John John Florence entered the 2016 CT season flying high. After a huge win at The Eddie and the release of his ambitious film project, View from a Blue Moon, he arrived ready to settle in and focus on his lifelong dream of winning a world title.
He immediately learned how tough the task would be. He lost to Brazilian rookie Caio Ibelli in back-to-back events during the Australian leg. Meanwhile, Matt Wilkinson stunned the world by winning the first two events of the season and jumping out to a massive early lead.
For Florence, the rocky start is one more reminder that nothing of value comes easy, and this year, the level of talent on the CT is as high as ever. Any path to a world title is being heavily guarded by amazing foes, including five former world champions and a handful of other stars who have always been considered viable contenders.
Each will experience ecstatic highs and crushing lows. Here's a glimpse of where Florence's head was heading into the J-Bay event earlier this year.