John John Florence has been making waves in the surfing world since he was a kid, at 13 he became the youngest surfer to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. He hasn’t slowed down since. The Oahu North Shore native now holds four Van’s Triple Crown Championships (2011, 2013, 2016, 2020), along with two back-to-back world titles. John John is already considered one of the most dominant and decorated surfers of all time – and has qualified to represent Team USA on its inaugural Olympic surf team.

Despite being considered by many one of the best surfers in the world, John John remains as humble as they come, saying, “I don’t know if I’m the best surfer in the world, but I do know that I love to surf.”

“Surfing and being around the ocean has always been second nature. I was fortunate to grow up near the beach, and my mom always did a great job to keep my brothers and I in the water as much as possible,” he said. “Since I can remember, each day we surfed, bodysurfed, swam, dove, and about everything else you can think of in the ocean.” 

The ocean is a big part of John John’s story, a story we were fortunate to have him share with us. Here’s the World Champion surfer’s thoughts on everything from riding the waves, his road to recovery, and why he’s excited to partner with Thorne. 

Tackling the Toughest Waves 

Earning the honors and accolades that John John has certainly hasn’t been easy. It takes a certain kind of bravery and raw talent to become recognized as one of the world’s best. When asked how he faces adversity, John John said, “you don’t get through an obstacle to get to the land of no obstacles.” 

As such, John John embraces the challenges and obstacles he sets for himself. 

“It’s a ton of fun trying to improve all aspects of my surfing, and even more fun just spending time in the water with my brothers and friends. I’ve faced a fair amount of injury throughout my life, but those are all temporary challenges,” he said. “The biggest challenges I’ve faced are probably the goals I’ve set in winning world titles and creating film projects. I’ve put a lot of time and energy into achieving those goals, and my goals continue to evolve.”

To rise to the challenge each wave brings, John John notes how important recovery days – and caring for your body – are when it comes to surfing. 

“When the waves are small, or flat, I’ll spend time recovering. Especially during the winter, when we have such consistent waves, I try to take advantage of the down days. I’ll make sure I’m eating plenty of healthy foods, spending time in the sauna and ice, using the HBOT hyperbaric chamber, Recovery Air boots, and the Theragun. I also like to use red light therapy for specific spots of need,” he explains. “I’ll try and do one activity like a bike ride, quick workout or stretch, something like an ‘active rest’. Most importantly, my supplementing program is something I’ll focus on with the Thorne team. I feel most optimal when everything is aligned and taking the right supplements is a huge factor in how I’m able to recover.”

At the end of the day, it’s the memories with friends and exploring all that the ocean has to offer that John John says is most important to him. 

“What I’m most proud of as a surfer is probably the experiences I’ve shared with my family and friends around the world. It’s such a special sport that allows us to see so many cultures, languages, and places. I’m proud of what I’ve been able to achieve professionally but experiencing it with those around me is what makes it so special.”

Wellness Routines to Keep Active 

Outside of surfing, John John has plenty of other hobbies – from sailing to mountain biking – to keep him active. In order to pursue his passions, he knows it’s important to make sure his body is getting the proper nutrition it needs – which is why he’s excited to pair up with Thorne. 

“I’ve been trying to learn more about my body and optimizing performance as I’ve gone through my career. I’ve tried a large range of different supplement manufacturers and at some point, found Thorne,” he said. “I have a great team around me who was very supportive of Thorne products and safety measures, so it seemed like a great supplement brand to stick with.”

“I’m most excited about learning more about my body, and how I can optimize performance using the NSF products with the guidance of Thorne team.”

His top three products for helping him stay active include Thorne’s Catalyte for electrolyte support, Amino Complex for recovery, and Thorne’s Multi-Vitamin Elite for high-performance daily nutrients. 

Overcoming Setbacks  

A big focus on John John’s daily routine revolves around recovery after a knee injury a few months back. 

“For better or for worse, I’ve been through a few of these injuries now. I think I’m getting a bit better at managing them each time,” he laughs. “Recovery is going well; my days are filled with appointments and I’m starting to feel a lot stronger. It has been really nice getting in the water too.” 

“I’ve got such great support in figuring out what supplement stacks work best for me through major injury recovery. Taking the right supplements is so helpful in recovering from injury,” he explains. “A more common example, having access to the best products possible as I’m in a period of rest between/during events is great. These supplements help me recover quickly as I’m looking to optimize during an event.” 

“I’m really thankful to have a multi-phase program that has been designed for the different stages of my recovery. I’m a big believer in the Thorne/Effusio products, and I believe the supplements I’m using are helpful through this process.” 

Readying for a Tokyo Debut 

With John John qualifying for the 2021 Tokyo Games, we asked if he had changed his approach to training or how he practices. When it comes to practicing out in the ocean, John John makes a good point about trying to predict the waves. 

It’s not easy to replicate what a wave and/or the reef can do to you. Trying to stay calm, confident is important for me. I do a good amount of visualization which I find to be effective,” he said. 

“Honestly, most of my preparation comes from the things I love to do – paddling, foiling, biking, and adding in some gym work. Just going surfing is a great way to train for surfing,” he added. 

“It’s pretty much surf sun up until sun down. Not the best thing for the body, but surfing is funny in the way that you need to make the most of the conditions when they’re available. I’ll try and drink enough water throughout the day, and eat some healthy food, but for the most part I’m in the ocean all day unless I’m changing out boards,” he said. “That is why recovery days are so important to focus on.

John John approached the games the same way he would any obstacle – remain clam, confident, and at the end of the day, try and have fun. 

“There hasn’t been a big change in my training. Since the Olympics fell into the window of our WSL competition season, we’re in peak season shape. So, for me, it’s more focused on bodily health and equipment. Equipment is a big one. That is where I’m putting a lot of my efforts and energy,” he said.

“Surfing is obviously a new sport in the Olympics, so the first time I’d really given it thought was when I officially made it onto the team. Being an Olympic Gold Medalist would be amazing. There are a lot of very talented surfers in the event, so that won’t be an easy road. I look forward to being a part of the inaugural surf competition in the Games and plan to take it heat by heat. I’m lucky to have known my teammates for a long time, so it’ll be a great thing to experience all together.”

Updated as of 8/4/2021 -- John John Florence was eliminated in Round 3 of surfing's debut in the Tokyo Olympics