Stab Magazine | The Return Of Stab's "Electric Acid Surfboard Test" 2019 With Stephanie Gilmore

The Return Of Stab’s “Electric Acid Surfboard Test” 2019 With Stephanie Gilmore

Meet the twelve shapers who built Steph boards for this year’s acid-laced blind taste test, premiering on the Gold Coast Thursday!

Words by stab

Welcome back to The Electric Acid Surfboard Test, our annual blind taste test of some of surfboard design’s most exotic, complex, and often difficult flavors, a Stab initiative made possible by our longtime partners, Corona Ligera.  

It’s been almost a year since we returned from our initial exploration of Alternative Surfboard Design. A year since we loaded something like three coffins and two Santa Monica Surf Cases, each thoroughly stuffed with displacement hulls, mid-lengths, twin- and quad-fins, wood-keeled plugs, and left-field asymmetricals, and hopped a short flight from LAX south to the warm sand points of Southern Mexico, our Mystery Surfer, Dane Reynolds. Mr Reynolds, fresh off nine months of self-imposed paternity stay, and totally ignorant to the eclectic quiver we’d arranged for him to sample. 

Following up the success of last year’s film, we had some tough decisions to make when it came to picking our Mystery Surfer. It’s a tall order following up a series fronted by Dane Reynolds, one of the most opinionated and dynamic

But while we’d like to say there was some fierce debate over who EAST‘s Mystery Surfer would be this year, the truth is, when the option was presented, the decision was unanimous: this year’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test Mystery Surfer is 7x World Champ and Stab‘s first Surfer of the Year, Miss Stephanie Louise Gilmore, who Kelly Slater calls “God’s gift to surfing.” 

With Steph locked in for a very tight filming window in February or March, we set to the task of preparing a proper tasting menu for Steph, and began workshopping our shaper’s roster for this year, employing an office favorite method of sticking post-its on the wall with names on them, and one by one tossing them in the bin… 

With Stab In The Dark, the formula is fairly straight forward: a few veteran shapers responsible for World Titles (who thus far have nearly all remained perennial top finishers in SITD); a few shapers whose best selling boards eclipsed the market; and a few internationally lesser-known dark horses (pun intended) in hopes of an upset (see: Pukas’ runner-up finish in this year’s SITD). 

But with the Acid Test, there’s so many more variables, so many options, so many ways you could go with the whole trip. In the end, we’re pretty sure the list of names we came back with was just what we wanted: some true icons, some modern-day renaissance men, and even some millennial enthusiasm from our youngest names on the roster to date.  

EAST2019 AlanvanGysen 0084

On location in the Southern Hemisphere with twelve acid splashed beauties. Can you guess who’s who?


Alan Van Gysen

So, in preparation for the world premiere Thursday with our friends at Corona Aus. on the Gold Coast, here’s your shaper’s for The Electric Acid Surfboard Test 2019: 

Simon Anderson
Sydney, Australia
Brand: Simon Anderson Surfboards

Matt “Mayhem” Biolos
San Clemente, California
Brand: …Lost Surfboards

Shyama Buttonshaw
Bells Beach, Australia
Brand: Shyama Designs

Alex Crews
Gold Coast, Australia
Brand: ACSOD (Alex Crews Shapes Or Die)

Joel Fitzgerald
Byron Bay, Australia
Brand: Fitzgerald Surfboards

Simon Jones
Byron Bay, Australia
Brand: Morning of the Earth 

Alex Knost
Costa Mesa, California
Brand: Brown Microwave Television

Ryan Lovelace/Dan Malloy
Santa Barbara, California
Brand: Lovelace Surfboards

Rob Machado/Corona x Parley
San Diego, California
Brand: Machado Designs

Al and Britt Merrick
Santa Barbara, California
Brand: Channel Islands Surfboards

Mark Richards
Newcastle, Australia
Brand: MR Designs

Shawn Stussy
Santa Barbara, California
Brand: S/Double

Gerry and Alex Lopez 
Brand: Trimcraft 

EAST2019 AlanvanGysen 0106

Steph Gilmore and twelve strange beauties all lined up and ready to go.


Alan Van Gysen


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