Don’t Talk To Strangers  - Stab Mag
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Art by Noa Emberson / Joystain

Don’t Talk To Strangers 

The Misc: On nodding terms. 

Words by Brendan Buckley

There are very few things that are more fun than surfing with friends. One of them is surfing with friends at your home break.

Each wave is its own little world. Each little world has its own little boundaries that contain what is considered to be socially acceptable behavior in the lineup. There are unspoken rules, some of which pertain to speaking itself. For example, it would be generally unwise to paddle out as a random at Pipe and begin to talk at an above-average volume about how shitfaced you got in Chinatown last night — a statement that would have been even more true twenty years ago. 

When you’re at your home break with friends, you know exactly where those boundaries exist and, more importantly, the most fun ways to charge across them. But, you should never always surf your home break. Everyone can benefit from mixing it up. 

When you surf new waves, you meet new people. One of the more interesting things about surfing is how “meeting” someone doesn’t require conversation. 

You will know this well if you’ve ever been on nodding terms with someone. 

To be on nodding terms with someone is to non-verbally acknowledge each other’s presence whenever you see them in the water, and nothing more. You do not say “hello.” You do not ask them if this is their first surf of the day. You don’t even ask them how that last right was. You nod. That’s it. 

The relationship between nodders is a complex thing. If you encounter them on land, nobody really knows how to act. And, in the water, temptation has a way of seeping in. There are times — during long lulls, or after one party got a particularly good wave directly in front of the other — when you might almost break the accord and speak. You must resist this urge. 

And you must never force your way onto nodding terms with someone. 

But, with that in mind, one of the best ways to initiate nodding terms is to nod somebody into a wave that you have every right to go on. In fact, this is one of the most powerful maneuvers you can do in surfing.  

In closing, protect your neck. Use it wisely. 

Derek Dunfee
Before inflatable vests, and before traumatic brain injuries were widely discussed — or even known about — in surfing, Derek Dunfee was one of the world’s best big wave surfers. Here, he’s seen catching the wave that won him the Billabong XXL Monster Paddle award for the 2008 – 2009 season. His story may not have a perfectly happy ending, but it’s incredibly inspiring. Photo: Fred Pompermayer

The Heartbreaking, Inspiring Story Of Derek Dunfee

You into long-ish reads? DD went from paddling into the biggest waves of the year (he won an XXL award in 2009) to being nervous putting his head underwater in chest-high waves. The force behind such a drastic change? Repeated concussions. Even though Derek is dealing with serious medical issues, he still has an incredible outlook on life — something he put into words in his new book, Waking up in the Sea

toledo f2331RIO19poullenot n
Statistically speaking, those feet should find a podium again soon. Below, we consider a range of heat scores and head-to-head histories to put forth body specific predictions about the Lowers finale. Photo: Poullenot/WL

Filipe Toledo Will Beat Gabriel Medina By .02 Points To Win His 1st WSL World Title

Oh, but don’t take it from us. Take it from his average heat score across his career, in the previous event at Lowers, and at beachbreak events in 2021. We dug up these stats, then averaged them out to see what they suggest about the WSL Top 5. Turns out Filipe gets the nod, so to speak. 

Carissa Moore
The 2021 Rip Curl Newcastle Cup was the first time Carissa Moore celebrated a victory in 2021, but it wouldn’t be the last. Our numbers show that she’ll take a Title home from Trestles, even if it comes down to the wire. Photo: Matt Dunbar/WSL

Carissa Moore Will Beat Stephanie Gilmore By .04 Points To Win The World Title

And the women’s numbers, of course. These pieces will load you up with information to help you wager on the Finals — whether your stakes are financial, or you’re gunning for the ability to steal a wave from your friend because you picked right and they picked wrong. 

Oh, yeah. There’s plenty more gas left in that tank. Photo: Courtesy of IF15

Italo Ferreira Prefers Not To Talk About Himself

But, we got him to anyway. His profile film, The Curious Tales Of Italo Ferriera, came out this week. It’s 50 minutes long and you would be foolish — perhaps the laughing stock of your town — if you were to miss it. Click above for an interview with the reigning World Champ. Spoiler alert: He wants to win as many World Titles as he can.  

Gabriel Medina
You’ll have to beat this man not once, but twice, if you want to win the 2021 World Title. Good luck. Photo by Jimmy Wilson

Who Looked The Sharpest During The Lowers Super Sessions This Week?

Lowers just experienced a good run of waves, and every single World Title contender was there warming up. Jimmicane went there, too. He brought his camera and his brain. Here, you can see/read what was captured by each. 

COTW: 

Earnest. Hey, sometimes it works. 

One last thing: 

To follow up on last week, a poll on our Instagram showed that 81% of people prefer to put on a hood before booties. Sad. 

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