Stab’s Most Read Stories Of 2018
From the culturally ravenous to the downright fabulous!
You’ve been seeing our “Best Of”/we’re on holiday posts, where we rehash everything that happened in the year of Medina, Brazil, Acai fights, Kelly Slater doing things, sharks cancelling World Tour events, and artificial surf climaxing like the .coms behind your incognito browser.
Going through the archives and analytics, we’ve pulled the slices of Stab’s signature Jernalizm that #connected with y’all best.
For another look through our rippled 2018 mirror, scroll south.
Shots like this from the WSL of Alana Blanchard are no more.
In the past couple of years, sexual harassment’s been a heated subject from Hollywood to Politics, the classroom to the workplace, the parking lot to the lineup. During the World Surf League’s opener at Snapper Rock, we heard a juicy bit of Gold Coast information. When the WSL met on the Gold Coast, sexual harassment was, unsurprisingly, the number one topic for the HR department. Apart from the obvious, no inappropriate jokes, no leering, no spanking, grabbing, rubbing, etc, all cinematographers were instructed to exercise caution during female’s bottom turns and duck dives. If 2014-2017 was the era of cheeky bikinis and bottom turns, 2018 would beckon a new age for the WSL. The age of the women in compression shorts, pulled back surf shots, and that whole #metoo chestnut.
Mick Fanning re-upping with Reef in 2014.
What is we told you that Mick Fanning’s longest lasting legacy will not be punching the shark, will have nothing to do with his World Titles, his beer co, or him generally being regarded as one of the most genuine “legends” of surfing. But, it was his Reef signature beer opening sandal. From Frat Houses in the United States midwest to the mines of Australia, 11-million pairs and half-a-billion dollars have come from this gimmick.
Miss Crane gained out of the water notoriety as a participant of Love Island, a reality television show that’s big in the UK and Australia. After the goofyfoot surfer left the show, her publicist reached out to Stab. We got on the line, and what ensued was an interview far deeper than anything expected. Here we span from teenage bulimia, body image and the perils of reality-television level fame.
“By all accounts, the State of Hawaii wishes to retain its storied and rich tradition of professional surfing. Whether that tradition continues is in the hands of the World Surf League.”
The World Surf League caught some serious Hawaiian drama earlier this year. First, talks of a new tour were announced, or leaked… Then, they had quite the SNAFU with permitting the Pipe Masters and the whole 2019 season. Sophie Goldschmidt, the WSL’s greenhorn CEO fell in the middle of it all, and between unannounced visits to the Mayor’s office, our dear Rory Parker did some investigative journalism to see just how fair the actions by the WSL were being treated by the city of Honolulu. Threats, bullying, and an eventual agreement came to fruition. Here’s where they stood back in January.
Mike Brophy is from Newport Beach, RVCA’s team manager, and an all-around pleasure to be around. Eight months back, after Cardi B dropped her album “Gangsta Bitch Music Volume 1”, featuring a dark-skinned man with a unique and recognizable back tattoo eating out Miss B, Brophy found himself in the middle of a lawsuit. Here’s the strangest, and only cunnilingus-based StabMZ piece of 2018.
Oh, how we love a great divide!
At Bells, the beloved 2x World Champ, John Florence, was bullied by the pure Hawaiian brawn of Zeke Lau; who treated poor John as a priority buoy, rattling his cage and winning the heat. Fans either supported Zeke’s actions with high-fives and Hell yeah, surfing needs more of thats; or disagreed completely with Where the fuck’s the zen, man?s. And thus, the Zeke rule was instated.
Dropping in with Mikey C.
While we were at the Founders’ Cup in Lemoore, American Wave Machines and BSR Cablepark dropped their milky, green wonder. In our hotel room, following three hot days in the cow shit capital of California, our expert in synthesized waves, Michael Ciaramella, wouldn’t stop saying, “We got to go there, right?”
“Guys, we gotta go.”
“Are we gonna go?”
“We’re getting tickets right?”
His enthusiasm was relentless as a cat in heat. The following day, we stuck him on a plane to show up to BSR Cablepark uninvited with our filmer Sam Moody.
Buckley is a special one. He detests cross-steps, heavily glassed logs and #vanlifeinfluencers. When he penned “It’s time to hate longboarding again” for us, we laughed. It was a fun bit of satire that–like most of what Buck writes–went ten piggies over. One disgruntled mother went as far as to write on our Instagram, “Thousands of kids have just put down their single fins logs for the last time.”
Brendan responded with, “That’s probably because they’re too heavy for them, and they should be riding lightly glassed thrusters instead.”
Who knew longboarders were so sensitive?
Mikey C, neck deep.
Sometime in the middle of the year, Michael Ciaramella sent a message to literally every wax brand imaginable. And, boxes started pouring into our office at an overwhelming rate. At one point, we had (or felt like we had) more surf wax than the warehouse of Jacks Surf Shop. We definitely had more variety. There was stuff we’d never heard of, like bars with what seemed to be an advertisement for a Japanese prostitute, bars with weird slightly inappropriate names like Far King Great Surf Wax, or my personal favorite cringe, Sticky Johnson.
Anyway, Mikey tested them all over the course of four to six months and a detailed analysis can be read at the link above.
Other than being shot in France during a WSL event, this photo has nothing to do with the accompanying story.
Brendan lives in France, he’s from the east coast of the United States and has a penchant for fantasizing. Here’s his guide to everything you need to know about France, from MDMA to L’Escargot, from your rational mind to a pretty ciggie puffin’ lady named Marine.
Michael has shown up uninvited to literally every wave pool that matters across the globe in the past two years, sorry Wavegarden, you don’t really matter…
First, he and I did Lemoore, rented the cherry picker, yada yada (you can revisit if you’d like). Then we sent him for the first look at American Wave Machines marvelous central Texan wave. So, when we heard they’d be test running the Surf Lakes plunger in Yeppoon, we stuck Michael on a plane, enlisted Ozzie Wright, who had no idea we weren’t actually invited, and tried to get in and surf the wave. Michael got in. However, he did not get to surf. Instead, the week was filled with many misadventures for our dear Michael, Ozzie, filmers Dylan Roberts and Dan Scott, and the wave itself – it was all documented in a series, that you can read at the end of “Praises and Criticisms.”
In the end, Italo was better at losing the World Title race.
In the spirit of poking fun that usually goes right over our commenter’s heads, Buckley started his “Speed, Power, Flow” rankings after each event. What he penned after the comp in Bali was particularly enjoyable. Featuring such serious sports journalistic insights as:
#11 Kelly Slater
Kelly surfs as number 11. He also has 11 World Titles. In 1918, World War I ended on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour. The Apollo 11 was the first spacecraft to “land on the moon.” It took eleven years to build the World Trade Center. Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. Which, in turn, makes Kelly a key player in the movie Loose Change.”
That one time my phone rang and told me I was likely going to die in on a blowup mattress in a living room with seven dudes I liked, but didn’t know all that well. But, after having the phone that notified me of my false-fate stolen in Hawaii, today, all I can think is, gawd, I miss those monkeys.
Don’t let the chainlink collars fool you, these dogs are just fricken’ adorbs!
Due to Michael Wright’s perma-wildcard position and subsequent domination of the world’s best, surfers started complaining. Revisit who (or was most likely to) above.
New boards, same super soaker.
Alan Van Gysen
After a long, fruitful relationship, as many relationships do, Channel Islands grew stale to Jordy Smith. He then swapped his relationship status from taken to friends with benefits and started sampling other board builders. When news got out, he had so many high-profile shapers handing him boards he couldn’t get through them all. I caught up with Mr. Smith on the Gold Coast for just who he’d been riding, and who he was digging.
Would you care if this wave vanished under the sea?
A few months back, the International Panel on Climate Change released its 10-year study on the earth’s environment. The gist: If the earth’s temperature rises 2-degree Celsius, the results would be catastrophic – for some, more vulnerable countries, it would be a death sentence. Here’s what that would mean for some of our favorite surf spots, but more importantly, the world. Here’s just one more another reason to get behind the rallying cry of “1.5 to Stab Alive.“
Dion Agius. A once prospering and progressive freesurfer is now addicted to the soft scent of Drag.
We tried something new this year. One, we hired a booger (who does stand up now) and, two, hired someone out of the comment section. His name, Noah’s Last Dart aka Jake Embrey. Mr. Embrey, being that he has a penchant for the prone position, is a disciple of the church of Drag, who are kind of exactly what surfing needs right now. Their team consists of Chippa Wilson, Harry Bryant, Dion Agius, a dude named the Soft Lord and more. They’re one of the most exciting things happening in surf right now. Above you can read Jake’s meet and greet with their founder, Mad Dog.
Question: Who is Oz’s answer to Italo?
At the start of the CT season, there was one thing glaring at Australia: Their world tour surfers, and potential title contenders were diminishing. Mick was retiring, Joel on the verge, Taj Burrow had left the tour the year prior, Josh Kerr fell off. Still, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson and Ace Buchan remained on the roster. Rick Snowden caught up with Jake Paterson and Nathan “Noodles” Webster for what exactly is happening in the competitive world of Australian’s surfing future.
Be Yourself and Have Fun
An Interview with Jaleesa Vincent on her new film, 'Macaroni in the Pot'
Can Proper Surf Instruction Mitigate Chaos In The Water?
Here's why you need certification to earn the title "surf instructor" in 80 different countries.
No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji
Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.
“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”
UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…
Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry
Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…
The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine
Damien Castera's got a story to tell.
Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire
Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women
How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?
A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.
Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly
"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack
Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core
The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…
Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)
Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.
Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach
Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.
Long Read: An Angel At My Table
From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…
Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance
A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.