Stab Magazine | A Case For Parents Keeping Their Little Surf Stars Well-Kempt And In Cages

A Case For Parents Keeping Their Little Surf Stars Well-Kempt And In Cages

What is updog?

style // Sep 4, 2020
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I watched a documentary about a dog show the other night. 

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, to be more specific. Biggest of ‘em all. It reminded me of surfing. 

First, the low hanging fruit. Envision throngs of middle-aged people in minivans and SUVs descending upon a set location for a competition. Their cars host competitors and are filled with gear that might provide an edge. The drivers are quick to cast projections about the competitors’ overall mental state to anyone who will listen. And why not? They’ve worked tirelessly to groom them for this event. 

We could be at either a children’s surf contest or a professional dog show here. 

I’ll abandon the surf parent thing with one last jab: They should consider keeping their children in cages. More obedience that way, which could prove to be crucial in the dying minutes of a semi-final. 

There was something about the dog show people, though. They were die-hard passionate about dog showing. It seemed to give them a sense of meaning and purpose. Like, they saw something in it so profound that they felt compelled to study and perfect the way a certain breed should stand in order to optimize the aesthetic of its bone structure. 

Which sounds fucking strange — until you think about meeting a stranger with no surf background and trying to explain to them the concave of the board you’re flying across the world to ride next week.


One thing I love about surfing is its depth, all the things you can learn. The abnormalities of swell propagation. Fun facts about the 1999 World Champ. The contact details of underground shapers who make a damn good board. Where that hush-hush wave is in Indo, Spain, Peru. That borderline subconscious instinct to paddle slightly the north when you see a small set coming at your local honeyhole. 

When you get to know surfing deeply, you get in touch with how deeply things can be known. It puts you in a place to appreciate true expertise and how much effort is required to attain it. I think it makes you skeptical of oversimplification. 

I thought about it all in the water just now. I came in smiling to myself and thinking about going with smaller fins next time, feeling grateful that I didn’t fall in love with dog showing.

A boy who tinkers with many types of fin arrangements.

Watch: Noa Deane’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test In Its Entirety 

I always finish Stab In The Dark with a clear takeaway. Ok, I should seek a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the performance surfboards in my life both present and future. The Electric Surfboard Acid Test, not so much. Is my quiver too vanilla? Would the world stand to benefit if mainstream shapers incorporated more ideas from the fringe? Should anyone be legally allowed to collect a paycheck for riding alternative crafts after seeing what a talent like Noa’s can make them do in just a few sessions? It inspires more questions than it does provide answers. 

And maybe that’s the point. 

A Day In The Life Of A Surf Videographer

There’s a thing about shapers being crazy. As well as glassers. And sanders. And surf photographers. And surf videographers — let’s face it, most people involved in surfing are in some way crazy. This story is a significant other’s view of the form of insanity specific to those who film. In case you were wondering.

Lend Us Your Opinion, Please!

This probably comes off as something that I was asked to put in here. It isn’t. I just figured that you might want to answer some questions about surfing and potentially win a board for it. You’d win a wetsuit and other stuff too. But let’s be honest — a board is the real hook here. 

Now, want to express envy? 

A crew of professional surfers from San Clemente found a little (Luke Davis the) grey area in Indonesia’s current visa policy. They may or may not be investing in a Mentawai surf camp. They almost certainly will be standing in tubes without many people around. Don’t worry, we’ve got the details for you. And you can click here to see strangers argue about it on the internet

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Stab’s newest staffer, Taylor ‘Dave’ Paul.

Want to address fear? 

In my experience, there are two ways to acquire a (surfing) gun. The first way is to be underprepared, overexcited and borderline broke two days before a big swell and scrape together your limited resources to find an old brown one made by an obscure and largely unsuccessful shaper on Craigslist or through a friend of a friend’s friend. The second is to do your research and order one.

I’ll let you take a guess at which option will get you into better waves. Option one: click here. Option two: click above for advice from Jon Pyzel. 

Want to abandon all emotion and try airs? 

Last year, Italo Ferreira became surfing’s world champion. This year, it appears as though he has become surfing’s Daddy. If that confuses you, and it should, please reference the title of this video. These are some of the most relatable conditions in the world and nobody surfs them better than him. 

One last thing: 

The world needs more backside roundhouse to laybacks.


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