Stab Magazine | Scenes From A Semi-Sedate, And Slightly Unbuttoned SURFER Poll

And The Winners Of The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Are... Watch The Pick-Up Episode 5, Presented by Vans, To Find Out


Scenes From A Semi-Sedate, And Slightly Unbuttoned SURFER Poll

There was no stew.

style // Dec 8, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Surfer Poll was a semi-sedate affair this year. The crowd was smaller, there was a distinct lack of c-level, non-surf, celebrities trotting down the red carpet. I’m told there were Instagram influencers in abundance. It’s not a fact to which I can attest. I don’t know who those children are. It’d be rather inappropriate if I did.

We dodged a near-case of Stab-enforced sobriety when the powers that be decided we wouldn’t need to report in a live, or even timely, fashion. It was a much appreciated change of policy. Without the drugs it might’ve been an interminable affair.

Instead it was fun, in an I’m-trying-to-be-positive-because-I-know-a-ton-of-good-people-worked-very-hard-on-it kind of way. But the bars were shut down repeatedly, temporarily, leaving pre-purchased drink tickets unused. Table service was more or less non-existent. The lack of available food was an odd decision considering anyone who wore more than a t-shirt and jeans most liked missed dinner while tarting themselves up.

Last year they had beef stew. Hot hardy meat in a thick brown gravy served up in a hollowed out loaf of bread. The vegetarian option was the bread. A cash-only stew station seemed an odd choice at the time, but it was something. 

This year there was no stew. 










The ever so vibrant Alessa Quizon, Laura Enever, and Pacha Light.


Miss Light again, Jaleesa Vincent, and Josie Prendergast.

Drinks were served in branded Yeti-mugs in order to help save the earth, somehow. It was a nice gesture, if for no other reason than they hold roughly half a bottle of wine and the bartender topped mine off the single time I was able to redeem a ticket. But it got lost along the way, as did no doubt many others. Forgoing single use plastics is a great idea, replacing them with hunks of aluminum left behind seems to miss the point.

A brisk wind blew outside, chasing most into the press of humid humanity clustered around the banquet hall doors. It was a bit intense, and moist, and lead to a few unfortunate interactions as I pressed my sweaty flesh through the crowd. It’s not a nice feeling when a gorgeous woman recoils from your inadvertent touch.

And there were gorgeous women in abundance. Fit, talented, dressed to kill. Shining like stars fallen to Earth. Sage Erickson is always stunning. Alessa Quizon killed it with braids and beauty. Coco Ho belonged on a runaway, not on line at the reception bar. My notes indicate that Jaleesa Vincent, Mainei Kinimaka, Alana Spencer and Carrissa Moore murdered the room. Felicity Palmateer, Alana Blanchard, Josie Prendergast would steal your breath.

We cattle were herded inside and the show began. The Stab table was in the furthest back corner, a position that clearly indicated Ashton’s chance of getting the nod for his Acid Test endeavors were slim to none. Patagonia took that honor with Never Town, Sean Doherty swore in his acceptance speech! Clutch my pearls, an Aussie said ‘shit’ on an internet broadcast!

The show was great. Once again, the live score provided by The Mattson 2 made the night. Wassel and Cote tag teamed the mic. Wassel delivered his well-honed Catskills routine.


The number 2 female surfer, the radiant Beth Hamilton.


Stab’s current house mate, and one of the SURFER Poll’s best dressed, the gorgeous Miss Sage Erickson.

Caroline Marks and Seth Moniz grabbed the respective AI Breakthrough Surfer of the Year. Chippa Wilson took Best Short despite totally writing himself off prior. Noa Deane got Best Maneuver. John John is still very popular. Mason Ho is hilarious at all times. He won something or other.

Kissed by God beat the field, a fact that surprised no one. 

There were grumblings among some attendees that the results were rigged in some fashion of another. But that’s stupid, because they can’t be. The entire night is an exercise in self-congratulatory public masturbation. The awards are completely subjective and we’re all only there to feel like we do something important. We don’t. But it’s often a lot of fun pretending our meaningless obsession with an aquatic hobby carries some sort of import. And, you know, a lot of people do work very hard to make this shit happen.

As the show progressed the room grew warmer and the scent of bodies became a bit too much to stand. A trek outside for fresh air found a flat screen running the show without sound under a starry sky blessed by crisp winter wind.

It would have been a pleasant way to end the night.

Instead we tried to get into the premiere of Mason’s new flick, only to be turned away due to lack of necessary wristband. “Get in line and pay a cover!”

No thanks. We’re important men, we don’t have time for that nonsense. We had pressing matters to which to attend. We drove back to the rental, came down, and eventually fell asleep.


Two generational heroes of the surfing world: Herbie Fletcher and Shane Beschen.


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