Stab Podcast: Will Italo's Airs Be Relevant in 10 Years? - Stab Mag
The curse of never falling. Photo: WSL/Dunbar

Stab Podcast: Will Italo’s Airs Be Relevant in 10 Years?

Let’s discuss, on Stab CUSP.

Words by Michael Ciaramella

In the year of our Laird 2010, ASP World Championship Tour rookie Jadson Andre landed 673 early-grab, late-hold air reverses en route to winning the Santa Catarina Pro final against then-9x-World-Champion Robert Kelly Slater.

At the time, this early-grab, late-hold air reverse was the pinnacle of competitive maneuvers. No one, not even a 9x World Champion, could defend against Jadson’s gravity-abiding, direction-fluid 6’2.

Eleven years on, Jadson still regularly pulls this maneuver in WSL Championship Tour events. He hasn’t won another event since. Slater, meanwhile, has taken 13 events and two World Titles in the same amount of time.

So what happened? How did such an era-defining maneuver become so quickly obsolete in the eyes of surfing’s highest court? And by that same logic, how long can Italo continue to win beach break events based primarily on the merits of a frictionless fling*? By 2031, will we look back Ferreira’s early-2020s wins with the same incredulity that we do Jaddy’s sole CT victory?

These are all questions I asked CT coach turned WSL mic-man Stace Galbraith on our latest Stab CUSP ep, playing now on Spotify, Apple Pods, and Soundcloud (above). Search ‘Stab Podcasts’ and join the circuitous conversation.

*Italo’s wins at places like Pipe, Bells, and (almost) J-Bay obviously fall outside the scope of this conversation.


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