(Photo: The artist as a grom; John John Florence checking out the surf at Backdoor.)
To say that Astrodeck has had an association with John John since he was a wee bitty grom would be a gross understatement.
Not only as a surfer, but also as a friend; there’s always been a tight bond between the Fletchers and the Florences.
(Photo: Herbie in the Land of the Towheaded Munchkins. L to R: Ford Archbold, John John Florence, Herbie Fletcher, Greyson Fletcher, Ivan Florence, Nathan Florence.)
(Photo: John John, Greyson, Ford, Ivan and Nathan enjoying some shaved ice.)
(Photo: Ivan, Nathan, Greyson and John John on one of Herbie's boards.)
John John was always that little blond kid who stuck out; running around on the North Shore, taking off on waves double his age, triple his size. Herbie saw the potential in John John early on, and was actually the first person to tow the little guy in at Phantoms. Aside from when his own kids (Christian and Nathan) were little, John John has been the youngest person Herb’s ever towed-in.
(Photo: John John at nine-years-old, ready for his tow-in session at Phantoms.)
(Photo: John John was ready to go when everyone else was just sitting around, wondering what to do. Photo by Herbie Fletcher/2003.)
(Photo: 1:11. John John has always been one of Herbie's favorite surfers to shoot and surf with on his follow cam. Here, Herbie is surfing behind John John to capture his every move on the wave. Check out where he's taken off, look at that trail of spray!)
(Photo: 2:11 of the sequence at Trestles.)
(Photo: 4:11. What was your kid doing at this age?)
(Photo: 8:11. And he recovers.)
And today? Well, he’s definitely coming into his own. And he hasn’t even tapped into full-grown manhood yet. John John recently won the Da Hui Backdoor Shoot-Out, taking down a lot of heavy contenders. Pretty sick, huh? He’s also constantly traveling; launching over lips or getting shacked on far-away waves you can only dream about. Add periodic snowboarding trips and some skateboarding routines into the mix, and you’ve got a pretty hectic but insanely fun, earned life right there.
(Photo: John John recently went on a trip to the Mentawai Islands with Herbie and Nathan Fletcher, Bruce Irons, Danny Fuller, Matt Archbold, and photographer Art Brewer. John John even scored a cover shot for one of the mags during this trip!)
Yup. Whether it was his past, his present, or what’s in store for him for the future, from our viewpoint, things look pretty solid for John John. And we’re stoked that Astrodeck and the Fletcher’s have been there from the early stages to see it all enfold…and we can’t wait to see what the future unveils.
(Photo: The grom as a man today. By the way, nice traction pad you've got there, John.)