Jacob Szekely Bamboozles QS Judges With A Top Ropes Acid-Drop At Steamer Lane - Stab Mag

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension

Imagine a pre-heat ankle break... Photo by Brant Schenk

Jacob Szekely Bamboozles QS Judges With A Top Ropes Acid-Drop At Steamer Lane

Give it a score.

elsewhere // Nov 19, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 3 minutes

This week at the reinstated O’Neill Coldwater Classic, Jacob ‘Zeke’ Szekely, the great villain of Stab Highway California introduced himself — flamboyantly as ever — to his Round of 64 heat with a caveman leap into the whitewash. He didn’t stomp it but, if he did, the judges would have been forced to score the first bona-fide acid drop in the history of the QS. And what would the score be – the WSL awards progression, no?

Regardless, the San Diegan made his heat, and headed to the next round of the most prestigious QS1000 this side of the Mississippi. 

Does screen recording count as copyright? Video:WSL

The towering cliffs at Steamer Lane have served as the amphitheater for many memorable moments in Northern Californian surfing history. They’ve seen hundreds of blowtails from the likes of Ratboy, Barney, Pete Mel, Nat Young, and countless other coldwater lords. They’ve also played spectator to many brawls, contests, and adult learners on Wavestorms getting cussed out by guys with face tattoos.

Earlier this year, the Steamer Lane cliffs were the launching pad for a handful of our daring Stab Highway Presented by Monster Energy surfers, who repeatedly sent 20-something-foot acid drops in an attempt to grab their own chunk of surfing history. Of yet, a successful acid drop has never been landed at The Lane, but not for lack of Jacob Szekely trying.

Everyone was glad to see the return of the Coldwater Classic. After a brief hiatus, the event returned this November for its 35th year, and some heavy hitters showed up to pay their Table Rock dues. 

Kolohe Andino out for blood. Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League

As NorCal’s premier —and pretty much only — professional surfing contest, the Classic provides a stage for underdogs and local heroes to compete against guys like Griffin Colapinto, Nat Young, and Kolohe Andino. It’s pretty much the only QS1000 you’ll see CT surfers willingly travel for. 

The reason?

The waves nearly always provide, with this year as little exception.

After a few days of kelpy righthand bowls, Finals Day rolled around. The sun shone, the waves pumped, and the Men’s Quarterfinals saw local legends Shaun Burns and Sam Coffey facing some serious talent — Kolohe Andino and Ian Crane, respectively.

Taro Watanabe has a style you’ll be hearing a lot about in the coming years. Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League

Unfortunately, both local boys fell out of the draw, leaving Wake-Ki disciple Taro Watanabe in the Final with Kolohe Andino. After besting Griffin head-to-head in the quarters, Taro took a heat-long lead against Brother. It looked as though his stylish bottom turns might prevail against the CT-level talent, but it was not to be. Kolohe blasted his way to the 7 he needed in the final moments, claimed it like he forgot it was a QS1000, and walked up the stairs with glory at his side.

Also, Ladybird Bella Kenworthy powered her way through a tough draw into the finals, falling in an evenly-matched heat to 17-year old Zoe Benedetto. We can’t wait til the CT is filled with these gals.

The points gathered in the Classic go towards potential Challenger Series qualification for surfers in the North American region. Though, on the mens side, most of them will go to Kolohe’s confidence. Hopefully he brings it at Pipe.

The winners also got REAL Megalodon tooth trophies. Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Can Medina Overcome His CT Drought In Tahiti?

Tahurai Henry offers his picks for the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro

May 21, 2024

The 35 Best Song Pairings In Surf Films, As Ranked By Dane Reynolds, Taylor Steele & You

From Noa Deane and Courtney Love, to Andy Irons and Coldplay, to Creed McTaggart and…

May 20, 2024

Is This The Most Cost Efficient Way To Noticeably Improve Your Surfing In A Single Month?

All you can eat for $1500 AUD at URBNSURF Melbourne.

May 20, 2024

Watch And Learn: How To Score A Solo Sesh At 8-Foot Teahupo’o With Leonardo Fioravanti

Skip lunch and gorge.

May 19, 2024

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024

The Lefts Off The Rights

Detailing the goofy-footed proclivity to go against the grain.

May 15, 2024

Watch: ‘Shotgun’ featuring Josie Prendergast & Taj Richmond

The allure of contradiction, displayed in the virtue of Northern Rivers sand.

May 15, 2024

How Accurate Were Our Pre-Cut Predictions?

Reflecting on the rookie-centric forecasts offered by CJ Hobgood, Stace Galbraith, Brett Simpson, and Mikey…

May 14, 2024

Local Wildcard Jordy Lawler Dusts 79 Transplants, Issy Nichols Denies Prodigy Erin Brooks Another Plush Toy

The Stab High winner is one semi-final away from tour qualification after only two events.

May 14, 2024

Which 2024 Stab High Competitor Has Given Us The Best Surf Part?  

Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Julian Wilson, Ian Crane and more duel for the most impactful…

May 13, 2024

There Are Still Perfect, Empty Waves Left In The World

Soli Bailey, Timo Simmers + Layne Stratton on the sand-bottomed unicorn seen in ‘Maps to…

May 13, 2024

What Happened To Bali?

And is an ethical future for surf development possible in Indonesia?

May 12, 2024

Premium Peek: Mason Ho + Sheldon Paishon Vs A Scottish Widow Maker

Less like a wave, more like a German Panzer tank (180 tons, FYI).

May 12, 2024

Tactical Burn, Shove + Leash Pull Ends In Tears, Disqualification + Fines At ISA World Juniors 

The young Portuguese surfer has since apologized for her 'grevious unsportsmanlike conduct'. 

May 11, 2024