Stab Magazine | Stab High Returns This June To Waco, Texas

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Stab High Returns This June To Waco, Texas

Come play in the pool with us! This June 29.

news // Apr 25, 2019
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Stab High 2.0 is returning to Waco, Texas on June 29, along with a live broadcast on stabmag.com.

Last year’s greatest performers, including event champ Noa Deane, runner-up Chippa Wilson, Big Air winner Eithan Osborne, teenage flipster Eli Hanneman, and the highest scoring surfer Mason Ho will all be back in attendance, including another dozen (or so) elite punters.

“It’s pretty much the sickest event ever,” Noa Deane said in 2018, following his Stab High win. “Chip and I just slammed like four beers before the final.”

The ethos of Stab High is simple: we want to create a fun, progressive, and brutally honest surfing event that doesn’t take all day. This year, Stab High will run from 3 p.m. ’till sunset and can be viewed in-person at Waco’s Barefoot Ski Resort (tickets on sale here) or on our live webcast. Competition highlights will air on ESPN following the event.

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Noa Deane’s coming back to Texas to sink a few tins and potentially win some dough.

This year’s event will introduce the Stab High Ladybirds division– an invitational aerial competition for 15-and-under females, including Sierra Kerr, Caitlin Simmers, and Bella Kenworthy. First and second place will advance to the 2019 Australian Stab High event (details coming soon) and the Ladybirds winner will be awarded a 12-month Vans flow contract.

“There’s so much new energy in surfing and skating now. It’s our job to set the stage and offer these unique opportunities to everyone,” says Scott Sisamis, Vans’ director of sports marketing. “The Ladybird division is going to go off!”

Monster Energy have continued their support of Stab High and, keeping tradition from last year’s event, they’re adamant that we penalize surfers for claiming, and that winners must forfeit all prize money to a charity of their choice if they’re chaired up the beach.  

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Event winner Noa Deane with Eithan Osborne, the gent who flew highest and walked home with a 20k cheque.

Along with Monster, Vans have returned as a headline sponsor of Stab High in 2019. “I was lucky enough to attend the first Stab High,” said Sisamis. “At the time, I was heading a team to re-launch Vans Surf through the lens of radical experimentation leading to cultural progression—Stab High is the perfect example of this. Not many contests have a field of competitors exclaiming how much fun the contest was. It is a really creative stage for progressive freesurfing and surfers that haven’t been showcased on this level before, and for a live, truly engaged audience.”

We’ll also welcome the return of the Vans Acid Drop hosted by Nathan Fletcher, in which surfers attempt to jump from the top of the wavepool’s 12-foot concrete wall straight onto a wave. Since no one has ridden away from this atmospheric plunge in Waco’s brief history, this year we’ll be using a series of raised tiers along the wall that surfers must complete, in ascending order, before they can attempt the mega drop.

“That was fucking heavy!” said Harry Bryant, after coming inches from an Acid Drop completion last year. “I nearly buckled me board.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zCpoMENYy9I

This year the event will be judged by 2018 Stab High competitor Albee Layer (who is out of the water with an injury), east coast aerial tycoon Aaron ‘Gorkin’ Cormican, and one yet-to-be-named punt critic, with Stab’s resident surf nerd Michael Ciaramella acting as head judge (which is a fancy title for beer maid).

One core aspect of Stab High is that we encourage our viewers to vocalize any of our judges’ wrongdoings. Hell, you can throw a rotten tomato for all we care.

“All that shuv-it crap isn’t surfing,” proclaimed …Lost Surfboard founder Matt ‘Mayhem’ Biolos after watching last year’s event, which saw Noa Deane win on two silky varials.

“Guys were doing that stuff 20 years ago,” Matt continued. “Eli [Hanneman]’s flips on the other hand…”

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Young Eli will be returning to the pool, you can be sure of that.

German artist Stefan Marks will be adorning Waco’s Barefoot Ski Ranch with all kinds of creative oddities, including the competitors’ T-shirts – of which the goofies will wear white and regulars black – the concert venue,  and the wavepool wall.

Food, drinks, and exclusive event merchandise will be made available for our Waco event-goers. All ages are welcome and you’re allowed to surf during the event, too; we’ll just have you sitting away from the action and not fighting our competitors for waves.   

And don’t worry, we’ll do our best to keep Harry “Headlock” Bryant away from the children.

Cost of admission to Stab High is $41.50, but $175 gets you to VIP status, which offers a number of notable perks. (Tickets can be purchased here.)

For those who can’t make it, Stab High will be broadcast live at stabhigh.com for $14 (on the day) or $9 if you purchase early (buy here), starting at the following global hours on June 29 (or June 30 in Oz): 1 p.m PST; 3 p.m. CST (local Texas time); 4 p.m. EST; 8 a.m. AEST

We hope to see you there. 

The full list of competitors surfers to be revealed shortly. 

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Mason Ho and the best surf shot of the event.

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