Stab Highway By Numbers - Stab Mag
Noa Deane, strong contender for the Monster air. Photo by John Respondek.

Stab Highway By Numbers

Team Pacha currently leads the race but will their call to leave the coast throw it all away?

news // Nov 1, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The winning team of Stab Highway presented by Monster Energy will star in an exclusive Kai Neville directed surf film and net a shit load of glory. 

After 4 episodes we have completed 10 challenges and the leaderboard currently looks like this: 

  1. Team Pacha (32 points)
  2. Team Jaleesa (29 points)
  3. Team Macy (24 points)
  4. Team Holly (23 points)

You can watch episode one hereepisode two hereepisode three here, and episode four here.

With only 9 points separating first and fourth, the race is still tight. Although we are halfway through the series, we are only a third of the way through the challenges — meaning there is a possible 80 points any team could add to their scoreline. Another thing to note is that of the 10 challenges that have been completed, the majority (60%) have been surf-based, leaving 7 performance-based and 9 land-based challenges remaining. 

Team Pacha made a rogue call to leave the coast on day 4 of Stab Highway and drive 10 hours inland from Crescent Head to the ski fields in Jindabyne. How will it fare for our front-runners who have significantly handicapped themselves from completing many of the performance-based challenges?

As far as land-based challenges go, who could overlook the high-energy characters within Team Holly and Team Jaleesa? Haz’s cowboy nip piercings and Bad Manners steak river swim have surely earned them some credit.

And team Macy? Between Chippa, Coby, and Coach Callaghan’s scathing words of encouragement (re: “Oi get deeper you pussy!), the 6 remaining performance challenges are theirs for the taking. 

Much calculations to do, many things to come. 

See below for the complete list of challenges. 

Chippa, boogie boardslide. Photo by John Respondek.

Completed Challenges

  • Best wave ridden with no wax or traction of any kind – This challenge must take place at Duranbah. Only one surfer can attempt this task. 
  • Best kneelo tube – Regular surfboard, irregular tube approach. 
  • Best surfboard to boog transfer – Created by Harry Bryant and popularised by Jamie O’Brien, the transfer is about maximising height and magnitude.
  • Best team party wave – Four surfers, one wave. Simple. Who can exhibit the most collective form as a group? It could be the length of ride, it could be every single person being given the opportunity to do a turn, etc.
  • Best tandem surfing wave – This isn’t simply two surfers on one surfboard on one wave. This is about one surfer lifting another above their head.
  • Best standup wave on a boog – Courtesy of SurfStitch, all teams have been supplied with a boog. May they employ them fearlessly.
  • Best follow-cam wave: Two surfers, one wave. One shoots, one surfs. In front, from behind, from above, whatever.
  • Best floater: Same deal as the tube. It might be length of float or most girthy section. The question is: Does a complete floater on a smaller wave rival a heavier section with an uncompleted attempt?
  • Best team haircut given from one team member to another – Needs to occur within the first 48 hours.
  • Ozzie Wright tattoo – A tattoo of his previous artwork or a bespoke piece of art from Ozzie himself. Somewhere on the body, big or small. The most striking tattoo wins.
Hey, it’s That Guy. Photo by John Respondek.

Incompleted Challenges

  • Bomb a hill on a soft-top – Or on any other sort of bad idea on wheels.
  • Landmark photograph – Team portraits in front of three famous Australian landmarks. The Big Prawn, the Big Banana, and the Sydney Opera House.
  • Longest wearing of a steamer – It can only be taken off to visit the bathroom, and must be documented via a running stopwatch.
  • Longest running pie-only diet – Could be one a day, it could be three. Document every single new pie, type of pie, and time of day. Also documented with a running stopwatch.
  • Best team haircut given from one team member to another – Needs to occur within the first 48 hours.
  • “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane busking – You perform for 10 minutes, you’re judged on your performance, your crowd, and your profit. 
  • Cook dinner for a local boardriders club – You’re armed with $500 for food along with 10x $100 gift cards courtesy of our friends at SurfStitch. Go change the lives of some local kids and create an evening to remember for a boardriders club. The better the energy, the more points.
  • Swim across a river with a steak attached to your leg – Yep. Wall to wall.
  • Best body piercing with ornamental hanging – Ear, nose, lip, nipple, whatever. Needs to happen within the first 72 hours of the trip and be worn for the remainder of the trip.
  • Air on a board over 6’6” – The most impressive air, as deemed by our judges, wins. Does a smaller air on an 8’0 beat a technically better air on a 6’6? That’s open to interpretation.
  • Best naked surf performance – No clothes, no inhibitions. The average water temperature at Duranbah in June is 22 degrees Celsius or 71 degrees Fahrenheit. The average water temperature in Bega is 16 degrees Celsius or 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose wisely.
  • Most chop hops on a wave – Do seven wrongs make a right?
  • Best air/chop hop over a pipe or a rock – Like Freddy P at Snapper, but you need to ride out.
  • Best roundhouse cutback to air rebound: Popularised by Dane Reynolds, the cutback to aerial is surfing’s unicorn.
  • Best floater to air: This is a trick only really completed by Wade Goodall.
  • Best air before sunrise: Aerial surfers are famous for rising late. This challenge requires a completed aerial before the bottom of the sun crosses the horizon.
  • Get barrelled at Solander: Ours, Piker’s Hole, Cape Fear, Cape Solander. Get barrelled out here. There are three waves to choose from: Two rights and a very rare left.
  • One-footed air: First seen in 2018 by Matt Meola, Mason Ho and Eithan Osborne at Vans Stab High presented by Monster Energy, the benihana, the Sean Penn, the Madonna, and even the Christ air are some of surfing’s most difficult. Just one thing: no Supermans.
  • Best switch foot wave: Make it count.


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