Stab Magazine | This Doesn’t Feel Like A Surf Contest

This Doesn’t Feel Like A Surf Contest

Day 1 of the Quiksilver Young Guns Surf final.

news // Aug 13, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The bus groaned and grumbled and fought its way up and down steep jungle roads. After two hours, just as dawn was breaking, it finally roared to a stop. And there it was: the wave. A right with an air section, a turn section, a tube section, any section, every section. Weariness was rubbed off of eyes, wax was rubbed onto 5’7”s and just like that, the 2017 Quiksilver Young Guns final began. 

In case you missed this post (we forgive you), the #YGSurf final uses the same format as the earlier stages of the event –  it’s a competitive freesurf with an emphasis on airs, turns and combos. It doesn’t feel like a surf contest. It feels like a surf trip with friends. Except, “friends” happen to be the best teenage surfers in the world. 

With the whole crew finally in town, the past two days have been spent settling in. As in, setting in to barrels. The waves have been firing and the Young Guns have been smoking…or maybe that was just a trash fire down the way. At any rate, the level is incredibly high. And it keeps on getting shoved higher. 

Back to the “contest.” In the first heat of the morning, Dwight Pastrana stuck a full roter. On a left. At a right. Onto dry reef. That’s good for a 9, little fella. Not to be outdone, Kehu Butler went big with a barrel and a turn. Pretty good for a dude who lost half of the skin on his back after a rendezvous with the reef yesterday.  

However, Kael Walsh was the day’s best — he earned himself a 9 in all three categories. After three years of making the final, this is his last chance to seal the deal before he’s too old. Fair to say he wants that $10K.

The good news: we should be back on tomorrow. The great news: there is a big swell coming. We’ll keep you updated. Until then, dig some photos of the action and the warmups. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Can Anyone Beat Robbo?

The Spartan plays footsies, wildcards go switch & the broadcast sentences us to HOLD limbo…

Aug 18, 2022

The Post-COVID Surf Tourism Boom In The Mentawais

Three business owners detail pandemic struggles and what it's like to be back in full…

Aug 18, 2022

“Airlines Hate Me:” Bad Boy RyRy’s Guide To Surf Travel

Want to get pampered at the pointy end of the plane for free?

Aug 17, 2022

Yes And Welcome Back: The First Day Of Female CT Competition At Teahupo’o Since Melanie Redman-Carr Was Taking Scalps In ’06

Carissa Moore is now two heats away from her 6th World Title, btw.

Aug 17, 2022


What Happens When You Borrow A Pro’s Board?

Joyride: The Shrizz from PANDA surfboards.

Aug 16, 2022


Mick Fanning Samples California’s Finest Local Produce

Mayhem at Lowers.

Aug 16, 2022

Mountains Died So You Could Surf

The value of sand.

Aug 15, 2022


UPDATE: People Are Still Surfing ‘La Jetee’ in Reunion Island

Returning to the best & sharkiest air wave in the world, as seen in Mod…

Aug 14, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Female) Surfers

What the Stab reader survey teaches us about taste.

Aug 14, 2022


Kelly and Local Gal to Win Teahupo’o?

Local insights and a firing forecast.

Aug 13, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Male) Surfers

Insights from the 2022 Stab Reader survey.

Aug 13, 2022


Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex

Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.

Aug 13, 2022

Tahiti Preview: The End Of The Road For 72% Of The CT

And hello there, blob of swell.

Aug 12, 2022


While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay

...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.

Aug 11, 2022


Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?

Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.

Aug 11, 2022

Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers 

An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.

Aug 11, 2022

PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua

Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.

Aug 11, 2022

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022