Stab Surfer of the Year 2023: Nathan Florence, Caroline Marks, Kolohe Andino, Molly Picklum, Chippa Wilson  - Stab Mag

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Stab Surfer of the Year 2023: Nathan Florence, Caroline Marks, Kolohe Andino, Molly Picklum, Chippa Wilson 

Day 7/10: We could probably go ahead and give ______ the female SSOTY trophy now.

// Jan 4, 2024
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 13 minutes

There’s a short road ahead. 

After six days and a lot of vote-tallying, Aussie blonde wundergrom, Hughie Vaughan, has taken a gaping lead for the best under-18 male surfer of 2023. In the fem-grom category, Sierra Kerr and Erin Brooks are separated by 1 point for Best Junior, but Sierra also leads Erin by 7 points for the best overall female performer of the year. With only three voting days ahead, Best Junior: Female will be a space to watch.

Meanwhile, “Outer Edge of Leisure” continues to its Bitcoin destiny in Edit of the Year, and in Best Male, Nathan Florence’s Slab Tour has officially tied with Ethan Ewing’s rail-heavy Lowers tirade in the WSL Finals. It’s worth mentioning, however, that Hazzy Bryant and Filipe Toledo are only a few 5th, 4th, and 3rd place votes behind to take that number one spot. 

After Day 6, the leaderboard is as stands. 

Best Male 

=1. Nathan Florence – 45
=1. Ethan Ewing – 45
3. Harry Bryant – 40
4. Filipe Toledo – 39
5. Noa Deane – 29
6. Mason Ho – 27
7. Griffin Colapinto – 26
8. Russell Bierke – 20
9. John John Florence – 19
10. Mikey Wright – 16
11. Shaun Manners – 14
12. Yago Dora – 13
13. Cole Houshmand – 12
14. Al Cleland Jr. – 11
15. Joao Chianca – 10 

Best Female 

1. Caity Simmers – 96
2. Caroline Marks – 45
3. Carissa Moore – 41
4. Stephanie Gilmore – 39
5. Molly Picklum – 33
6. Moana Jones-Wong – 28
7. Sierra Kerr – 26
=8. Coco Ho – 25
=8. Laura Enever – 25
10. Frankie Harrer – 21
11. Erin Brooks – 19
12. Jaleesa Vincent – 18
13. Vahine Fierro – 8
14. Justine Dupont – 6
15. Tatiana Weston-Webb – 4

Best Junior: Male 

1. Hughie Vaughan – 9 
=2. Legend Chandler – 3
=2. Jackson Dorian – 3

Best Junior: Female 

1. Erin Brooks – 11 
2. Sierra Kerr – 10 
3. Vaihitimahana Inso – 3 

Edit of the Year

1. “Outer Edge of Leisure” starring Russell Bierke – 9.5 
2. “Cult of Freedom: The Shaun Part” starring Shaun Manners – 3.5 
=3. “Wandering” starring Liam O’Brien – 2 
=3. “Back and Forth” starring Taro Wantanabe – 2
=3. “Tropical Popsicle” starring Miguel Blanco – 2
=3. “Into Dust” starring Jacob Wilcox – 2
=3. “I Love You” starring Zoë McDougall -2 

Film of the Year 

1. “Repeater” by Wade Carroll and Quiksilver – 7
2. “Motel Hell” by Dav Fox and Harry Bryant – 6 
=3. “NOAH” by Andy Woodward and Noah Beschen – 4
=3. “Smooch” by Jacob Vanderwork and Kolohe Andino – 4

Best YouTube

1. Ho and Pringle Productions – 10 
2. Nathan Florence – 7
3. Chapter 11 TV – 4

SSOTY Day 7/10 features the likes of Nathan Florence, Caroline Marks, Kolohe Andino, Molly Picklum and Chippa Wilson. 

You know the drill.

Nathan Florence

Best Male

1. Ivan Florence (5 points)

In today’s age of strangeness and everyone trying to be a hipster or “core”, nobody really is just that naturally, except Ivan. He is as core as it gets — surf, skate, snow. He has been performing incredibly this year, style for miles and innovative to watch surf. He does a hard-to-look-away kind of surfing and he does it all quietly with no fluff. I surf with him a lot and get to travel with him, I see more than most as he is pretty quiet on socials. 

He got incredible waves at large Puerto on his backhand, he put on a mental performance at Chopes after flying in on a red eye and getting to bed at 2am. At Pipe and Backdoor he got mental rides last season and this season! Then you see him surf smaller waves and his air game is tapped, shiffties and full rotations with calmness and style nearly every session and he keeps getting better which is hectic. He does backflips snowboarding, and skates like a madman. True athletic ability!

2. Kipp Caddy (4 points)

I went on a few good runs with Kipp this year — his charging and comfortability in large heavy surf was impressive. The motivation he has to be on every single swell is more impressive. Not many really know what it’s like chasing back-to-back-to-back swells that can end on what we consider the heaviest waves in the world. And, no I don’t mean Nazare — I mean waves thicker than they are tall and with more water in the lip than what’s covering the reef that put your nerves through a meat grinder. Kipp had that motivation, paddle or tow, right up until an injury in the end quarter of 2023 that put him out. He was on a mission before then.

3. Kai Lenny (3 points) 

I like that Kai keeps pushing tow to new levels. It feels like tow got stagnant in the really big stuff (unless you were towing what Kerby Brown does), but Kai chooses to progress on a big open face with high-speed carves and flips. He even went snowboarding on huge faces to learn flips better, and he also continues with the paddle game — paddling most swells at Jaws and consistently getting crazy waves. The stuff he works on as far as equipment progression goes too, will probably be what future generations use to do what’s never been done before and create big leaps in our sport, which I back.

4. Russell Bierke (2 points)

Big slab tows, big slab paddles, anytime Russ gets in the water it’s gonna be exciting. I love seeing him randomly around the world. We don’t really plan trips together but we’ve happened to be on the same strike here and there over the years, and we just laugh knowing we’re gonna score and have a good time! Love Russell’s approach to heavy water and his drive to push on the truly scary stuff.

5. Eimeo Czermak (1 point)

The wave he paddled earlier this year at Chopes was one of the greatest backside ones I have seen. He’s got an incredible backside barrel riding technique and comfortability in heavy water and is entertaining to watch!

Best Female 

1. Moana Jones-Wong (5 points)

Best female barrel rider in history, at least at Pipe, and she’s put time in at Chopes. She has picked up a gun for Eddie, and she paddles it all!

2. Carrisa Moore (4 points)

Champ all year long!

3. Justine Dupont (3 points) 

Cortes Bank biggest female ride. Jaws paddle. Eddie Aikau. She’s pushing the limits for younger females to follow. 

4. Summer Longbottom (2 points)

Sending the slab tour all year!! So fun watching her and Dylan Longbottom work together to chase slabs and Summer’s progressing so much!

5. Caity Simmers (1 point)

Barrels, airs and charging all year. Super impressive. She was at the Box this year sending it and was super focused on getting better at a slab like that! Love it!

Best Junior: Male 

Noah Hasset (1 point) 

Grom from Tazzie. Tows big slabs, more importantly he paddles when it’s right too — nobody should call themself a pro surfer without a solid base in paddling. He is doing it right, honing his skills and charging on paddle then towing when situation warrants. He is goofy so surfs a lot of rights on his backhand in real heavy waves. He is gonna be exciting to watch over the next few years. You will see his name a lot more.

Best Junior: Female 

Erin Brooks (1 point)  

Super talented, showed she can and wants to charge at Pipe this year.

Edit of the Year 

“Outer Edge of Leisure” starring Russell Bierke (1 point) 

Just insane footage. Really heavy technical big wave stuff, and I mean thick heavy big waves. The Shipsterns footage by Chris Bryan is just insane, and Russ is hopping steps on mega barrels. Then that ender doesn’t get much better. He put time in at that spot and got a few sessions in over the years that stacked up to be just incredible wave riding. It was beautifully captured. I wasn’t feeling the soundtrack but that’s just me. Go Russ!! Go Andrew!

Film of the Year

“Through the Doggy Door” by Alani Media (1 point)

The true story nature, the hardship and the exposure of how hard it can be for kids from the westside, how easily things can go wrong, bad to worse, and the light at end of tunnel that surfing can be for someone like Sheldon (Paishon). Good job Mason, incredible mentorship and well done Sheldon. “Noah” was right there for me for very different reasons, incredible shots and cinematic surf film. It’s epic for a sit back and watch a good surf film. Whereas Sheldon is a shocking look into someone’s life of hardship and ultimately success.

Best YouTube

Jamie O’Brien (1 point)

First surfer to 1 million subs!

Caroline Marks

Best Male

1. Fillipe Toledo (5 points) 

Damn he is just so good!

2. Ethan Ewing (4 points)

He’s got such a beautiful style and is so easy to watch. Those turns he did at the Finals this year was some of the best rail surfing I’ve ever seen out there. 

3. Griffin Colapinto (3 points)

He’s put on great performances all year, one of my favorite all around surfers. I’m a fan.

4. Nathan Florence (2 points) 

Just go watch his YouTube channel. 

5. Cole Houshmand (1 point)

I’m super excited to watch him next year. He’s got so much power and I think he will suit the tour’s waves very well. 

Best Female

1. Caity Simmers (5 points)


She’s a vibe. It’s been really cool to get to know her better this year.

2. Carissa Moore (4 points) 

She’s always so solid. I enjoy surfing against her cause I know she will bring the best out in me, she’s so hard to beat.

3. Moana Jones-Wong (3 points) 

Pipeline.

4. Molly Picklum (2 points)

She was really impressive at the Vans Pipe event. 

5. Erin Brooks (1 point)

She ripped in Brazil this year.

Best Junior: Male

Hughie Vaughan (1 point) 

Best Junior: Female 

Sierra Kerr (1 point) 

Edit of the Year 

“Into Dust” starring Jacob Wilcox (1 point)

Film of the Year 

Repeater by Wade Carrol and Quiksilver (1 point)

Best YouTube

John John Florence (1 point)

Kolohe Andino

Best Male 

1. John John Florence (5 points)

To say he isn’t the best surfer in the world every year is highway robbery. From Waimea to Himalayas to J-Bay to Haliewa to Rockpile to Pipeline to fucking T-street for god sake. He actually does A LOT of things that the next best guys (on anyone’s stupid little lists) cannot dream of or fathom. I’m sick of everyone slurping their little buddies. Pronounce this man King (of our generation)!

2. Filipe Toledo (4 points) 

The first surfer I have ever seen that looks like he is not thinking at all. Besides JJF, everyone has flaws. Sure he’s had a rough go in the bigger heavier waves. But when you out-carve the “carve” guys and out-air the “air” guys on your way to back to back world titles, that is good enough to have my vote.

3. Yago Dora (3 points)

The smoothness. The catlike reflexes. The form in the air and on the face. The coolness on land. Would have been interesting to see him in the top five. I’ll be rooting for him in 2024. And run to the screen every time he drops and edit.

4. Griffin Colapinto (2 points)

This guy’s ability to send it in the air and into the flats and stomp it is radical. He’s a super star in our town and a threat at any break. Airs, carves, heavy tubes. His overall performance in different types of surf has him in my top five. Been blessed to watch him blossom into the surfer he is now.

5. Ethan Ewing (1 point) 

Though I really get off on radical surfing. I find myself drawn to watch Ethan do his thing. His performance at Lowers was electric and searing and radical in its own right. Plus, I love his program. Always keeping it low-key. Cruising with his dad. A real country boy feel. Too many flashy “island boy” types on IG make me wanna throw my phone into the ocean. Big fan.

Best Female 

1. Carissa Moore (5 points)

The queen!

2. Caroline Marks (4 points)

So proud of her to win her maiden world title.

3. Caity Simmers (3 points)

She surfs charismatic and beautiful and raw. I watch all her Toasts.

4. Stephanie Gilmore (2 points)

There has to be something said for looking that good just going straight. Not to mention the 8 world titles.

5. Moana Jones-Wong (1 point)

Two-to-20-foot, this woman is just a badass and pioneering how women ride the Pipeline. So sick.

Best Junior: Male 

Luke Wyler (1 point) 

Although he sleeps in way too long, his part in Smooch was badass. I’m proud of this kid’s from San Clemente. Because whatever he decides to do in surfing, it’s gonna be huge.

Best Junior: Female 

Erin Brooks (1 point) 

In a couple of years, she might absolutely take over the industry. I heard her daily routine rivals Bruce Lee’s. And that’s something to be proud of.

Edit of the Year

“Beneath a Pear Tree” starring Ryan Callinan (1 point) 

It’s sad that companies spend time counting views and followers and likes and comments. Can we find a world where Ryan Callinan is marketed correctly? His surfing in this edit was freakish. And it just gets swept under the rug because the algorithm likes the color blue. Or there’s no story line. Of course there’s no storyline, it’s hardcore ripping and good music. It’s shut up and go surf. Ryan is an absolute blessed freak of nature on a surfboard. Sad that the surfing done in this edit has no home other than stabmag.com for a day. Someone needs to save this industry. Stop marketing to the masses. It never worked.

Film of the Year

Repeater by Wade Carroll and Quiksilver (1 point) 

Wade Caroll is the gold finger of surfing right now. Everything he touches turns to beautiful art. True surf films. No storyline. No lame acts. Thank God Quiksilver has given him the leeway to make art. We will see what the suits of ABG have to say about it. But if anyone has half a brain in the industry there should be a big bidding war over Wade. Rather than the next kid who puts words on his Instagrams and wears three chains but has never heard of Shane Herring … just because they have followers. Wade for Prez!

Best YouTube 

Ho and Pringle Productions (1 point) 

Sometimes when I’m bored, I’ll flick on his end-of-the-year one-hour-plus highlight compilations. They are so impressive. And talk about someone who shuts up and surfs. Throw some Hendrix on and let’s watch the entire session. Love this shit. Real surfer. Real surfing. Real clips. Art.

Molly Picklum

Best Male 

1. Filipe Toledo (5 points) 

I feel the tour guys I chose showcased some memorable, jaw dropping surfing throughout the year that stands out for me. 

2. Ethan Ewing (4 points) 

(See above)

3. Nathan Florence (3 points) 

I think Nathan had such a crazy year committed to chasing slabs and really doing his best in what he chose to do.

4. John John Florence (2 points) 

(See above)

5. Griffin Colapinto (1 point) 

(See above)

Best Female 

1. Stephanie Gilmore (5 points)

For the girls, I chose the ones that push me day in and day out and are really progressing women’s surfing. 

2. Carissa Moore (4 points) 

(See above)

3. Moana Jones-Wong (3 points) 

(See above)

4. Caroline Marks (2 points) 

(See above)

5. Caity Simmers (1 point)

(See above)

Best Junior: Male 

Hughie Vaughan (1 point) 

Best Junior: Female 

Erin Brooks and Sierra Kerr (.5 points each) 

Edit of the Year 

“Into Dust” starring Jacob Wilcox (1 point) 

Film of the Year 

The Kangs by Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet (1 point)

Nice to see those boys back together. 

Best YouTube 

N/A 

Chippa Wilson

Best Male 

1. Harry Bryant (5 points)

Feature films and standout performances at Pipe this year. The man’s on fire in and out of the water. 

2. Filipe Toledo (4 points)

Tough second as he is the world champ. The dedication he puts into his crust is inspiring, absolute machine!

3. Noa Deane (3 points)

One of my favorite surfers. MASH was gnarly!

4. Shaun Manners (2 points) 

New sponsors, back-to-back video parts, Pipe appearances, Electric Acid Surfboard Test. He had a huge year!

5. Torren Martyn (1 point)

Hats off to him for jumping into a small sailing boat and making a film. That would have been terrifying and exciting to say the least. And he backed it up with mind-blowing surfing in perfect waves.

Best Female 

1. Caity Simmers (5 points)

The most progressive surfing in the game and very level-headed! She rules. 

2. Stephanie Gilmore (4 points)

Can’t get enough, I wish I surfed like her!

3. Jaleesa Vincent (3 points)

Another amazing talent in and out of the water! Big fan of Jelly. Makes riding waves fun.

4. Bethany Hamilton (2 points)

BADASS, her passion for surfing will forever inspire me.

5. Moana Jones-Wong (1 point)

Queen of Pipeline, her rides this year are worth a mention.

Best Junior: Male 

Hughie Vaughan (1 point)

I spent some time with this kid out in Indonesia recently, he was going big. His energy in and out of the water is hi-fi. 

Best Junior: Female 

Sierra Kerr (1 point)

An all around great human. Her surfing is so far above the bar and it’s only getting better at an alarming rate, watch out world.

Edit of the Year

“Outer Edge of Leisure” starring Russell Bierke (1 point) 

Film of the Year 

“Motel Hell” by Dav Fox and Harry Bryant (1 point) 

Best YouTube 

Nathan Florence (1 point)

Stab Surfer of the Year Leaderboard

Best Male 

1. Filipe Toledo – 57
2. Ethan Ewing – 54
3. Nathan Florence – 50
4. Harry Bryant – 45
=5. Noa Deane – 32
=5. Griffin Colapinto – 32
7. Mason Ho – 27
8. John John Florence – 26
9. Russell Bierke – 22
=10. Mikey Wright – 16
=10. Yago Dora – 16
=10. Shaun Manners – 16
13. Cole Houshmand – 13
14. Al Cleland Jr. – 11
15. Joao Chianca – 10

Best Female 

1. Caity Simmers – 111
2. Carissa Moore – 58
3. Caroline Marks – 51
4. Stephanie Gilmore – 48
5. Moana Jones-Wong – 44
6. Molly Picklum – 35
7. Sierra Kerr – 26
=8. Laura Enever – 25
=8. Coco Ho – 25
=10. Frankie Harrer – 21
=10. Jaleesa Vincent – 21
12. Erin Brooks – 20
13. Justine Dupont – 9
14. Vahine Fierro – 8
=15. Tatiana Weston-Webb – 4
=15. Bethany Hamilton – 4

Best Junior: Male

1. Hughie Vaughan – 12 
=2. Legend Chandler – 3 
=2. Jackson Dorian – 3 

Best Junior: Female 

1. Erin Brooks – 13.5 
2. Sierra Kerr – 12.5 
3. Vaihitimahana Inso – 3

Edit of the Year 

1. “Outer Edge of Leisure” starring Russell Bierke – 12.5 
2. “Into Dust” starring Jacob Wilcox – 5
3. “Cult of Freedom: The Shaun Part” starring Shaun Manners – 3.5

Film of the Year 

1. “Repeater” by Wade Carroll and Quiksilver – 9 
2. “Motel Hell” by Dav Fox and Harry Bryant – 7 
=3. “NOAH” by Andy Woodward and Noah Beschen – 4 
=3. “Smooch” by Jacob Vanderwork and Kolohe Andino – 4
=3. “Through the Doggy Door” by Alani Media – 4

Best YouTube

1. Ho and Pringle Productions – 11
2. Nathan Florence – 8 
3. Chapter 11  TV – 4
=4. Jacob Szekely “Zeke” – 2 
=4. The Raglan Surf Report – 2

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