photo: Derek Bahn - Instagram: @dbahnphotos, blog edit: Wes Ayers
For months, the speculation surrounding Hurley’s pursuit of global surfing phenom John John Florence only intensified. Now all such he said/she said can rest in peace, because as of yesterday, the official release was made public to the world that indeed the 20 year-old Hawaiian agreed to a 5-year contract with the Costa Mesa-based sportswear giant.
Hurley CEO and Founder Bob Hurley was more than happy to express his excitement regarding the deal.
“I’ve always liked to surround myself around magic,” said Hurley. “John John has that special talent that only comes around every few decades or so. It’s a magic that will transcend well beyond our world and will make us all strive to be better. Needless to say, I’m humbled, honored and so looking forward to supporting John John as he revolutionizes surfing over and over again.”
A prodigy seemingly since he first “stood up,” John John was inked by O’Neill at the tender age of 6. Ever since, the surfing world has watched in awe as the steady progression of Florence’s ability, skill and maturity caught up with his inevitable talent.
Following three career Pipeline wins, his Vans Triple Crown title in 2011 and a World Tour win in Brazil, the WCT saw John John’s 2012 rookie year campaign finish a beyond impressive 4th in the final World Title standings. On the heels of surfing’s elite, Florence only trailed Mick Fanning, runner-up Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson who finally won his 1st ASP World Title – doing so with his first ever Billabong Pipe Masters triumph last month.
But change was on the horizon, and after 14 years, Florence decided to part ways with O’Neill. Always appreciative in what O’Neill brought to his love as a competitive surfer, he was eager to turn the page towards the next chapter in his life of professional surfing.
“I am very grateful and happy to be riding for Hurley, especially at this time of my life,” says Florence. “To be able to start 2013 with a new team and good people will ultimately help to accomplish my goals I have set for the future. I am excited to be a part of such an innovative company and can’t wait to see what happens in the years to come.”
Considering his accomplishments to date, a fresh new start with a new team in a new year has John John Florence eyeing the ultimate prize – a World Title.
All of us here in the BC Surf & Sport family congratulate you, John John on progressing your young and more than promising surfing career to the next level. We wish you the best and nothing but success in 2013!