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Watch: Eli Hanneman in ‘One More’

The Hawaiian CT rookie has all the traits of Filipe Toledo with a heavy-water game to boot.

Words by Ethan Davis

Currently ranked 26th on the CT after the opening two events in Hawaii, Maui native Eli Hanneman will need a couple of solid results between Portugal, Bells and Margies to stay on tour. 

After taking out the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach last season, Eli’s qualification prospects came down to the last event in Saquarema, where he needed at least a semi-finals finish to guarantee his spot at Pipe. Eli posted 16.83 points in the QF’s against CT veteran Michael Rodrigues to lock up both his and close friend Kade Matson’s slots on tour. 

It was alleged you could hear the celebratory screams 8248 miles away in Lahaina.

It’s really happening. Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League

In his opening CT heat at Pipe, Eli caused further upset after sending 3x World Champ Gabriel Medina to the elimination round. Hanneman is currently 2/2 undefeated in three person, non-elimination heats – a weird flex, sure, but one that still demonstrates heat-winning abilities against the top seeds. 

“He needs to figure out how to draw on his Filipe Toledo, but be nothing like him,” CJ Hobgood told Stab in the 2024 Rookie Class review. “He needs to separate himself from Filipe, because if he shows the judges he’s a redux, he could get grilled. But if he shows up charging, being everything people wanted from Filipe, he could get a compound return on investment. It’s a fine line, and he needs to figure it out. It could be, like whatever Filipe has on his boards or wetsuits, go the exact opposite. If Filipe’s doing these airs, do different ones. But I don’t know… it could go either way for Eli.” 

It’s still early days, we’ll see how he bounces back come Portugal – I’d say CJ’s analysis is pretty bang on. Jeez, you wouldn’t back many guys to beat him on a crisp winter’s day in San Onofre state park. 

‘One More’ is filmed and edited by Kalani Minihan, the 2024 Filmers Cup winner who successfully dethroned Erik Knutson in an “alcohol endurance surf event” down at Ehukai beach park earlier this month.

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Watch: Eli Hanneman in ‘One More’

The Hawaiian CT rookie has all the traits of Filipe Toledo with a heavy-water game to boot.

Feb 25, 2024

“Literally The Fastest Board I’ve Ever Ridden In My Life”

What happens when you dress Tomo's futuristic concepts in Dark Arts?

Words by Ethan Davis

View the Tomo x Dark Arts collaboration here.

If you’ve ever surfed Lennox during a stellar run of east swell then you’ve probably seen Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson hooning down the line on one of his visually-arresting shapes. 

Tomo, whose father was a shaper keeping the company of design yodas such as George Greenough, found himself deeply influenced by the cadre of experimental craftsmen in his proximity at a young age. By 16, Tomo emerged as a formidable junior surfer within the North Coast’s abundantly skilled enclave, winning a major Northern NSW regional competition on a self-shaped board. It was in this formative year that he observed, with a mix of reverence and awe, Tom Curren’s meticulous work on an array of flex-tails, twin-fins, and fishes alongside his father, an experience that undeniably shaped his path.

Many moons later Tomo, who made the best-selling surfboard of 2015 (The Evo) and 2017 (The Sci-Fi), and lists 11x World Champ Kelly Slater as a test-pilot, has unveiled what he claims to be “the fastest board I’ve ever ridden in my life”

Behold the carbon-wrapped Vader V2 with a new Vee Quad Concave hull design (VQC) – cos’ what’s a surfboard without a little je ne sais quoi?

We will have a Joyride on the Vader V2 coming — excerpts from Christopher Morris’ interview with Tomo below.

What has been a monumental moment for you in shaping when you felt like you really made it in both progression and innovation as a shaper?

There are some obvious moments that stick out like Stu Kennedy ripping on my boards in contests. He was doing quite well on unconventional shapes. The one that I’m most proud of was when he rode my Vader board in the US Open of Surfing all the way up into the quarter-finals. He was out there on this completely different board from everyone else. You know it’s almost unparalleled how unconventional that shape was from the rest of the traditional pro surfers out there. So for him to really rip and show the world a whole different level of surfing on the stage was a very big accomplishment for sure.

And obviously, the 2016 Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks where Stu made the semi-finals on the Sci-Fi. In that competition, he really beat the world’s top surfers like Medina, John John, and Kelly on an even-playing-field kind of wave. That day his board was clearly outperforming everyone else’s boards. So, for me, that was an incredible highlight too. That was super cool.

Outside of competition, I’d say Kelly riding my equipment on a fairly regular basis is a pretty big highlight, and I won a few awards in the industry for both innovative products and best-selling designs. My personal boards have brought breakthroughs to my own life of surfing. Some shapes have really inspired me, and they have been really big personal highlights for sure.

Not many shapers today are doing anything close to the designs that Tomo is creating. How do you maintain inspiration when developing new designs without having anyone else to compare?

Well, it’s all about chasing those feelings you’re trying to harness. It’s not so much about a specific goal. It’s about staying motivated, and continually trying to evolve some of the shapes I’ve created over the years. At this point, I feel like I’ve got several good foundational shapes to work with. All my designs in the past fifteen years have so much room to improve and room to refine. I feel like the beauty of what I’ve achieved over the last fifteen years has been a whole new category or genre per-say of different designs with a lot of development still left in them with different rockers, bottom contours, variations in templates, and tails. If you take the similarities between how the regular squash-tail pointed nose surfboard has evolved incrementally to be better and better over the years, you could do the same with incrementally improving the designs I’ve created over the last decade. I think a lot of my future lies in solidifying that genre of design that I have helped to create. It has more to do with fine-tuning that function than just coming up with something weird for the sake of being different.

How do you feel that collaborating with Dark Arts impacts board performance? Are there any specific models that you are excited about being released in our construction?

Absolutely, I’ve been super stoked and excited to work with Dark Arts. I see them as the world leader in carbon surfing technology. Just being able to take some innovative shapes and then glassing them in carbon will naturally be an upgrade. Carbon fiber is the pinnacle material in performance engineering technology. if you look at other sports like Formula-1, and America’s Cup Yachts, everything is made out of carbon since it’s the lightest and strongest material available. So, with surfboards, having the lightest and strongest boards in carbon will naturally tend towards high performance with how reactive that material feels underfoot, and with how they can react almost instantaneously. So, your muscle memory feels like it has improved, and it could help you become a better surfer with faster reaction times. Your turns become sharper and faster. It has a really electric feel underfoot which is such a good blend for my boards. I’m trying to make the highest-performing custom-made surfboard and carbon helps to achieve that goal. It’s going to be a super exciting partnership.

What is your personal favorite model to surf the everyday conditions near your home in Australia? 

Recently, the Vader V-2, which is the latest iteration of the Vader planing hull which was first released in 2009. This new board I’ve got a new hull configuration which is like a spine double-concave Vee hull that blends into a quad-concave Vee out the tail So, a super technical hull design I’ve been developing which is an offshoot of the V-quad (VQC) concave of more recent years. What that hull design gives you is all this really instantaneous rail-to-rail transition where the board will roll along a spine-vee onto a very narrow surface from basically the stringer of the board to the rail which is nine inches or so. So, riders will be surfing these really narrow concave planing surfaces which give the board such an incredible acceleration and speed. You know, it feels unparalleled to any other hull design I’ve ever ridden. Especially with the outline of the Vader which is an ultra-straight rail line. Just the speed it generates through a turn is the fastest I’ve ever experienced in my life. These new rectangular designs with vee-double concave to quad concave, I feel like it is a new benchmark for my designs. I’m just been super excited to release and promote these new shapes. To have them come out in the Dark Arts carbon is going to accentuate their shape and performance. I think it will really blow some people’s minds.

In addition to swing weight, what are some other advantages of eliminating a large portion of the nose in surfboards in terms of fitting into pockets, and dropping deeper for the everyday rider?

There’s a definite formula in these modern planing hull designs, and it’s not so much about cutting the nose shape, it’s more about having a balanced foam distribution. That maximizes the functional rail line and makes it easier to paddle. The foam is almost equally balanced in the tip of the nose and the tip of the tail, it’s like a perfect symmetrical rectangle with obviously some curve. Basically, the rectangular planing shape allows you to make the length as short as possible. There’s no other format that is as accurate and functional. To me, that formula is the foundation of the smallest high-performance shapes. It’s all about fine-tuning different nose and tail shapes to maximize the performance on the wave.

The more I experiment with different nose shapes, the more I go back to that diamond nose shape since it has that very appealing low swing weight. It still has that pointed nose center at the top keeping that fast whippy performance feel underfoot. It’s really interesting and almost counterintuitive with how it has such defined corners at the nose. A lot of people might think that it’s a catching point, but it’s always important to remember that a board is always surfing off the rail so if the board is on rail then the nose becomes like the bow of the speedboat, and is raised up out of the water. The rail line cuts through the water, but doesn’t catch, especially with the new entries that I’ve been shaping in the hull of the nose. I’m kind of excited about the rebirth of these shapes, and people are going to be blown away by how functional these new developments are.

Can you explain to us some of the basic principles of hydrodynamic theory that you integrate into your designs?

Sure, so regarding the stability you’ve got in your hull: you can put foam in a balanced area so it’ll flow, paddle, and glide in a stable manner. In that parallel-ness of the rectangular shape, the basic hydrodynamic principle is — the flatter or straighter your curve (rail and rocker) line the less resistance it will have to the water. The water has to move less around a curve to find its way from point A to point B. So, that shows the board has less drag. That means that a board with a really straight outline, and a straight rocker will produce less drag and therefore go faster. You can make a strong argument that the parallel lines in these boards are scientifically faster since they have less curves. Once you have more speed and are using concave surfaces, you’re pulling dynamic forces across the concave to create more lift with less surface tension across the water. Using those concave surfaces will create thrust and drive into your turns. All these formulas, to me, make more sense fluid-dynamically in a hydrodynamic sense. I’m using scientific theory to design boards instead of trial-and-error-based research and development. I’m really grounding my shaping philosophy in a hydrodynamic architectural sense and applying it; then I’m using rider feedback to fine-tune and optimize the shapes.

Do you have any upcoming ideas that you are particularly interested in working with Dark Arts on?

Yeah, I’ve got a new generation of modern planing hulls coming, and those boards are really going to excel. They are such a unique product, and I’m excited to get them out there. Of course, I’m excited to work with Justin Ternes doing new carbon techniques to see if we can engineer some new carbon techniques to use in the future potentially.

Get one here.

Full interview with Tomo here.

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“Literally The Fastest Board I’ve Ever Ridden In My Life”

What happens when you dress Tomo's futuristic concepts in Dark Arts?

Feb 24, 2024

Mason Ho And Neighbors Score Uncommon North Shore Sandbar 

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Words by Pedro Ramos

Insular dwarfism is a biological phenomenon that suggests animals that colonize islands will, over time, evolve to become significantly smaller in size compared to their mainland relatives.

The science goes so far as to state that humans, too, are subject to island dwarfing. Yet, with scarce parking space available, scientists haven’t been able to determine exactly why people insist on driving such colossal trucks and SUVs on the North Shore.

While it remains unclear whether Mason and Sheldon managed to find a park during one of the busiest times of the year on Oahu, an elusive gem was certainly found while hiding in plain sight.

Fun, games, et al.

Mason is joined at the semi-novelty by an all-Hawaiian cast, with an uncredited appearance by Jai Glindeman, who happened to be filmed while Rory Pringle was having issues with his autofocus.

For those still nursing their SITD hangovers, Mason’s got some hair of the dog for you around the five minute mark with his always spellbinding ding report.

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Mason Ho And Neighbors Score Uncommon North Shore Sandbar 

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Feb 24, 2024

Coming Next Week: Harry Bryant And Dav Fox’s ‘Motel Hell’

Details for the online premiere and Haz pack giveaway inside.

Words by Christian Bowcutt

Haz’s long-awaited Motel Hell will be released on stabmag.com this Monday the 26th at 6 pm PST.

As far as surf films are concerned, it is a modern marvel. Incredible waves, incredible surfers, a smattering of comedy, and way too much milk. You will not want to miss the online world premiere — for more reasons that one.

To accompany the film, Harry wants to throw goodies at his audience. Here’s how it’s gonna work.

Within 24 hours of launch, you can post an Instagram main feed or story of yourself hosting your own premiere, tagging @harrybryant — Harry is going to personally sit on a lazy boy with a cold glass of 2% to pick multiple winners for the following prizes based on the greatness of the Home-Premiere:

  • Harry’s board from the Namibia section.
  • Five prize packs for five different winners from Vans.

Haz will then reach out to tell you the happy news and will coordinate how to get your goodies.

We’re excited to see your living rooms/patios/sex dungeons!

See you on the 26th.

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Coming Next Week: Harry Bryant And Dav Fox’s ‘Motel Hell’

Details for the online premiere and Haz pack giveaway inside.

Feb 24, 2024

Was Molly Picklum’s 9.67 At Sunset The Heaviest Female Turn Ever?

The GOAT, some CT surfers, industry stalwarts, and the internet opine.

Words by Stab

Read our full Finals Day Comp Wrap here.

“That was one of the most critical turns layed down by any of the women all event,” said Felicity Palmateer, as slow-motion replays of Molly Picklum’s third-story finner filled the screen.

“Or in the history of Sunset Beach,” Kaipo added, astutely. 

The turn, which Molly hammered with 19-minutes remaining in her semifinal against Brisa Hennessey, earned her a 9.67 and immediately began stirring suggestions littered with words like ‘unprecedented’ and ‘best ever’.

“I would describe it as throwing a bunch of power into Sunset and hoping for the absolute best,” she said after her heat. “Obviously, you gotta try, so I threw everything at it and I fell out of the sky — either I was dead or I had a really big score.”

We posed the question — ‘was that the best turn ever done by a woman?’ on our Instagram with a poll.

Alongside a few thousand others, Kolohe Andino, Matty McGillivray, Rio Waida, and powersurfing advocate Luke Cederman all voted ‘yes.’

The vote swung a convincing 86% to 14% from over 3,000 responses in three hours.

Comments included:

Legit! Really sick!” – Kelly Slater

“Heaviest turn by a woman ever. At least in memory” – Jimmicane

“NBD at sunset for @picklummolly how is this not a 10. Getting stingy on those Yetis” –Jason Kenworthy

“Definitely the biggest. @stephaniegilmore combo at Keramas was best.” – Koby Abberton

“That was savage!! @picklummolly” – Shane Dorian

“Shoulda been a 10, but the tight cunts woulda had to give away another cooler 😂” – Cutsnake

“umm, this turn is gender neutral AF. one of the best turns done out there period.” – Selema Masekela

What did you think?

Read our full Finals Day Comp Wrap here.

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Was Molly Picklum’s 9.67 At Sunset The Heaviest Female Turn Ever?

The GOAT, some CT surfers, industry stalwarts, and the internet opine.

Feb 22, 2024

A Moving Portrait Of Nathan Fletcher

Your daily intake of escapism.

Words by Pedro Ramos

It appears there’s an impulsive desire among skateboarders to self-document their lives and surroundings in an artful manner. A point made stronger by glaring examples such as Ryan McGinley, Ed Templeton, Patrick O’Dell, and North Shore-based Finn Arto Saari.

The composition and framing techniques honed by years of pressing shutters have seamlessly translated into Arto’s vignette of fellow multidisciplinarian Nathan Fletcher. Shot in Indonesia in the distant year of 2019 — when the tour was uncircumcised, and we weren’t scared to go outside lest we catch a sniffle — Arto’s short film hits you with disarming simplicity, and reminds us that good surfing is just that, regardless of when and how.

The Super 8 footage had been gathering dust at Arto’s North Shore residence when Nolan Hall of Possum Zine found out about its existence and was offered to make something with it.

On celluloid, Nathan Fletcher threads through Desert Point orbs, occasionally carving down its steep faces and stomping his bootie-clad feet to burn off quad-generated speed. Though this leads to a slight tangent, it raises an important question: Can anyone else wear reef booties and not look silly?

Cakewalk.

In a recent conversation, a friend was praising and reminiscing about his time spent at Desert Point, yet lamenting the shredding of his bare feet from walking across the jagged reef. So far, he has staunchly refused to wear reef booties, fearing the disapproving glares of surfing’s stiff-necked fashion police.

Can Nathan Fletcher do for booties what he’s done for helmets, elevating them from a culturally unacceptable sartorial decision to functional and essential attire in warm water surf?

For more on Arto and his work, take a look here and here.

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A Moving Portrait Of Nathan Fletcher

Your daily intake of escapism.

Feb 21, 2024

The Homecoming of Brendon Gibbens

Rediscovering hometown gems in the company of South Africa's finest.

Words by Pedro Ramos

If YouTube’s algorithmic recommendations are anything to go by, the chances that robots will take over much of the work done by humans still feel very slim.

During a recent procrastinative incursion to the website, I was offered ‘1995 Xcel Pro Sunset Beach’, ‘Is Anna Wintour The ‘Devil’?’, and ‘Why I Sleep on the Floor: Japanese Futon 4-Year Update’. Aside from a curious look at a fossilized surfing competition, these recommendations did nothing more than confirm suspicions that someone has been stealing my Wi-Fi.

But then, a moment of respite came in the form of a gothic font-decorated thumbnail from a trustworthy channel subscription. ‘Beegus Christ’ is the title of the new short released by the collaborative efforts of Dane Reynolds and his grassroots media house.

Not dissimilar to releases such as ‘Short Circuit’ and ‘Searching for Dillon Perillo’, the piece functions as a mini independent biopic about Brendon Gibbens, one of South Africa’s favourite freesurfing outliers.

A where-are-they-now type phone conversation with Dane deceitfully hints at someone who we may have taken for having fallen off the map. We’re given impression that the stiff Kommetje offshores will quickly wipe off your face, with Beeg displaying some of his best surfing since this, as well as optimal joint health.

“Oh my boerewors!”

In the past year — after securing his US citizenship — Brendles returned home to the Western Cape where he has immersed himself in a talent pool frequently blessed by powerful, Roaring Forties-generated cylinders and ramps. In line with Chapter 11’s M.O. of focusing on community rather than the individual, there are cameos from a local cast including Eli Beukes, Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington, Mikey February, Shane Sykes, and one Jordy Smith.

While you wait for Chapter 11’s “Don’t move back to Costa Mesa” t-shirt drop, press play for hand-drawn teepees, the biggest kerrupt we’ve seen in a minute, how fathers stay hydrated in South Africa, and how to never mispronounce “Beeg” again.

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The Homecoming of Brendon Gibbens

Rediscovering hometown gems in the company of South Africa's finest.

Feb 21, 2024

Try Not To Despair In Current State Of Existence After Watching Juliette Lacome’s Mentawai Part

Featuring lonely atolls, 50 shades of blues, and satin surfing.

Words by Coral McDuffee
Filmed by Layne Stratton and @misterrclips. Edit by Juliette

“Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
I cried to dream again”

Shakespeare’s brutish monster imparts this wisdom in the lost world of The Tempest. The ethereal atoll causes the book’s grimmest character (whose name, Caliban, represents the origin of ‘cannibal’) to elate in her natural beauty.

One can only assume that Caliban was speaking of the Mentawai Islands, home to the Indian Ocean’s most picturesque canvases, pearly sand, and 50 shades of teal and green. Like a bit of heaven, most who go there, cry to go again. Luckily, this is not an immediate concern for the middle class of us, with the average surf charter price ranging from $2000 to $3000 per person (not including food, plane, and other accommodations).

For now, peel back your shoulders, invest in that sketch penny stock, and indulge in Juliette Lacome’s life. You’ll in get there one day— in flesh or in spirit.

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Try Not To Despair In Current State Of Existence After Watching Juliette Lacome’s Mentawai Part

Featuring lonely atolls, 50 shades of blues, and satin surfing.

Feb 20, 2024