Episode 1: Vans Stab High, Central America, Presented By Monster Energy - Stab Mag

Episode 1: Vans Stab High, Central America, Presented By Monster Energy

Exploring the air space of Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica.

Words by Zack Raffin

Welcome to Episode 1 of Vans Stab High, Central America, presented by Monster Energy.

We’ve spent the past two months preparing something extra savory from Costa Rica… and we’re not talking about gallo pinto. With 18 of the world’s best male aerialists and six of female surfing’s most progressive superstars spending two weeks in front of a world-class beach break, we had lofty expectations for this iteration of Vans Stab High, Presented By Monster Energy. The guys and gals managed to exceed them on an almost daily basis — a fact for which we are endlessly grateful.

Episode 1 breaks down the basics of what we are trying to achieve with this event, which in short reads: Send a surfer as high as possible into orbit and watch them ride away clean.

This installment also introduces our diverse roster of talent (spanning six continents), dives into the judging format, and explains why we picked Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, as our temporary airbase. The piece also includes a high volume of elite-level aerials, opening with arguably the best air ever done by a female surfer.

We want to take a moment to thank the people of Playa Hermosa as well as the community of Hermosa Palms for accommodating us during our stay:

  • The lovely, smiling Tica ladies greeted us with a charming ‘Hola’ and always kept our astronauts well-fed
  • Every filmer, photographer, and editor who’s toiled endlessly on this project over the past two months
  • All of the surfers for engaging in this concept and working with us to raise surfing’s progressive ceiling
  • Last but certainly not least, Vans and Monster Energy for the support of this project since its inception back in 2018.

Without you, none of this would be possible.

Click here to watch Episode 1 of Vans Stab High, Central America, presented by Monster Energy. The following four episodes will be released as follows:

Episode 2- Thursday, July 29th at 7 PM PST

Episode 3- Thursday, August 5th at 7 PM PST

Episode 4- Tuesday, August 10th at 7 PM PST

Episode 5- Thursday, August 12th at 6 PM PST


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Is Gabby Giving The 2022 CT A Miss?

The 3x World Champ is thinking about a gap year.

Sep 19, 2021


Watch: “If I was Goofy” With John John Florence

Haleiwa becomes a divine left.

Sep 18, 2021

A Critical View Of The WSL Finals’ Key Moments

Images and observations from the beach at Lowers.

Sep 18, 2021


Which Four Boards Would You Keep From Mason Ho’s Electric Acid Quiver?

Choosing from an assortment of contours, outlines, and colors.

Sep 17, 2021

Stab Podcast: An Event We Passionately Debated For The Past 12 Months

Feedback from the WSL Finals, slaps of justice, and a Russian SUP parade.

Sep 17, 2021


Joyride Board Test: The LSD Hammer

Amateur surfer rides Noa Deane's prized step-up at Kirra and The Box.

Sep 17, 2021


Red Bull No Contest, Mexico: A Surfer’s Guide To Scoring Like A Local In Southern Mexico

Inside Barra de la Cruz culture with Mateus Herdy and Rio Waida.

Sep 16, 2021

Fourteen World Titles Worth Of Wisdom, Unpacked

What we learned from listening closely to Mick and Kelly during the WSL Finals.

Sep 16, 2021


Watch: Jack Robinson Wastes No Parts Of The Buffalo

Five minutes from Western Australia's finest.

Sep 16, 2021

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

“The wealthier a town gets, the fewer really good surfers you’ll find in the water.”

Sep 15, 2021

WSL Finals Review: “I Don’t Condone (Most) Crimes, But A Helicopter And A Giant Magnet Would Make For One Incredible Heist”

Lowers was an absolute shit-show yesterday. A report from the ground.

Sep 15, 2021

Filipe Toledo May Or May Not Be The Ultimate Surfer

Episode 7 is a wrap, find out who's advancing to tomorrow's finale.

Sep 15, 2021

10 Questions With S.U.R.F. Winner Jake ‘Money Making Machine’ Vincent

How did Vinny blow his 10 G’s?

Sep 15, 2021

Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Are Your 2021 World Champions Of Surfing

As it should be.

Sep 14, 2021

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

How a former South Sydney demolition man helped mastermind Gabriel Medina's Title campaign.

Sep 14, 2021

2021 WSL Finals: Live Coverage And Updates

Leave the best comment, win a free surfboard.

Sep 14, 2021

The Best WSL Event You Never Heard Of

No electricity. No running water. No wifi and no pins dropped. The Namakwa Challenge was…

Sep 14, 2021

This Is What Happens When You Steal Surfboards In Portugal

"The best type of punishment for them is not by the law."

Sep 13, 2021