Stab Magazine | Who Won The Stab Surfer Of The Year Popular Vote?

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Who Won The Stab Surfer Of The Year Popular Vote?

Italo won the official title, Filipe took home the reader vote, but what was the most popular name dropped in Stab Surfer of the Year 2018?

style // Jan 13, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

We solicited 50 of the world’s most influential surfing figures to tell us whose surfing inspired them most in 2018.

They were to name five males, one female, and one honorable mention (if desired). 

After all the votes were tallied, Italo Ferreira and Stephanie Gilmore won the Stab Surfer of the Year for their respective genders. 

In a separate poll, we asked all of our readers who they thought were the top performers of 2018. Filipe Toledo took out the males and Steph once again won the females, this time by a devastating margin (57% of all votes went her way). 

But there is one last winner we have yet to crown, and that is the 50 most influential surfing figures’ “popular vote” (i.e. which surfer was named most frequently by their peers?)

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For whom do the world’s best surfers cheer? Photo: WSL

If you remember, the votes in SSOTY were weighted so that a 1st place selection earned 5 points; 2nd: 4 points; 3rd: 3 points; etc., down to the honorable mention which received 0 points.

So while Italo earned the most points overall (thus making him the 2018 Stab Surfer of the Year), that doesn’t necessarily mean he was named most often by his peers.

So we went back and did the math and, wouldn’t you know it, Italo Ferreira did not win the popular vote, nor did Filipe Toledo. In fact, the surfer most often named by 50 of his peers – whether it was for first, last, or honorable mention – was actually the 2018-and-2x-World Champion Gabriel Medina.


The new king of competitive surfing meets the forever king of shade.

 Here’s the top-5 official rundown:

1. Gabriel Medina (23 mentions)

2. Italo Ferreira (22 mentions)

3. Filipe Toledo (20 mentions)

=4. Nathan Florence (19 mentions)

=4. Noa Deane (19 mentions)

6. Chippa Wilson (17 mentions)


Here’s the Stab Surfer of the Year official top-6, for reference:

1. Italo Ferreira (74 points)

2. Gabriel Medina (72 points)

3. Filipe Toledo (71 points)

=4. Chippa Wilson (54 points)

=4. Noa Deane (54 points)

=6. Nate Florence (48 points)


And the reader poll top 6:

1. Filipe Toledo (397 votes)

2. Gabriel Medina (368 votes)

3. Noa Deane (269 votes)

4. Chippa Wilson (221 votes)

5. Julian Wilson (200 votes)

6. Nathan Florence (180)*

*Italo got 7th

In other words, just about everybody who pays attention to surfing had the same idea about the top performers in 2018. While the placings and names may vary slightly, we can see incredible regularity across the board. 

In this way SSOTY represents surfing’s true performance barometer – one that compares the feats of competitors, freesurfers, big-wavers and beyond on the same relative scale: How often did this person make my jaw drop?

And it’s safe to say that Gabby, Filipe, Italo, Nate, Chippa, and Noa achieved that with remarkable consistency. 


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