It Took Seven Weeks To Write This Letter
A look at the wreckage we left behind in 2017, and all the fun we’re hoping to have in the New Year.
It’s been too long, and for that I’m truly sorry.
Does it feel surreal 2017 is finally done and dusted?
For a few moments there, I didn’t know we’d get out alive. Fires, earthquakes, threats of nuclear war and digital currency….
I hope you let your hair down during the Holiday. Jah knows you deserved it.
After a lackluster few weeks of surf, but plenty of action on land on the North Shore—Waimea days, murders, trips to/at Surfer Poll, Iggy Pop at Pipe, etc.— we enjoyed two days of rippable sessions at Off The Wall, packed up the Stab house at Log Cabins, and headed back to the offices in Los Angeles and Sydney, to put bows on the last couple packages we planned to drop for y’all before the year was up.
I hopped in Rocinante and headed north for my second home of San Francisco, grateful for the company of a new episode of “The Drop,” our podcast with Shane Dorian and Nathan “Noodles” Webster.
On Christmas morning, as a few of my more delicate friends made excuses for themselves and hung on the dunes, my brother and I endured 45-minute paddle outs on 8’0’s, The Beach the best and biggest it’d been all season. An hour into the session, winded and a touch rattled after a clean-up set me three hundred yards back, I watched my old pal Lewis Samuels’ knife a double-up on one of his massive, beak-nosed Mayhems.
“The Most Hated Man In Surfing,” and all around good guy, Lewis Samuels, Christmas morning.
In a fairly direct way, I owe this position to Lewis. When I first got in the game, Lewis was the first to offer guidance, and introduced me to integral figures like Matt Warshaw (who, thankfully, well surpassed his goal for EOS last month). Lewis also set me straight on a few things early on—he’s a star for surf writers to steer by, most any would agree, and I’ve always enjoyed his honesty and candor, and taking over here at Stab, I’ve appreciated his counsel and criticism, almost as much as I’ve enjoyed Valiant Scorn’s and Baldy’s, Brutus’ and Chokes, VONR’s and the rest of the commenter’s.
It’s a new year, and four months in to my tenure here at Stab I’m super goddamned proud of the work the crew’s done over the last season: We broke every single WSL story, We covered the not-so-secret event at Kelly’s Wave Pool relentlessly, and like journalists with fucking senses of humor, then gave the event the candy-coated treatment it deserved. We took Jordy Smith to the Ments for Stab In The Dark.
Jed Smith’s look at the bloody history of some of Australia’s most famous waves, or the candid thoughts from Bobby Martinez and Martin Daly and Kelly Slater.
Morgan Maassen threw his hat back in the surf ring, then wrote one of the better Power Rankings in recent memory. Jake Howard’s story from Maurice Cole, behind what’s probably the most iconic shortboard in modern surf history.
Mike’s profile on Dion Agius, and his granular interest in competitive surfing. Morgan’s lamentations after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Our About Town series with Summer Bright, or the Culture Shifter profiles with House Beer. Buck trolling Zach and The Inertia crew, and his ridiculous European contest wraps.
Noa’s Last Dart, our young Australian cub, Jake Embrey, plucked from the Disqus wolves below.
Rory Parker writing about pretty much whatever he wants. Having the opportunity to run some of Justin Jay’s lush photojournalism.
It’s just been one thing after the other and I’m just endlessly fucking grateful for the opportunity to work with so many funny, talented, weird, brilliant people.
And I speak for all of us when I say that we’re grateful to all the funny, talented, weird, brilliant people that enjoy coming to this page, reading our features, watching our films, and residing in the supreme parking lot that is our Comments section.
We want to make some resolutions here at Stab. (Most we’ll keep to ourselves to avoid embarrassment and public disappointment, though, to be fair, we’re hoping to pull off some pretty radical shit in 2018.)
One of them is to officially mark an end to the painful exclusivity we’ve unwittingly displayed.
I’m talking about the parties you weren’t invited to. You know, with the young girls and the bad plastic cups and the photos we flew in your face: Hey, look how cool we are.
Which is not to say the party’s over. Please. It’s just begun.
This year we want to pour as many of our readers cold ones as we can, premiering films, hosting music festivals, etc. And as we’ve mentioned before, we’ll be giving a few lucky readers the chance to come along for all of our big projects in 2018, from The Dock‘s next adventure, to this year’s Stab In The Dark strike mission.
Because none of this shit means anything without you, Dear Reader. Never let us forget that.
Hope you’ve all been getting in the water. Keep it cutty, with a little class, Stab.
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