In the oddly-monopolised realm of surf awards, the ill-fitting collars and awkward speeches and strict nature of it all dips its toes in cringe. The Stab Awards are our take, our view, our pick of the people in our world who we believe made the right noise last year. Scroll the gallery below for all our winners. Oh, and the trophies themselves are the teeth of naturally deceased sharks, repurposed in black and yellow (echo) to be worn around the necks of sickeningly good surfers.
All portraits by Richard Freeman
The Living Embodiment of Surfing:
Mason Ho is the one surfer whose game, from his style to his mood to the vibrato of his vocal chords, fits… exactly… what surfing is. A little bit acid, a little bit crazy, a little wise, a little pretend dumb, but all wrapped up in the banana leaf of good times.
Best Editing of A Surf Motion Picture:
Dane Reynolds (Slow Dance)
Dane Reynolds is a full-time surfer and part-time editor whose work on the biopic Slow Dance was marked by an instinctive and dramatic flair. Dane’s use of effects, archival footage and surprise cuts were the paint strokes of the free-flowing and unschooled mind.
The Hello, Analytics! Award:
Sage Erickson owns surfing’s cutest smile and the most viewed article on Stabmag.com, ever. She delights in every way. Her starring role in Stab‘s The Soft Night made our web servers groan. And in the water, such smooth! Miss Erickson surfs with the pizzazz we like, the power we like, and also the feminine stylings we like. What ain’t to love?
Fine Art Calligraphy:
Conner Coffin (J-Bay)
In our current lust for a grabbed rail attached to a lofty air, surfing has drifted away from the other ideal: stunning and artful rail surfing. Last year at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, Conner Coffin demonstrated how lovely it is to hold a rail, not with hand, but with the power of feet, thighs and hams. Is there a finer signature in modern surfing? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.
Best Use Of Prop Animals
Who is this woman? Who is this genius with the ability to gift three dogs the most beguiling of human qualities? There is Pam, there is Boogie and there is Truffle, a French Bulldog, an English Bulldog and an Albino Labrador. But outfitted in home-made space outfits, as hard-bitten wharf workers, as… whatever the prevailing zeitgeist demands. Part social comment, part vaudeville and part loving tribute, Courtney’s accounts @napkinapocalypse and @pamlovesferrariboys are so gusto driven!
Best Brand Identity:
A common mistake among surf brands is to drift away from what made that company fabulous in the first place; to put their faith in the arch-fickleness, the whims, of fashion. Globe is a surf brand that knows what it is, who it is and in what direction its energy flows. From the surf movies of the brilliant Joe G and its contribution to magazine editorial across the world to the classic simplicity of Dion Agius’ Los Angered leather high-tops, Globe produces what we want to see, wear and feel.
The O.G. Award
Freddy Patacchia holds it down in every way. He’s Hawaiian, he’s raw, he spears Pipe and scalps rookies in world tour heats with equal aggression. This is a man of passion and power, but also of the best kinda humility. He balances fierce and likeable oh, so well. Get this man on a right with some juice and his backside serve is one of our sport’s most rad. He’ll then deliver the best post-heat interview of the day. Never change, Freddy.
Raddest New Brand:
Kai Neville, Dion Agius and Mitch Coleborn were driven to create their own sunglass label by the absence of any existing brand making what they wanted to paint their faces with. Epokhe is that classic small brand that doesn’t try to second-guess the market. Each of its principal owners already has a liveable income. This is a brand, therefore, that wants to make a cultural as well as a sartorial contribution. Profit? Yeah, well, that’d be nice. But let’s make the world beautiful one face at a time. Epokhe makes what it likes. And the people respond.
Owning 2013 (Off Tour):
From stealing the show in the Dane Reynolds-crafted movie Loaded (Big Spin!) to gobbling so many hundreds of editorial pages, 2013 was the year of Noa Deane. Were we correct in being absorbed by Noa? Can we put it this way? If Noa was dying of starvation outside our window we would go out (quickly!) and give him a smile and money for food! What a heaving, greasy skillet he is! Our happiness toward Noa approaches ecstasy!
This is a man who builds a skate factory and shares it to keep kids off the street. Who winters, like, really winters, in Hawaii alongside lifelong pal Sunny Garcia. Who ain’t afraid to stand inside the Teahupoo crucible. Who partied for two years after winning the Pipe Masters. What a divine spark. It’s exhilarating! Jeremy lights a spark at the apex of our souls.
Breaking Stab’s Search Engine:
Create the movie of the year (Slow Dance) and surf in the most genteel manner, occasionally even balls-out, and you’ll make Googling fingers sweat horribly.
Craig. Anderson. Surfer. Slow. Dance. Style. Craig is created upon so many layers. There is the sartorial layer with his groovy hair (and to think, six years ago such a hairdo seemed…defiant!), there’s the original straight stove pipes and the crisp white shirts. And the surfboards (Hyptos! Singles!). His results are magnificently huge! The most searched surfer on stabmag.com.