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John John Florence Is Your 2016 Oi Rio Pro Champ

All photos by Jimmicane.

Did you know that in 2011, Kanye West put a pair of his dirty socks on EBay that eventually sold for $2,400?. Or that during Bill Clinton’s presidency, he once ate grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner for a week straight? Oh, you weren’t aware? Well, that may be due to the fact that neither of these events are anywhere close to factual, but my point is that stranger things have indeed happened throughout the course of history. So as weird as this WSL event/year may seem during this dramatic changing of tides, all that we can do now is hold on and embrace its oddness.

The only thing that didn’t come as a surprise today was the fact that John John Florence was crowned the 2016 Oi Rio Pro champion. After both a blitzing Quarter and Semi Final, the spring in John’s step was just too magical for anyone to match. Runner up Jack Freestone gave it a hell try in the Final, but after a respectable 16.13 points he still found himself in a land of combination. Although he fell short, this result will come as a major confidence boost for Freestone as this was his first event back after missing both Bells and Margs due to a knee injury. John, on the other hand, has a chance to go on a heater with some of the more favorable events laying in his immediate path.

So here we are, four events in and still at a loss for a any sort of reasonable projection of what to expect for the rest of the year. Matt Wilkinson’s your number 1, Italo Ferreira your number 2, and Mr. John Florence your new number 3. Don’t like those numbers? Don’t worry, we’ll get another good shuffle come Fiji – just you wait. But maybe this is just what we needed. Maybe this unpredictability is the only thing that will remain constant this season. And the names we’ve grown so used to seeing at the top will find homes somewhere else on that Jeep leaderboard. I don’t know about you, but it’s damn entertaining to me. Nobody’s an underdog anymore, this is 2016 baby. Pick a name, any name, because they could just as well be our next world champion. – Dayton Silva