Issue 79 – Q1 2015
A SEMI-SERIOUS LETTER TO STAB READERS. (REGARDING A NEW, HIGH FIDELITY FORMAT!)
WHAT IS THIS STRANGE, NEW THING IN YOUR HANDS?
We’re calling it a media experiment.
New size (bigger), new design (bolder), new stock (gloss, baby). New stars (Filipe Toledo & Mikey Wright), new writers (uppers only) and a newish editor (hello). Yes, Stab has changed, just a little, and I’d like you two to reacquaint over water crackers and brie.
Change is fire! It can be a little uncomfortable at times but who wants cosy? It’s why, when we sat down at the end of last year to talk 2015 in front of a blank piece of butcher’s paper at a Whale Beach home, we decided it was time to re-imagine the way we present this magazine.
Remember when surfing magazines were about arranging features and stories that represented what an editor reckoned mattered most over the last month? Now, if it happens and it’s relevant (and sometimes not), it’s written, posted, and live. So where does that leave the physical magazine? Any print title with a dot com has had to have a tough conversation with itself.
We’ve had plenty at Stab. The latest, while I sat on a cow hide rug with posca in hand. And, here’s what is still true:
1. The front page is still sacred. There isn’t a time in the near future where its gravity will be replaced by the digital homepage. Surfers still want to own it, and you still want to hold it. That leads us to 2. The tangible feel, of the 198 pages in your paws right now. Paper is a fine technology in itself, so cutting the fibre optic lines to the Singapore printers wasn’t an option. 3. Good, timeless surf journalism and the finest photography still has a place and a demand and it’ll be spinning its wheels every edition.
See? Challenge is opportunity!
Filipe Toledo lands on page one this issue. A shock to some, perhaps. But it shouldn’t be. Filipe has not only been impressing in jerseys, but he’s the talk among the most techno jump guys; Dane Reynolds, Chippa Wilson, Craig Anderson and fam. His cat-like style is a valuable commodity and his make-rate is rarely matched (perhaps only by John John Florence). By all accounts, Filipe’s The Guy to get your squad on point and he’s one part of surfing’s odd future we wanted to roll tape with (the other part is Yago Dora, equally brill as he is humble.) Former Hardcore editor, Steve Allain, who you’ll see kicking around these grounds more often, spoke with Filipe for Stab fluent and C H I L L in Portuguese (don’t sweat though, we’ve translated it for you).
You’ll barely recognised the Wright on page 64. Yes, Mikey is 18, inked like a felon and oozing confidence. Thanks to Owen and Tyler, Mikey fell into comps because he thought he was supposed to. But he’s had the time, experience (and corp-support) to make a call and says nuh-uh to the jersey right now. His surfing couldn’t have benefited more and there’s a real 6’2”-and-alpha approach to his stroll now.
Few know how to ride pointbreaks like Jordy Smith and it’s why he’s penned his how-to navigate surfing’s longest form this issue. New York fashion photographer, Justin Jay shows us his unbridled access to surfing’s greatest clique on the North Shore. There’s Matt Wilkinson and pals doing leisure time in Puerto Rico, Kelly Slater doing barrel time in Bocas del Toro, and two gals (Nikki Van Dijk and Imogen Caldwell) doing stunning time in Stab Style. Plus, the world’s greatest wetsuits as worn by the world’s greatest surfers in the world’s fruitiest shoot.
We’re not reinventing the wheel here. We’re just giving you something to read, put down, leave out on the table until you’re ready to read again. Something to help better yourself; to slap down the plastic for that new Merrick with a little less volume in the rails, or upgrade to a zip-free suit for the looming chills, or escape it all and go surf in Sri Lanka.
Why? Well, because above all, we like to surf. And we know you do, too.