10 Things You Wouldn't Know About Stephanie Gilmore x The Electric Acid Surfboard Test
(Besides the fact that it drops next week, and this one's on us and our friends at Corona,..)
If you haven't noticed, we're pretty fucking psyched on making full-length surf films again over here.
Call us old-fashioned, call us what you will. But goddamn, from first chats with our surfers, to premiere night jitters, it's quite literally what gets most of us out of bed in the morning.
So you can imagine how schoolboy giddy Stab was to get the green light from Miss Stephanie Gilmore, to star in the second annual Electric Acid Surfboard Test, and for our friends at Corona to generously back what is admittedly a left-field concept. Their support in this project can't be understated, nor should it be, especially considering they're largely the reason we're able to afford to drop this one here on Stab for free. In fact, before you sit down to watch it early next week (April 29th, US), we'll encourage you to go grab a fuckin sixer of Corona ligera, and pay your respects. I mean, who funds surf movies these days?! Bless them and their cold refreshment.
Literally the most inoffensive product placement we could ever imagine.
So on top of the tweve handshaped masterpieces you can click through in the gallery above—as well as fact that this beauty ain't gonna make you dip into your bitcoin—here are 10 reasons you should be pretty excited to watch this year's Electric Acid Surfboard Test.
It. Stars The. Fucking. Queen.
Say it with us, now: Yaaaaasssss!
Surfing's Bae; our Lemonade.
We went to Africa.
The whole time we were in Africa, I kept hitting Sam Moody in the arm, saying, Sam! Can you believe it, we're in Africa! with the reference flying about two decades over the guy's head.
But somehow cooked up the idea to go chase those crazy sandbar rights in Mozambique. As with last year's EAST with Dane, and so many other of our most precious high profile projects requiring both thorough forecasting and proper photographic documentation, we tapped Sir. Alan Van Gysen with producer duties, and gave him Steph's windows. With plenty on the World Champ's plate before the Tour's March start, we were slotted in between a Red Carpet appearance at the Laureus Awards in Monaco, and a commercial shoot with our man Mikey February, Alana Spencer, and Kai Neville in Fiji.
And so AVG called from some far corner of the African continent and suggested, in his gorgeous Royal South African, Why not Mozambique?
Steph in downtown Tofo.
We Kind Of Got Waves.
Regardless if our set window happened to be the very same week on the calendar year in 2010 or whenever it was that AVG and our right-hand man this trip, Ryan Ribbink of Ribbink Surf Tours, happened to deliver Dion, Creed, and the rest of the Globe team to East African Enlightenment with Joe G., the chances of us scoring the same cerulean cylinders was honestly, looking back at it without our Rosé-tinted lenses, were honestly about one in ten.
We almost did score. That last edit Jordy dropped, that was the afternoon we landed. No one said should've been here yesterday, but we should've...
We caught the tail end of that swell with high hopes for what looked like a tidy little cyclone set to hit late in our trip...
Does Steph's logo placement give this twin fin's origin away?
Steph thrusting a Heritage Series Simon Anderson.
But Then It Got Really Small.
An experience surely familiar to any surfer whose job requires them to set their dates for a surf trip in advance, the system we were keeping our fingers crossed would flare up, died a quick, sudden death off Madagascar, and the surf dropped quick. This made for more than relatable waves for viewers, and somewhat appropriate conditions for some of the quirkier equipment.
Then Steph packed up her three favorites, and... Nevermind, you'll just have to watch the film.
Steph with EAST's filmer, editor, and co-director Dylan Roberts, saying something to the effect of "I mean, this little section down here kind of has a wall to it, I guess..." to a more than positive Steph. Can you guess which shaper(s) dropped this finless number into our boardbags? Frictionless enthusiasts will catch it straight away.
Grooving through a wobbly sandpoint sidewinder on a _________ Bonzer.
Single + sidebites = 1 +2, right? Steph making sense of the mathematics.
There's something subtly beautiful about these Seventies-style diamond tail outlines, don't you think?
See what we mean?
Lacking swell for the points to turn on the last week, Tofu's back beachies provided ample opportunity for afternoon wiggles with light offshores.
And Steph went to town on some of the zippier little fishies.
We Somehow Talked Oscar- and Grammy-Winner Alberto Boff Into Cutting Us An Original Score.
One of Dane Reynolds' EAST replicas mysteriously disappeared from our Los Angeles office one afternoon, followed by a very excited but seemingly unrelated text from Sam McIntosh: Alberto Boff is going to score the Acid Test.
Turns out the ungodly talented Italian pianist was a fan of the concept, and a bigger fan (and close friend) of Steph's. A week or so after we got back from Mozam, Alberto rolled in to see a rough cut, kindly asked us to turn off the music—the placeholders we'd crudely slipped in to edit to—before settling into his first, silent viewing. A week later we stepped into his Venice studio, Alberto hit the lights and put on the film.
There's nothing like the work of a professional. (And, two tracks even feature Steph, herself, and her sister, Whitney Gilmore, on guitar and a Wurlitzer.)
While we knew Steph would be a consummate professional going into the trip, we had no idea she'd be so feisty. She's candid, salty, and dare we say, profane!
There's A Super Secret Bonus Section Featuring A Machado Single-Fin.
We love a little extra whipped cream on our pudding, and this year Corona x Parley helped get one of Rob Machado's eco-friendly single-fins under Steph's feet.
Corona x Parley!
We Had An Epic Crew.
Along with EAST veterans Sam Moody, Dylan Roberts, and AVG, we were lucky enough to have West Australian unicorn, Tom Jennings, who anyone he's encountered will agree is one of the most deeply lovable human beings you'll ever meet, a drag lord and a weapon with a waterhousing.
Playing double-duty as drone operator and bonafide Handler, both Stab and Steph's close friend, Malibu Charlie Smith, hopped on the mission. If you've spent any time at First Point 'Bu the last fuckin' quarter century, you've probably encountered Charlie, or his most handsome of beasts, Winston.
We were lucky enough to be hosted by Nick, Nelia, and Angel at Turtle Cove, the most divine of Tofo retreats.
And while it's commonplace to shoutout your guides on these types of missions, there were no less than a half-dozen moments this whole East African mission could have gone pear-shaped had it not been in the most radically capable of hands: both AVG and a man we've just met but who we're all more than grateful to now call a brother from another mother, Mr Ryan Ribbink. Trust us, the guy's a bruiser with an enormous golden heart, and if you're going to Mozam—no question, he's your man.
Tom Jenno and Dyl Roberts up front with Ribbink.
A most Malibu Charlie of moments.
Tom Jenno and Malibu Charlie, strangers before the mish, forever friends since.
Your director, asleep on the job.
Tom Jennings, Sam Moody, Ashton Goggans, Dylan Roberts, and Stephanie Gilmore.
Twelve weird boards require an absolute hell-ton of rudders. Special thanks to True Ames for setting the whips up properly!
Steph Didn't Ride Her Shortboard Once.
Steph hit Malibu Charlie the eve of departure, hoping he'd slip in one of her trusty DHD's into the Creatures coffin, you know, just in case.
Well, she didn't ride it once, and the last day took a trip over to our friends from Surfers Not Street Children's Mozambique headquarters, to give the board to the first female surfer from the area, Giulia.
What a lord!
Despite Being A Full Fucking Mission, Very Cost-Prohibitive, And Fickle As Hell, Mozambique Is Stupid Beautiful.
And Steph looked absolutely beautiful there, on land, in water, casually fondling scarves, etc. It is an embarrassment of visual riches, trust us. We've spent the last month killing beautiful babies on the cutting room floor to get this thing down to even a remotely palatable length.
Here's a few of our favorite's from AVG's trusty Nikon.
Not pictured: a dozen shifty-eyed, fast-talking swindlers.
The front door to our Turtle Cove abode, picture frame-perfect.
Our most humble of East African abodes.
Beachside seafood delivery.
A most suitable African backdrop for The Queen.