It’s hard to not be John John Florence fan.
Some surfers can tend polarise the great surfing public at large. I’m thinking Medina, Andy, Jezza Flores… even Kelly sure can split opinions pretty easily.
Florence, meanwhile, is harder to take exception to, even if you try really, really hard.
Untouchable in waves 2ft to 20ft. Doesn’t big himself up on Insty. In fact, doesn’t go on Insty really, all the more reason to dig. Doesn’t covet the limelight, doesn’t advertise shaving his armpits. Doesn’t ever seem to be willing to be a c*nt in his heats. Doesn’t virtue signal.
Perhaps most of all, isn’t Gabriel Medina.
So it doesn’t come as a massive surprise that his non-surfing pastimes seem pretty wholesome, savoury, too.
In Vela, Florence sets sail from Hawaii in his Gunboat catamaran, en route for the Line Islands, some 1000 nautical miles south, and encounters your standard sailing hardships like storms and sea sickness along the way.
Imagine your bog standard sail YouTube blog, except 8K Red footage and 1000 fps slomos instead of GoPro 4 shake, insights from one of the greatest surfers that’s ever lived instead of plugs for trade price anchor from a chandlery in Gibraltar, and no obligatory girl in bikini snorkelling from behind as a thumbnail.
So, nothing like your standard sailing YouTube blog then.
Sure, it’s nice to have a million bucks to spend on a plaything, but you can’t help but feel John John would be out on a borrowed Hobie Cat if he wasn’t filthy rich.