Stab Magazine | Why Reef Heazlewood Should've Won The Red Bull Airborne (D-Bah) And More

Why Reef Heazlewood Should’ve Won The Red Bull Airborne (D-Bah) And More

Revisiting Reef Heazlewood’s Gold Coast “almost” and a cruisy Coolangatta tour with local gal Ivy Thomas. 

cinema // Jun 12, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Reef Heazlewood should have won the inaugural Red Bull Airborne event. It’s just a fact. 

The Sunny Coaster’s blessed-out slob was higher, harder, and more tech than Italo Ferreira’s winning spin by any conventional standard. We saw it, you saw it, even competitors Harry Bryant and Eithan Osborne, and the Red Bull Airborne founder, Josh Kerr, saw it. Sadly it wasn’t our event to judge. 

Regardless of result, Reef’s run through the Quik Pro and Red Bull Airborne events are worth revisiting. A wildcard story, and especially one with the success of Mr. Heazlewood’s, is what makes competitive surfing not tennis. You never know who will come in and take down the number two athlete in the world (twice in a row).

On the other side of the QLD/NSW divide, we find Ms. Ivy Thomas, a 20-year-old who once dreamed of winning Titles like Steph but now spends her time caressing the soft walls of Rainbow Bay on her nine-oh log. 

“[I like to] go with the wave instead of going against it and trying to tear it to bits. It’s a lot nicer. A lot less stressful.”

Unlike Reef, Ivy loathes the Quik Pro and the unbearable traffic, in and out of the water, that it brings. She offers uncommon honesty and a real citrus-y bite to this Red Bull short.

Don’t be shy, click play. 


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji

Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.

Oct 6, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

“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…

Oct 5, 2022

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…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

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.

Oct 2, 2022

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

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

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.

Sep 30, 2022

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