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

Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy Will Be Broadcast Live On June 21st and June 22nd from 5 PM - 10 PM PDT


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

Allow Us To Introduce The YETI Ladybirds And Bottle Rockets Of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Here's our schoolyard pick for teams; who will win the most cred at the lunch…

Jun 17, 2024

Prediction: Moving The WSL Finals To Fiji Will Kill Off Two More Surfing Superstars

Is this JJF's time to collect his titles? We checked the stats.

Jun 17, 2024

Confirmed: Fiji To Host 2025 WSL Finals

Cloudbreak will remain on tour until 2026.

Jun 17, 2024

What’s The Secret To Powersurfing?

Taylor Knox, Kyuss King, and Jessi Miley-Dyer tackle a trio of questions in our third…

Jun 16, 2024

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Holly Wawn

"I've had 4, 5, maybe 6 cars... I'm a car dealer I reckon."

Jun 13, 2024

A Miscalculated Shallow Dive, Neck-First, Into The Waters Of Japanese Surfing

How is surfing different in the land of cherry blossoms?

Jun 13, 2024

How Has Ian Crane Made 4/5 Stab High Finals?

And who he's most afraid of competing against in Japan.

Jun 13, 2024

“I Haven’t Seen Anyone That Young And That Keen For Heavy Waves In A Decade” —Shane Dorian

Jacob Turner is 16 years old and trying to paddle tow sets at Teahupo'o...on his…

Jun 12, 2024

Long Read: 1,000 Ways To Die In Indonesia

18,000 islands of beautiful people, world-class waves, and danger around every corner.

Jun 11, 2024

Watch: Craig Anderson And Kaito Ohashi Find (Mostly) Empty Waves In Southeast Asia

Oh, and enter to win a grand worth of DB gear.

Jun 11, 2024

Brad Gerlach Rode A 600cc Motorbike Through Europe’s 1980’s Psychedelic Renaissance  

"Fuck London. Let’s just buy motorcycles tomorrow and drive to France, man."

Jun 11, 2024

Caroline Marks Goes Two-In-A-Row And John John Florence Wins First CT Event Since 2020 At The Surf City El Salvador Pro

Plus, we asked Chris Cote for a look into the commentary team's psyche and Griff…

Jun 9, 2024

Why Is Mavericks Core Getting Overrun By Yuppies?

And other questions from our audience — answered by Pete Mel, Mick Fanning, and Joel…

Jun 9, 2024

Everything Worth Remembering From 4 (Mostly) Forgettable Quarterfinals In El Salvador

Plus, what's the consensus on the Griff vs. João kerfluffle?

Jun 8, 2024

Wildcard Big-dogs Italo, Yago Pops The Cork, And Griffin Cops An Ambiguous Interference On Day 2 In El Salvador

"Honestly, that was a bad... uhh I mean, a tough call." - Strider

Jun 8, 2024