Papa John John Florence “wipes butter off Yago Dora’s face” in dominant El Salvador Pro win


El Salvador’s Punta Roca came to life, Sunday morning, gorgeous, unruffled right lines in the 4 –  6 ft range forming into the proverbial “skate park” for those remaining in the draw. The heat that snatched the very breath out of surf fans’ nostrils was semifinal number 1 featuring Gabriel Medina and Yago Dora.

Now, momentum was theoretically with Medina, heading in. The two-time world champion had just come off a dominant return to form at Teahupo’o where, even though he was bested by John John Florence, had a different sort of crackle. The tour moved, quickly, to Surf City, Medina continued his seemingly unstoppable charge meeting Yago Dora in the aforementioned semi.

It was an utter dismantling. Oh, not of Dora, as conventional wisdom would have held, but of Medina. The lanky screwfoot abused his countryman, tossing effortlessly dynamic airs, stuffing Medina into an unbreakable combination. Making him look silly, even, as the Dark Knight flailed.

“One of the most aggressive displays we’ve seen this year,” Kaipo Guerrero exhaled.

“Ohhhhhh. Ahhhhhh. Yessssssss,” Mitch Salazar moaned.

But it deserved all superlatives.

Then John John Florence arrived. Semifinal number 2 featured the North Shore prodigy facing up against South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray where he proceeded to fly even higher than Dora, stomping an alley-oop so delightfully that Salazar had a stroke, gushing, “There is a murder on the dance floor.”

Unclear who died and where the dance floor was but, McGillivary, in any case, had no prayer.

And so surf fans were treated to Dora, possessed, and Florence, inspired, in the final.

The waves backed off, lightly, as they do but the wind stayed chill as the opening hooter sounded. Florence and Dora bobbed while Salazar dialed both his Spanish and Portuguese pronunciations to 11. “Salvador,” for instance, becoming a completely incomprehensible “Slalbaddddoooo.”

Then, finally, at the 30 minute mark, John John took off, almost got barreled, punted and stomped. Yago very much on notice. Salazar insisting on calling Florence “double J.” Guerrero somehow hearing it for the first time, every time, and responding, “So good they had to name him twice.”


Dora then took off, went for a wild spin, hit is board on the landing and elicited a grunt from Salazar never heard before from a man. Guttural. Like he was giving birth. Back fin box busted right out.

Florence backed his excellent score with another very good one leaving Dora in a brutal combination situation.


The call went to Strider Wasilewski, in the lineup, and he discussed the “combination platter,” apparently featuring steak and lobster with Dora hoping to wipe butter off John John’s face? The metaphor was, unfortunately, unclear.

Dora, maybe listening, did? “Tapping into the rhythm of the wave,” the “skinny goat” laced together a gorgeous backhand ride with a smoker.


Salazar, out of nowhere, found 12 on the pronunciation dial turning “Dora” to “Doddda,” and the broadcast thankfully cut to a Bonsoy Brew Break at peak tension, thrilling surf fans with poorly conceptualized advertisements from Apple, iHeartRadio and El Slalbaddddoooo.

Upon return, Wasilewski wondered if Doddda would also steal Florence’s champagne, now that he had grabbed the lobster, or langoustine.

The ocean turned itself off, at the end, and Florence held the flute firmly, no wiggle in his grip. He is now, officially, in the Trestles top 5.

JP Currie coming tomorrow.

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