Chippa Wilson Wins The Second Annual Stab High
Whippy fuckin’ Chilson was the lightning before the storm.
Stab High 2.0 happened this morning after a late night above the synthetic and very fun wave at BSR Surf Resort. The event didn’t kick off ’till 2:30 PM which everyone appreciated as the majority of the surfers/competitors didn’t make it to bed until the wee hours of the morning the night prior. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are a few quick notes from the day:
Dane Reynolds was here, we hired him on as an commentator, crossing our fingers that he’d make his way into the event as a wildcard. Actually, we intentionally left a slot open, figuring it’d either be filled by him or the man who made his career off the “Air Show”, Sir Josh Kerr (who was here with his daughter Sierra, who won the Ladybirds event). Dane had buckled every single one of his boards and ended up Sharpie-ing out Noa Deane’s sponsor decals and drawing in his own. This is a trend Dane started over ten years back that lives on through surfing’s youth.
Eli Hanneman, the young-gun wunderkid with a penchant for backflips, came here to surf. He even rented the pool for a private two hour session while his coach Shaun Ward sat in the lifeguard tower, carefully dissecting his every move. Last year, Eli was a finalist. This year, he exited before the event started with a tweaked knee.
Last year, after Harry Bryant gave a Waco security guard a smiley bear hug, he decided to make amends. So he bought a boomerang from a spot at home, brought it to Waco with him with the intentions of gifting the same security guard a classic Australian weapon.
Sadly, the security no longer works here.
Eithan Osborne not only convinced everyone to ride an ESP NeckBeard 2, but stuck himself back into the finals.
The surfing in Stab High was, well, high. Those who stood out were New York’s Bal Stack, Ian Crane, Matt Meola (a gent who everyone agrees does stuff no one else can do, he’s like the Daewon Song of surfing), Noa Deane stuck some solid straights, Noah Waggy twisted his tail and Kalani David cut his way into the final. Kevin Schulz, who stuck the most torched flip on the Freak Peak yesterday, carried that momentum into the event and made the finals. A lot more happened and we’ll be slow-dripping it over the next few days.
But now, let’s talk about the cutest high-flying darlings in surf, the Stab High Ladybirds:
The Ladybirds event was a beacon of stoke. Coming down to a surf-off between Sierra Kerr and Sky Brown, it was Kerr sealing the deal with a monster slob air that garnered a 40-point score from the judges (equivalent to 8s across the board)—the high wave score of the day. Brown also landed her frontside ollie in the surf-off, but it wasn’t enough to eclipse Ms. Kerr. No sore losers, though—it was all hugs, smiles and ice cream on the beach.
1. Sierra Kerr
2. Sky Brown
3. Caitlyn Simmers
4. Bella Kenworthy
The artist formerly known as Whippy Chilson thoroughly deserved to win this event.
Now, let’s discuss the finals:
With the skies darkening by the minute and electricity bolting down from the heavens, the Stab High final was a high-powered affair that rightly put Chippa Wilson atop of the podium and announced the arrival of one Kevin Schulz.
Schulz opened with a 40-point Mctwist (of sorts) on his opening right, to leap with his long, supple legs well above the field—it was tied for the highest score of the day to this point. Needing to make something happen, Wilson missed on his opening rights, but pulled off a smooth varial shuv-it to secure a 38 on his third right and place himself in contention.
Looking for rotations and technicality rather than going huge with a straight air, the final suited Wilson’s style to a tee. He went fuckin’ bananas on the left, stomping a lien full-rotation into the strengthening gales; the judges threw him a 42 for the effort. It was the best air, best score, and best moment of the final.
For Schulz’s part in it all, he was just some grom scraping for QS points before Saturday afternoon (or, actually, Saturday, when a Freak Peak flip netted him an extra 5k Insta followers and a small cabana in the minds of Stab High’s aerial elite). With his performance today, Schulz’s name is right there with Wilson, Kalani David, Eithan Osborne, Ian Crane and Matt Meola.
There was no shortage of talent in the final. David rounded out the top three, finishing 9 points of the pace in third. Meola was in the mix after the right, but could never find a landing on the left.
When the final ended, we had to cancel the Freak Peak event due to a sky that looked like something out of Twister. We patiently awaited a cow to fly across the wave park but instead turned the music on and continued the party.
More to come from this event, but in the meantime, here are a few of our favorite images from the finals.