Stab Magazine | Filipe Toledo And What Constitutes A "Real Air"

Filipe Toledo And What Constitutes A “Real Air”

Filipe Toledo’s cashed-up Gold Coast edit.

cinema // Apr 17, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

“Tail high.” 

After spending two minutes and 50 seconds of my life with Filipe Toledo this afternoon, the best I’ve got for you is, “tail high.”

Some years ago on a boat trip in Indonesia, which used to be a thing surf magazines would send you on, photographer Jason Kenworthy and I got in a conversation about what constitutes a legit air and concluded that if the tail wasn’t higher than everything else it was just another chop hop. For context, we were watching 12-year-old John John Florence huck air reveres at three-foot Lance’s Right. To get the tail to touch the clouds, to get inverted and maintain control of the board, that was the mark of true talent then, as much as it is today. And, arguably, right now nobody does it with more flair and explosiveness than Fil.

A highlight reel from a sub-par run through the Gold Coast, with Snapper and Kirra uncooperative, a lot of the footage comes from down Fingal way. Most of the first half of the edit is spent logging tube time—something that seems all too easy for Filipe—before he finally clicks into that Toledo groove and goes, well, tail high. Air after air, rotation after rotation, Filipe’s emphatic about pointing the tail to the sky. 

And just a little bit of cocktail knowledge for you next time you’re at the bar with the boys discussing edits, the beats in this Filipe drop, “Dough (Ft. Balance)” by John Fitzgerald Scott Jr. and Saeed Crumpler, previously appeared in the critically acclaimed film, “Super Troopers 2.” 


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022