Stab Magazine | Watch: Stab In The Dark 2017
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Watch: Stab In The Dark 2017

Pour a drink, turn up the volume and view with friends. 

Words by stab

Welcome to Stab in the Dark 2017. Stab, along with our pals at Surfstitch, Corona Extra and O’Neill, are beyond delighted to once again share this labour of love with you.

If you aren’t across the concept yet, here’s the annotated version:

We are on a quest to find the best high-performance surfboard in the world. Surfing, as in art, women, literature and style is subjective. We are well aware that this is a flawed concept. However, currently, it’s the best we got.

Okay, so here’s how we tango. We commission 12 of the world’s best shapers and ask them to shape us their best high-performance surfboard based on a height and weight. The shapers deliver the boards blank: No logos, no branding, thrusters only – clean and white as God’s shoeshine. The shapers don’t know the surfer, the surfer doesn’t know the shapers. It’s a blind taste test if you will.

This is our third instalment of Stab in the Dark. Year one (2015) featured the ever-so-handsome and astonishingly talented Julian Wilson in West Oz. He gave Darren Handley of DHD the prize of “Best Shaper in the World”. Year two (2016) starred our dear-beloved Dane Reynolds in South Africa. There he crowned John Pyzel (the shaper of John John Florence) the best on earth.

This year, we took World Number One, Jordy Smith to the Mentawai Islands. After last year’s test, some shapers were disgruntled. Maurice Cole publicly stated, “I was promised J-Bay but given shitty beachbreaks,” after Dane gave some rather critical feedback on his shape. We figured the Ments would create the most even playing field short of Kelly Slater’s Wave Factory.

12 shapers go in and one comes out the champion of the world.

The shapers are:
Matt “Mayhem” Biolos 
Rusty Preisendorfer
Jason Stevenson
Graham Smith 
Darren Handley 
Lee Stacey 
Jon Pyzel 
Hayden Cox 
Christiaan Bradley 
James Cheal 
Johnny Cabianca 
Simon Anderson

Without further ado, are you still reading? Hit that fucking triangle!

Oh, and this year we’re giving away all twelve surfboards to one attentive Stab In The Dark enthusiast. Head this way to enter.

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