Another Reminder Of How Stacked This Year's Challenger Series Is - Stab Mag
Photo by @kalaniminihan

Another Reminder Of How Stacked This Year’s Challenger Series Is

All rail, no brakes with Shion Crawford

cinema // May 22, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is what your surfing might look like if you grew up a block from Haleiwa Beach Park. But even then, you’re not Shion Crawford.

Pronounced Shee-on, the 18-year old just qualified for his first year on the Challenger Series — so he decided to drop a clip to announce his arrival.

“This was the first edit I’ve done of an entire winter,” the softly spoken Hawaiian tells me. “I figure, I just turned 18, I might as well do it this year to show who I am. Now that I’m on the Challenger Series I want people to know that I’m coming up.”

Despite Hawaii’s undeniable depth of talent, there’s only 6 spots for them on the CS this year — compared to North America’s 8. Plus, the Hawaiian QS campaign only counts 3 events, which are all completed with four man heats. 

So, the fact that Shion managed to claw his way past Finn McGill, Luke Swanson, Eimeo Czermak, and Mason Ho speaks volumes about his surfing — incase the above clip wasn’t enough.

“It’s so hard, we have minimal spots for all the talent we have here,” he says. “Every heat on the QS is ridiculous, especially because it’s four man heats. I’m looking forward to doing all the events on the CS this year, but I’m just taking everything as I go. It’s a learning experience, I’m not taking it too seriously, I’m just having fun on the road and focusing on my surfing. I love competing, I haven’t gotten the best results yet, but it’s the best feeling when they come.”

After watching Shion send Houshmand levels of spray to the Haleiwa horizon, I was left wondering how he did in this year’s Vans Triple Crown. He gave me a delightful answer.

“I was in the VTCS this year, but I submitted such a shitty Pipe clip,” he laughs. “I went to World Juniors and I missed pretty much the whole window. I needed a Pipe clip and it was bombing on the last day. I didn’t even have a progressive craft or something, so I just tried to get out on a finless board. I didn’t even make it out the back.”

You can watch his finless foam ride below — aspect ratio as submitted.


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