Hawaii native John John Florence was at the top of his game going into the 2018 season. Back to back world champion and was only the 9th ever to win the "Eddie" during the 2016 season. A knee injury at this time last year took his career into a detour as a partially torn ACL forced him to sit out most of the 2018 season. Florence is back in 2019 and already finding his old form winning the Rip Curl Pro Bell Beach in just the 2nd stop on tour. 

The injury has some questioning whether he would ever get back on top and at times even he was questioning it. 

"Injury after two world titles, like okay why do I want to compete. All these bigger questions, but to be able to take some time and take a step back, think about it and find the things that I really love about competing," Florence said.

Out for six months and almost returned for the Pipe Masters but decided to wait for Australia in his full return into 2019.

"When I was coming back months before Snapper, I was super questionable about my knee. I didn't know if I was going to be able to surf the first few events. The knee was pinching a lot and a lot of soreness. Since I started surfing the events I haven't had pinches or soreness with it so far. I'd say it's back at 100 percent. Have to stay mindful of it, keep it warmed up and strengthen and stuff like that," Florence said.

A chance over the time off to put things in perspective.

"Relaxing, just going out there to surf my best. See what happens. Feel like I'm on the top of my game, just kind of think about it in a fun way. I get to be here battling heats with some of the best surfers int he world," Florence said.