Stab Magazine | At Capacity: The Santa Barbarians Heat Up Last Night's Stab In The Dark Premiere

At Capacity: The Santa Barbarians Heat Up Last Night’s Stab In The Dark Premiere

A chorus of roughly 300 viewers singing “Happy Birthday” would later ensue at Topa Topa Brewing Co. 

style // Mar 2, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When the film ended, Stab in the Dark winning shaper, Britt Merrick of Channel Islands, joined the stage for what was supposed to be a short Q and A. The Q and A contained no questions and no answers. Instead, a crowd pushing 300, who did their best to keep Topa Topa Brewing Co very much at capacity, and hot enough to form a light layer of forehead sweat, erupted in “Happy Birthday to you!”

Britt smiled, as it was, in fact, his birthday (not something we planned when scheduling the Santa Barbara Premiere). When the song ended and the cheering subsided, I handed him the microphone. He broke into a thank you speech, thanking everyone from the Santa Barbarians to his shapers, to his wife and his father, Al (also in attendance), to everyone at Channel Islands who keep his divine shaping lineage alive. The Merrick’s are surfboard celebrities in their hometown; last night, it showed.

He finished his speech. Through the thick whiskers of his beard, he shouted, “I’m out!” Britt handed back the microphone (although he should’ve dropped it) and disappeared for the remainder of the evening.

Earlier in the night, people trickled in a traditional fashion. When the doors opened at six, the high school kids made there way through; black X’s on their hands. They were followed an hour behind by the UCSB crew, who (those without fake IDs or 21) also were gifted with the X of sobriety. The crowd was eclectic: old and young, grom and teen, 20s to 60s, face tattoos and buttoned up shirts all waiting patiently for the film to begin.

By 7:30, the brewery became sardine packed. The Channel Islands crew made their way into the bar. Zeke Lau, Sebastian Zeitz, newlyweds Lakey Peterson and Thomas Allan, Eithan Osborne, and more were in attendance. The bartenders at Topa Topa Brewing Co, ran about, filling their fresh brewed bubbles from the tap, sufficiently lubricating the crowd.

Big thanks to Awayco, Sustainable Surf, Rip Curl and Topa Topa Brewing Co. for making last night possible.

The next Stab in the Dark premiere is in New York City at The Flower Shop, Wednesday, March 6.

See you subway surfers there.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022