At What Point Does One Officially Become A 'Youtuber'? - Stab Mag

At What Point Does One Officially Become A ‘Youtuber’?

We investigate in Click or Miss Vol. 17.

cinema // Mar 15, 2021
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The percentage of ‘Surf Vloggers’ who can reasonably characterize themselves as Youtube stars is incredibly low.

Like really low. Like count on one hand low.

Given the number of surf vloggers that exist (a figure that seemingly expands by the week), I was curious what aspects of successful surf vlogs allow them to break our world’s small, aquatic mold.

While one can be a Youtube star without ever uttering the word s-u-r-f, no surf vlogger can become a Youtube star without pounding the digital sand for a long, hard while. The easiest way to paint this picture is to contrast Ben Gravy against Nathan Florence. There is a clear line of demarcation between the similarly-sized channels (Ben with 135k subs, N.Flo with 119k). While both wildly successful on the Youtube, they have built their respective followings in profoundly different ways—Ben as surfing’s every man, Nathan by surfing waves few men want anything to do with.

Then we have Jack and Alana’s latest video, which you can see below. Barely any surfing, yet nearly 100,000 views, which in my mind firmly cements them as Youtubers. And incredibly successful ones at that.

So I guess the question must be asked, at what point does a surf vlogger become a ‘Youtuber’? Is it when you stop making videos exclusively about surfing? When you start informing your audience of important life milestones on your channel? And does it really matter how you come about your engagement so long as you’re garnering clicks, which everyone knows is more valuable than actual talent in the world of Youtube?

Personally, I’m going to make it easy on myself: 100,000 subscribers and you’re officially a Youtuber. If you have less than that and are making videos about your favorite smoothie recipe in a clip that isn’t at least 70% surf-related, well…

Click (or miss) below.

Click- Kalani Robb Literally Grinds Eric Koston’s Helpless Body
Channel Subs: 122k
Video Views:  31,117 (15,558.5 views/day)
Like/Dislike Ratio: 908/7 or 129.7 likes per 1 dislike

Slowly but surely, skaters have been making their way into the surfing vlogasphere. Everyone knows about Eric Koston’s ‘Do A Kickflip’ videos, but how does one of skating’s biggest legends fare in the neoprene and salt? Well, against Kalani Robb, the answer is not too hot. While Koston is simply trying to enjoy a casual T-Street session, Kalani (doing his best impression of a ripe banana) is terrorizing him on a boogie board, going so far as to take a page from Koston’s book and not only ollie, but boardslide the skater’s body. Honestly, to make this is pretty impressive. Thankfully Koston got him back in the end.

Miss- No, We Don’t Hate Families.
Channel Subs: 116k
Video Views:  98,554 (12,319 views/day)
Like/Dislike Ratio: 3,920/15
or 261.3 likes per 1 dislike

Some of surfing’s biggest YT stars are back after a two-month hiatus. While taking that big of a break normally hurts one’s algo play, Jack and Alana didn’t take a break without good reason. They have another baby on the way!

This video gets a miss because there is almost no surfing… but hey, with nearly 100,000 views on this, they clearly don’t need my advice (although they could use my copy-editing skills seeing as there is a typo in the video description). To more life!

Click- Billabong’s One-Two Punch
Channel Subs: 248k
Video Views:  28,588
Like/Dislike Ratio: 2,046/15
or 136.4 likes per 1 dislike

Imagine being 13 years old and having the run of the Billabong house? That’s the kind of heft that comes with World Title expectations. Or maybe Sky Brown will win a Gold Medal for the U.K in skating and launch herself into worldwide stardom. At 248k YT subs and 3x the IG following of Jackson, anything is possible. Seeing as she already has a Barbie modeled after her, Sky’s well on her way to becoming the most famous surfer ever (sorry Fisher).

Click- For The Answer To “Is It Possible To Bomb The Hill At Blacks?”
Channel Subs: 11.3k
Video Views:  13,573 (2,714.6 views/day)
Like/Dislike Ratio: 399/3
or 133 likes per 1 dislike

I’ve recently criticized Leo for not including enough surfing in his Vlogs. Despite the near-minute-long selfie intro, it seems he has made strides in this regard. With a quick stop off in California before heading to AUS, this was an entertaining watch, especially seeing as Alex Sorgente bombed the hill at Blacks, debunking the idea that it is un-skateable terrain.

It’d be easy to forget, but Leo won the Sydney Surf Pro against a world-class field back in early 2020, taking out Australian standout Matt Banting in the process. With the potential for grindy beach break conditions in the upcoming CT events, it’s likely Leo finds success. Whatever happens, please Leo, please, don’t make a video like this ever again. No amount of accented Italian speech can make up for this.

Miss- I Did It Again
Channel Subs: 12.5k
Video Views:  5,971
Like/Dislike Ratio: 264/4
or 66 likes per 1 dislike

No matter how hard I try to avoid featuring a Cola Bros clip in back-to-back weeks, they find a way to weasel their way in nearly every time. With limited swell in California, we get to see Griffin and Crosby surf some more waves under head high—which given their winter, must feel like taking a sip of a mixed drink at moonshine festival. This gets a miss because never should a snack bar be characterized as ‘firing’, and for the 35 seconds I just spent watching Griffin try to open a Tolago Seltzer (of which he is an investor) with his seatbelt buckle. Fucking. Brutal.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022


Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022

Does The 1-to-6 Foot Surfboard Exist?

Pushing the Channel Islands NeckBeard 3 to its absolute limits in a new Joyride review.

Sep 21, 2022


Life Comes At You Fast — So Does This Hectic Indo Clip

Finn McGill and a full-speed stint in Southeast Asia

Sep 21, 2022

Interview: Afghanistan Surf Champion Afridun Amu

From refugee to constitutional lawyer to university lecturer to Afghan surfing icon.

Sep 20, 2022


Bong Make ‘Another Good Call’ By Poaching Stab Cinematographer For West Oz Clip

Shut up, is that Occy doing punts?!

Sep 20, 2022

Exactly Where, When, And How Stephanie Gilmore Won Her 8 World Titles

Steph has won 341 heats in her 15 years on the CT — let's revisit…

Sep 20, 2022

Footage Of “The Best Wavepool In The World” Leaks From Brazil

A private pool in the heart of São Paulo, brought to you by Perfect Swell.

Sep 20, 2022

WSL Unveils 2023 CT Schedule

Swapping G-Land for Surf Ranch is … something.

Sep 19, 2022

10 Things I’ve Learned, With Michael February

Pearls of Wisdom from Surfing's Most Sage Millennial

Sep 19, 2022