Stab Magazine | "It's Not Your Articles That Are Going To Get Me Barreled!"
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“It’s Not Your Articles That Are Going To Get Me Barreled!”

All Hail Filipe Toledo!

style // Aug 24, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s easy to understand why certain surfers might have, let’s say, tenuous relations with this very magazine. 

Over the years, occasional punch-pulling has landed Stab on the receiving end of some very angry phone calls, advertising contracts torched, relationships dissolved, enemies made. Often times the fall out is temporary, a brief cooling off period followed by some gesture of goodwill from either party. 

Take your current World Number One and Stab‘s pick for 2018 World Champ, Filipe Toledo. For the better part of ten years now, Filipe’s hovered in and out of Stab‘s orbit—he was the first Brazilian to grace the cover, and destroyed a Mexican beachbreak for one of our early episodes of Bouncing. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yQQINpk4X9w

He’s also been the subject of some of the magazine’s more amateur tabloid jernalizm, most recently with “The Curious Case Of Filipe Toledo’s Lowers Celebration Dinner.” 

Filipe—who should have been solely focused on ringing in his Lowers victory at home with his friends and family—was unimpressed, to say the least. And it turned out the waitress who had sent along the offending evidence was just stirring shit up, that gratuity had been included and Filipe was adding on to the already generous 15%, and maybe we should check our fucking facts.  

Does any other single surfer on tour have the pop and electricity of Filipe? Hell no. (Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL)

So you can imagine when Mikey C. approached the Toledo camp with a project early this year—involving Filipe being heckled and harrassed into heavy left-hand reef pass barrels by Bruce Irons and/or Shane Dorian—that it was met with a healthy amount of skepticism. The idea wasn’t dismissed, but there was little enthusiasm and no commitments made. 

Stab moved on, and had nearly forgotten about the proposal until a few weeks back, when Mikey posited, after Filipe had positively stormed through Jeffreys, “What Will It Take For Filipe Toledo To Win The World Title?”

“In his five years on tour, having surfed a total of nine events at these locations [Teahupo’o and Pipe], Filipe has had a handful of second round exits, a couple round fives, one quarterfinal, and of course the infamous scoreless heat. Meanwhile his closest competitors, Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina, have either finaled or won at both venues and had further high-placing results to back those up…

“While Filipe’s strengths may surpass those of his competitors, Medina’s and Wilson’s weaknesses are essentially nonexistent. And as the history of professional surfing has shown, it’s better to be pretty good at every aspect of competing, rather than really good at a few and terrible at another…

“Now, it’s okay to lack natural talent at a certain aspect of the sport. It’s even okay to be scared. But what’s not okay, especially if you want to raise that golden goblet come season’s end, is to sit on your hands (or your board) and hope for the best.”

Yeesh. Those of us more intimately acquainted with Mikey C.’s particular coarse conversational approach know he often doesn’t realize when he’s coming off like little bit of a, well, prick. 

While we didn’t hear from Filipe following Mikey’s somewhat sanctimonious gauntlet-laying, we did get word that Filipe was not, in fact, just sitting on his hands at home.

That week, a planned mission to Waco with Filipe and the Sharp Eye team hit a snag, with Filipe pulling out to head to Tahiti to get some cracks in early.

Filipe in Tahiti before the event. (Frame: @filipetoledo/@baronisfilms)

When photographic evidence of Filipe’s efforts came over the transom, Mikey C. was quick to take credit for lighting a flame under the Brazilian star’s ass, doubling down in “Filipe Says Fuck The Haters, Packs A Teahupo’o Bomb!”:

“…then just a few days ago, one of my coworkers received an invigorating email from someone close to Fil essentially stating that he went to Tahiti early. 

“This sent a pleasurable jolt up my spine.

“Not only did the message stroke my wounded ego, but it implied Filipe was being sneaky in his Tahitian strike, proving just how desperately the daddy-of-two wants the crown.”

Again, when he should have been enjoying the butterfly-clearing sensation of having shut critic’s mouths, Filipe had to deal with some uncalled for claims that basically that we’d embarrassed him enough to put the work in. Filipe let us have it this time.  

“I don’t need you guys to be a World Champ or not, it’s not your articles that are going to get me barreled!” Filipe wrote. “And I’m not doing this to prove something, I’m doing it because I love it and I want to be a better surfer.”

While Mikey enjoyed the tongue lashing from the comfortable distance of his new digs in Costa Rica, we were immediately moved to set things straight with Filipe. Clearly Mikey’s badgering had been taken as disrespect, and it didn’t take too much empathetic imagination to understand why. 

“Any chance you guys have to talk shit about me, you guy don’t think twice,” Filipe said. “Any chance you guys have to put me down, and get all the views you guys do! I’ve always worked really well with you guys and you know it. But man, you guys don’t understand how much work I put in to be better as a Dad, surfer, on my raining and my personal life. You guys don’t really know, you just know what’s on Instagram.”

Like I said earlier, we didn’t have to look to far in our archive of Filipe features to understand where Filipe was coming from. In today’s age of internet flame wars, it was important we make the situation right—we were talking about the best surfer in the world, here. Diplomacy ensued, apologies were offered, air was cleared. Filipe finished his stay Tahiti and came away 6,500 points ahead of the pack, a semi-final finish in surf for which he was more than prepared.

While we won’t go into detail, suffice to say we’ve sorted shit out, and we’re grateful to Filipe for giving us the benefit of the doubt. Again. And you may disagree, but I think Filipe looks marvelous in the Yellow Jersey, and will be very surprised to see it stripped from his throughly tatted back this year. 

Here at Stab HQ we’re heavy into event planning for Stab High, our invitational surf contest, mostly in the air, in Waco, Texas next month. The roster’s being finalized, tickets sales are zipping, headliners are being booked as we speak, and it’s all shaping up to be one hell of a party.

The first of its kind, we had no idea what the response would be when we dropped the announcement. If we dare say, it’s been overwhelmingly positive, our DM inbox swollen with inquiries, invitation requests, surfer recommendations (where does this army of Hector Santamaria fans live!?), and questions regarding how, exactly, they can attend the spectacle. Trust us, we’ve got lots coming for ya. 

With last week’s premiere of The Electric Acid Surfboard Test in the rearview, we’ve got two more big nights planned for you, Dear Readers, first in Byron Bay next Thursday, at the Beach Hotel, and in France on October 5th, during the Quiksilver Pro. 

Hope you’ve been getting yours, wherever you are. Keep it cutty, Stab. 

-Ash-Tray Google, Editer In Chief. 

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