Stab Magazine | What Will Surfing Look Like After This?

Season finale of How Surfers Get Paid drops Thursday, 5pm PT


What Will Surfing Look Like After This?

A logical progression from last week’s moral quandary. 

style // Apr 17, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

Times of uncertainty, to be certain. 

Depending on the internet corners you prefer to frequent, you’ve likely been exposed to a range of scenarios regarding what our post-VID world will look like. Maybe this is all overblown and there will be vaccines, treatments, etc available relatively soon. Maybe this is the end of civilization and we will set fire to the arts and engage in phases of tribal warfare. Or perhaps thousands of child sex slaves will be released from underground tunnels due to chemtrails or 5G or Bill Cosby or Bill Clinton. 

It ain’t really my place to opine on all that. I feel comfortable addressing a different question, though: What’s next for surfing? 

A lot of things will likely change. The WSL will change. Brands will change. Stab will change. Board manufacturing will change. The surf camp you’ve stayed at in Indo for the past three years? That’ll probably change, too. The specificities of those changes remain to be seen. But, if I had to guess, in order, I’d say fewer contests, less budget, adjusted model, hopefully no more 5-fins and good luck. 

You know what won’t change, though? Surfing. 



This moment will always exist, and therefore alway be chased. Photo: Tom Carey


Regardless of how fun it is to make fun of the surf industry — and it is very fun — it is entirely separate from actual surfing. There have been products that have made surfing easier and projects that have inspired us to chase that high even more. But those things are just noise. Wonderful, in many cases, but still noise. 

Surfing has always been surfing. Nothing more, and definitely nothing less.  

I do think there’ll be plenty of noise on the other side of this. To be completely honest, I’m excited to see what this thing inspires. We could use a new tune. But even if we do descend into tribal warfare or the conspiracy theory sex children take over, surfing itself will still be there. With fewer 5-fins, fingers crossed. 

If you want a quad, with all due respect, just get a fucking quad. 

Now, let’s chat. 

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They don’t call him ‘Money Bags’ Devries for nothin’. Photo: Marcus Paladino

Pete Devries On Somehow Picking Up Two New Sponsors In The Worst Year Ever To Be A Pro Surfer

Economic meltdown? Canada didn’t hear no bell. In this interview, the Great White North’s great white hope (since ‘87) talks about life in the time of…Nah. Nevermind. Can we come together as a community and agree to stop referencing a certain 1985 novel by Gabriel García Márquez? Please? 

Watch: Caroline Marks Enjoys Tahitian Birthday Barrel Bender In “Isolation”

Care to watch a future World Champion celebrate her 18th birthday by tubing herself into heatstroke in Tahiti? Then indulge in this edit from a trip that spawned a thousand Instagram arguments. 

Leaked Internal Documents Reveal FCS H-Series’ Top-Down Performance Influence

I used to feel as though there are two types of people on this planet: those who think deeply about surfboard fin design and those who participate in sex. I’ve turned a corner, though. Fins matter, they’re interesting and I genuinely enjoyed this story. 

Are we tired of arguing? 

Of course not. In another one of our New Normal interviews, Kevin Schulz discusses his interest in having San Clemente re-open the ocean. Is he a level-headed young man who we should celebrate for getting involved in the political process or a delusional product of American entitlement? That’s the fun part — you decide!

Want to feel surprised? 

When I tried to find this story so that I could put it here, I googled “prepare to meet your…” and it recommended god. For the time being, I think most of us would prefer to meet LOB. Less morbid. Although, ironically, he does pack a handful of death pits in it. 

Should we feel anything else? 

Yep. Pity. Sympathy. Or probably humor. There’s something about grown men crying — insert Jordy face here — and that something is magnified when the source of the tears is a combination of foam, fiberglass and a fruity paint job. Hopefully, the story of one surfboard’s death will make you cherish what precious time you have left with your favorite board. 

One last thing: 

I haven’t surfed* in a month and I’ll explain the asterisk at a later date.

Please direct all hate mail to [email protected].

Subscribe to the Fwd here. 


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