John John discovers the joys of girth.
In the event that John John Florence appears at the Quiksilver Pro in April, he will ride a surfboard shaped by the hands of Jon Pyzel, and finished by artisans amid the gentle whisper of country Oahu.
Pyzel has been making boards for John John Florence, who is twenty six, since the kid was five; since his mama Alex brought the boys to see him at his old bay at Sunset Beach and gave him two-hundred dollars for materials to build John a board.
The yellow four-six with halo of orange rails is “hideous to look at” but now exists as a memorial to a boy destined for greatness.
John John is six-feet two-inches tall and weighs 175 pounds or 188cm and 80 kilograms. His surfboard, which is called the Shadow and originally made for Stab magazine’s blindfold test in 2018, measures 6’0″ x 18 7/8″ and is 2 1/2″ thick.
“It’s still roughly based off the Ghost but it doesn’t have such a refined rail, that super domed deck and the foam isn’t as far forward. It’s a pretty traditional looking outline, a straight-up hi-fi outline,” says Jon.
Other notes: the wide-point is at the exact middle of the board and not a little back, which you’ll find on most super high-performance shooters. It’s around 29 to 30 litres, if you’re into that sorta thing, and it has a single concave through most of the bottom which is loosened by a double concave within.
“I like the double concave because it splits the bottom in half and let’s you roll rail to rail a little easier without taking away any speed. If you have too much single concave, while it’s really fast it tends to get a little sticky. A double concave through that helps. It’s like a vee bottom without the slowness of the vee.”
Roughly the Same as the Ghost, says Jon, although a deeper concave gives it a straighter centreline rocker and it has a little more nose rocker from 18” back to the tip for a hi-fi curve.
Technical, yes? Did you know? That concave creates two different curves? The curve of the rail and the curve of the centreline?
The width of the tail, twelve inches up, is 14 1/2″ which is pulled in via a little hip.
Because Jon didn’t make John John any boards for six months during the Champ’s injury convalescence, he worked especially closely with his new signing, Jack Freestone.
“It was trippy for me,” says Jon, “because I’d been making boards for John for twenty years. At the same time, I started working with Jack. And Jack is a similar size to John, but a little heavier, so he rides a bigger version of everything that John is riding. And that convinced me to get John to try boards bigger than he’d normally ride. Getting Jack on those boards helped John’s direction.”
As for the name, it’s part of his “creepy family.”
Y’know, Ghost, Gremlin, Phantom.
“The Shadow fit right in there,” says Jon.