Noa Deane doesn't surf contests often but if it's held mostly in the air, he does rather well.
Noa Deane Wins Stab High, Eithan Osborne Takes $20K For The Highest Air
And now that’s it’s feather dusted, we’re gonna have a few too many!
Today, we had our first ever surf event in the heart of Texas. The day started off hazy (courtesy of Friday night’s welcome party) and stayed that way until the day ended.
From Round One to the Finals, the maneuvers progressed. It was a very different type of surf event. People lined the wall above the wave. Kids rode and played in the whitewash on the inside. There were cheers and laughs and hoots and hollers. And the six best surfers entered in to the final.
Conditions were manmade. Chest high wedges, with nearly the same air section every time. The swell direction was out of God’s hands and at the mercy of American Wave Machines.
After an Acid Drop challenge hosted by Nathan Fletcher that saw Dion Agius run along the wall, pounding cold beers, throwing his leash on in a hurry and hucking himself off the wall; a man in a speedo thong snuck a wave; Austyn Gillette dropping off the wall in full attire, open collared shirt, sunglass and hat; Mason Ho giving it a solid effort; grommie Jett Schilling smashing atop BSR’s rolling crest and Ratboy picking up the scraps; not a single surfer landed a drop. But that’s neither here nor there – the essence of what we hoped to capture in this event was present – laughs, smiles, beers, and sheer entertainment. From the comfort of the wall it was all chants and cheers. Waco, Texas may just be the premiere venue for an irreverent surf contest.
Mason Ho wins the award for best air shot we've ever seen.
The finalists consisted of Ian Crane, Eli Hanneman, Chippa Wilson, Eithan Osborne, Noa Deane and Mason Ho.
Noa won $25k with first place. Eithan won $20k with the highest air of the event.
Here’s how it went down.
For the final each surfer got nine waves, four lefts and four rights and one wave of their choice. After the first round of waves, Chippa Wilson had stuck a heavy full rote. Eli landed a backflip. Noa Deane did a huge frontside shuv, landed backwards and reverted casually.
Mason Ho spent his time on the right, trying frontside finger flips, and christ airs.
Noa Deane started strong, then 15-year-old Eli Hanneman, took the lead.
The stage for progression continually lifted through the event. As Mason said, “If you really want to push your surfing get 6-10-20 of these guys in the pool together.”
The event’s been irreverent, while a few surfers took it seriously, the Aussie contingent, being Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Jay Davies, Creed Mctaggart, Jake Vincent, and Harry Bryant drank beers, some smoked ciggies and two of them made their way into the final.
Noa did a frontside big spin for a score in the mid-70’s by the end of the first eight waves, he was the man to beat.
After the final round of choose your poison (left or right), Noa Deane took the win. And, we’ll let some of the competitors and Stab’s Founder detail the rest.
Whippy Chilson doing a chilly whippy.
3rd place Eli Hanneman is 15 but flies with the gents twice his age.
Ian Crane finished last in the final, but hey it was the final!
“I haven’t done a contest in five years,” said Chippa Wilson. “Just hanging with all the lads and having a beer between heats has been unreal. This event’s been good. Pretty loose. There’s a bit of pressure but everyone has been landing stuff and having a good time.”
“Everyone from Oz is pretty excited,” said Creed. “It’s a fun ramp and it’s just trippy. It’s probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. Last time I did a comp I was 17 other than the Burleigh Single Fin comp for Billabong. Dion yesterday in the warm ups was super gnarly. Then Chippa’s been the gnarliest today.”
“It’s been pretty crazy,” said Noa. “It’s like no pressure and heaps of pressure at the same time. Yesterday was one of the most fun days of surfing I’ve ever had. Then today’s been rad. It’s so fun to watch. I’d almost rather just drink tins and watch them surf."
Eli Hanneman with the flip.
“I think I got it figured out,” said Mason. “You need to try stuff you know you can’t land. Then if you fall, you try it again… and you might land it.”
“It’s so nice to do something where you’re not worried about mother nature,” says Stab’s Founder and the mastermind behind this event, Sam Mcintosh. “There are so many things that could go wrong because of mother nature and you can eliminate all the variables. It’s so cool that someone won with really innovative surfing. It was good that performance won. We saw new stuff and that’s cool. I liked that guys built as they went. A lot of times the finals are kind of a let down. But I think this format works best to elevate opposed to kind of fizzle.”
With that said, we’ll see you next year in WacofuckingTexas!
1st place Noa Deane with the raise the roof winner, Eithan Osbourne.