Stab Magazine | A Collection Of Images That Demand Tangibility

A Collection Of Images That Demand Tangibility

A Stab Full Frame gallery from the glossy pages of Issue 88.

full frame // Mar 27, 2017
Words by Photograph Above
Reading Time: 11 minutes

Pete Devries plucks some Vancouver Island crystals, Canada. Photograph by Marcus Paladino.

Does any one surfer in the world make you think of Canada, more than Mr Pete Devries, pictured here cracking the glass from a Vancouver Island lip? From Stab’s perspective, certainly not. Let’s hand the keypad to the photographer, Marcus Paladino, for his insightful context: “I don’t think there’s anyone more obsessed with surfing than Peter Devries. When he was a grom, in the summer he would surf dawn patrol, lunch break and a sunset session. Every. Single. Day. With a regiment like that, going into adult years on the verge of becoming a professional surfer it’s no wonder he’s pretty much zero percent body fat. Not much has changed though, his obsession with surfing still consumes him. But unlike most surfers around the world, he’s never limited to sub-par conditions. From knee-high wedges to maxed-out windswell: ‘Every day I have to go to work, just like anyone else,’ he says. Fast forward to this session: Small waves and grey skies, a surf photographer’s green light to go get waves. Just as I’m suiting up, I get a text from Pete letting me know the surf sucks but he’s paddling out soon anyway, if I want to shoot. The fear of missing out on getting the shot is too much for my anxiety, so I replaced my board with my housing and met him at the beach.” And, here we are.



William Sharp

Dane Reynolds hotdogs a deviant ratio in Santa Barbara, USA. Photograph by William Sharp.

You know Sandspit, right? It’s a dramatic little slice of sand perfection at the mouth of Santa Barbara Harbour, next to the Sterns Wharf Pier. “I’m not too worried naming this spot because it’s pretty much been a staple for generations of surfers in the area for decades,” says the man who captured this photograph, William Sharp. “It sports crowds of 50 to 60 surfers when it’s good, so it isn’t a secret or anything.” On the day pictured, sand was piling up at the base of the harbour. A sail boat ran aground while making the turn into the boat channel. All that sand spells nothing but good times for those who keep an eye on the spot. And Dane Reynolds is one of those people. “Dane had gotten a few good ones earlier in this session before he got this one,” recalls William. “When Sandspit’s on, it throws out further than it is high. Dane scored an amazing mutant pit that was breaking sub level, in waist deep water, with a big hump back too boot, and rode it all the way to the beach. There were only a few waves like this one the whole session. Definitely one of the best waves of the day. I’ve been shooting Dane since he was 15. I feel blessed to be able to shoot him. Lucky he happened to grow up in Ventura. I think what makes Dane such a great surfer, in my mind, is his ability to adapt to changing conditions. In his early career he blew minds doing a lot of above-the-lip surfing. But I’m kinda old school in that I love his power surfing. That makes a surfer what he is. People dig the airs and tricks but people remember the power turns the most. Well, at least I do. So yeah, real stoked to have Dane in the hood…”



Ryan Miller

John Florence and a continuing French love affair. Photograph by Ryan Miller.

What a strange world it was before Hawaiian John Florence won his debut world title. Prior to the victory, the world of surf felt slightly kinked. But then, click! Though, let us briefly remember a time, which feels so long ago now, when Mr Florence was not yet officially king, when he had just landed in France, about to embark on a formidable European run. “This was literally the first photo I shot in France this year,” says charming photographer, Ryan Miller. “The file name is 0001. I went straight from an overnight flight to the beach before even going to my house. Tired as fuck and delirious. Just getting straight into it is the best way to start off any trip. I’m an average photographer on the best of days so I overcompensate by working really hard. This is one of those instances where that hard work of going straight from the plane to the beach makes it all worth it.” Indeed.



Chris Gurney

Steph Gilmore and the facial expression we travel for, Indonesia. Photograph by Chris Gurney.

“Well that was the first time I’ve met or shot with Steph, but after doing that trip I’d confidently say she is my favourite subject to work with in surfing,” says photographer Chris Gurney, who captured this high-spirited moment of Miss Gilmore during a sojourn to Indonesia this season. “She’s obviously an amazing surfer, very elegant and effortless but not in a contrived way, and that carries through into her personality. You really wouldn’t know she’s a six-time world champ by her demeanour. We have similar tastes in photography, so that makes life easy on a photo trip. It’s not for everyone, but I really like shooting little moments like this more than the actual action side of surfing. It was cool to hang out with the real life Happy Gilmore and watch her do her thing in great surf.”



Alan Van Gysen

Brendon Gibbens soars, generously, at The Bluff, South Africa. Photograph by Alan Van Gysen.

You may recall seeing a recent Stab project called Stab In The Dark. In short, we took Dane Reynolds to South Africa to test some boards. And when activating a project in South Africa, there’s two gents who are very handy to have in your corner: Surfer Brendon Gibbens (pictured here), and photog Alan Van Gysen (who captured this). Let’s hear from AVG! “This was the first ‘real’ session Brendon and Dane enjoyed after a few very average days at the start of the project. In perfect NE, side-offshore wind, the two went blow for blow over the ultra-shallow sandbank that had formed one peak over from the old, world-famous reef and pool of Cave Rock. Made famous in the 80’s and 90’s by world champs Martin Potter and Shaun Tomson for its thick, crunching tubes, this stretch of coast has almost become a forgotten gem, with so much more attention going to Ballito, the South Coast, Jeffrey’s Bay and Namibia. So despite the epic conditions, the lineup was completely empty. As the tide filled in the waves moved more and more onto the inside bank, with the odd barrel opening up. On this particular wave, Brendon came powering in for the launch right at the very moment the wave threw out a barrel, which complicated things. But he committed, and flying through the air had little choice but to fully engage and stomp the landing. Fortunately Brendon has ankles as thick as most professional rugby players, so few landings get the better of him. It was by far the biggest air I’ve seen this year in the flesh.”



John Respondek

Craig Anderson, high drama with lime cordial, South Coast, Australia. Photograph by John Respondek.

If you’ve been privy to any of his film projects, you’ll know that Craig Anderson has a penchant for the south coast of Australia. He frequents the long, many-faced stretch – particularly in winter – and enjoys the simplistic lifestyle (baked beans by the fire!) and variety of waves. Which is where we find him in this truly engaging photograph. “Craig and I have made several trips down South this year,” says the man who captured this moment, John Respondek. “However, this session stands out above the rest for me. It really was one of those glorious, super dreamy mornings with nobody around. We were joined by our god pal and film maker, Kai Neville, who was off duty and shredding with the boys, and also Craig’s shaper, Hayden Cox (Haydenshapes). Some of my favourite images all year came out of this morning. It’s funny how Craig can make the simplest of surf moves look so special.”



Quinn Matthews

Griffin Colapinto brightens a dull haze, California, USA. Photograph by Quinn Matthews.

“South Swells in California are tricky,” begins Cali-based photographer, Quinn Matthews. While California might be one of the most photographed surf zones in the world, Quinn never fails to find a unique angle. “In Orange County, Lowers lights up on a good south, perfect waves one after another. However, the waves bring quite the crowd. That can get frustrating after so many sessions – enough to justify paddling out at a little rock boil wave. The swell wasn’t too good, so realistically, Lowers was likely the only spot to get some work done. Griffin Colapinto here had done that enough for a while though, and wanted to try elsewhere. There aren’t many options and this wave, hardly even a wave, is what we settled for. The landing on this wave isn’t friendly – rocks are everywhere and in random locations on the inside. Griffin paddled out for about 45 minutes before deciding that enough dents to the bottom of the board was enough.”

RM 2


Ryan Miller

Julian Wilson electrifies an unremarkable canvas, France. Photograph by Ryan Miller.

Let us start by addressing the elephant: This French lip is hardly likely to kickstart a heart. But, is there not something gripping in the angle, the torque, of Julian Wilson’s movement? And to think, it was almost a moment lost forever! Let’s learn how: “It’s pretty hard to get me discouraged, but this day I totally was,” recalls the shooter, Ryan Miller. “I’d already gone swimming at the contest bank with absolutely nothing happening. I was disappointed and ready to just go home and suck down a bottle of red. Julian came over the dune, looked at it and wanted to get out of there to go surf somewhere else. We jumped in the car with our fullsuits on and went to a sneaky little bank. The waves were only waist-high but the bank was so perfect and the waves ran machine-like down this thing. I rarely ever see anything like how tapered and flawless it was every single time. We left the water totally giggling. Such a good way to turn my day around. Hanging out with Julian can do that to you. The guy is always down to have a good time.”



Tom Pearsall

Taj Burrow double-taps the glass (but not Google Maps!), Western Australia. Photograph by Tom Pearsall.

Isn’t it a wonderful thing that on a coastline as wave-rich as Australia’s Western stretch, the majority of the surfing world is only familiar with a handful of spots? (This is no accident). So when we ask our photographer, Tom Pearsall, where this image of Taj Burrow was taken, he offers these clues: “Head a little north, go left at the broken gate, drive across the mad cows field and under the notorious “no-name” bridge.” Thanks Tom! After enduring “endless days of finger-numbing onshores,” continues Tom, “the Indian Ocean, relentless in its pursuit to tear away at the terra firma, had succeeded in stripping most of the coast to its bare bones.” After spotting a one-day respite, featuring ground swell, offshores and sun, Tom, Taj and gang rolled the dice on a spot they hoped would be on. “That was one of the most mental teepees I’ve ever seen,” hooted Taj, as he paddled into the sand-bottomed lineup. “Fast forward a little and it’s quickly dawning on us that this dream has a few curveballs to throw,” says Tom (read: a wild end section). “But the vibe in the water was electric! I had the pleasure of gawking directly into the mouth of a bomb as Taj completely vanished behind the foamball, only to emerge seconds later enveloped in glorious spit.” A day in the life of a West Australian, huh.

JR 2


John Respondek

Ozzie Wright utilises grip mitts on the South Coast of Australia. Photograph by John Respondek.

Oz Wright is a classically trained surf punk, one of the last true characters in the world of pro surf. Those fingerless gloves? Yeah, they’re mostly decorative. But it’s the height and taste of this slob that makes Oz so wonderful – he’s still pushing expression forward. Shall we ask the photographer, John Respondek, to paint us some context? “Ozzie jumped on a plane in Byron Bay, and Dion Agius and I swooped him from the airport in Sydney on the way down South,” he recalls. “It’s always fun doing a roadie with the boys, and it’s always rad seeing those dudes surf together. I swear, they get way more excited and ambitious to do sick airs when they know the other is watching… or, after they see the other do something cool. Always makes for nice pics, too!”

QM 2


Quinn Matthews

Noa Deane and the paradox of flight at The Box, Western Australia. Photograph by Quinn Matthews.

When it comes to surfing, Noa Deane really only has one gear. And it’s a gear inspired by growing up watching the Irons brothers and the Fletcher brothers. Does this hucked oop at WA’s The Box not stir some Bruce nostalgia in some small way? Let’s find out how it was captured. “This was a real good day over in West Oz,” says the photographer, Quinn Matthews. “I’d been shooting with Ryan Callinan all morning and found some really fun waves before running into Jay Davies and Noa here in town for lunch. They gave us a tip that The Box had a couple with no one out. I was a bit slow putting my housing together, planning on swimming out with fellow lensman Chris Gurney, before he told me he wasn’t going out since there was a big ol’ tiger (shark) spotted not too long ago out there. At this point I was well behind the rest of the pack who were already all swimming out. I remember as I was swimming out, I passed over two different schools of salmon, which scared the living daylights out of me. And, there was a lot of chop on the way out, so the whole time I had no idea where I was. After I’d convinced myself the current pushed me way North, I finally saw the peak and was able to join the rest. The tide was a bit low and the swell direction a little weird, so it wasn’t perfect Box by any means. Noa and everyone were able to find a couple hollow ones before everyone started punting some solid airs. Noa had a couple of real big attempts that were nearly landed before he stuck a big tweaked out one, and this alley oop. It was pretty crazy to see him hitting the sections he was hitting out there – he has a twisted idea of what a ramp is. Still really cool to see, and turned out to be a real nice day, since it’s not too often The Box has good conditions in the afternoon.”

WS 2


William Sharp

Dane Reynolds charges a Ventura mojito, USA. Photograph by William Sharp.

Dane Reynolds brushes the wildest strokes on any canvas, but put him on a feathery winter face, and it is refreshing, minty, inspiring. Here, we find him cleaving a rarely-surfed beachbreak in Ventura, amidst a brisk swell that’d swept down from Alaska. “On this day, Dane was surfing with a couple of his friends, which is when he usually has good sessions, not too many guys out, he gets more waves to choose from,” recalls the photographer in this instance, William Sharp. “It’s easy for him to excel. One of those sessions when everything was clicking for him. Big airs, strong cutties, a few long barrels. Yeah, Dane was having a good day. He was pumping down the line on this wave, and I was thinking, ok, a big air is coming. But he goes and cranks this full throttle cutback, mid-wave, all the way back to the pit of the wave. I was stoked on how it came out.”


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