The Only Way Left To Disconnect - Stab Mag

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The Only Way Left To Disconnect

There’s a reason Gwen Stefani sang about escape.

style // Dec 11, 2020
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ed note: the following is the 634th installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you’re into it, subscribe here.

A lot going on. 

It appears as though pandemics do not spontaneously disappear and it is unclear who won the United States presidential election. Wars seem to have erupted across the internet. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been far from civil. 

It’s important to keep tabs on things, insofar as they help inform decisions. But a craving for information can easily become a compulsion, which is something a lot of people learned during COVID lockdowns and quarantines. 

Surfing has long been described as a form of escapism. Maybe because it zooms the perspective out by putting you in touch with something bigger. Maybe it forces your brain to delegate its machinery to a wall of energy that is rapidly transforming corners of the ocean and requiring you to react to those transformations. Maybe it’s something else. 

I don’t really care. I just know that it works. 

And if you care enough to read this, you can likely identify a time in your life in which surfing provided a temporary escape from a problem or changed your perspective on one. Which is cool — but, in 2020, I think there’s a whole ‘nother thing it helps us escape from. 

The internet, the compulsion. Surfing forces you to abandon the constant stream of information that may or may not inform your decision-making, but certainly impacts your quality of mind. And it does so in a way that feels like a treat instead of a sacrifice. 

Isn’t there something telling about that? 

OK now scroll down for the irreverence. 

Coming Soon: Andy Irons And The Radicals

It’s been ten years since Andy died. Surfing has changed a lot in the past decade. Surfboard volume has dwindled and people kick other people in the head less now. However, watching this makes me want to go up a few liters (in multiple ways) and try to hammer a wave. That’s a good thing, yeah.

And Your New Stab In The Dark Star Is…

Taj! It’s fucking Taj! Did you even realize how much you miss Taj before you watched this? I didn’t, which is to say that it filled a void I didn’t even know existed. He’s raw, honest and he simply surfs like Taj. Oh, and the boards look superb.

And Your New Stab In The Dark Star Is…

Taj! It’s fucking Taj! Did you even realize how much you miss Taj before you watched this? I didn’t, which is to say that it filled a void I didn’t even know existed. He’s raw, honest and he simply surfs like Taj. Oh, and the boards look superb.

Women Surfers Are Officially More Marketable Than Men

Part of my brain wants this to be a writeup about Parko so that we can complete the Trilogy. However, it is no longer 2007 and women surfers are officially more marketable than Parko. Allow us (or the data firm Nielsen) to explain. I back it.

Side note: Nielsen says their list is based on these pillars: Relevance, Reach, Return and Resonance. Does anyone else find it baffling how often corporations stumble into the trap of alliteration? When you’re measuring something as complex as a human life’s ability to influence other people to buy shit, it just so happens that the four most important metrics all start with an R?

Do you want to talk about pies? 

Where I grew up, it was all about post-surf bagels. And, to this day, if anyone slanders the great name of Belmar Bagels there will be hell to pay. In this new short profile film, Māori surfer Kehu Butler claims that New Zealand’s pies are better than Australia’s. With everything happening in the world, this feels to me like an important conversation to have. Also, Kehu is the best and I could listen to him talk all day. 

Would this surfing win a CT? 

Apparently, the answer is no. Unless you want to go back and watch that Italo backside air rev at D-bah five more times and try to fight Perry Hatchet, maybe kick him in the head. (Remember Perry Hatchet? He would have given Kolohe the win.) Anyway, this edit is a great watch no matter where you stand on kicking former ASP Head Judges in the face. 

Are there any topics you’d like Big Dick Power Surfer to address? 

I will soon be in touch with this prolific sports journalist. If there are any major happenings or conspiracy theories you would like BDPS to investigate, reply to this email and due diligence will be sought. 

One last thing: 

Here’s what France looked like today. Surfing was illegal. Get unlucky and you get a 135 € fine (it goes up to over 1000 € if you get caught twice). Get lucky and you find a trouble-free exit from both the tube and the beach.

 Subscribe here to the Stab Fwd. 


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