How to Change Your Session's Rhythm - Stab Mag

How Surfers Get Paid will drop at 6pm on Friday September 30

Frame: Tony Modugno

How to Change Your Session’s Rhythm

Paddle out with dry hair in this week’s FWD.

cinema // Feb 5, 2021
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Surfing is said to be the act of riding a wave. 

Surfing is also said to be no more than 5% riding waves. The other 95% or so is spent paddling, waiting and paddling more. 

As an aside, I think surfing is also checking the waves, dragging a dilapidated boardbag through third-world airports or New York City, frequenting cafes, frequenting bars, going to surf shops, buying only enough wax to ensure you’ll be back soon, bragging about surfing, complaining about surfing, acquiring goods that reflect your interest in surfing, working out, wearing mustard beanies…I could go on, but it’s typically some combination of these things depending on where you land on the spectrum. 

All nice, but let’s talk about that first 5%.  

You ever had a session in which you get assaulted by a set paddling out, claw your way to the lineup, sit for a while, find yourself too deep, find yourself on the shoulder, finally get a wave, cop another set on the dome, etc? Of course — we all have. 

And have you ever had a session in which you paddle out at the perfect time, hair perhaps dry, immediately chip into a good wave, paddle back out in a rip, get another fun one and so on? I’d like to think we all have. 

Gabe had the rhythm this day. Video: Tony Modugno

It’s easy to write the former off as bad luck without digging any deeper, but there must be more going on there. I don’t think waves are the only consequence of the wind transferring its energy to the ocean. There are other things happening, other patterns you can observe, other rhythms you can feel. 

The more time you spend surfing, the better you get at tuning into that — pterygiums are just the teachings of 10,000 waves burned into your eyeballs. 

Still, there are times in which we all fail to find a groove. One way I’ve learned to combat that? Just get a wave. Any wave. 

Find a new rhythm and see where it leads. 

The Golden Ticket, Part 1

Jed Smith is on a heater. His ability to reveal deeply personal details about challenges in his upbringing, share learnings from his experience, mix in a bit of opinion and make it all read like something that belongs on a surf site is brilliant. A fucking pleasure to read.

Chippa Wilson’s Last Solo Session Was Better Than Yours

Title don’t lie. Unless you happened to get ten tubes in a row at an empty 6-foot beach break, Chippa’s last solo session was by all means better than yours. We’ve got the footage to prove it in the new episode of First And Last. Ah, Chippa’s great. The most relatable person, the least relatable surfing – gotta love it. 

Did Gabriel Medina Just Get Married?

That would in fact explain the curious lack of one of his famous New Year’s Eve posts

Stab In The Dark With Taj Burrow, Episode 3 Of 4 

Anybody else feel like they didn’t realize how much they missed watching Taj surf until they watched this? There’s something so distinctly Taj about it. Anyway, let’s watch this and then all go buy more surfboards (I am open to trading as well). 

Lennox Head World Tour Event Rejected For Now

A quote from this story: According to Lennox Head local, Nick Mercer, speaking inside the chamber, the decision to hold a contest against the community’s wishes could be met with a protest paddle out during the event by local surfers, raising the possibility of an “ugly confrontation” with security. 

Adorable. Click in for all the details.

Dane’s Not Going Down Without A Fight

I said I would keep these to five stories. However, this opens with a new Dane clip and closes with writing, “And for the record. If you ever see me on a set at Rincon throwing my arms in the air on a 7’6 single fin feel free to burn me…” It’s worth bending the rules.

One last thing: No, no, I didn’t forget about you last week. We just happened to have a few other emails scheduled and chose not to harass your inbox. If you missed last week’s Fwd, you can read it on the site here.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022


You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

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