Stab Edit Of The Year Is Back For 2023  - Stab Mag

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Stab Edit Of The Year Is Back For 2023 

Because surf edits matter.

features // Feb 24, 2023
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

All 2023 SEOTY entries can be found at the bottom of this page.

We encountered a handful of protests when compiling the votes for the most recent edition of Stab Surfer Of The Year

They all stemmed from the same category: Best YouTube channel. 

“I don’t watch them. I feel weird knowing what people eat for breakfast,” said Creed McTaggart. 

“I don’t like that we pander to the lowest denominator. I hate everything about it,” said Albee Layer

We don’t recommend you ask either of them to like and/or subscribe. However, there’s a deeper truth behind what Creed and Albee said. 

The truth is that modern media rewards surfers who maintain YouTubes, TikToks, and IGs for the general public more than it rewards those who put a comparatively absurd amount of time, effort, and money into an edit that a smaller audience of core surfers will get

For those who get paid to surf when Joe Turpel isn’t watching, it’s becoming increasingly hard to justify spending a year focused on nailing a 12-minute edit when somebody else has weekly Vlogs that (somehow) pull tens (or hundreds) of thousands of views every week. 

But, that’s where you come in. 

Thanks to the support of our Stab Premium members, we’re able to pursue the things we believe deserve a place in our little surf world — regardless of how much sense they make against the backdrop of modern media. Surf edits are one example. 

90% of modern surf content is driven by narratives — from the WSL to the pandering Vlogs to the videos you watch right here on Stab. And, to an untrained eye, simply combining music and surf action might leave a bit to be desired in terms of storytelling. But if you know surfing, you know that an edit tells us everything we need to know about someone without having to say it out loud. 

The reigning champ.

First, the format of an edit gives the world’s best free surfers a clear objective. These individuals often have a year or more to collect footage, and many have the funds to do so anywhere they desire. A surf edit shows us how this freedom plays out. Which waves did they seek? How did they approach those waves differently? When you look closely, you can even see which trips/sessions/days they really decided to push all their weight into that gas pedal.  

Then, from the music to the b-roll to the graphic direction, we get a feel for how surfers want surfing to be portrayed. References are pulled from outside our little space, which have carry-on effects that seep into everything from clothing to board art. The loss of this would result in a cultural void and, worst case, we’d all be back in logo tees (which is probably where we’re heading anyway — thanks ’90s resurgence). 

So, the Stab Edit of the Year is back from 2023, and the prize will still be a Bitcoin. Why? Because it’s funny. And also because we bought two somewhere near the peak (whoops). 

However, this year we’re introducing three major changes. 

Parker knows how to inspire.

No more quarters 

Last year, we designed a system in which the year was divided into quarters, and each quarter would send a certain amount of edits to the final. The goal was to incentivize surfers to enter throughout the year rather than hoarding their clips ’til the end. However, we learned that there is no science to the timing of a surf edit release. Many factors — from syncing it up with a contract negotiation period (who cam blame ’em?) to the feeling of a creative endeavor just being done — influence a surfer’s release plans, which lands this beyond our control. 

So, the quarterly system is hereby abolished. Voters will be able to choose from any SEOTY entry and up to three wildcards. 

There’s a decent chance that Rolo is your favorite surfer’s favorite surfer.


Speaking of which: This year, the Stab Surfer Of The Year poll will account for 100% of the vote. Why? Because, in 2022, the Stab Premium Members and the Stab Surfer Of The Year poll aligned perfectly in choosing ‘Idiot Box’ as the runaway champ. We want to make the road to victory more clear this year. And, once again, Stab Premium members will count for 10% of the voting in all Stab Surfer Of The Year categories in 2023.

Noz knows.

No more time limit

Remember NozVid? Behind the scenes, Noa planned on making a shorter version to fit into the SEOTY criteria of under fifteen minutes. Then he decided he just wanted one fuck-off version to say it all. And fair enough, considering everything he poured into it

This year, there will be no time limit. An edit features 80% surfing, and 80% one individual surfer. If you think you can compile forty minutes of A-clips, have at it. Anything that features multiple surfers with different sections (like ‘Glad You Scored‘) or seeks to tell a story (like ‘Through The Doggy Door‘) will count as a film.

Got it? Good. 

The current World #4 made his brief expanse of time off-tour worthwhile.

All the rules 

-The action must be 80% one surfer.
-The edit must feature at least 80% action. We’re not going to start counting waves, but we want to make it clear that the emphasis should be on the surfing. 
-Must be 95% new footage. No rehashing stuff from old edits, Vlogs, Instagram clips, etc.     
-The Stab staff chooses which edits are worthy of inclusion and which aren’t. We reserve the right to deny any edit. 
-The featured surfer owns the edit. However, by entering Stab Edit of the Year, you are giving permission to Stab to distribute and license your content, whereby you (the surfer) are taking all licensing responsibility regarding footage and music used. Everything must be licensed and cleared prior to submitting. If any clips or music are uncleared, you take full responsibility and release Stab of any harm. 
-Any splitting of proceeds between the surfer and the filmer/s is the responsibility of those who produced the edit. Our recommendation is to have this conversation with your team prior to entry. 
-We retain the right to continue playing the edits on Stab’s platforms in perpetuity.  
-The winner will need to create a Bitcoin wallet and we’ll transfer the Bitcoin from Stab to you.

All 2023 SEOTY Entries:

Wandering’ — Liam O’Brien

‘Bell Jar’ — Caity Simmers

‘Repthrillians’ — Lucas Godfrey

‘Cult Of Freedom’ — Shaun Manners

‘Águila’ — Leon Glatzer

‘Bad Influencer’ — Hugo Ortega

‘Into Dust’ — Jacob Willcox

‘Tropical Popsicle’ — Miguel Blanco


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