Stab Magazine | Stab Surfer Of The Year: John John Florence, Parker Coffin, Mason Ho, Eithan Osborne, Yago Dora

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Stab Surfer Of The Year: John John Florence, Parker Coffin, Mason Ho, Eithan Osborne, Yago Dora

We polled 50 influential people in surf to determine who the best surfer of 2019 truly was. This is day one of ten. 

style // Dec 25, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Welcome to Stab Surfer of the Year 2019, our now annual feature where we poll 50 very influential people in the world of surf and release their picks over ten days. The goal: To tally unbiased votes over a sprawling group of respected opinions to declare the year’s best surfer. 

And, 2019 has been one fabulous year in the brine!

We had a World Champ decided during the final of the Pipe Masters. Saw Russell Bierke press his thumb through the envelope on what’s possible while paddling bombing slabs on large boards. Chippa Wilson’s aerial antics in and out of the sea. Nathan Florence became an air guy. Kolohe Andino almost won two CT events… maybe next year, Brother. Laura Enever keeps popping up on purple blobs. The Stab High Ladybirds broadcasted to the world that a horde of young flygirls is about to shake the tailfeathers off the women’s CT. Plus, much more. We’re here now to pick apart the juicy bits.

Comparing the big wave hell(wo)men, high fidelity shredders, style icons, alt-lefters, and the more niche genres within surf is near impossible. We asked our pollers, who in 2019 captured your attention? Who got you waxing up on the small days? Who was the best performer in or out of the singlet?

For Stab Surfer of the Year 2.0, we added a few new categories, see: Best Junior and Best Web Edit. We also left room for three votes for the women. And, we’ve got a basic scoring system and leaderboard we’ll update as we go. Here’s how it works: The top five male surfers (1st gets 5 points, 2nd gets 4 points, and so on until 5th gets 1 point), top 3 female surfer (1st gets 3 points, 2nd gets 2 points, and 3rd gets 1 point), Best Junior gets 1 point, Best Edit gets 1 point. 

This is day one of ten starring Mason Ho, John John Florence, Eithan Osborne, Parker Coffin, and Yago Dora. While last year we rolled out our fab 50 in alphabetical order, this year they’re being splattered across this dotcommercial without rhyme or reason.

Oh, and Merry Christmas Australia!

SSOTY19 WEB Mason 1

Mason Ho 

Age: 31

Bio: Relentless fun-haver, rock-hopper, Fanning’s travel partner


  1. Michael Ho AKA Pops (5 points): Dad is number one because he surfed somewhere pretty much every single day this year. He usually surfs a lot but this year was heavvvyyyyy. He scored big crazy surf, super tiny surf and everything between. I like to relax some days, he never does. I hope I can have a year like that at some point in my life.
  2. Kolohe Andino (4 points): I’m a huge ass fan of Brother. He put out a mean California edit [Home-ish] at the beginning of the year. Then he went and had results everywhere. He was just so consistent this year. He should’ve won the first event. He went loony. 
  3. Jeremy Flores (3 points): He’s just crazy cool. Always mellow, sometimes mad. You might get the wrong side but it’s kind of even cooler because when you get the good side later, it makes it sweeter. And his win in France was so sick! 
  4. Gabriel Medina (2 points): I’d say Gabs because I did a couple of trips with him and every time he goes surfing he’s doing shit that’s so big and so clean. With combos before or after. It made me realize he’s leveling up the surf standard so high it’s crazy. Like he was inches away two or three times on moves like double backflips and other weird moves. He can change the game in one session. On top of all that he shows up to every CT event and demolishes everybody. He does whatever he wants. He’s classic! 
  5. Sheldon Piashon (1 point): He helped me get better all year. He pushed me the most, so he’s got to be on this list.


  1. Coco Ho (3 points): Because she’s off tour now and I’m going to stuff her in a barrel for ten seconds! Then she’s going to get back on tour the next year and have fun. 
  2. Carissa Moore (2 points): She won the world title. That was sick. 
  3. Stephanie Gilmore (1 point) — Her Bali performance was out of hand. The wave she got [Perfect Ten at Keramas], she surfed it how we all want to surf. Guys, pro guys, beginner pros, pro girls, beginner girls. And she did it all stylish. Steph looks pretty and cool ripping on a wave.

Best Junior

  1. Crosby Colapinto (1 point): He’s been my favorite since he ate a ball of wasabi in front of me on the East Coast. It was probably three or four years ago. So he was pretty young. There were a bunch of kids at the table and one kid’s like, “Mason, eat this ball of wasabi.” I’m like “no.” And, Crosby just gave me this look and I just looked at him like “Do you want to eat that thing?” Cause I’m not like mean… There’s a couple of guys you know, that pick on the groms. And I was always kind of nice. And I was like, “Are you going to eat that thing Crosby?” And he just looked at me, he’s like, “Do you want me to?” And he just grinded it and took it like a champ. He swallowed it, did everything. Made the face. So Crosby by far, because he’s been killing it every single year. And he got a crazy one the other day, right out front at Pipe. He’s so gnarly!

Best Edit:

Red Monkey Full Moon starring Mick Fanning and Mason Ho (1 point): Just because Mick was on that trip and that happened to be one the best trips of my whole life.  

SSOTY19 WEB Eithan 1

Eithan Osborne

Age: 20

Bio: Ventura flyboy with a penchant black metal and an unhealthy obsession with Nirvana. Also a Stab High staple.

  1. Griffin Colapinto (5 points): He’s in there. He rips so hard, even if he hasn’t been doing good in the contests, just free surfing with him, he surfs so good. He’s one of the best regardless of heat scores. 
  2. Noa Deane(4 points): His RU.BU 994 edit was fucking stupid. What I love about Noa is that he doesn’t give a fuck but he does give a fuck. He surfs so well and he really loves surfing. He’s so gnarly.
  3. Dane Reynolds (3 points): He’s the best surfer in the world on top of anybody anytime no matter what. If he’s doing a down carve it’s the best down carve. Nobody puts as much power and emphasis on a turn as Dane does. 
  4. Ethan Ewing (2 points): Ethan just qualified again. He should be on tour. His rail carve is effortless and he hooks it just a little bit harder than other people. His surfing is just so pretty. 
  5. Makana Pang (1 point): He lives here on the North Shore and he charges so hard. I want to charge at Pipe and I try my best, but Makana is small and he goes on anything. He rides a 5’6 or something stupid out there.  


  1. Caroline Marks (3 points): She’s the youngest, best female surfer I’ve ever seen. Her backside turns are gnarly, she charges and does airs. She’s going to be a World Champion. 
  2. Carissa Moore (2 points): She won the title and she’s getting barreled in the contests. Her turns are sick
  3. Stephanie Gilmore (1 point): She has the best style I’ve ever seen out of all females and most male surfers. And she’s been dominating. She’s the Queen. 

Best Junior

  1. Al Cleland Jr. (1 point): Al charges and he has the style of John. He’s dope. 

Best Edit

Left Brain Right Brain starring Chippa Wilson (1 point): That was fucking stupid! Noa’s clip was fucked up, but Chippa’s new edit takes the edit of the year.  


John John Florence 

Age: 27 

Bio: 2x World Champ with a flimsy knee, esteemed seaman, typically considered as the best surfer on planet earth. 


  1. Gabriel Medina (5 points): Number one would have to go Gabe. I think Gabe was surfing really good this year, really powerful. It’s fun to watch him on bigger backhand waves, especially at J-Bay and Bells. I really like the way he surfs those types of waves. 
  2. Italo Ferreira (4 points): He’s just a really fun surfer to watch. Nate [Florence] comes over to my house all psyched on Italo a lot and we watch the little Instagram videos he puts up and he’s just got so much energy. That’s super cool, I think. 
  3. Jordy Smith (3 points): He’s been surfing really good. He’s had a solid year and he’s been doing big airs again in competition again. 
  4. Kolohe Andino (2 points): I spent a lot of time with him this year and I think he really tuned into surfing a lot more… or he just liked competing more. He was so consistent and went out there heat after heat and got good results. 
  5. Nathan Florence (1 point): I’m going to put Nate, my brother, for number five purely out of his improvement in his airs. To me it was so inspiring to watch someone be like, okay, I just want to learn this. He went out at Logs and just started trying them. He’s landed four solid rotations. He switched just like that.


  1. Carissa Moore (3 points): Carissa would be number one just because she’s just such a fun surfer to watch. She’s so gnarly, she’s so powerful.
  2. Stephanie Gilmore (2 points): Just completely based off that 10 in Bali, that was the gnarliest thing ever. 
  3. Lakey Peterson (1 point): Lakey’s been surfing really good. She would be number three. 

Best Junior

  1. Eli Hanneman (1 point): I think he impressed me most this year. It was funny when everyone was practicing for the little air show [Red Bull Airborne] in Bali, before they started, Eli did an alley-oop that was like 10 times bigger than anyone on the air tour. It was gnarly, he just stomped it. He seems to be pretty creative on a wave. He’s putting his own spin on it.

Best Edit

I honestly haven’t even watched a web edit this year. I don’t even know where to start. 

SSOTY19 WEB Parker 1

Parker Coffin 

Age: 26 

Bio: Santa Barbara shred head. Head scout leader at Fat Boy Surf Camp with a backhand more wicked than the witch of the west. 

  1. Mason Ho (5 points): He’s doing the most original cool shit that no one’s doing and he’s having way more fun than anyone else combined. And it’s all for him. 
  2. Italo Ferreira (4 points): He’s an animal. He clicked into his potential and everything fell into place for him this year. He’s refreshing. 
  3. Ethan Ewing (3 points): I was surprised the whole year Ethan wasn’t talked about more. But then he just came in under the radar and shut everyone up and proved why he should be on tour. 
  4. Ian Crane (2 points): I’ve known how good Ian’s surfed for a really long time. This year he’s been put in a position to showcase how good he is. He’s unique in his own way and at Stab High he was doing those backside stalefishes and sticking out like a sore thumb. 
  5. Torren Martyn (1 point): He’s riding crazy funky boards, surfing waves that he wants to surf around the world and making sick videos. He’s totally under the radar, not many people outside of the core surf world know who he is. He’s one of the best surfers in the world; he’s just not riding traditional surfboards. 


  1. Stephanie Gilmore (3 points): I wish I surfed like Steph Gilmore. She had such a sick year and is the best female surfer in the world. 
  2. Lakey Peterson (2 points): She’s a badass. She’s been in the title race for a couple of years now. She works so hard on whatever she thinks she’s not good at. 
  3. Vahine Fierro (1 point): She’s punk rock. She’s rushing nuts waves and getting blown out of barrels at Chopes. Not many girls are doing that. 

Best Junior

  1. Jackson Dorian (1 point): I went to Waco with him and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. He’s the best 11-year-old surfer to ever walk the planet.

Best Edit

The quieter you are the more you can hear starring Craig Anderson: It was 30 minutes and I sat down and watched the entire thing, which is rare in this day and age.  

SSOTY19 WEB Yago 2

Yago Dora 

Age: 23 

Bio: Brazilian flyboy with great hair. Easily the most stylish Brazilian surfer on the World Tour. 


  1.  Italo Ferreira (5 points): He spends so much time surfing and in the water. He’s always so entertaining, even outside competitions he looks like he’s having the most fun. 
  2. John John Florence (4 points): He has to be in the top five even though he only had half a year on tour, but his performances were the best this year. 
  3. Filipe Toledo (3 points): He’s on a different speed. He had a back injury this year, he’s surfing through it and is still surfing so good. If he was 100 percent he would’ve had a shot at the title. 
  4. Gabriel Medina (2 points): It’s unfair to not put Gabriel in here. It’s no surprise, he’s so consistent every year. He can do anything pretty much. He never puts out free surf stuff but if he put out a part it’d be crazier than anyone else’s. The kind of surfing he’s doing is unbelievable.
  5. Russell Bierke (1 point): His dedication to big waves is amazing. It’s not the kind of surfing I do but watching what Russ is doing in those waves is nuts. He’s a top five surfer this year. 


    1. Carissa Moore (3 points): I love the way she pushes her board on the wave. She’s not afraid of pushing extra power in her turns. She won the title and it was deserved, she surfed the best all year. 
    2. Caroline Marks (2 points): She’s so good. Her backhand is lethal. I wish I had that backhand. She has that Italo vibe where she looks like she’s having so much fun. 
    3. Tati Weston-Webb (1 point): Even though she didn’t have her best year on tour, outside of it she was surfing so good. She’s doing airs, and trying to go higher and her performance at Chopes was amazing. In that afternoon session, I think she got the three best waves. 

Best Junior

  1. Joao Chianca (1 point): He’s done amazing stuff this winter in Hawaii. He’s a charger. It’s pretty nuts to see how completely fearless he is.

Best Edit

  1. Flow State starring Russell Bierke: I wouldn’t watch that to get psyched to surf but when you watch Russ’ edit, you have to take five minutes to think about what just happened. It was crazy.  

Stab Surfer of the Year Day One results:

Male (Top 13) 

1. Italo Ferreira (13 points) 

2. Gabriel Medina (10 points) 

3. Kolohe Andino (6 points) 

=4. Mason Ho (5 points) 

=4. Griffin Colapinto (5 points) 

=4. Michael Ho (5 points) 

=4. Ethan Ewing (5 points) 

=5. Noa Deane (4 points)

=5. John John Florence (4 points) 

=6. Dane Reynolds (3 points) 

=6. Jordy Smith (3 points) 

=6. Jeremy Flores (3 points) 

=6. Filipe Toledo (3 points) 

Women (Top 5) 

1. Carissa Moore (8 points) 

2. Stephanie Gilmore (7 points) 

=3. Caroline Marks (5 points) 

=3. Coco Ho (5 points) 

4. Lakey Peterson (3 points) 

Best Junior (top 3) 

=1. Crosby Colapinto (1 point) 

=1. Eli Hanneman (1 point) 

=1. Jackson Dorian (1 point) 

=1. Joao Chianca (1 point) 

Best Edit

=1. Flow State starring Russell Bierke (1 points) 

=1. Left Brain Right Brain starring Chippa Wilson (1 point)

=1. The quieter you are the more you can hear starring Craig Anderson (1 point)

=1. Red Monkey Full Moon starring Mick Fanning and Mason Ho (1 point)


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