“I never realized how much we push ourselves surfing, especially when we’re free surfing and having fun. My brother Nathan and I have 20 strains all the time." | Photo: WSL

How “rough boy” John John Florence used data-driven recovery to prevail over catastrophic, potentially career-ending injuries

“I never realized how much we push ourselves surfing. My brother Nathan and I have 20 strains all the time."

There’s a hint of wildness and pathos in John John Florence’s rough boy persona, this almost thirty-year-old two-time world champion with the impervious reputation.

He is the last custodian of the old way, talk softly, carry a big stick, surf with power and brilliance.

But, still, even a two-time world champion like John John is prey to the fragility of the human body.

After back-to-back world titles in 2016 and 2017, John John tore his ACL the following year, missed the back end of the tour and finished thirty-fifth.

In 2019, John John hit four events and three in 2021.

Ankles, back, knees, he’s been belted.

Still, as he told AAP recently, the injuries have “made me a better surfer in a weird way, I think a smarter surfer. I feel like I’m more patient on the wave, and I feel like I’m stronger because I’m training more… Before (the injuries) all I could think about was, ‘I just want to win’. Now it’s more about, ‘Ok, how do I relax enough to surf how I really want to surf these waves’. It seems so simple, but it’s such a hard mindset to get into allowing yourself to surf how you would surf normally, without all that extra anxiety of it being in a contest and having people watching and judging you.”

And John John’s WHOOP strap, which has been affixed to his wrist for the past four years, has been pivotal in his response to injury.

“I never realized how much we push ourselves surfing, especially when we’re free surfing and having fun. My brother Nathan and I have 20 strains all the time. Regularly having 20.6, 20.7 strain. I didn’t realize how much of a toll surfing takes [before I wore WHOOP],” he says.

The biggest benefit of using WHOOP for me is to be able to keep an eye on how much training and how much activity I’m doing, because I tend to overdo things. And so for me to be able to see it and be able to see the recoveries is very helpful for me, because if I’m not doing that, I’ll just keep going and going and going until something breaks. I have a good idea of what my recoveries will be and what I need to do to recover. I know that if I strain from 18 to 20 one day, two days in a row, then I know that I’m in need for a big recovery day.”

“It definitely makes me more mindful of what I’m doing,” he says.

Angry local jerks rock above his head multiple times to slay foil-board.

Foilboarder whose expensive craft was destroyed by wild rock-wielding surfer in shadow of Golden Gate Bridge one month ago makes triumphant return to Fort Point, “I came out to this session wanting Redemption. And I got it!”

Who doesn't love happy endings?

In case y’weren’t au fait with the scene at Fort Point, a junky dirty water left beneath San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, it has a cadre of locals former Surfer editor Steve Hawk describes simply as “dicks.”

And, one month ago, local kitesurfing instructor and foil-boarding aficionado, John von Tesmar, was reminded of this fact when he lost his leashless board, watched as it washed to the shore and then attacked by an angry local who jerks a rock above his head multiple times to slay the damn thing.

The footage, famously, was captured by Jon Solaga, a member of the Bay Area Kiteboarding page. 

Now, in one of the feel-good stories of the year, Tesmar, has returned to Fort Point, with his jet boat and foil board, a new one presumably, and ridden several waves to glory, even referencing the Mattew Wilder song Break My Stride as he braves the torrid Fort Worth surf scene. 

Tesmar sings, 

“Ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride 

Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no 

I got to keep on moving.”

In a moving post, he writes,

“After my last session here where I lost and had my board broken by some angry locals, I came out to this session wanting Redemption. And I got it!”



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Giant “mutilated shark alien” spotted lurking off coast of Southern California causing much consternation and hand-wringing amongst SUP community!

The end of the world?

There are many odd creatures on God’s blue earth but many none odder than the ocean sunfish or mola mola. Considered the heaviest boney fish, it looks like it is missing its entire body, just head and tail and is found in tropical waters or, apparently, off the coast of Southern California where one caused much consternation and hand-wringing amongst the SUP community.

Two paddled out to examine what they first thought to be a “mutilated alien shark.”

“He’s as big as your board,” one said to another before giggling.


Jonah Hill-esque.

The "Surf Jew” sticker on his surfboard and hoodies serve as an ironic punch in the nose to Malibu’s traditional Nazi-punk culture.

Malibu strongman and perennial Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill offers fans the chance to win wildly rare “Surf Jew” hoodies, “We’re going for the Jew Tang Clan”!

“I’m a nice Jewish boy,” says Hill.

The man who put the V in VAL, Jonah Hill, famous for his comedic turns in a series of box-office hits including Get Him to the Greek where alpha rock star Russell Brand shelves his bag of heroin inside Jonah’s ass and as the nebbish Seth in 2007’s Superbad, is offering fans the chance to own one of his wildly rare “Surf Jew” hoodies.

Hill’s Jewish bona fides are tight.

He was born Jonah Hill Feldstein to Richard Feldstein, the tour accountant for Guns N Roses and appeared on the cover of Heeb magazine, issue fourteen, in 2007. (Hill is holding a bagel smeared with anal, or vaginal, lubricant and talks of his “Jew Pack” or “Jew Tang Clan” of fellow Jewish actors.)

Hill, who turns thirty-eight in five days, is a surf veteran of two years and recently became a Malibu local after buying a nine-million dollar house there. The “Surf Jew” sticker on his surfboard and “Surf Jew” hoodies serve as an ironic punch in the nose to Malibu’s traditional Nazi-punk culture popularised by Miki Dora, Greg Noll and co.

Body positivity issues, or maybe cruelty to VALS, are referenced on the back off the hoodie with the slogan, “You deserve to be treated with love and respect.”

Anyway, hit Instagram, see if y’can join the gang.


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Ordem Progresso.
Ordem Progresso.

World Surf League shocks media watchers by inking stunning two-year deal with largest commercial television network in Latin America; celebrates by tooting racist dog whistle!


Professional surfing has turned a gorgeous shade of green and yellow, over the past decade, with much order and progress following. Fit surfers doing much workout on Instagram. Mind-bending airs that could not have even been dreamt ten years ago.

The future is Brazil made even more certain, yesterday, when Santa Monica’s World Surf League inked a stunning two-year deal with TV Globo, the largest commercial television network in Latin America and the second largest in the world, thereby shocking media watchers.

To be quite frank, I do not know if the two-year deal was “stunning” nor if media watchers were “shocked” but I do think it is worth reading the press release in full without skipping one jot or corp-tittle.

Today the World Surf League (WSL) announced that, beginning in 2022, Globo will be the official media partner in Brazil. The new three-year media deal will be effective from 2022 through 2024, providing multi-platform coverage that will be amplified on Globo TV, Globoplay, ge.com, and Canal OFF. This new media deal will give the passionate Brazilian audience the opportunity to watch the world’s best surfers in action, including all of the Brazilian athletes that are on the forefront of competitive surfing.

In addition to full coverage of the Championship Tour (CT), the agreement also includes linear broadcast rights to the Challenger Series (CS), the path to the elite tour, as well as Longboard and Big Wave events. Globo will also have distribution access to original content series and documentaries produced by the WSL. As the home of professional surfing, the WSL will continue to broadcast all WSL competitions on its own digital platforms, its free app as well as its YouTube channel.

“For the WSL, being part of Globo’s multi-platform coverage, which speaks to millions of people every day, is something that will increase the sport’s current visibility, both in the availability of surfing content and the opportunity to become even more familiar with all the athletes who are part of the current generation of champions, as well as the up-and-coming generations, which are also exciting and very promising,” said Ivan Martinho, General Manager of WSL Latin America.

“The market has shown that surfing is already amongst the most loved sports in the country and has the highest number of active surfers in Brazil. The fact that it is now among the select group of sports that Globo chooses as part of its platform is a source of great pride for the WSL. I am sure that the increase in visibility to surfing will be very important in the construction of today’s surfing idols while providing a springboard for the idols of tomorrow,” concluded Martinho.

While providing greater visibility of professional surfing to a larger audience on free-to-air, premium, internet and streaming platforms, the Globo Group will use all of its experience by supplying broad coverage across all its platforms to bring a unique perspective and outreach to the sport of surfing and to the Brazilian athletes, who are a vital part of the WSL surfing elite.

Isn’t calling the Brazilian fanbase “passionate” a racist dog whistle?

I’m 99% sure it is.

Shame on Santa Monica.