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Mick readies himself for the most delightful game of eeny-meeny-minni-moe.

First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards

Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning’s Maldivian quiver ?

news // Aug 4, 2022
Words by Taylor Paul
Reading Time: 3 minutes

All photos: Trevor Moran

I’ll admit, at first I didn’t get it. 

While conceptualizing this year’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test (EAST), Danny Johnson said, “What if we got XXXX and YYYY to shape a board together?”

I didn’t get it.

Sam McIntosh did. His eyes grew wide.

“Yes, that’s it,” he said. 

They started talking a mile a minute about collaborations, who else we could pair together and why it would be so special. 

I voiced my concerns. 

Mick unsheathes a 2-for-1 special from a surprising pair of mystery shapers. The shaper pairings will be revealed via email to Stab Premium members in the coming weeks.

“I mean, yeah, if we could get XXXX and YYYY to shape a board together, that’d be incredible, but we can’t, and shouldn’t base an entire season of EAST on one interesting pairing…” 

I gave other reasons why it wouldn’t work. Logistics, budget, politics, etc.

“Get out of the weeds, Tay,” Sam said. “Come join us up here in the clouds, it’s beautiful.” 

I never got all the way in the clouds, but trusted their assessment of the view, and leaned it. It couldn’t have been 24 hours later that Sam hit the #electric-acid-2022 Slack channel: “XXXX and YYYY are in. Let’s figure out the rest of the pairings.”

He’s a great salesman, Sam McIntosh. 

To ensure a diversity in craft, shapers were given a 5-inch size range to shape within. Everything else was up to them.

So we picked 12 shapers and paired them together to create six surfboards for Mick Fanning to ride in the Maldives. The very first shoot was between the pairing that inspired this concept, XXXX and YYYY. The one I never thought would happen. 

When they started interacting, I finally got it. 

Ideas were shared, egos were stroked and protected, compromises were made, liberties were taken. I could see that this would be a pivotal project for Stab. And, at the risk of getting ahead of myself, for the surfboard world in general. 

Not a soul arch in sight. “I want to see boards like this ripped,” he said. Winding up on a 7’0″.

In his pre-interview, moments before entering the foam-dust octagon with one of surfing’s most staunch craftsmen, one of our shapers perfectly explained the promise of collaboration… 

A good collaboration is easy: You listen, you review your own ideas before you bring them forward, and then you stand your ground. And so long as nobody is willing to sacrifice on the overall picture of the project, which is, “Can we make Mick Fanning the best surfboard he’s ever ridden?” 

Now that’s a complex task. But if we both strive for that and bring our best ideas forward, and let our best ideas die next to someone else’s, so long as it’s cohesive, you can’t go wrong…

I’m willing to listen, I’m willing to learn, I’m willing to be challenged, and I hope I am because that’s the only way I’m going to learn. If that happens, I think we can build something that’s never been built before, because it’s a collaboration. 

I love that. 

Mick Fanning’s EAST premieres on Stab Premium on September 1, PST. Mark your calendars. Invite your friends. And in the spirit of collaboration, invite your enemies, too. We’re coming together on this one.

(Follow these links for stories about us losing all the fins for the project, and what our junior editor learned from a week with Mick Fanning.)

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