Stab Magazine | "I Feel For The Surfers Who Have To Keep The Corporate Wankers Happy"

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'


“I Feel For The Surfers Who Have To Keep The Corporate Wankers Happy”

Laurie Towner is not happy about the WSL Big Wave Award nominations.

news // Apr 15, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you thought Albee Layer was the only big waver with an opinion, we present to you Exhibit B, the typically soft-spoken Aussie Laurie Towner, who is equally displeased with this year’s WSL Big Wave Award nominations. 

In a recent Instagram post, Laurie poured his thoughts and emotions out to his 41.6k followers, along with the other tens of thousands who will inevitably encounter this soon-to-be viral post. 

Here’s the image(s):

And the caption reads:

I feel for the surfers who have to keep the corporate wankers happy. I’m a bit bummed but in some way happy this wave didn’t make the top 5 nominees for @wsl@wslbigwave awards. After surfer mag didn’t put this wave in their top 5 for barrels of the year beaten by 3 foot skeleton bay waves and a few others (if had the chance I wouldn’t swap all 5 waves chosen in surfer awards for this one haha) I knew there was no way this wave would make the top 5 big wave award nominations because of corporate bull shit! Whats the surf industry going to get out of Laurie Towner. The reason I’m some what happy is because all my life I though it would be amazing to have a ride of the year next to my name. I now know it’s a meaningless award chosen by kooks with no idea who play the cards of surfers careers. Winning awards would be in some big wave surfers contracts, it use to be in mine and it truely sucks for the surfers trying to make a career out of riding big waves, lucky for me it means nothing now. Although the money would of been nice if I made the top 5 it reassures me I want nothing to do with winning awards, I will never enter a wave again if I’m to ride another bomb, which I will. This wave is MY ride of the year, maybe my ride of my life and no one can take that from me. Maybe I’m being biased you tell me? I wouldn’t change this wave for anyone else’s wave this year if had the chance even if you were to give me 50g on top, there is no better feeling than to successfully paddle a big scary draining wave safely to the channel. To all the up and coming big wave surfers Fuck the big wave awards, do it for yourself no one else! 
Sorry If I’m being negative Im not the only one who feels a little hard done by in this years nomination there is a hand full of terrible decisions. I just want what’s best for the future of young big wave surfers and this needs to be fixed! honestly @wsl get tow waves out of ride of the year! You shouldnt be helped by a jet ski it’s also hard to think an unmade wave can be ride of the year. Well @granttwigbaker wave might be an exception haha 
Also sorry for the novel.

Mic drop.

MG 5208

Oh, and here are some thoughts from noteworthy, likeminded folks:

@harrybryant: Fucking oath Loz, your the man.

@granttwigbaker: We all agree Laurie and we have all been there as well. I’ve lost many a biggest paddle to guys going straight Bru. But you know what, rather then looking at the negatives I’ve wished the guys who did win all the best and used it to push myself further and to do better and go bigger and deeper the next year.

@ronnieblakey_: Such a scary beautiful wave and a ridiculously stylish execution!

@brettbarley: That’s got to be one of the top paddled barrels ever! That ledge on the takeoff was next level for a wave that size. Couldn’t believe this wasn’t in surfer awards, and now no big wave awards?! Somethings wrong… you’re not alone though, lots of rides omitted that should be in there. Always looked up to your surfing since that Shipsterns paddle in bomb back in the day. Keep inspiring man

eli_olson: I got to watch your wave in person from the shoulder and I can say with pure confidence it was one of the heaviest drops and most insane backside barrels I’ve ever seen in my life!! I thought no way you would make the drop let alone set rail and just no grab that section! It was something I’ll remember for life! You’re one of the greatest of all time hands down no argument and the fact you’re not nominated and don’t have a main big company sponsoring you just blows my mind it makes me question the whole entire industry. All I know is I don’t look up to many people but you’re definitely one of the few and I’m always inspired by you brother! Much love and respect @laurietowner

And just for reference, here are the 2018/19 WSL Big Wave Award Nominees:


Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii, on November 26,  2018 (Video by Carlo Carbajal)

Naxto Gonzalez (Basque Country, Spain) at Nazaré, Portugal, on November 16, 2018 (Video by Jon Aspuru)

Billy Kemper (Maui, Hawaii) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 26, 2018 (Video by Johnny Decesare)

Kai Lenny (Maui, Hawaii) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 26, 2018 (Video by Ryan Johnson)

Ramon Navarro (Pichimelu, Chile) at Cloudbreak on May 22, 2018 (Video by Taylor Curran) 


Carlos Burle (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 26, 2018 (Photos by Martin Caprile, Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton and Randy Sorrow. Video by Carlo Carbajal)

Tom Butler (Newquay, United Kingdom) at Nazaré, Portugal, on December 14, 2018 (Photos by Pedro Cruz, Jorge Leal, Manuel Ricardo and Rafael G. Riancho. Video by Jorge Leal)

Kai Lenny (Maui, Hawaii) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 26, 2018 (Photos by Martin Caprile, Mike Coots, Ryan Craig, Robin Ernst, Aaron Lynton and Randy Sarrow. Video by Marcus Rodrigues)

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremburg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on February 7, 2019 (Photo by Pedro Miranda. Video by Pedro Miranda)

Anthony Tashnick (Santa Cruz, California) at Mavericks, California, on December 17, 2018 (Photos by Fred Pompermayer and Frank Quirarte. Video by Benjamin Ginsberg)


Justine Dupont (Segnoisse, France) at Nazaré, Portugal, on November 9, 2018 (Photos by Mike Jones and Pedro Vilela. Video by Antione Chicoye)

Justine Dupont (Segnoisse, France) at Nazaré, Portugal on November 18, 2018 (Photos by Rafael G. Riancho and Shannon Reporting. Video by the WSL Team)

Nicole Pacelli (Guarujá, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii, on January 12, 2019 (Video by Marcus Rodrigues)


Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii, on November 26, 2018 (Photos by Adam Carbajal, Dooma Photos, Robin Ernst, Richard Hallman, Aaron Lynton and Kenny Morris)

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Mavericks, California, on December 17, 2018 (Photos by Tony Canadas, Elijah Crowell and Benjamin Ginsberg)

Pedro Calado (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal, on November 18, 2018 (Video by Laurent Pujol)

Nathan Florence (Oahu, Hawaii) at Mavericks, California, on December 17, 2018 (Photos by Elijah Crowell, Benjamin Ginsberg and Todd Turner. Video by Elijah Crowell)

Billy Kemper (Maui, Hawaii) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii, on November 26, 2018 (Erik Aeder, Matin Caprile, Ryan Craig, Robin Ernst and Aaron Lynton. Video by WSL Team)


Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 9, 2012 (Photos by Erik Aeder and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe)

Justine Dupont (Segnoisse, France) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 26, 2018 (Photos by Ryan Craig, Dooma Photos and Richard Hallman. Video by Antione Chicoye.)

Andrea Moller (Ilhabelha, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 16, 2016 (Photos by Keale Lemos and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe) 


Russell Bierke (Ulladulla, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal, on January 26, 2019 (Video by Antione Chicoye)

Alex Botelho (Lagos, Portugal) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii, on November 26, 2018 (Video by WSL Team)

Trevor Carlson (Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 27, 2018 (Video by Marcus Rodrigues)

Lucas Chianca (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on November 26, 2018 (Video by Marcus Rodrigues)

Makua Rothman (Oahu, Hawaii) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on May 22, 2018 (Video by Taylor Curran)


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…

The Vans Pipe Masters heat draw is here. Let's break down the must-watch matchups

Dec 8, 2022

Watch: Kai Paula Has Arrived

Meet the 7th surfer to land a double spin in our final 2022 SEOTY entry.

Dec 8, 2022


Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022


“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022


‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022


Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022