Stab Magazine | Finnegan Thunders McGill Is A Talented Surfer And Very Likable Human

Finnegan Thunders McGill Is A Talented Surfer And Very Likable Human

Sam Moody’s look into the tow-headed charmer who took the Pipe Trials home at 16, and just won the World Junior Championship. 

style // Mar 3, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Finn McGill is a talented surfer and a very likable human.

He comes across as funny, friendly, blessedly free of the massive ego many would easily cultivate, in the wake of winning the Pipe Trials last year, at 16, followed up by taking the top spot at this year’s World Juniors.

Beyond that, I don’t know very much about him.

He’s still a minor and I avoid spending much time with people below the age of consent. Because I’m a terrible influence and the last thing I want is for some young man to think that my own very personal life choices were good ones. (They were not, despite the fact things seem to have worked out.)



Finn McGill at home on the North Shore.


Sam Moody.

Anyhow, the McGill homestead is located up in the hills of Pupukea, a jaw-dropping, avarice-inducing, multi-story dream home, nestled amongst well-groomed, but still rampant, local flora. I’ve been told it was largely built by Finn’s father, Mike, who did not invent the McTwist.

Sam Moody, filmer and photographer extraordinaire (and another person who I do not know as well as I’d like but, god damn, do I like what I know) spent some time with Finn and The McGills over the recent winter, as Finn was nursing his ankle back to health, getting ready for the World Junior Championships he would go on to win a few weeks later, picking up his new puppy’s shit.


During my week on Oahu, as I got to know Sam and the rest of my Stab brethren, Mr Moody repeatedly told me about someone at Finn’s parents’ whom I reminded him of very much.

“You’re pretty much the same person,” Sam said. “You guys look alike, talk alike. You’ve gotta meet him.”

I can’t recall the fellow’s name. But I got the opportunity to meet him, briefly, at Finn’s home one night when we ran by the house to pick up a piece of soul-stealing gear that Sam needed, but had forgotten to bring with him.

“I’ll be quick,” Sam said, “But, Rory, you’ve gotta come with me and meet [person whose name I’ve forgotten]. Actually, here he comes now. Hey, [person whose name I’ve forgotten], this is Rory, the guy I was telling you about!”

We stopped, looked at each other, and written across his face, plain as day, was the same thought that was running through my own mind.

Oh, god damn it. Fuck you, Sam.

We were just two overweight white dudes with shaved heads and ridiculous mustaches. Which is a similarity, sure. But neither of us, while looking at the other, saw anything like what stares back from the mirror each morning. We stared at each other for an uncomfortably long moment, both thinking, no doubt,  So this is how young people see me?

We mumbled empty nonsense at each other. He turned and went inside.

As I climbed into our rental van, my Self-image thoroughly destroyed, Mike Ciaramella piped in from his position in the far back.

“Well, that was the most awkward introduction I’ve ever seen.”



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