Stab Magazine | "That Was Very Gnarly But Give Your Ego A Break"

“That Was Very Gnarly But Give Your Ego A Break”

The internet reacts to Jacob Szekely’s Superman-fingerflip.

news // Jul 28, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s been nearly a week since Jacob Szekely stuck his hand in the cookie jar, gave it a little spin, and emerged with 20k more IG followers. 

In that time, we’ve heard from all parts of the surfing world (and beyond) about the relative value of this maneuver. 

What we’ve come to realize is that there are two camps on the topic: those who thought the Superman-fingerflip was pretty fucking neat, and those who hate Jacob Szekely. 

Jacob would be the first to admit (In Title Case, No Doubt) that he is a polarizing figure in surfing. Even more than his prior legal indiscretions, it seems to be Jacob’s unwavering pride that rubs internet-goers the wrong way. 

For instance, Jacob’s last two captions on Instagram (relating to his Superman-air reverse and Superman-fingerflip, respectively) read:

Call Me Da King of Waco #SuperManAirReverse #OTC


Told You I’m The King #FirstEver SuperMan FingerFlip in Surfing!!

Which led to the following comment squabble between Jacob and 2x Stab High finalist + Monster Air winner Eithan Osborne:

IMG 5689

After reading this, we became giddy with excitement over the two most logical ways in which the beef could be quashed.

  1. A surf-off in the wavepool. As previously mentioned, Eithan is a 2x Stab High finalist and Monster Air winner. On the other hand, Jacob is the self-proclaimed “King Of Waco” and recently landed two NBDs. 
  2. Midget cage match*. Both Jacob and Eithan are Glenn Hallian in stature but possess notable fighting skills. Eithan has a black belt in Taekwondo and currently trains  MMA. Jacob is built like a pitbull, hits the boxing bag regularly, and has been charged with multiple assault charges. It’d be an incredible brawl.

We’ll put on whichever event you guys are willing to pay more for—or both, if you want. Let us know in the comments.

Moving on… 

Unlike Eithan, Albee Layer found genuine amusement in Jacob’s caption, which led to the following interaction:

IMG 5691

Albee’s response is fitting. Not because he himself is especially cocky—only when it’s merited—but because he’s a contrarian by nature and appreciates anyone who, like himself, follows their passions despite what is currently “cool” or “hip”.

In that same vein, Albee has been an outspoken proponent of “progression” for over a decade, as he feels that surfers like Flynn Novak, Matt Meola, and himself have not been properly celebrated for their contributions to the sport. By landing this Superman-fingerflip, Jacob Szekely has slipped into the exclusive club of surfing NBD-ers, which means he is now and forever part of Albee’s tribe. 

Last but not least, like the rest of us, Albee adores Instagram drama. So there are three good reasons why the Hawaiian is an ardent supporter of Jake’s antics.

Some other notable proponents of the Superman-fingerflip are Kelly Slater (who “liked” Jake’s post), Josh Kerr (who commented on every account that re-posted the clip), Filipe Toledo, Mick Fanning, Italo Ferreira, CJ Hobgood, Matt Wilkinson, Todd Richards, Nathan Florence, Jadson Andre, Tom Carroll, Sebastian Zietz, etc., all of whom left notes of encouragement. 

Five World Champs on that list, for whoever’s counting.

Then came a somewhat confusing comment from another Title-holder, Gabriel Medina:

Screen Shot 2020 07 27 at 10.37.58 PM

The question is: was Medina using those barf emojis like, “Holy shit, that was so sick,” or is it more like, “Holy shit, that was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen”?

Flexing the very same ego that Eithan publicly mocked, Jacob took Medina’s message in a positive light. To this day, the truth remains a mystery.

Now, what do cross-sport athletes have to say about this maneuver? Look no further than this exchange between pro skater and Stab High alumnus Curren Caples and skateboarding don Eric Koston:

Screen Shot 2020 07 27 at 10.45.16 PM
Screen Shot 2020 07 27 at 10.45.25 PM

This speaks for itself, but we found it amusing nonetheless. 

And last but not least, it wouldn’t be an Instagram beef if some Boomers didn’t get involved. Check out Ken ‘Skindog’ Collins’ outta-nowhere barb against World Champion beginner board (AKA log and mid-length) surfer, Joel Tudor. Just for lols:

IMG 5695

So, people of the internet: where do you stand on this somehow contentious maneuver and/or the very small man who perpetrated it?

Share your thoughts below, but only if they’re corrosive and counterproductive. 

*It’s not hate speech if you’re a midget too. 


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