Stab Magazine | Who's Surfed the Best Heat Since 1996?

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Who’s Surfed the Best Heat Since 1996?

You decide!

news // Jul 31, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Here’s a surf-nerd brag.

I’ve seen eight out of the ten perfect heats since 1996, live on the webcast. And considering there was no webcast in 1996, coupled with the fact that I was three years old at the time, I’m basically eight for nine. That’s some fucking dedication. 

Is there anyone willing to admit they’ve seen eight or more in realtime? That’s including competitors, contest directors, and hell, even judges. I feel like I might have some sort of weird record on my hands. 

Anyways, a Youtuber by the name of gredwa just altered the course of surfing history. This sadistic sunofabitch took it upon himself to compile footage from each and every perfect heat since 1996, putting them in chronological order for all of us to enjoy. That must have been absolute hell, and we thank him for his efforts.  

Here’s the finished product:

After watching sixteen minutes of the best competitive surfing in the past two decades, I found myself surprisingly underwhelmed. Is it just me, or do a lot of these “perfect” heats seem a little soft? Like, haven’t we seen more exciting performances from John, Gab, and Filipe? And isn’t it weird how almost every perfect heat has one wave that’s clearly superior to the other? Just some food for thought.

But what do you think? Who’s surfed the most perfect heat since 1996? And the least perfect?

In order to get the pot a stirrin’, I figured I’d rank the heats from worst to best with one(ish) word explanations.

10. Kelly Slater, Teahupo’o, 2005: seven-fives

9. Shane Besehen, Kirra Point, 1996: chest-high

8. Jordy Smith, J-Bay, 2017: tube-bias

7. Joel Parkinson, Backdoor, 2008: clunky

6. Owen Wright, Cloudbreak (final), 2015: raw

5. Kelly Slater, Teahupo’o, 2016: uneven

4. Joel Parkinson, Keramas, 2013: eight-and-twelve

3. Kelly Slater, Cloudbreak, 2013: skitz

2. Jeremy Flores, Teahupo’o, 2011: power

1. Owen Wright, Cloudbreak (Rd. 5), 2013: perfection

And last, but also least…

Perfect-zero awardFilipe Toledo, Teahupo’o, 2015: commitment



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