40pts ; Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 7.44pts

H1: Billy Kemper (HAW) 12.00pts ; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 11.87pts ; Tim Reyes (USA) 9.10pts ; Gabe Kling (USA) 6.63pts
H2 : Kai Barger (HAW) 14.66pts ; Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 14.50pts ; Flynn Novak (HAW) 10.83pts ; Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 3.63
H3 : Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.27pts ; Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.50pts ; Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.50pts ; Kalani Chapman (HAW) 4.77pts
H4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.34pts ; Bruce Irons (HAW) 13.00pts ; Alexander Grey
(USA) 8.40pts ; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 4.84pts

  • Kristjan

    The best final ever. Really good heat with great scores and a fantastic finish Congrats John John !!

  • Matt O’Brien

    WOWWiE! My hands hurt from clapping for EVERY WAVE. It was all time. The Healy/Wassel Show Should Be a tour staple – kinda like the two old dudes in the balcony seats on the Muppet Show: ONLY THESE TWO “OLD” DUDES CHARGE!
    That final reminded me of the ANDY/KELLY (Rob & Cory) Pipe Final from 2004 (or ’03)
    Call it PiPELiNE SUPER FiNAL 2.0 (ANDY/KELLY being 1.0)
    Andy & Kelly are Regular Footers (Rob & Cory are Goofies)
    John John & Jamie are Regular Footers (Nate & Kai are Goofies)

    Kelly had it “wrapped” up until dying minutes When Andy TOOK it away to WiN!
    Jamie had it “wrapped” up until dying minutes When John John TOOK it away to WiN!

    Andy/Kelly had an intense rivalry (on World Tour)
    John John/Jamie have an intense rivalry (on Pipe Tour)

    there are probably more comparisons, BUT you get my drift. We WiLL be talking of this final for years and years (as well as the Jamie/John John rivalry at Pipe) just like we talk about the Andy/Kelly final from yesteryears…

    p.s. How about a round of applause for Mr. Carlos Munoz and ALL THOSE HARD CHARGiNG MAD MEN.

  • Chris

    JOB led the 35 minute heat for 34 minutes and 59 seconds…destiny

  • Amosandy

    Amazing event, stunning surf and surfing. However, I actually think JOB got underscored on his last left of the final heat. A real blister popper of a wave and he rode it perfectly. Congrats to John F. and thanks for the excellent web cam coverage and the amazing water shots throughout the event.

  • tony carson big island

    Wow, 4 posts to this blog, I guess the vast majority of surfers are just not that interested in pro surfing, I think most really hardcore surfers would rather be out catching waves themselves, than sitting on their butts and watching some else surf.