Stab Surfer Of The Year: Dane Gudauskas, Pat Gudauskas, Tanner Gudauskas, Mason Ho, Kanoa Igarashi
Day 5: Chippa Wilson climbs the ranks for Stab’s Surfer Of The Year.
We’ve officially hit the halfway of the Stab Surfer of the Year, and what have we learned?
For one, that the leaderboard is is looking suspiciously similar to that of the WSL before heading into Pipe. Wanna see?
Males (Top 12):
1. Gabriel Medina (33 points)
=2. Filipe Toledo (24 points)
=2. Julian Wilson (24 points)
=2. Noa Deane (24 points)
5. Chippa Wilson (23 points)
6. Nate Florence (13 points)
=7. Italo Ferreira (12 points)
=7. Dane Reynolds (12 points)
=7. Griffin Colapinto (12 points)
10. Grant Twiggy Baker (11 points)
=11. Billy Kemper (10 points)
=11. Shaun Manners (10 points)
=11. Mick Fanning (10 points)
=11. Lucas Chumbo (10 points)
Females (Top 6):
1. Steph Gilmore (10 points)
2. Keala Kennelly (3 points)
=3. Bethany Hamilton (2 points)
=3. Caroline Marks (2 points)
=5. Carissa Moore (1 point)
=5. Courtney Conlogue (1 point)
=5. Lakey Peterson (1 point)
Despite the power-trio of Gabby, Italo, and Julian reigning supreme, we do have a few non-compers in the mix as well, including Stab High’s first-and-second placers Noa Deane and Chippa Wilson.
Today we’ll be hearing from the Gudang triumvirate, Mason Ho, and new Rich List addition Kanoa Igarashi.
Will their answers diverge or keep the current trends alive? Let’s discover!
Bio: Turns the rail waaay over, loves a big blue tube, twin!
Nate Florence (5 points): “The guy’s been on every swell, getting every fucking wave. That’s pretty lit.” [Nate chased down most of the L,XL, and XXL swells this season, scoring on all of them.]
Seth Moniz (4 points): “Because of the airs at Waco and then at the US Open and then qualifying for the CT. All that air shit was so tweaked. That was next level.” [Seth landed the first-ever backflip in a wavepool and nailed a near-perfect backside air rev at the US Open.]
Chippa Wilson (3 points): “Chip’s edit was so sick. He was ripping.” [Video No.4 had one of the highest play counts on Stab in 2018.]
Alex Knost (2 points): “Knosty has been working real hard on getting his shapes out there. He’s definitely on his own path. He doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks about him or what he does.”
Gabriel Medina (1 point): “Guy’s a muscle! That Pipe shit was wild.” [Medina won the Pipe Masters (and subsequently the World Title)] with a dominating performance. He also only lost twice in the last five events.]
Carissa Moore (1 points): “She’s so sick. I want to surf like Carissa Moore.” [Don’t we all.]
Bio: Positive viber, rodeo clowner, co-twin(!)
Griffin Colapinto (5 points): “I love Griffin’s whole program and vibe. He’s a throwback – like a new old-school. He’s got little hits of Wardo, AI, Parko, and the way he’s approaching the whole thing is just punk rock. Of the young guys at the top, Griff definitely charges the hardest.”
Lucas Chumbo (4 points): “I’m backing Chumbo. He fucking charges. I’ve seen him in a couple big wave sessions and his approach at Maverick’s is nuts. I never knew big wave backside surfing could be so gnarly until him.”
Italo Ferreira (3 points): “Italo’s just a freak. His instagram is crazy. He’s sent it 100% on every section, all year long. Start to finish. Not even one section left untapped.”
Grant Twiggy Baker (2 points): “That wave Twiggy caught at Jaws is the gnarliest wave ever ridden. And he’s 45. He has to be on this list. He’s a freak. Honestly, we saw him after and he was concerned with himself after he watched the video. Like, if he fell anywhere on that wave, he would die. I almost think he didn’t get the credit he deserved. I like big waves and I think what they did this year they changed the whole game. Twiggy especially”
Chippa Wilson (1 point): “What Chippa did in Stab High was insane [Chip got second place via several massive varials]. He could be first or whatever but he’s fucking psycho. His airs but also his barrels are psycho.”
Bethany Hamilton (1 point): “She’s fucking gnarly. She did all the big barrels – tow in Chopes, Jaws. Then I did the wavepool with her for three days and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s 100% Bethany Hamilton.”
Bio: Ex-CTer, forever champion of stoke, not a twin
Quote: “It’s a long year. You see so much shit.”
Nathan Florence (5 points): “Nate had a crazy year – Nias, Fiji, I think he had Panama, Namibia, Teahupoo, Puerto – basically he was on every good swell. It was insane. I got to be there in Fiji and the eyeballs he had for those waves was insane – he and Laurie Towner were on this same let’s-get-gnarly-for-fun trip. But Nate did it every single swell and at every single big wave spot. Big rights, big lefts, long rights, long lefts, I kinda feel like he’s at a high point. That’s why I put him at the top.”
Griffin Colapinto (4 points): “Griff brought a good light back into the WSL this year. It was getting real corpo and Griffin’s really rad and normal. I especially like what he does here during the Triple Crown – he surfs big waves loose and free and he reminds me of the guys when I was comin’ up. He’s like Mick, Parko and AI, whatever was surfable they were out there getting it. He’s kinda like that.”
Chippa Wilson (3 points): “I would have to put Chippa in there. Watching him attack some of those sections was just insane. It was cool to see him put himself in some heavy spots for his video. Those waves were big and that was fucking cool. Chip did really well in Stab High as well, and I feel like he was hot this year and I love the way he surfs.”
Seth Moniz (2 points): “Starting on the backflip and then qualifying – well that’s how you do it.”
Laurie Towner (1 point): “Laurie is a hard-hitting legend. It’s so cool when you don’t see someone for a while and then you see them send it on everything coming in. It was so gnarly. The way he was surfing his big board on the second day of the Fiji swell – I think it was an 8’10 and he was riding it like it was a 6’6” at Teahupoo. He was getting over the rails and manoeuvering and shifting his speed. I was baffled. Hopefully that sparks some more support to get him to more swells. He’d be a great pick for the big wave world tour if he wanted it.
Caroline Marks (1 point): “She definitely made a mark this year. No pun intended.” [Caroline took down some big names in her rookie year on Tour, ultimately finishing 7th.]
Noa Deane: “For Headnoise plus what Noa did at the start of the year in the Backdoor Shootout [Noa had a powerful first performance at Pipeline alongside his Volcom teammates]… that pretty much sold me.”
Bio: Relentless fun-haver, rock-hopper, Fanning’s travel partner
Sheldon Paishon (5 points): “He’s my main surf partner. I have friends that I love to surf with for just fun. But Sheldon, he brings out this competitive rage that I had when I was a kid, and I love Sheldon for that. He’s raw, and nowadays there ain’t anyone raw like that.” [Sheldon is from the West side of Oahu and had a difficult childhood, including a lack of parents homelessness. Surfing has always been Sheldon’s one true passion, so despite his unfortunate circumstances Sheldon honed his skills to the point where he won a QS 3,000 in Tahiti this year. Mason then negotiated a Rip Curl deal for Sheldon, and they’re in the process of making a documentary about Sheldon’s life, struggles, and recent triumphs.]
Seth Moniz (4 points): “He’s legit. I watched him grow up, and he was always so cool and super respectful to me, and to see him do what he did this year. My goal growing up was always to make the tour and crack that QS code, and to watch him wait patiently and strike and do it, I bow down! It fires me up. It just makes me think: Yes, this is correct. This era is correct. ‘Cause when I was his age trying to do what he just did, I had a similar approach, just take off and get inverted. It’s like watching myself qualify, seeing him. He’s fully Hawaiian, there’s no argument, he’s all tan. Any Hawaiians on tour I’m a fan of, and he’s like a little brother.
Noa Deane (3 points): “Just showing up to the Stab Contest, I was looking forward to that event all year. It was a good mix of the freesurf/competitive thing. I don’t know if Noa focuses on anything, but he just showed up and won. And his movie Headnoise was fucked up. I turned it on when I was doing a trip in Indo, and it got me so amped up – it actually gave me chicken skin. It had one of the best Hawaii sections in a while. He’s modern-day old-school and I love that.”
Dane Reynolds (2 points): “I don’t care what he does, he’s one of the best every year. That Electric Acid Surfboard Test. I had so much fun watching that, just riding all those boards that well. Just for being himself and making all the boards look cool. That’s my dream.”
Barron Mamiya: “Barron’s a great all around guy. He’s really coming into his own. He plowed through heats this year, he got that crazy Pipe wave, and he showed that he’s on that top level. I was like, ‘Fuck yeah grommet!’”
Coco Ho (1 point): Sis got a nice wave a Backdoor the other day and then she followed it up with a win at the Women’s Pipe event. She’s always blowing my mind. In the CT events I always think she’s making the heat even when she doesn’t. She’s the number one girl in my eyes.”
I’ll put myself as the honorable mention. I was getting some!
Bio: Top-10 CT surfer, also won the QS this year, new addition to Stab’s Rich List
Filipe Toledo (5 points): “When he was on, Filipe was miles ahead of everyone else. He was just smoking guys. He has that extra gear that a lot of people don’t have.”
Eithan Osborne (4 points): “What I like about Eithan is that when he gets good results in contests, it’s because he does airs that a lot of guys can’t do. Most people are either a contest guy or a free surf guy, but Eithan did a varial in the World Juniors.” [See below.]
Kai Lenny (3 points): “The stuff Kai did at Jaws was crazy. He’s just so onto it. Even outside of surfing, he can ride giant waves on any craft. We need someone like him in surfing.
Noa Deane (2 points): “His edit was crazy. That North Point alleyoop was one of the best airs ever done.”
Nathan Florence (1 point): “Nate chases a bunch of swells. He charges. He doesn’t really do events and it’s sick that he can be such a high profile surfer without putting on a jersey. He makes his own magic. I think that’s really cool.”
Steph Gilmore (1 point): “Are you kidding me? Steph’s the girl. Not just because she won the Title, but it’s the way she carries herself. She’s authentic, crazy style – Steph is one of a kind.”
Koa Rothman: “Koa made his own series with This Is Livin’ – he’s killing it. He puts a video out once a week and that’s hard.”
And Nate Flo charges up the rankings! Begging the question, John who?
Stab Surfer of the Year running total:
Males (Top 12):
1. Gabriel Medina (34 points)
2. Chippa Wilson (30 points)
=3. Filipe Toledo (29 points)
=3. Noa Deane (29 points)
=5. Julian Wilson (24 points)
=5. Nate Florence (24 points)
7. Griffin Colapinto (21 points)
8. Seth Moniz (19 points)
9. Italo Ferreira (15 points)
=10. Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (14 points)
=10. Dane Reynolds (14 points)
12. Grant “Twiggy” Baker (13 points)
Females (Top 5):
1. Steph Gilmore (11 points)
=2. Keala Kennelly (3 points)
=2. Bethany Hamilton (3 points)
=2. Caroline Marks (3 points)
5. Carissa Moore (2 points)
Stay tuned, tomorrow we’ll hear from the suspiciously Maui-heavy grouping of:
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