Stab Magazine | These Six Shapers Tried To Make The Best Surfboard For Dane, Jordy, And Mick

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These Six Shapers Tried To Make The Best Surfboard For Dane, Jordy, And Mick

Your Stab in the Dark Allstars edition lineup lives here. 

news // Dec 1, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Normally when filming for Stab in the Dark, we have one surfer ride 10-12 surfboards and then pick their favorite. 

Because we tripled our talent pool in the SITD All-Stars edition—which includes three of our past four SITD invitees (Dane Reynolds, Jordy Smith, and Mick Fanning)—we decided to halve the test samples, limiting the shaper entrants to just six. Otherwise, the film would have gone on forever, and the chance of our surfers finding common ground would be minuscule. 

But how did we choose these six lucky craftsman? Well, it wasn’t at all by chance. 

Looking at the past four Stab in the Darks, we used a point system to determine which six shapers have performed best across the board (pun!). First place got three points, second place two, third place one. 

Previous winners DHD (Julian), Pyzel (Dane and Jordy), and Channel Islands (Mick), breezed through the point system while JS, Pukas, and …Lost scurried in behind. 

So we were left with six board manufacturers from three separate continents, denoted solely by their bottom and rail color. What could possibly go wrong?

SITD AlanvanGysen 0347

Can you guess who’s who?



Well, as you probably already know, the boards showed up late and Mick Fanning got hurt early, leaving just Jordy and Dane to do the bulk of the testing. On the bright side, the waves were generally fun and the surfers were able to find some (but not total) consensus in their analyses.

And while the SITD concept is inherently flawed, that’s exactly what we were trying to discover—if three (or two) elite surfers would find appreciation for similar crafts, or if the differences in their surfing techniques and the boards’ constructions (because no two boards are the same) would lead to a variation in their reviews.

After all six boards had been thoroughly examined, there was a relative pattern to the surfers’ assessments but nothing that could be considered full-blown agreement. Which is pretty much what we expected.

SITD AlanvanGysen 0241

Airs don’t mean much in the grand scheme of surfboard testing, but this one looks quite nice.



As with our shaper selection process, the builders’ contributions to SITD All-Stars were graded on a point system. If a surfer gave a board first place, it got three points; second two; third one. The board with the most points at the end of the process became the winner.  

So, who’s your pick: Pyzel, DHD, CI, JS, Lost, or Pukas?

Frankly, if our All-Stars project proves anything, it’s that there is no such thing as an objectively “best” surfboard shaper. It’s all a matter of perspective. Different shapes for different apes, as they say. 

Stab in the Dark All-Stars will have a world premiere in Hawaii this coming Monday (details below). To combat spoiler outrage, at 9PM (PST) on December 2nd, Stab in the Dark will get a one time run on If you miss it, the film will be on iTunes December 3rd. And, like the rest of this series, we will eventually release it on Youtube free of charge, complete with ad interruptions.

We hope you can join us, either in-person or remote. 

*Live Premiere info

Date: Monday, December 2nd (U.S.)

Location: Surfjack Hotel

Address: 412 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815

Doors: 6-10pm


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