Stab Magazine | An Official Ranking Of The Greatest Cries In Surfing
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An Official Ranking Of The Greatest Cries In Surfing

Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.

style // Dec 29, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The only professional surfer that has never cried is Garrett McNamara.

Even in infancy. If he was hungry or had soiled himself, he would communicate by simply raising an arm as if to hail a Jet Ski.

But everyone else? They have sobbed. They have wept. They have balled their eyes out and shit has gotten hysterical at times. Fortunately, some of those moments have unfolded in front of cameras. And we are gathered here today to discuss those moments.

So, which tears have been the sweetest? Let’s have a look at the rankings.

#10 Jesse Mendes

The list commences with one of the best reasons in the world to cry — the WQS.

These tears came after Jesse emerged from a years-long Q-hole to win the 2016 Billabong Pro Cascais. And while they were happy tears, they should still be shown to every kid before they’re allowed to compete on the QS. The parents, too. Especially the ones who somehow think they have more dignity than soccer moms just because they wear surf company trucker hats.

90% of the time, pulling your kid out of school at 12 will only make them cry at 22.

#8 Natxo Gonzalez

There is no photographic documentation, which makes this cry a wildcard on this list. However, as the story goes, when Natxo took a chance on a Google Maps sandbar and scored. When describing it to Stab’s Ashton Goggans, Natxo said:

“We were eating fruit on the beach at the end, for like an hour, just crying seeing the lineup, these empty waves just rolling through. We didn’t even care.”

What makes this cry unprecedented is the fruit aspect. Just some dudes hanging on the beach, eating fruit, crying. Elite.

#7 Gabriel Medina

They say it’s not your second place results that get remembered, it’s the tears you shed after. Such is the case for Gabriel Medina.

While he has had a few quality cries during his career, the most touted one came at the conclusion of the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Peniche. Gabriel sobbed while Julian accepted his award in a funny hat and the general vibe of the image feels strikingly racist.  

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FNJ3RJ4JG7s

#5 Adriano de Souza

As one of the most experienced criers on this list, Adriano wears his heart on his sleeve and his sleeve on his eyeballs. But if you had to take a look back at his long and illustrious career and pick just one cry, you’d have to go with the World Title Cry of 2015.

*You probably don’t remember it though, because Kelly Slater revealed his wave pool like 20 minutes later. Salty, all things considered.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HbrRxGYXu90

#4 Owen Wright

Winning your first event back after a severe injury where you thought you might never surf again? Buddy. These are tears of necessity.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PFvesrcEORI

#3 Julian Wilson

Historic moments deserve historic tears. This one came, of course, right after Mick Fanning punched a shark’s face.

It was an emotional moment for everyone. Fellow crier Adriano was at the airport when he heard what happened, and he famously ditched his flight and drove back just to hug Mick. Probably cried the whole way.

#2 Kelly Slater

Did Kelly Slater peak in 2005?

The short answer is yes.

The longe answer is yes, too.

Luckily, evidence of this exists in the film Letting Go, which featured Kelly gunning for his 7th World Title against rival Andy Irons. When the dream was realized — thanks to Nathan “The Hog” Hedge no less — the face-rivers were born.

Thirteen years later, it has become apparent that Kelly needs to get his mojo back if he ever wants to cry again. Chug a beer in the tube. Go joust some high B-list celebrity at a Malibu charity event. Drain the pool, just to do it. Anything to get the mojo flowing like it’s 2015 again.

#1 Jordy Smith

The original crying Jordan.

After much hype, Jordy qualified for the CT and took some time to work out how to win. His first victory came in 2010, at the Billabong Pro J-Bay. And it went down on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, no less.

Thus, a revolutionary moment in the history of surfing and crying was born.

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