Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers
Watch his new edit ‘Sonic Youth’ now.
By the general surfing population, style and technique are sometimes held as mutually exclusive virtues of wave riding. It’s easy to succumb to the belief that top level competitive surfers lack the style of their alternative counterparts, while thinking that certain smooth operators might be wanting for more technical prowess.
Taro Watanabe is one of the few humans sprinkled on this planet that demolishes this preconception — he rides waves with calm, inventive poise and undeniable technique. The fiberglass under his feet seems to be an intuitive extension of flesh, reminiscent of the fundamental glory of latter day surf saints.
Brad Gerlach, a quintessential So-Cal surfer, — who was ousted by Damien Hobgood from the ASP tour in 1992 — has inspired Taro’s approach on surfing and life. Brad has worked closely with Taro for a handful of years, and it shows. Both of their styles have seemed to evolve while their surfing remains cemented in technical perfection.
“All eras inspire me to surf. I love watching good surfing, old and modern,” says the 18-year old from Malibu. “Gerr has influenced my surfing the most. I have learned so much being around him. Also Kelly and Dane. I think I’ve watched almost every video of them on YouTube.”
Directed and edited by Quinn Graham, Taro’s new edit, ‘Sonic Youth’ is five minutes of hi-fi surf clips from Indonesia. The back-hand drag to drawn-out tube will linger with you like a Kim Gordon vocal flex to curtain close. We appreciate the cadence of Taro’s soulful string-out.
Click above for a few minutes of entrancement.
Be Yourself and Have Fun
An Interview with Jaleesa Vincent on her new film, 'Macaroni in the Pot'
Can Proper Surf Instruction Mitigate Chaos In The Water?
Here's why you need certification to earn the title "surf instructor" in 80 different countries.
No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji
Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.
“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”
UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…
Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry
Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…
The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine
Damien Castera's got a story to tell.
Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire
Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women
How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?
A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.
Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly
"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack
Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core
The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…
Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)
Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.
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.
Long Read: An Angel At My Table
From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…
Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance
A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.