Name: John Florence
Life motto: “You don’t overcome an obstacle to get to the land of no obstacles.”
Favorite hype song: “Paint It, Black” by The Rolling Stones
Did you know? He has two cats, and one’s name is Larb—named after the Thai dish Larb Gai. He’s given his Peloton Bike the same name!
What does it take to become a two-time surfing world champion? Look no further than John Florence for your answer. Growing up on Hawaii’s North Shore in Oahu, surrounded by sailors, fishermen and legends of the sport, it’s no surprise whatsoever that John became enamored with the rolling tide of the oceans in his backyard and longed to crest the turquoise waves himself. “For me, it was hard to look past [legendary] surfers like Andy Irons, Jamie O’Brien and Kelly Slater,” he says. “Growing up in Hawaii, where the world tour finishes every year, I was lucky enough to get to spend time with those guys in the water, which was really inspiring from a young age.”
You could say John was destined to become a legend of the sport himself. The seed was planted from his youth—but the way he’s nurtured his passion and craft, overcoming hurdles more daunting than any towering wave, is what defines his true champion spirit. No hurdle more challenging, perhaps, than fully rupturing his ACL during a competition heat in 2019 … while leading the world championship. But there’s no way John was going to let that be a wipeout, after dedicating years to come so close to the peak of his sport. Following reconstruction surgery for his knee, more committed than ever to get back on his board, John joined the Peloton community. “As I got into the recovery phase, I got my Peloton Bike and became a Member. It really helped in the process of getting back to full health. Ever since I joined, it’s turned into an activity I do regularly.” Together with his support network of family and friends, an avid practice of visualization and meditation & persistent motivation from the Peloton family, John was back in the waves (an astoundingly quick) five months post-op. And yet, no stranger to adversity, John endured a second knee injury during competition in 2021. He’s fighting his way back to championship shape once again—but this time, he knows exactly what he has to do to get there. The Bike became a key element in allowing this surfer to reclaim his power and rediscover his confidence, and will be by his side once again.
Back on dry land and in the run-up to representing the United States on its first-ever Olympic surf team, Peloton has continued to be his trusty training companion. “I use Peloton for everyday exercise. Some days I take classes on the app, and sometimes I do a simple cycling class. For the most part, I either use the Bike as a cardio exercise or a warm up pre-surf or training,” John tells us. And in case you thought that champions are in the mood to train all the time, we’ve got good news for you. “Sometimes I have a hard time getting motivated to get in the gym, and Peloton helps motivate me to work out,” says John—a sentiment we can all relate to on some level. “There are so many impressive instructors and Members that push me in classes, that I don’t need to depend on training partners at home to get motivated.'' But, he is a competitor after all, so what does John think of the Leaderboard? “I’d like to say that I use it for camaraderie, but it's impossible to not get competitive during those classes!” Ah, athletes. They’re just like us!
Peloton’s been there for John through the tough times and has seen him emerge into what promises to be one of the most exciting summers of his life to date. Now you, our community, have the opportunity to channel that buzz and train alongside him. Dive into a week of class stacks handpicked by John, from classic rock rides to relaxing meditations. And if you need a little extra push, get your mind right with this slice of perspective from the man himself: “The Peloton community is a fun mental and physical challenge. It can be whatever you make it—competitive classes or just a fun time alongside a ton of other people who are equally motivated.”
We’re all riding this wave together. Check out John’s stacks below and find all the classes in the Champions Collection.