Stab CUSP: What Did The Vans Pipe Masters Get Right And Wrong? - Stab Mag
Many Stab Premium commenters lauded the casualness of the commentary booth. Mahina Florence, Makua Rothman, Selema Masekela, Cliff Kapono, Dylan Graves. Photo: Vans

Stab CUSP: What Did The Vans Pipe Masters Get Right And Wrong?

A special ep dedicated to dissecting this brave Pipeline experiment.

elsewhere // Dec 22, 2022
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Every so often the comment section will contain this revolution-hungry cry: “Stab should start a Rebel Tour!”

To be clear, there has been no talk of this.

The WSL performs an important, difficult, and often thankless job. But ultimately, there is no divine rule that designates the WSL as the only organization that can pit surfers against each other. A league (or tour) is just a business. And like every Econ 101 class teaches, competition in a capitalistic ecosystem usually makes the end product better for the consumer (or surf fan, in this case).

In a special bonus episode, Mikey and Stace talk candidly about what the Vans Pipe Masters potentially added to surf fandom, and what it didn’t add. They talk everything from the refreshing convos in the commentary booth to Sierra Kerr’s interference-induced, tear-filled post-heat interview.

They also disagree over whether this first Vans Pipe Masters really did push surfers to take to the air and do turns, breaking up the not-so-monotonous tube party.

No, I don’t think this is the start of an “LIV Golf” situation in our quaint world of surfing. But if it is, I want to be here to write about it.

Stimulate your opinionated side and explore this bonus pod wherever you get your podcasts (Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud).


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023


The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023


Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023

On-Duty North Shore Lifeguard Luke Shepardson Wins The Eddie Aikau

Local man prevails over 39 big-wave heavyweights at 29ft @ 19 seconds Waimea.

Jan 23, 2023

The Eddie Aikau Invitational Is On

Grab a beverage and enjoy surfing's Super Bowl Sunday

Jan 22, 2023

The Women’s CT Is About To See A Generational Shift 

Only three women have won a Title in the past 15 years. Here's why that's…

Jan 22, 2023