Stab Magazine | Stab Surfer Of The Year: Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Sean Doherty, Vaughan Blakey, and Jed Smith

Stab Surfer Of The Year: Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Sean Doherty, Vaughan Blakey, and Jed Smith

The final five votes for SSOTY.

style // Jan 3, 2020
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

We’d like to say it’s all come down to this, but for the most part, the winners have been (mostly) clear for a couple of days. We polled 50 influential names in surfing over the last two weeks on the best surfers of 2019, well, according to them. 

The categories were best male surfer, best female, best film, and best junior. And as of yesterday, here’s how the rankings stand. 

Stab Surfer of the Year Day Nine results:
Male (Top 10)
1. Italo Ferreira (99 points)
2. Gabriel Medina (57 points)
3. Chippa Wilson (39 points)
4. Jack Robinson (35 points)

5. John John Florence (34 points)
6. Mason Ho (29 points)
7. Kolohe Andino (31 points)

8. Noa Deane (27 points)   
9. Russell Bierke (26 points)  
10. Seth Moniz (24 points) 

Women (Top 6)
1. Carissa Moore (65 points)
2. Stephanie Gilmore (62.5 points)
3. Caroline Marks (48 points)
4. Moana Jones (15 points)
5. Coco Ho (12 points)

Best Junior (top 3)
1. Eli Hanneman (10 points)
2. Crosby Colapinto (8 points)
3. Jai Glindeman (5 points) 

Best Edit
1. Flow State starring Russell Bierke (13 points)
2. Left Brain Right Brain starring Chippa Wilson  (6 points) 
2. Ru.Bu 994 starring Noa Deane (4 points)

Today we tally the final votes. For the final votes we have the best surfer to never win a Title, Taj Burrow, the world’s best surf journalist, Sean Doherty, the wonderful pair of Swellian leaders, Vaughan Blakey and Jed Smith, as well as the GOAT himself, Kelly Slater!


Kelly Slater

Age: 47

Bio: Greatest. Of. All. Time. 


1. John John Florence (5 points): Why John? Is that a joke?

2. Italo Ferreira (4 points)

3. Gabriel Medina (3 point)

4. Filipe Toledo (2 points)

5. Owen Wright (1 point)


1. Carissa Moore (3 points)

2. Stephanie Gilmore (2 points)

3. Lakey Peterson (1 point)

Best Junior

Eli Hanneman (1 point)

Best Film

“I haven’t watched enough web edits to give an opinion”

SSOTY19 WEB Vaughan

Vaughan Blakey

Bio: Edited many surf magazines, chief swellian, fantastic in a commentary booth.


1. Creed McTaggart (5 points): Full renaissance mode. Absolutely lording on longer sleds in big teepee wedges. Watching his Globe, Funboys and Billabong clips made me feel real happiness for where his surfing is at right now.

2. Noa Deane (4 points) RuBu is the biggest cleaver fest I’ve ever seen. Don’t know if anyone but Dane can match him for raw power,  but they’re different animals. There’s nobody like Noz.

3. Italo Ferreira (3 points): I love emotional beings. I love guys who bark like koalas when they win comps and throw everything at every section, every session. Full blown maniac. 

4. Mason Ho (2 points): Too much fun all the time. I don’t know if anyone loves surfing more.

5. Jack Robinson (1 point): For obvious reasons, but I’d also like to shout out to Shaun Manners, Jeremy Flores, Owen Wright, and Gab Medina who all had mental years. 


1. Laura Enever (3 points):  Fully creating her own universe in the deep dark southern seas. Her film will blow minds when it comes out.

2. Caroline Marks (2 points): Amazing year. So much improvement to come. Her potential honestly scares me.

3. Carissa Moore (1 point): Simply too good.

Best Junior

Dakoda Walters & Molly Picklum (1/2 a point each)

Best Film

Ru. Bu. 994 starring Noa Deane (1 point): Also have to mention Fun Boys by Harry Triglone though. 


Taj Burrow

Age: 41

Bio: Best competitive surfer to never win a Title, good in the air, used to feature on essentially every Stab cover in the 00’s, sent his picks on the fly.  


1. Italo Ferreira (5 points)

2. Chippa Wilson (4 points)

3. Jack Robinson (3 points)

4. Noa Deane (2 points)

5. Ethan Ewing (1 points)


1. Caroline Marks (3 points)

2. Stephanie Gilmore (2 points)

3. Carissa Moore (1 point)

Best Junior

Eli Hanneman/Jai Glindeman (1/2 each): Can’t split these two. 

Best Film

“There was way too many good films this year to pick.”

SSOTY19 WEB JedSmith

Jed Smith

Bio: Two-time gold cone piece winning journalist, co-host of Ain’t That Swell, and an all-round fucking legend.


1. Russell Bierke (5 points): He’s putting his fucking life on the line. That film he made was mental and that tube at Jaws… wow. Also behaves so well in a lineup, such a nice guy.

2. Italo Ferreira (4 point): Doesn’t need an explanation does he.

3. Gabriel Medina (3 points): … again.

4. Craig Anderson (2 points): The pinnacle of stylish surfing. He’s honestly Curren-esque in the way he approaches waves.

5. Billy Kemper (1 point): I can’t even relate to the surfing he does. The big wave surfing guys like him and Bierke are doing is the pinnacle of surfing right now for me. 


1. Carissa Moore (3 points): The World Champion, had a mental year.

2. Paige Alms (2 points): 

3. Steph Gilmore (1 point): Not her best year competitively, but all round you don’t get better.


Caroline Marks (1 points): [Editor’s note: I think people forget she’s under 18, she really should be winning this category.]

Best Film

Flow State with Russell Bierke (1 point): As I said before, he’s putting his life on the line and that film is so sick. 


Sean Doherty

Age: Ageless Surf Journo

Bio: Arguably the world’s most renowned surf journalist, campaigner for environmental rights, hates Equinor.


1. Russell Bierke (5 points): The film alone and his effort at Jaws.

2. Italo Ferreira (4 points): Pretty obvious

3. Ethan Ewing (3 points): Psyched to see him re-qualify

4. Torren Martyn (2 points): 

5. Noa Deane (1 point): 


1. Carissa Moore (3 points)

2. Stephanie Gilmore (2 points)

3. Laura Enever (1 point): Her film is going to blow minds next year.

Best Film

Flow State starring Russell Bierke (1 point):

Best Junior

Molly Picklum (1 point): Won five or six Juniors in Australia and tore apart the wavepool in Waco. That’s where Kerrzy noticed her. 


Tally the votes up yourself or wait until the winners post… to be dropped very soon.


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