Can A "Pretty Shit Competitor" Make The CT In 2023? - Stab Mag

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Surfing's Han Solo? Can Eithan pilot the Millennium Falcon to the Top 32? Photo: Stab

Can A “Pretty Shit Competitor” Make The CT In 2023?

Eithan Osborne is a bee’s wing away from the big leagues.

elsewhere // Oct 11, 2022
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eithan Osborne is two spots away from qualifying for the 2023 World Championship Tour and he gives precisely zero ‘heinous-es‘ about it. 

“It’s only my second contest… I missed the first two” Eithan said in an interview with Inherent Bummer during the Vans US Open of Surfing earlier this summer. When asked if his usual status as a freesurfer is an advantage or disadvantage in competition he replied, “I think it’s better because I’m not thinking about it. Usually I’m a pretty shit competitor so I’ve just been having no pressure at all and it’s been going good.” 

Even after missing the first two events of the Challenger Series this season, Eithan is currently sitting in the 12th position out of 139 surfers listed on the WSL rankings after the 2022 EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira ended this past week. The top 10 surfers on the Challenger Series at the end of the year will qualify for the 2023 CT. 

We caught a glimpse of Eithan’s competitive fire during Stab Highway: California. Photo: Stab

With two events left on the Challenger Series this year–– the Corona Saquarema Pro in Brazil and the Haleiwa Challenger on the North Shore, both waves that suit Eithan’s powerful carves and trademark air game, I’ll go out on a limb and stake my claim for Eithan qualifying. 

Eithan’s nonchalant strategy has worked for people in the past. Kolohe Andino earlier in the year told Stab, “I think the whole time I’ve competed in a way where I’ve been scared to lose. Afraid, on the defensive. That’s not the best way to live, or to compete, at all.” And indeed, Eithan seems less afraid of losing anything than he seems fond of dicing waves to pieces.

Check out those two dashes to the right of his name–– Eithan is the only surfer to have missed the first two events of the season.

The question remains: what gives Eithan the capacity to seemingly not worry as much as others? Is it that unlike other Challenger Series surfers Eithan’s contracts are more focused on video parts and social presence? And thus a spot on the CT is merely a cherry on top? Is it the Ventura ethos of humility and stoicism? Does he just do a lot of yoga?

Have a listen to Inherent Bummer’s full interview first and then watch the parking lot conversation below and do some discerning for yourself:

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