Meet Your 2018 Stab In The Dark Mystery Surfer
Some call him Eugene, others call him White Lightning.
Welcome to the fourth year of Stab in the Dark, our blind taste surfboard test featuring the best shapers in the world, and a chance for one of the world’s best surfers to ride new boards without bias or influence from brand or shaper name.
Stab’s previous Mystery Surfers have been:
And Jordy Smith.
What do all board testers have in common? Besides all being million-dollar surfers, they’re three of our reader’s favs, and some of the most qualified cats to ever step on a hot foam board.
In the lead-up to SITD18, shapers saw our dimensions (Height: 5’10” (177cm) Weight: 80kg/165lbs), did a little research, and immediately thought: it’s Mick or Griff Colapinto.
Todd Richards and Chris Cote, of the brill weekly podcast, Monday Mass, believed our mystery pilot was either Shane Dorian or Kelly Slater.
After our blacked-out reveal on XXX, our readers picked right.
This year, Mick Fanning is our Mystery Surfer!
As you know, we give shapers strict guidelines, because there is so much at stake.
At first glance at this year’s prompt, many wondered: Boards are all painted black?
We’ll tell you why shortly.
Now, you’ll notice nine boards pictured. We had two more additions: a last-minute, locally-made surfboard, and one flown in last-minute, hand-delivered by a shaper from Australia who missed our deadline.
We’d prompted the shapers that, swell dependent, we’d be taking their 5’10-½” boards* to Salina Cruz, El Salvador, or another warm water Central American location like Nicaragua or Costa Rica.
Shoot date? Mick had a window in late August, 2018.
The waves? Likely sand-bottomed points, but depending on conditions, there could be some reef.
Then, Mick—wrapped up in the drama of the whole affair—tested surfed the boards on three continents, none of which were listed above.
We’ll be dropping Stab In The Dark Later this year, which is to say whenever we get a chance to edit it. But Mick sure found us a winner.
*Per Mick’s specifications.