Stab Fwd: What's The Most Valuable Thing Surfing Has Taught You? - Stab Mag

Stab Fwd: What’s The Most Valuable Thing Surfing Has Taught You?

Number one: how to remain calm in life’s most critical situations.

Words by Brendan Buckley

I like to surf when the waves are big. 

Well, really, I like to surf at every given (or taken) opportunity. Big, windy, small, hollow… medium. Medium waves are fun. 

I’ve never been sure what to make of the “big wave surfer” label. Is anybody who surfs a big wave a big wave surfer? Do big waves need to be your focus in order to be considered a big wave surfer? Does it matter? 

No, probably not. 

But I do like bigger waves. It’s a different sensation. And even more than the sensation, it’s a much different mental and emotional experience.  

I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon over the years. 

It’s normal, at least for me, to feel nervous while surfing waves of consequences. Those nerves become amplified when it appears as though you might take one of those consequences on the head. Maybe it’s a sneaker set, or maybe you caught a wave and it put you in a bad spot. No matter the case, it doesn’t feel good to fear that a big wave is targeting you. However, something strange happens if that fear becomes realized. 

A sense of calm. 

It’s as if the monkey that’s been screaming at you — jacking your heart rate and shortening your breath — is overruled by a deeper, more elegant side of your brain that knows staying calm is what you need to do. 

Once you know this through experience, it naturally translates to other areas of life. 

Acceptance, I suppose. When something you’ve been worried about actualizes, you just have suck it up and deal with it as best you can. Surfing is for sure not the only activity that can teach you such a thing. 

But, for my money, it’s the most fun. 


Post-Career Blues: Mental Illness, Substance Abuse And World Tour Surfing 

As surf media train-wrecked its way into the digital world, surf journalism became a joke. I mean that literally — the term was often employed ironically, because everybody knew it just wasn’t happening. But this? This is good. It feels like Stab Premium is settling into its groove, proving that there are still stories with dimensions worth putting the effort into exploring. 


Stab In The Dark with Taj Burrow, Episode 2 of 4

He’s back. And this time, he’s testing Testing Mayhem, Haydenshapes, Sharp Eye, Firewire, and Chemistry. As nice as it was to sit down, enjoy a beverage and watch SITD in the full, I’m digging this drip-feed format. Gives you something to look forward to every week — it’s the little things in life, yeah?


John Florence and Carissa Moore Win The 2020 Digital Vans Triple Crown

If the CT carried on, today would have been the last day of the Sunset Open waiting period. Unfortunately, as we all know, that wasn’t the case — which makes the Digital vans Triple Crown feel even more special. Click in for a 40 minute recap of this year’s strange but firing season on the North Shore. And, congrats Carissa and John. Well deserved.


Tired of John John winning things? No, no, neither was anybody else. He was sidelined for a lot of 2020, but that didn’t seem to stop him. He launched a new brand, won his first Pipe Masters, won another Triple Crown and, now, ran away with SOTY. Can you imagine what’ll happen when we get a full year of him uninjured again?. 

The women’s side of SOTY was a closer race, but Steph Gilmore came away with it. Why? Because, well, in a year absent of competition, who is really going to take the crown from the Queen? 

Watch Tom Curren Surfing A Perfect Mexican Pointbreak

I don’t think there’s anything I can say that this title misses. You either want to watch Tom Curren surfing a perfect Mexican pointbreak or I’m not really sure why you’re here. 

One last thing: 

You ever have a board that you don’t ride for a while, then you pick back it up and feel really good on it, then have that good feeling slowly fade over the course of a few sessions and erode to the point where you question it entirely, start to despise it, tell yourself during a session that it’s the last time you’ll ride it, get one great wave on it, regain a little bit of hope, but still put it away and continue the cycle? 

I know you have.


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