Sold! Steph Gilmore's EAST 'Space Hawk' - Stab Mag

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The 8x World Champ credited Joel's 'Space Hawk' as having “a crazy amount of speed, that can make you the happiest person ever just going straight and fast.” Now, it could be yours. Photo by Alan Van Gysen

Sold! Steph Gilmore’s EAST ‘Space Hawk’

Congrats Anthony Hilton – $1527 will be donated to rebuilding Joel Fitzgerald’s home in Lennox.

news // Oct 19, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Legendary shaper as seen in EAST and S.U.R.F., Joel Fitzgerald lost his home to a fire two Saturday’s ago.

To help with the rebuild, Stab will be making a contribution and auctioning off his 5’2” x 20 x 2 5/16”’s ‘Space Hawk’ he made for Stephanie Gilmore’s EAST. A board the 8x World Champ credited with having “a crazy amount of speed, that can make you the happiest person ever just going straight and fast.” You can view the listing here.

Joel worked closely with Ozzy designing his ‘Zombie Island’ twin he rode in the S.U.R.F. rematch. By far, the best-looking handshape our four contestants fashioned.

At the EAST spin off contest at Burleigh Heads, Josh Kerr rode the very same ‘Space Hawk’ to finish runner-up to Mitch Crews. We all know he swiftly converted to twin fins after that so… go figure. In other words, it’s a blessed totem, with a rich history, shaped and surfed by the best in the world, and every dollar spent in the bidding will go towards supporting a good cause. 

Jeez, these twin fins go alright. Perhaps it’s time I got off my tired thrusters and gave the keels a run. Photo by Marc Llewellyn

The cause of the fire is unknown, but was likely an electric fault in his shaping bay that quickly turned into a chemically-aided inferno that Joel’s garden hose had no chance of quelling. You can read his take on how it unfolded below. 

Situation: not good

Per his IG: “My house from 3 years old has burnt to the ground. The home where I fathered my son Kainoa from 1 to 4. Where we played football down the hall, rode bikes and scooters inside the house. The nth coast dream was very much real and I was grateful in every way to have this little blue house with a shaping bay and shed, timber floors, beautiful doors and green walls 😉 A garden and view that reached the horizon from the hills of Byron. It’s hard to say goodbye, the emotions and feelings it brings are a little too hard. I would say it was time to move on, re generation will take on, like a seed that needs the right temperature to germinate, waiting for the ground to break or fire to come. I don’t think I would have ever left my house on the hill , but now it’s gone. The house will be demolished soon as it is condemned, thankfully it is a part of the Ballina development plan for new buildings and schools and roads and will be built into a beautiful place once again. 

The main fire was in the shaping bay, the cause possibly an electrical box or light that had blown by a surge in the power it’s unknown. In just a few minutes the fire turned into a major inferno, then the fire started to inflame the house. My garden hose was doing its best but little could be done until the fire department arrived. I went back in to save a burning board, a photo of my son and as many things as I could grab in a final run through the burning house but at some point I had to walk away as the fumes and smoke engulfed my beloved house. The fire trucks arrived from Ballina, Lismore and Lennox and we managed to save what was left in the destruction after only what seemed like a few minutes.

Fond of a highline trim? Joel’s boards have been R&D’ all over the Northern Rivers’ points. That is to say, on waves with long walls, these things will shoot you to the shoulder (or through the tube), at Lightspeed. Photo by Alan Van Gysen

I was lucky in a way not to be killed by the blacken of fumes, fire and exploding drums of resin acetone and surfboard material. I saved what I could in the minutes I had without getting in harm’s way. Kainoa was not there and is fine as he was with his mum at the time. It’s a new chapter now the end of an era and from the ashes the Phoenix will fly. I would like to thank those who have supported me and Kainoa and we are doing great, one day, one breath at a time.”

Looks pretty cute too. Photo by Alan Van Gysen

You can donate directly to Joel’s Gofundme here or indirectly buy buying his boards here.


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