Stab Magazine | Stab Surfer Of The Year: Stace Galbraith, Leo Fioravanti, Tanner Gudauskas, Cam Richards, Asher Pacey

Stab Surfer Of The Year: Stace Galbraith, Leo Fioravanti, Tanner Gudauskas, Cam Richards, Asher Pacey

SSOTY, day eight. 

style // Jan 1, 2020
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 12 minutes

There are just three days left to read our peer reviews of the most influential surfers in 2019. 

Thus far, we’ve got Italo Ferreira nearly lapping the men’s field, Carissa Moore with a slight lead over Steph in the women’s, and Eli Hanneman/Noa Deane holding down best junior/edit categories. 

The official tally leading into day eight lives here:

Stab Surfer of the Year Day Seven results:
Male (Top 10)

1. Italo Ferreira (85 points)
2. Gabriel Medina (51 points)
3. John John Florence (29 points)
=4. Chippa Wilson (26 
=4. Kolohe Andino (26 points)
=4. Russell Bierke (26 points)
=4. Chippa Wilson (26 points)  
=5. Noa Deane (22 points) 
=5. Jack Robinson (22 points) 
6. Ian Crane (17 points) 

Women (Top 6)
1. Carissa Moore (59 points)
2. Stephanie Gilmore (49.5 points)
3. Caroline Marks (29 points)
4. Moana Jones (13 points)
5. Laura Enever (11 points)

Best Junior (top 3)
1. Eli Hanneman (10 points)
2. Crosby Colapinto (7 points)
3. Jai Glindeman (4 points) 

Best Edit
1. Flow State starring Russell Bierke (11 points)
2. Ru.Bu 994 starring Noa Deane (4 points) 
=3. Left Brain Right Brain starring Chippa Wilson (3 points)

Today we’ll hear from CT coach and podcaster Stace Galbraith, Italian shoulder-bopper Leo Fioravanti, the human dopamine drip Tanner Gudauskas, South Carolinian Pipe specialist Cam Richards, and weird board wizard Asher Pacey.


Stace Galbraith 
Age: 29
Bio: CT Coach, unprofessional podcaster, considers himself a 5-or-6-out-of-10 surfer


1. Jack Freestone (5 points): Jack managed to qualify via the CT after heading into Europe about 27th… He needed two quarters or a semi and a quarter in France and Portugal and fucking got it done. He finally looked like the surfer that we all know he is. 

2. Harrison Roach (4 points): I love when someone can surf all types of waves on all types of boards. That’s the definition of surfing to me. Harry is of the world’s best all-rounders and it was good to see him in a rashie this year on the Longboard World Tour. Hopefully he can win a Title some day. 

3. Shaun Manners (3 points): I can’t use Shaun Manners’ Blastoid edit because that was last year, but I really love the way that Shaun surfs. He landed that shuv-it at Stab High, and I’m pretty sure it was the first time he’d ever tried that. But that’s just the kind of surfer Shaun is. He’s got that kind of talent. 

4. Craig Anderson (2 points): Because it’s awesome to see someone in this modern era of instagram still spend a lot of time and effort into making something that you’ll watch twice.

5. Jai Glindeman (1 point): I think Jai is above age. The way that he reads the ocean and the way that he surfs makes me believe that surfing has some kind of instinctual component that none of us know anything about it.


1. Malia Manuel (3 points): I love the way she surfs. She’s got incredible style. 

2. Laura Enever (2 points): She is a hellwoman on and off the board. Crazy drive and determination to ride some of the biggest barrels on the planet. Looking forward to seeing her full length film.

3. Stephanie Gilmore (1 point): She’s the Gold Coast queen. World Champ seven times over and I think she transcends gender the way she surfs. She’s been fucking ripping this year. 

Best Edit 

Rubu 994 Noa Deane (1 point): I just think it’s awesome when someone can consistently perform at such a high level the way Noa does. I like how all of his clips are filmed in such short time frames. I think Head Noise was filmed in like three or four months.

Best Junior 

Tane Bowden (1 point): Tane won the last two comps of the year in a range of conditions to take the Aussie Junior title. That was really impressive.


Leo Fioravanti
Age: 22
Bio: Italian-borne, globally bred surf star. Known for wearing all Gucci errythang.


1. Jeremy Flores (5 points): It was incredible to see him win in France. To see him achieve that at home… and Pierre Agnes was like a father to him. Him winning in France is like John winning the Pipe Masters. Jeremy is a succesful surfer, but winning France was a moment that inspired me a lot. He got second in Bali and had an incredible year. 

2. Jordy Smith (4 points): This year I feel like he’s given it an extra notch. He’s gone back to doing airs, like he was in Brazil and for a few years we didn’t see Jordy do airs. It reminded me of his old parts like Stranger than Fiction and Intersection. He does huge turns but it’s sick to see him doing big alley-oops and full rotations. He’s been pushing it so hard this year. 

3. Jack Robinson (3 points): It was sick to see him qualify. He always traveled with Trev his father and when he stopped he got into his own groove. He won Pipe at the start of the year, got a few results and came to Hawaii and won sunset. Boom!

4. Kanoa Igarashi (2 points): He won his first event, he’s in the top ten. Every year he’s stepping it up and getting rid of grom surfing and become a man surfer. He’s getting so much better. It’s exciting to watch, he was always the best kids and now he’s a surfer to beat if he’s in your heat. 

5. Italo Ferreira (1 point): He’s an incredible surfer. He’s kind of aggressive in the water but that’s how he does it. He goes out, he doesn’t give a fuck and he surfs so crazy. That’s how you win.  


1. Caroline Marks (3 points): She’s a girl version of Italo—she doesn’t stop on her backhand and she’s exciting to watch. 

2. Carissa Moore (2 points): She’s one of the most raw surfers there is and won the Title. 

3. Steph Gilmore (1 point): You can never take Steph out of the equation. She’s just the best. That ten she got in Keramas would’ve been one of the best waves in the Mens comp. 

Best Clip 

Russel Bierke, Flow State (1 point): Hands down. That clip was so sick. He’s next level. When I first met him I was 14 years old and we were out at off the wall, it was big and I was shitting myself. Meanwhile Russ was just packing 6-8 foot closeouts and coming back out going “Oh, yeah that was a fun one.” 

Best Junior 

Kauli Vaast (1 point): He won the trials. He’s only like seventeen years old and he’s one of the best at Teahupoo. And he can do big airs. He rips.

SSOTY19 WEB Tanner

Tanner Gudauskas 

Age: 31

Bio: A three-year-belated triplet and naturally occurring dopamine drip. Also surfed a half-year on the CT.


1. Chippa Wilson (5 points): He won the Stab High and then all these edits that he’s dropped at the end of the year have been insane. And I feel like Chippa is pushing his surfing and doing some wild shit. And, to me, watching that looks inspiring.Anything that comes with Chippa I make the effort to go and watch it. 

2. Italo Ferreira (4 points): Italo is number two based on the virtue of his presence in the space. I know he’s won a couple events, but I’m more into the way he’s doing it. He just looks like he’s having a fucking really good time, in contests, in free surfs and on Instagram. That’s really contagious. 

3. Torren Martyn (3 points): I didn’t know much about Torren until this year. And then the Surfer’s Journal article was insane. He’s put out edits that were super high quality, and the guy’s just getting completely barreled. Bam, Torren, number three. 

4. Wade Goodall (2 points):  I think Wade’s kind of an undercover one, but he’s pretty humble with how he puts things out into the media. I saw Pentacoastal, his new film, in Hawaii and it’s insane, and I think as soon as people see that, then they’re going to understand how great of a year Wade had. And, two, it’s so cool seeing how much hard work he’s put into that project and how fucking unbelievable it came out.

5. Ian Crane (1 point): I feel like Ian Crane’s had an insane year. He did really well at Stab High. He just has such a unique air game. And he’s a legendary character. And then also that he launched Beach Head, like his brand. So, I think that that’s all about having fun. He also just really inspires me to surf. He’s kind of currently one of my more favorite surfers to watch.


1. Caroline Marks (3 points): She’s just my spirit surfer. Like compact goofy foot, just rail lord, and she looks so sick on her backhand. So yep, Carrilupo number one! 

2. Lee-Ann Curren (2 points): We got to hang at the Duct Tape and here her play her music. She has such a vibe, her surfing is so fun and killer. Then in Sambal Sambal, which is Ainara’s movie from Vans, Lee-Ann has some really killer waves in it. So, I’m going to put LeeAnn at number two. And, as well, she did all the music with Knost for Tan Madonna. She’s kind of just epic.

3. Honolua Blomfield (1 point): Feel like she’s just been everywhere, and she just won the Longboarding World Title. That’s got to feel good. 

Best Edit 

Craig Anderson’s The Quieter You Are The More You Can Hear (1 point): I just loved the editing style on it. It was like one continual montage of clips, and they were all, of course, super high quality. And, yeah, I was just pumping. I like his style in it. I’d like to give Wade Goodall’s Pentacoastal an honorary mention though. That’s not coming out until next year so I can’t pick it for 2019. 

Best Junior 

Tyrone Fomenko (1 point): The ginga ninja!

SSOTY19 WEB CamRichards

Cam Richards 
Bio: Successfully transitioned from a small-wave air guy to Pipeline specialist. Also he’s from South Carolina.


1. Jack Robinson (5 points): I don’t think he’s underrated. Everyone knows how good he is. I think he’s one of the most unlucky when it came to contests and everything, but all year long he was keeping people excited. He’s always up to something. He won the Volcom Pipe Pro, which I think is one of the hardest contests in the world. So that right there is obviously a huge accomplishment, and then throughout the year he was even just charging at the Chopes swell during the trials. He Looks like an old school surfer. He definitely, as everyone says, has the Andy/Bruce look. 

2. Benji Brand (4 points): Benji is by far, hands-down the most underrated surfer in the world. He is the craziest motherfucker when it comes to big waves. I mean, I was lucky enough to be in the water with him at Chopes during the trials swell, and there wasn’t a wave the guy didn’t look at and not go. It was just tunnel vision. When he wanted a wave, he was going. The crazy part was that he made them all. A lot of waves got missed from all the video dudes, because of everyone watching the tow waves and focusing on that. 

Meanwhile, Benji’s just standing in 25-footers and getting spit out. A lot of people will tell you Benji was a standout that day but holy shit, the guy just did not care. And then, he goes out at Pipe, and he’s always getting the best waves when no one else is out. Always the first one, and he does it just for the love of it. He’s out at dark, and not worried about getting clips. He’ll have already gotten some insane ones before it gets light. Benji is gnarly. 

3. Seth Moniz (3 points): Once he qualified this year, I think he impressed all of us with just his variety and how gnarly he is at every aspect of surfing. He did some of the biggest airs of the year. He fucking charged at Chopes during the CT. But yeah, I just think he matured a lot this year in his surfing. It’s unbelievable how good he was and at almost every single stop. To be able to do well on tour, and then put out an insane video part… I really respect that, because a lot of people, they pick one. They’re like, oh, I’m going to focus on tour and not worry about filming and all that. Or focus on the QS, not worry about filming.

4. Noa Deane (2 points): Noa has always impressed me. He does the gnarliest airs, and he’s so technical and you can tell that he translates his skating to his surfing with a lot of style. But then on top of Noa just being the crazy air guy that he is, he’s one of my favorites to watch out at Backdoor and Pipe. He will never say no and he charges, and he’s really good in the barrel; that’s my favorite part about Noa. He’s always doing big spins, and in the Red Bull Airborne and Stab High, he was doing tricks he’s never tried before. And was getting close to them. It’s just badass.

5. Kolohe Andino (1 point): I like Kolohe because he’s definitely just your all-American surfer. He’s made two finals this year and has been so consistent. I don’t know, I’ve never wanted someone to win a CT so bad, because he is always getting second. I think also his surfing has matured more and more, and I can tell that he’s really taking it seriously. He puts so much passion and effort into it. I’m really impressed with him. He knows all the tricks in the book, whether people know it or not. He does crazy airs, he charges, he has insane cut back on him. He’s really well rounded and he made it to the Olympics, that’s really cool! 


1. Caroline Marks (3 points): I promise I’m not being biased because she’s an East coaster. A little bit, maybe. No, I think Caroline is just gnarly. I think she’s bringing a different type of surfing into female surfing, and she just goes for it and she’s doing airs now too which is awesome. We obviously all want to see that. 

2. Stephanie Gilmore (2 points): You can’t not love Steph, it’s just fun to watch. My thing with Steph, is that she surfs like how you imagine a girl should surf. Just beautiful and just very effortless and light on her. I don’t know. It’s like, she looks like a woman, I guess you would say.

3. Sierra Kerr (1 point): She’s just going to do very big things and we’re all excited to see what happens. Just the airs she’s doing and watching Josh and her work together, it’s rad. It was so sick at the Stab High contest, Josh was just like at the water’s edge, telling her the different grabs a try. Sure enough she’d go out, bam, Slob. Bam, Indy. I just feel like they’ve kind of stayed the same for a while, and I think finally now it seems like this year, girls are beginning to do airs. You have a girl surfing Pipe now, and Sierra is one of those girls that is starting a movement to like, hey ladies, let’s do this. We can do this stuff too, we just got to put in our time and effort. Because once one does it, it’s going to be like dominoes.

Best Edit

Russ Bierke Flow State (1 point): Russell is bringing a new energy to Big Wave surfing. It’s gnarly the waves he’s paddling. Russell is just another one of those dudes like Benji that has his blinders on when he surfs big waves and nothing could stop him. I think that clip just shows what is possible, and where it could go. It’s sick because he’s a very calculated big wave surfer. You see a lot of big wave surfers where you’re like, on the edge of your seat and you’re like, oh no, this could go bad. But Russell, it’s like, he knows exactly what he’s doing. 

Best Junior 

Jackson Dorian (1 point): Jackson Dorian is my favorite. We recently became Instagram buddies, and I’ve never sat down and watched all his clips and I did that one day. I was like wow, this kid is the real deal. I mean, he’s good at everything and I’m sure with his dad being who he is, it’s just a matter of time until we see him out at Jaws or something crazy. He’s already got the airs, the turns, and all that down pat. He’s just a little freak of nature. He caddied for Kelly at pretty big Sunset. At that age, there’s no way you could have paid me to paddle out.


Asher Pacey
Age: 34
Bio: Once a thruster-swinging maven, now an odd-board don. Asher has personified the modern twin-fin era. 


1. Bryce Young (5 points): I just like watching him surf—he’s one of those people who has something special going on. He’s a pleasure to watch. 

2. Chippa Wilson (4 points): He’s so radical and freakish. That film was really sick. 

3. Torren Martyn (3 points): Got to throw in Torren. That stuff from Mexico was pretty huge. It was like the epitome of the ultimate surf trip. 

4. Mason Ho (2 points): He goes in there, just because. 

5. Jack Robinson (1 point): He’s been flaring. Stoked for him for making the tour. 


1. Stephanie Gilmore (3 points): Number one has to be Steph. 

2. Jaleesa Vincent (2 points): I like her style. She’s always doing something different, cruising and having fun. 

3. Bethany Hamilton (1 point): I can’t pass up Bethany. She’s such an inspiration. She’s got heaps of street cred. 

Best Junior 

Oscar Langburne (1 point): I always like watching him surf. He’s had a good year. 

Best Edit 

Left Brain Right Brain starring Chippa Wilson (1 point): I saw it when they premiered it in France. I really liked that one.

Stab Surfer of the Year Day Eight results:
Male (Top 10)

1. Italo Ferreira (90 points)
2. Gabriel Medina (51 points)
3. Chippa Wilson (35 points)
4. Jack Robinson (31 points)

5. John John Florence (29 points)
6. Mason Ho (28 points)
=7. Kolohe Andino (26 points)

=7. Russell Bierke (26 points)  
9. Noa Deane (24 points) 
10. Seth Moniz (19 points) 

Women (Top 6)
1. Carissa Moore (61 points)
2. Stephanie Gilmore (53.5 points)
3. Caroline Marks (38 points)
4. Moana Jones (13 points)
5. Laura Enever (11 points)

Best Junior (top 3)
1. Eli Hanneman (10 points)
2. Crosby Colapinto (7 points)
3. Jai Glindeman (4 points) 

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


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