Stab Magazine | Pretty Flat, But Pretty Perfect

Live In 8 Days: Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

0 View

Pretty Flat, But Pretty Perfect

Heats postponed, party on in the Basque Country.

// May 20, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hunger makes the best sauce. 

Today, Joel Tudor and the Duct Tape crew took their time deciding whether to run heats today at the Duct Tape Festival—which really only requires like four or five hours of actual competition time over a weekend. No one seemed nervous or concerned in the least.

And why would they? It was a bright and brilliant day in the Basque Country, and while the gathered crowds packed on the brick beachfront patios were certainly looking to get a taste of the international talent pool Tudor’s filled their town with, the scene on the sand was hard to beat, and will only make tomorrow’s heats that much more sweet. 

On the beach everyone smashed charbroiled ribs and tender sardines, cold European pilsners and fresh Basque cidre, while the invitees took to the water for an expression session comprising the event’s 16 international hand-picks, plus two local wild cards, including 14-year-old Niko “Niki Dora” Garcia, and the rest of the scrappy band of outsiders, joined for a few waves by their leader himself, Mr. Tudor.

Taking top honors and a magnum of Spanish red for his efforts in the day’s consolation round was San Clemente screwfoot, Andy Nieblas (who was generous enough to share the bottle with pretty much the entire town this evening). 

While the display was impressive, even before the Duct Tape boys did their best dance out front, they’d basically already had their show stolen by Lee Ann Curren, who on center stage with drum machine and synthesizer ripped through a thirty minute set of just insanely catchy synth-pop that she assures us will make itself on tape soon. 

As the tide filled in, the party moved to PUKAS for a set by Ray Barbie and a premiere of Ainara Aymat’s new film, before the whole damned circus moved to a hillside restaurant for a two-hundred person dinner that had the crew dragging themselves home to bed, with the first horn set to blow in T-minus four hours. But today was a reminder of how breezy and lighthearted and downright fuckin’ enjoyable a surf contest can and should be, even if there’s no surf.

Scroll south, and click through the gallery above, for a look at the day’s festivities. 

JW18ESP0662

Lee Ann Curren.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0682

Tudor and Knost letting Lee Ann Curren hear it.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0760

Tanner Gudang, enjoying an afternoon Keller and a cruise down the Zarautz promenade.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

Vans DTI Zarautz LukiOKeefe 051192018 9834

“I owe this kid a lot of favors,” Joel Tudor said of young Kai Takayama, whose Uncle, Donald was like a second father to him. “Donald fixed a lotttttt of dings for me when I was his age. It’s the least I can do.”

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

JW18ESP0716

Mr. Ray Barbie, maybe the coolest cat to kick-push.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0732

That’s Dane Reynolds’ handshape the not-naked kids about to send it on.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0710

Levi Prairie, Joel Tudor, Alex Knost, Nico “Niki Dora” Garcia, Zach Flores, and James Parry.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

Vans DTI Zarautz LukiOKeefe 051192018 9951

Looking in on the afternoon’s Expression Session photo-op.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

Vans DTI Zarautz LukiOKeefe 051192018 0008

Justin Quintal and Levi Prairie, not exactly killing the shared wave category.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

Vans DTI Zarautz LukiOKeefe 051192018 0373

Two to tango, Kai Takayama and Justin Quintal.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

Vans DTI Zarautz LukiOKeefe 051192018 0180

Three-quarters of Ryan Burch.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

JW18ESP0738

Expression Session winner Andy Nieblas took home a magnum of very good red wine, and our money’s on it not making it to the hotel room tonight (despite a 10AM heat start tomorrow).

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0756

The Zarautz bowl.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0803

Joel Tudor, Tyler Warren, and Dane Reynolds. Zarautz, 2018.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

JW18ESP0772

Tanner Gudang and Ainara Aymat, outside the PUKAS shop for her film’s premiere.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Holly Wawn

"I've had 4, 5, maybe 6 cars... I'm a car dealer I reckon."

Jun 13, 2024

A Miscalculated Shallow Dive, Neck-First, Into The Waters Of Japanese Surfing

How is surfing different in the land of cherry blossoms?

Jun 13, 2024

How Has Ian Crane Made 4/5 Stab High Finals?

And who he's most afraid of competing against in Japan.

Jun 13, 2024

“I Haven’t Seen Anyone That Young And That Keen For Heavy Waves In A Decade” —Shane Dorian

Jacob Turner is 16 years old and trying to paddle tow sets at Teahupo'o...on his…

Jun 12, 2024

Long Read: 1,000 Ways To Die In Indonesia

18,000 islands of beautiful people, world-class waves, and danger around every corner.

Jun 11, 2024

Watch: Craig Anderson And Kaito Ohashi Find (Mostly) Empty Waves In Southeast Asia

Oh, and enter to win a grand worth of DB gear.

Jun 11, 2024

Brad Gerlach Rode A 600cc Motorbike Through Europe’s 1980’s Psychedelic Renaissance  

"Fuck London. Let’s just buy motorcycles tomorrow and drive to France, man."

Jun 11, 2024

Caroline Marks Goes Two-In-A-Row And John John Florence Wins First CT Event Since 2020 At The Surf City El Salvador Pro

Plus, we asked Chris Cote for a look into the commentary team's psyche and Griff…

Jun 9, 2024

Why Is Mavericks Core Getting Overrun By Yuppies?

And other questions from our audience — answered by Pete Mel, Mick Fanning, and Joel…

Jun 9, 2024

Everything Worth Remembering From 4 (Mostly) Forgettable Quarterfinals In El Salvador

Plus, what's the consensus on the Griff vs. João kerfluffle?

Jun 8, 2024

Wildcard Big-dogs Italo, Yago Pops The Cork, And Griffin Cops An Ambiguous Interference On Day 2 In El Salvador

"Honestly, that was a bad... uhh I mean, a tough call." - Strider

Jun 8, 2024

Let’s Talk About This Griffin Interference…

"Don't hate the player, hate the game." - Joao Chianca.

Jun 8, 2024

Chippa Wilson Picks The Air Section We’ll Be Using For Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

PerfectSwell Shizunami has 4 ramps to choose from — which one excites our 2019 champ?

Jun 8, 2024

JJF And Yago Soar, Brisa And Molly Sear, And Olympic Surfers Get Drug Tested On Day 1 Of Surf City El Salvador Pro

"These rocks are like basketballs covered in slime."

Jun 7, 2024

Cheat Codes: Optimizing Surfing’s Pain-To-Joy Ratio With Mason Ho

How to keep your skull intact, your forecast accurate, and your morale unbothered — no…

Jun 6, 2024
Advertisement