John Florence, Steph Gilmore, and Jai Glindeman Are Your 2020 Stab Surfers Of The Year - Stab Mag

John Florence, Steph Gilmore, and Jai Glindeman Are Your 2020 Stab Surfers Of The Year

You voted. They dominated.

Words by Jack Mutschler

Over the last 10 days, we’ve polled the most influential names in the surfing game. We asked them four key questions: who were top five male surfers, top five female, best under-18, and the best film of 2020? 

We received a wide array of choices, but some clear patterns began to emerge as we started to progress to the halfway point. Friends and siblings tend to choose each other. Not a surprise. You watch your friends and family surf in person more than others. Those memories from each session may not be as exhilarating as John John’s wave at Haleiwa, but they’re what you remember most. However, the cream always rises to the top.

We have some clear winners for the four categories. The results aren’t too surprising given the caliber of surfing delivered by these surfers in 2020. Instagram is still catching its breath from the massive influx of A+ surf clips. 

Without further ado, here are the winners of Stab Surfer of the Year.

Overall Mens Winner

John John Florence

Can anyone even argue with this? The guy is an animal. Complete dominance at every break on the North Shore, winning each stop of The Digital Vans Triple Crown. We could have given him a handicap for each vote and he still would have won.

Here’s what John’s peers had to say about his performance this year.

“I’m just gonna stay on the bandwagon. It’s hard to argue with anything he’s done. Obviously, he had the big comeback, and I think he’s actually surfing better than before the injury, which is really hard to do. He looks so strong. I think he’s really coming into himself and asserting himself as the guy to beat. He’s doing impossible things on a surfboard, and he would have been world champ in 2019.” –Chris Cote

I feel like we expect so much of John at this point that it’s hard to give him credit, especially when he’s coming back from injuries. But he’s back now, and no one touches him on turns or barrels, and his air game is coming back to be one of the best again.” – Albee Layer

Pretty remarkable comeback he’s had. I’ve missed watching him surf. It’s cool having someone like John John, that crazy level of surfing. Supernatural talent. The surfing world went a bit boring when he wasn’t putting out those freakish videos.” – Harry Bryant

When the 2020 season got canned, John must have been psyched. At the 2019 Pipe Masters, he still looked like damaged goods. The break gave him the chance to finally get that crook knee right. Once mended, he dropped edits that proved nobody comes close… especially on the forehand and especially when it’s big. John got his Pipe title beating the GOAT and his ultimate rival Medina on the way. He’ll win the Vans digital Triple Crown too.” – Ronnie Blakey

Mens Rankings:

1. John John Florence (149 points)

2. Italo Ferreira (91 points)

3. Griffin Colapinto (58 points)

4. Kai Lenny (39 points)

5. Mason Ho (38 points)

6. Jack Robinson (33 points)

7. Ian Crane (30 points)

8. Nate Fletcher (27 points)

9. Gabriel Medina (24 points)

10. Jacob Wilcox (21 points)

Overall Womens Winner

Steph Gilmore riding Owl Chapman board

Steph Gilmore

The Cleopatra of surfing. About every other quote we received about Steph referenced her as the queen. The kindest ruler of all the lands.

Divine, powerful, and graceful. Steph’s classic surfing is harmonious with her personality. Steph is not just a role model for young girls, but all of us. Smile more, ditch the ego, but most importantly, surf with passion.

Here’s why Steph’s peers gave her the crown this year.

“Didn’t see much of Steph this year except some clips from Dan Scott. One follow-cam piece at Snapper was all it took to remind me that when it comes to style and drawing lines on a wave… nobody comes close to the Queen.” – Ronnie Blakey

“This was an easy one. She’s on tour and stuff, but she has so much style and grace and makes riding a thruster look beautiful, which isn’t always easy (laughs).” – Karina Rozunko

I’m always a Steph groupie. Even if she drops clips of one or two waves, they’re so good to watch. To me, she’s still a head above the pack. She could beat guys in the top 20 on the Men’s tour.”- Dooma

She’s the queen of modern era surfing. She draws clean lines and motivates the next generation of women’s surfing.” –Josh Kerr

Women’s Rankings:

1. Steph Gilmore (111 points)

2. Carissa Moore (98 points)

3. Tyler Wright (72 points)

4. Sierra Kerr (71 points)

5. Caroline Marks (58 points)

6. Bronte Macaulay (48 points)

7. Erin Brooks (41 points)

8. Caity Simmers(36 points)

9. Betty Lou Sakura Johnson (34 points)

10. Justine Dupont (25 points)

Overall Best Junior

Jai Glindeman

Did you see that Electric Acid Microdose? No, I’m genuinely asking. You might have missed it due to technical difficulties during our launch of Stab Premium. Despite these issues, Jai’s surfing is profound. At only 16 years old, he has a blend of style and power that most surfers spend their whole life looking for.

I wouldn’t say I like drawing comparisons between surfers. It’s corny and usually exaggerated. But recently, I’ve been scavenging clips of Tom Curren from the internet. Youtube clips, DVD’s, anything I can find. The resemblance between the two is uncanny.

Here’s why Jai took the top spot, according to surfings most influential figures.

Because his surfing is out of control, I’ve never seen anyone else surf like it. That video that you guys did with him was insane. He makes surfing look so fun. It’s just so simple, and it’s perfectly surfed waves. And the best part about it is he’s not a complete little fucking prick.” – Harry Bryant

I saw him on Insta like two years ago before he blew up. I was like, ‘Oh shit.’ So refreshing to see some kid not pumping down the line to do an air. Even though I can hardly do a turn to save my life, I really appreciate proper, fundamental surfing. It’s a great thing to see from someone his age.” – Cam Richards

I really enjoyed his surfing in the Electric Acid Microdose. On the last board, the Black Beauty, which was really good to watch. It’s good to see a kid with a different style and not just doing rotators.” – Mick Fanning

“I put him in my men’s category last year, but he’s still a junior so I’m gonna put him here this year. Jai’s performance in the Microdose was insane, his surfing is incredible. Watching him ride the Shawn Stussy twin fin made me want to ride a twin fin. So that’s what I did.” – Stace Galbraith

Junior Rankings:

1. Jai Glindeman (13 points)

2. Jackson Dorian (11 points)

3. Erin Brooks (5 points)

4. Luke Swanson (3 points)

//5. Tosh Tudor (2 points)

//5. Sierra Kerr (2 points)

//5. Jett Schilling (2 points)

//5. Eli Hanneman (2 points)

//5. Caity Simmers (2 points)


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Joyride Board Test: The LSD Hammer

Amateur surfer rides Noa Deane's prized step-up at Kirra and The Box.

Sep 17, 2021

Red Bull No Contest, Mexico: A Surfer’s Guide To Scoring Like A Local In Southern Mexico

Inside Barra de la Cruz culture with Mateus Herdy and Rio Waida.

Sep 16, 2021

Fourteen World Titles Worth Of Wisdom, Unpacked

What we learned from listening closely to Mick and Kelly during the WSL Finals.

Sep 16, 2021


Watch: Jack Robinson Wastes No Parts Of The Buffalo

Five minutes from Western Australia's finest.

Sep 16, 2021

The Connection Between Growing Up Poor And Going On To Win World Titles

“The wealthier a town gets, the fewer really good surfers you’ll find in the water.”

Sep 15, 2021

WSL Finals Review: “I Don’t Condone (Most) Crimes, But A Helicopter And A Giant Magnet Would Make For One Incredible Heist”

Lowers was an absolute shit-show yesterday. A report from the ground.

Sep 15, 2021

Filipe Toledo May Or May Not Be The Ultimate Surfer

Episode 7 is a wrap, find out who's advancing to tomorrow's finale.

Sep 15, 2021

10 Questions With S.U.R.F. Winner Jake ‘Money Making Machine’ Vincent

How did Vinny blow his 10 G’s?

Sep 15, 2021

Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Are Your 2021 World Champions Of Surfing

As it should be.

Sep 14, 2021

A King Amongst Medinas: Inside Gabriel’s World Title Winning 2021

How a former South Sydney demolition man helped mastermind Gabriel Medina's Title campaign.

Sep 14, 2021

2021 WSL Finals: Live Coverage And Updates

Leave the best comment, win a free surfboard.

Sep 14, 2021

The Best WSL Event You Never Heard Of

No electricity. No running water. No wifi and no pins dropped. The Namakwa Challenge was…

Sep 14, 2021

This Is What Happens When You Steal Surfboards In Portugal

"The best type of punishment for them is not by the law."

Sep 13, 2021

Where Are Wavepools Taking Us?

Spunk-riddled cesspools or gladiatorial entertainment venues that benefit surf culture?

Sep 13, 2021

Don’t Talk To Strangers 

The Misc: On nodding terms. 

Sep 12, 2021

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted To Know About Surfing In The Great Lakes

A Michigan-born surfer returns home and breaks it down.

Sep 11, 2021

Exclusive: Kelly Slater Reveals His WSL Finals Favorites

"I hope ____ takes it because he put in the work, but my gut says…

Sep 11, 2021


Watch: The Top 5’s Surfing Gets Sharper As Finals Day Approaches

Roll the tape, place your bets, and thank Jimmy Wilson.

Sep 11, 2021