There’s an organized chaos consuming the Volcom House on a Thursday afternoon. On the final day of the Volcom Pipe Pro, in a dimly lit den that overlooks a sea of 6-foot perfection, ethernet cables of every color snake through the floors and into laptops. Men dressed in camo T-shirts and trunks pace back and forth, barking orders to update the webcast and prep for the next interview. It has the feel of an old newsroom close to press time and bears absolutely no resemblance to the Volcom House you’ve undoubtedly heard stories of in the past.
John Florence, Jamie O’Brien, Chris Ward, and Aamion Goodwin have all made the final, each surfer having logged enough perfect waves in the last few hours to fill a typical surfer’s lifetime. With each contestant being a well-seasoned Pipe regular, anyone could have taken the win today. But then again, there’s something to be said for being on a roll. And right now, there’s no one in surfing more in rhythm than John Florence.
In the opening barrage of the final, Florence casually dips into an 8-point tuberide and then nonchalantly racks up a blistering 9. Jamie—who’s been fighting off a horrific cold—counters with his own vanishing act and drops a mid-range 8. You literally can’t look up without seeing someone deftly shacked. The clock is ticking down with Florence still holding the lead. The ocean slows its cadence for the first time all afternoon and the final horn blows. John Florence wins the Volcom Pipe Pro. This kid can’t be stopped.
“This feeling never gets old,” said an elated Florence from the winner’s podium after his win. Just a few weeks prior, John had scalped another win at the Backdoor Shootout. “After winning the Shootout and now this…it’s just everything I could ever imagine. It’s hard to describe, but it just feels amazing, you know. Best ever. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this feeling.”
As the crowd on the beach begins to thin, the other finalists each go out of their way to congratulate John on his win. There’s no denying that today was a day of days and will be talked about for years to come. Winner’s check be damned, you just can’t put a price on perfect Pipe.