JJF: People who inspire me

There are many great qualities about the man who’s taken over the reigns at Stab this week, but you already knew that before we started saturating our site with JJF paraphernalia. Aside from being one of the most talented gents to ever set foot on a plank of fiberglass, John is also incredibly humble. And despite admitting to Stab earlier this week that; “I’m pretty damn shy”, John was super vocal about the people who have helped and inspired him along the way. We’ll let our new editor take it from here…


With a backhand scoop this tight, it’s no surprise JJF draws inspiration from his younger brother, Nathan. Photo by Daniel Russo.

All my family inspire me. We have a pretty tight crew. My brothers Nathan and Ivan charge so hard, I really enjoy watching them surf, especially places like Teahupoo. They don’t take the contest thing so seriously but whenever they’re not surfing they’re training and taking it serious that way. When the swell’s coming they definitely have their stuff together. I love watching them surf other waves. Then of coarse my mom – she is amazing and has taught me everything.

Then there’s all my friends back at home. They’re like my biggest inspiration of all. First and foremost there’s Eli Olsen, Kiron Jabour and Koa Rothman. Those kids are taking it all to another level. We all hang out and surf everyday. They push me to surf the best I can and be the best person I can be out of the water. They’re the most humble people I know and they’re the type of people I want to hang out with. We all saw Koa’s wave he got at Chopes, and that was one of the biggest barrels ever ridden and it’s just so rad to be able to look at him and be like, ‘He’s one of the crew and we surf every day together.’

Albee and Meola

“Albee’s so gnarly the way he surfs big waves.. it’s just amazing to watch,” says John about his good pal and tube pig Albee Layer. Photo by Brian Bielmann.

Then there’s Albee Layer and Matt Meola. Those kids are just taking things to another level over on Maui with airs and big waves. They’re a little crazy. Albee’s so gnarly the way he surfs big waves it’s just amazing to watch. A lot of guys charge super hard but they kinda just go anything. Albee actually surfs the wave when it’s huge. He gets super low and just cuts through knifing it. Im just standing there like, ‘What do I do with myself?’

 Out of the water

Daniel Russo has been photographing the Florence brothers for years. Here’s Nathan scooping into some brill blue in his backyard. Photo by Daniel Russo.

Some of the guys I’m inspired by outside of the water are Blake Keuny and Daniel Russo. They’re people who love what they do and have a different eye for certain things. They are two people who truly do their own thing and are so good at it.

Next gen

One of JJF’s inspirations, Jack Robinson, steers through a Box cave, WA. Photo by Tom Carey.

As far as the next generation, there are a ton of guys coming up. Some that take it real serious, and then those who don’t take it so serious that have that natural talent. I think there’s kids like Leo Flavoronti that surf so good and take it real seriously. Jack Robinson is amazing too, he’s so good in the barrel.

Frank Solomon

Over the past seven years, JJF has spent a solid amount of time chasing waves in South Africa with good pal Frank Solomon, pictured here flying hands-free through a weighty, green tunnel . Photo by Sacha Specker.

And then there’s Frank Solomon for sure. He’s one of my friends I don’t see all the time but when we are together we have a good time. He will go on anything. When we’re surfing slabs or something, he’ll go and I’ll think to myself, ‘Well he went, I think I’ll try and go now’. There’s been so many times no one wants to paddle out, in South Africa or something, and Frank just paddles out all amped. Middle of nowhere, Frank will charge a 10-foot slab, break his board and i’ll have to paddle over to him and see if it’s all good. Theres just so many funny times with him.

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