A Virtual Reality Headset Into The Mind Of A Starving Twenty-Something Fighting For Their Life On The Changas - Stab Mag

Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy Will Be Broadcast Live On June 21st and June 22nd from 5 PM - 10 PM PDT

Is Levi Slawson Matt Myers' star student? Frame: Brady Lawrence

A Virtual Reality Headset Into The Mind Of A Starving Twenty-Something Fighting For Their Life On The Changas

Boot(ie)s on the ground in the minor league’s trenches.

elsewhere // May 22, 2024
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Every coach has a star pupil. For Mickey Goldmill, it was Rocky Balboa. For Mr. Miyagi, it was the Karate Kid. And for Matt Myers, we think it’s Levi Slawson.

But Matt doesn’t pick favorites, even when we prodded him…

“I’m not falling for that one,” Matt laughed, “two of my pupils are former CT’ers who deserve to be back on tour, Nat Young and Alyssa Spencer. And Nolan Rapoza has been knocking on the door the past 3 seasons and has never looked better, Levi Slawson’s trajectory is sky high at the moment. Plus, look out for Sanoa Depfle-Olin, who’s gonna have a stellar career”

Matt Myers as Mickey, Levi as Rocky?

But, at least in this clip, Levi has the strongest showing — in terms pure surf electricity and in his numeric result (equal 9th).

This vlog (let’s call it what is) takes the viewer through the training regiment and comp life of five surfers hunting for a spot on Tour. Matt says he was inspired to do something similar to what SnakeTales does, but for the scrappier Challenger Series.

OG SnakeTales.

Matt Myers is a former pro surfer who eventually hung up the singlet and worked at various jobs within the surf industry until creating Matt Myers Surf Mentorship four years ago. We actually did a full story on Matt in 2022 that you can read here.

“My coaching philosophy is very personal. I want to know how you’re feeling and what’s going on with your mind. If we can connect mentally and be on the same page, it’ll be way easier to succeed,” Matt told Stab. “It all comes down to pre-heat prep, but I even do a little mid-heat coaching with my surfers like signaling (why I wear the neon hat) and communicating with them in real time.”

Hence Matt sprinting up and down the beach with his surfers in the video breaking down scores.

Also, look below, coach can surf:

Surf Thriller ft. Matt Myers from Pedro Delbrey on Vimeo.

I then asked Matt what the hardest part of being a surf coach is. “By far the most difficult part is dealing with losses. I’m competitive AF, and also very emotional and empathetic,” Matt admits. “But I realize that we are all so lucky to be in these positions in life, to have a career in riding a piece of foam on a wave created by wind halfway across the world, it’s a dream job. But when my surfers miss qualifying by one heat, or the judges have an off-day, or the waves go flat, it breaks my heart. These Challenger Series surfers invest a lot mentally, physically, financially, so the losses are tough. But, that’s why we just prepare for the next opportunity that comes.”

Oh, and I had to ask Matt what the Wet Shoulder League means. “The ultimate goal is to be chaired up the beach at the end of the event. And when you chair someone, obviously you end up with a wet shoulder,” Matt explained. “We always joke about scoring a wet shoulder. We are a team, and if you’re not on top of the chair, you want to be carrying up your teammate.”


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Allow Us To Introduce The YETI Ladybirds And Bottle Rockets Of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Here's our schoolyard pick for teams; who will win the most cred at the lunch…

Jun 17, 2024

Prediction: Moving The WSL Finals To Fiji Will Kill Off Two More Surfing Superstars

Is this JJF's time to collect his titles? We checked the stats.

Jun 17, 2024

Confirmed: Fiji To Host 2025 WSL Finals

Cloudbreak will remain on tour until 2026.

Jun 17, 2024

What’s The Secret To Powersurfing?

Taylor Knox, Kyuss King, and Jessi Miley-Dyer tackle a trio of questions in our third…

Jun 16, 2024

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Holly Wawn

"I've had 4, 5, maybe 6 cars... I'm a car dealer I reckon."

Jun 13, 2024

A Miscalculated Shallow Dive, Neck-First, Into The Waters Of Japanese Surfing

How is surfing different in the land of cherry blossoms?

Jun 13, 2024

How Has Ian Crane Made 4/5 Stab High Finals?

And who he's most afraid of competing against in Japan.

Jun 13, 2024

“I Haven’t Seen Anyone That Young And That Keen For Heavy Waves In A Decade” —Shane Dorian

Jacob Turner is 16 years old and trying to paddle tow sets at Teahupo'o...on his…

Jun 12, 2024

Long Read: 1,000 Ways To Die In Indonesia

18,000 islands of beautiful people, world-class waves, and danger around every corner.

Jun 11, 2024

Watch: Craig Anderson And Kaito Ohashi Find (Mostly) Empty Waves In Southeast Asia

Oh, and enter to win a grand worth of DB gear.

Jun 11, 2024

Brad Gerlach Rode A 600cc Motorbike Through Europe’s 1980’s Psychedelic Renaissance  

"Fuck London. Let’s just buy motorcycles tomorrow and drive to France, man."

Jun 11, 2024

Caroline Marks Goes Two-In-A-Row And John John Florence Wins First CT Event Since 2020 At The Surf City El Salvador Pro

Plus, we asked Chris Cote for a look into the commentary team's psyche and Griff…

Jun 9, 2024

Why Is Mavericks Core Getting Overrun By Yuppies?

And other questions from our audience — answered by Pete Mel, Mick Fanning, and Joel…

Jun 9, 2024

Everything Worth Remembering From 4 (Mostly) Forgettable Quarterfinals In El Salvador

Plus, what's the consensus on the Griff vs. João kerfluffle?

Jun 8, 2024

Wildcard Big-dogs Italo, Yago Pops The Cork, And Griffin Cops An Ambiguous Interference On Day 2 In El Salvador

"Honestly, that was a bad... uhh I mean, a tough call." - Strider

Jun 8, 2024