Not Your Average Sport - Stab Mag

Not Your Average Sport

The Misc: Do it again.

news // Sep 19, 2021
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I have a friend who played professional basketball. 

Not in the NBA. Overseas, in Malta, a small island nation in the Mediterranean. Clearly, he was not the greatest basketball player in the world — but he was good enough to find a nice little niche that allowed him to experience something different for a few years of his life. He now works as a teacher for children with special needs. 

We recently had an interesting conversation about how he misses basketball. 

I used to feel jealous of sports like that. When I was younger, and puberty kicked in, and I became possessed by the idea that getting good at surfing would make me special in some form, I remember staring out at the Atlantic Ocean on flat days and being angry. I wanted a court, a field, a ball, a net — a place where I could practice as much as I desired. 

The conversation with my friend made me see things differently. 

It’s one thing to chuck a ball into a net. It’s a very different thing to spend sixty minutes on a court with nine other people who are at a similar skill level and are either working with or against you. You’re put into a situation where you have no time to think, just react. It feels incredible. But, once you move on from that level, it’s nearly impossible to replicate. 

Surfing has that same effect, but the requirements are much lower. While we all hope for the waves to be as good as possible — and we still have to deal with flat spells — we’re lucky to have something that reliably puts you in that headspace. Because, even in shit waves, the magic happens. When you stand up on a 3-foot wind-torn shit bowl, the rest of the world still dissapears.  

Why not do it again? 

A King Amongst Medinas: Inside Gabriel’s World Title Winning 2021

The G. Medina of 2021 is impossible to dislike — however, surfing shouldn’t be considered a real sport until we have long-term Medina fans attacking new Medina fans for jumping on the bandwagon. Here’s an intimate look into his banner year, as seen through the eyes of his new coach, Andy King.

The Best WSL Event You Never Heard Of

Did you know there was a recent WSL contest on the West Coast of South Africa that required surfers to camp for a week (through a storm) at a rugged spot a mile from civilization? We figured you hadn’t, so we wrote a story about it. Come, friends, and feel core. 

Joyride Board Test: The LSD Hammer

The whole “one board quiver” thing was a bunch of propaganda produced by the Chinese government in an attempt to slow the production of surfboards because polyurethane foam comes from oil and…I’ll stop there. The point is that you should never get caught without a good step up. Come watch Stace review one and sort your shit out before the next swell.

Fourteen World Titles Worth Of Wisdom, Unpacked

Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater provided live commentary for the WSL Finals. This was one of my favorite aspects of the show. I was jotting notes down throughout it — not for a story, but for myself. But I am selfish. Ethan Davis is not. He re-watched the whole thing and pulled Mick and Kell’s most insightful bits. Enjoy.

The Connection Between Growing Up Poor And Going On To Win World Titles

Kelly Slater, Sunny Garcia, John John Florence, Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, and Italo Ferreira all came from next to nothing. Is there something to that? And is that something bound to change due to coastal property prices skyrocketing? We asked around.  

Comment of the week: 

In case you missed it, Mikey C was providing live updates on this post during the WSL Finals. It was fun. We decided to give a free board to a commenter, and Stink took it out. 

One last thing: 

This week, I’ve seen two different people wearing shirts that say “Surf In Paris” in big letters on the front. For fuck’s sake. Enough. 


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