John John Florence won his fourth Volcom Pipe Pro title in five years on Monday, defeating Mason Ho, Kelly Slater and Sebastian Zietz. Slater, 42, won last year’s Volcom Pipe Pro and is the only surfer who has interrupted Florence’s streak.
Florence, 22, posted wave scores of 9.2 and 8.43 for the highest heat score of the event.
Strong side-offshore wind and six to eight foot barrels presented major challenges during Monday’s event at Pipeline on the North Shore.
"Going into this year it’s going to be a fun one," Florence said. "I come in with a lot of confidence out of last year, knowing I can make the heats and do really good. I’m just going to go into this year thinking the same kind of thing and hopefully it comes down to the end of the year out here at Pipe. It would be awesome. That’s my dream come true — to win a world title out here at Pipe. I couldn’t ask for anything more."
Slater posted the only perfect 10 of the event on a long, deep and weaving barrel ride that earned him the "Electric Perfect 10" award. He also won the inaugural Todd Chesser Hard Charger Sportsmanship Award in honor of the North Shore surfer who passed away in 1997.
"Todd was one of my great friends, we were all devastated by his passing," Slater said. "What Todd meant to us was he exemplified a guy who was totally fit and driven to charge and go surf big waves all the time."
Florence, Slater and Zietz now turn their attention to the 2015 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour that gets underway in Australia on February 28.