Stab Magazine | The Mississippi Boys Respond To Kelly Slater And Legions Of Pitchfork-Bearing Commenters

The Mississippi Boys Respond To Kelly Slater And Legions Of Pitchfork-Bearing Commenters

“The greed of keeping a spot completely to oneself shouldn’t outweigh the kindness of sharing it with others.”

news // Jun 16, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There were multiple discussions inside Stab HQ about whether or not we should publish last week’s revelatory article on Mississippi and its “500-meter, barrelling left-hand point.”

As surfers, our initial instinct was to say, “It’s a great story, but why would we expose this to the world?”

Ultimately, our decision to publish the story came down to the persuasiveness of its creators, Chandler Borries and Cameron Troutman, who believed that the world deserved to know about their secret honeypot. They also assured us that the surf community in their region was so small (and even that tiny group was largely unaware of—or perhaps unincentivized to surf—the wave in question) that nobody from their town would be too upset. 

Of course, that’s not how it played out. 

On top of the legions of angry comments they (and we) received Stab’s .com and socials (including a snipe from the goat himself), we also received heartfelt emails from genuinely concerned locals, including one sweetheart of a man who despite “not having much”, offered to pay us a modest kill fee. (We still feel a little bad about that.)

Below we chat with Chandler and Cameron, who defend their piece against the internet. 


Stab: Hey boys, you’ve caught a lot of heat this week for your article on that wave in Mississippi. How are you feeling about everything?
Chandler and Cameron: Crazy times! We think any time you put creative material out there you are vulnerable and have to accept that people will see what they want in it. Our goal was to shed some positive light on Mississippi and give readers an additional perspective of what the state is like. When you tell people while abroad you’re from Mississippi the response is almost never good. Everyone is aware of Mississippi’s troubled past yet most people don’t realize it even has a coastline! The story for us is more about encouraging others to seek out discoveries in their own backyards during the Covid19 pandemic, a time with limited abilities to travel. Also, we want to give a shout out to Chris Stebly, another incredible artist in Ocean Springs that played a big part in the history and discovery of this wave!

Why do you think people are so upset, and do you think they have a point?
We think people are upset for a few reasons. Some people immediately feel distaste for the exposure of a secret spot, a common thread in the age of the internet. To this our response is, we feel you. This is why, if you read the article, there is no reference to where the spot is aside from it being on an island off the MS gulf coast. We have 6 barrier islands. The wave is extremely fickle which we also mention in the article. If you go through the logistical work to find it, line up a boat, and figure out when and what swell it needs, we would be stoked for you to score this wave. I think people also feel that the attention around the spot is unjustified due to its fickleness and lack of predictability. That makes sense, but that is the novelty of it. When it is good, it is magic!

Have you had any backlash from fellow locals?
Mostly it’s been great! People are happy to have the small surf culture recognized in Mississippi and give the world a different perspective of the state. A few locals are concerned with keeping the surf a secret though and that is understandable. 

ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0 Screen Shot 2020 06 09 at 10.49.55 AM

Before we agreed to publish this piece, you explained that the surfing community in your region was very small and that you’d never personally seen another group of surfers at the wave in question. Do you expect there will be an increase in surfers at the wave on the next proper swell? Would you feel bad if that happened?
Because of how fickle it is, the fact you need a boat to get there, and that we never said where the wave is, even a few locals have gotten this spot mixed up with another spot on a different island. Saying this, we don’t expect droves of people in the lineup. If there are a few extra people out there that have gone through the logistical work to score, to us this is a good thing. This means the surf culture is growing in Mississippi and the world is better off for it! The greed of keeping a spot completely to oneself shouldn’t outweigh the kindness of sharing it with others. 

Kelly Slater commented on our Instagram post, saying: “Well…it was fun while it lasted for those couple of guys. But there’s no way that thing lines up for 500 yards if going by the drone shot of the setup.” Granted, the “500-yard” part was actually our words, not yours. But is Kelly right, or can you connect this wave for a half a kay on the right day?
On this particular day, the waves were big and barreling, but the swell was too straight on. In order for the waves to line up for hundreds of meters the swell needs to hit more at an angle. To Kelly: This wave is extremely fickle but we think you’d be VERY surprised if you saw it during the right swell direction and size. I mean come on! It’s in Mississippi! Five-hundred meters may be far fetched, but it is possible on a good day with the right direction! 

A commonly-asked question in the comments: why is nobody surfing it in the photos? 
When we pulled up, Brandon and Cameron had the SUPS. Chandler was the only one with a shortboard and he was taking photos. After only ten minutes on the boat, he couldn’t contain himself and had to get in. We honestly just wanted to surf it and weren’t planning on writing a story at this point! 










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