Desert Scores, Eddie Dustups, And Your Rip Curl Pro Wildcard

by stab October 18, 2017 5 min read

Morning, lovers. 

If you’re reading this, I’m already gone. I should have left a note on the nightstand; mid-flight emails are so impersonal. 

This weekend, as smoke from the fires in Sonoma continued to blanket much of California, I copped a red-eye to Barcelona, bleary-eyed and blitzed off tiny bottomless plastic thimbles of cheap Spanish red, as hurricane swell began filing in along the European North Atlantic and as the streets of Barcelona were filled with sounds of proud Catalonian resistance, the entire city up late, hanging out apartment windows, banging pots and pans in protest of the arrests of the leaders of the two biggest grassroots pro-independence groups in Catalonia on possible sedition charges. 

Over the next ten days we’ll be bouncing between Barcelona and Bilbao, then Lisbon, Ericeira, Supertubos, checking in on the Rip Curl Pro, a box full of fresh pastel del natas from Belém under our arm to coax gossip out of sweet-toothed sources, and plenty of crisp Portuguese white to wash down Peniche’s remarkable sardines. 

Speaking of which, here’s a sardine we can un-can: looks like everybody’s Goodtime Sally, Mason Ho, copped the wildcard to the Rip Curl Pro, and thank goodness for that. If Supertubos delivers wedgy pits and ramps (though it’s looking pretty solid right now), we can count on Mason for at least one b-a-n-a-n-a-s moment. He also has a hard drive with Logan Dulien’s Snapt3 in his bag, for (possibly) an as of yet TBD Portuguese premiere to add to their schedule. (Reminder: November 3rd in Hawaii!)

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Your Rip Curl Pro wildcard, Mason Ho!

Photography

Laserwolf

Last week, Ry Craike gave us the local take on one of Australia’s most beloved blue collar surf towns, Kalbarri. While blending branded content into an even slightly narrative rich sauce can be a feat sometimes, About Town’s one of our favorite series, real inside looks at not just local scenes, but through local’s eyes. Don’t tell me it didn’t warm your heart to see Craike-y living well in his old stomping grounds. There’s worse ways to spend your days than getting thoroughly barreled on the daily, earning a hard, honest living from the ocean. 

 

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Matt Bromley in tube psychosis. If you haven’t, go watch “Risky Ripples II.”

Photography

Harry Mark

We chatted up South African loon Matt Bromley, about his multi-part series, Risky Ripples. Every year now, Bromley delivers a reel that just floors us, the ropy, thin regular foot committed to chasing some of the most massive barrels around the globe.

We got a 24-hour look at RIP, Drab Board Co’s mental fun boogie clip, now backed by Chippa, Craig, Harry Bryant and the crew. 

Our ex-pat in France, Brendan Buckley, was on the ground and in the drink during the Quicksilver Pro, which left us a little heavy-headed, the rippable conditions at Hossegor kicking the gate wide open for upsets and unforeseen rallies. Kolohe making the semis, Seabass blitzing to the final, Lacey, Carissa, and Tyler looking incredible—while there was plenty of hot French action to consider, and more than a few questionable high scores, the menageatrois between John John, Gabby, and (freshly disrobed of his yellow singlet) Jordy Smith, will be the all the talk, as the tour enjoys a few days break just as Hurricane Ophelia delivers more swell while mystifyingly striking the old Emerald Isle. 

Over the weekend, newly minted Staff Writer Rory Parker* reported on the complicated and possibly final days of the Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. That The Eddie might truly never go again is hard to imagine for anyone lucky enough to feel the ground move beneath their feat as waves march into the Bay, the whole island brought to a standstill waiting for the green light. (Also, Rory and I are old pals from the farm leagues; I’ve missed his writing so very much, and am truly fucking thrilled to have him on the Masthead, as I know so many of you are, too.) 

We thought we’d seen the summer’s last good US East Coast edit, but we were wrong. Twice. 

On Sunday, Mike Ciaramella caught up with 17-year-old Simon Hetrick, a Right Coaster with polished flair and an open mind, design-wise, who spent the months of August and September getting very, very barreled near home. 

This week, Simon’s offering will be followed by Stevie Pittman, who scored some of the most fickle, ridiculous East Coast breaks going bonkers a few weeks back. Just salt in wounds for Brendan, Mike, and myself, three East Coasters in exile while their home coast saw a once-in-a-lifetime season. 

At Stab headquarters in Sydney and Los Angeles, irons are firmly in fires and our calendar is filling up clear through the end of the year. 

The Best Gals Club is getting tied upso is the Stab Rich List. (Which, if recent industry rumblings are true, there might be a few heads getting chopped off, a number of high-profile sponsorships falling into disrepair—but we’ll have more on that, later.) And while Morgan and I have been conspiring ways to stretch out our Hawaiian residency as long as we could, it doesn’t look like we’ll have to milk it too hard after all. A month out still, and we’ve already got enough projects to keep us bouncing between Velzyland and Haleiwa until 2018. 

By now I hope you’ve had the, um, time to read my profile on young Natxo Gonzalez. After years admiring the Spaniard’s seasoned-beyond-his-years approach in waves of consequence, I got to hang with Natxo and his sprawling crew of generous, hospitable European legends this spring. We ate, we drank, we partied until dawn, Natxo entertaining a rotating cast of light-eyed Spanish ladies with skin like so much dulce de leche. 

Natxo’s grown up under the watchful eye of some of the most wonderful, well-traveled, mischievous dudes in the surf world. The stamps on Natxo’s passports mark mission after mission, tagging along on veteran’s strikes, riding shotgun, soaking it all in. His surfing has impressed nearly everyone in the big wave world as of late, both for his dedication to being on every swell, and his intelligence in the water, gleaned off his mentors over the last ten years cutting his teeth all over the world, from Puerto to Punta Lobos, Mullaghamore to La Santa.  

We’ll be premiering Natxo’s new film on Wednesday, 12PM pst here on Stab, and at PUKAS’s flagship location in San Sebastian at 8PM. It’s a gem, a proper first strike on a wave that will haunt anyone whose ever seen something promising on Google Earth, but never rolled the dice. If you’re in the area, come enjoy a few drinks. Surf is going to pump over here for a few days, as Hurricane Ophelia (incredibly) hits fucking Ireland. Flying into Bilbao this AM, as a blood-red sun rose over the Basque Country, you could see groundswell lines as far as the horizon, a stiff offshore breeze coming through the mountains. 

Hope you’ve all been getting wet, wherever you are. Keep it cutty, with a little class, Stab. 

Sincerely,

Bashton Noggans

Editor in Chief

 

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