June 29 - WACO, TX

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Stab High 2.0 is returning to Waco, Texas on June 29

Last year’s greatest performers, including event champ Noa Deane, runner-up Chippa Wilson, Big Air winner Eithan Osborne, teenage flipster Eli Hanneman, and the highest scoring surfer Mason Ho will all be back in attendance, including another dozen (or so) elite punters.

“It's pretty much the sickest event ever,” Noa Deane said in 2018, following his Stab High win. “Chip and I just slammed like four beers before the final.”

The ethos of Stab High is simple: we want to create a fun, progressive, and brutally honest surfing event that doesn't take all day. This year, Stab High will run from 3 p.m. 'till sunset and can be viewed in-person at Waco’s Barefoot Ski Resort or on our live webcast. Competition highlights will air on ESPN following the event.

This year’s event will introduce the Stab High Ladybirds division– an invitational aerial competition for 15-and-under females, including Sierra Kerr, Caitlin Simmers, and Bella Kenworthy. First and second place will advance to the 2019 Australian Stab High event (details coming soon) and the Ladybirds winner will be awarded a 12-month Vans flow contract.

“There's so much new energy in surfing and skating now. It’s our job to set the stage and offer these unique opportunities to everyone,” says Scott Sisamis, Vans’ Director of Sports Marketing. “The Ladybird division is going to go off!”

Monster Energy have continued their support of Stab High and, keeping tradition from last year’s event, they’re adamant that we penalize surfers for claiming, and that winners must forfeit all prize money to a charity of their choice if they’re chaired up the beach.

Along with Monster, Vans have returned as a headline sponsor of Stab High in 2019. “I was lucky enough to attend the first Stab High,” said Sisamis. “At the time, I was heading a team to re-launch Vans Surf through the lens of radical experimentation leading to cultural progression—Stab High is the perfect example of this. Not many contests have a field of competitors exclaiming how much fun the contest was. It is a really creative stage for progressive freesurfing and surfers that haven’t been showcased on this level before, and for a live, truly engaged audience.”

We’ll also welcome the return of the Vans Acid Drop hosted by Nathan Fletcher, in which surfers attempt to jump from the top of the wavepool’s 12-foot concrete wall straight onto a wave. Since no one has ridden away from this atmospheric plunge in Waco’s brief history, this year we’ll be using a series of raised tiers along the wall that surfers must complete, in ascending order, before they can attempt the mega drop.

“That was fucking heavy!” said Harry Bryant, after coming inches from an Acid Drop completion last year. “I nearly buckled me board.”

This year the event will be judged by 2018 Stab High competitor Albee Layer (who is out of the water with an injury), east coast aerial tycoon Aaron ‘Gorkin’ Cormican, and one yet-to-be-named punt critic, with Stab’s resident surf nerd Michael Ciaramella acting as head judge (which is a fancy title for beer maid).

One core aspect of Stab High is that we encourage our viewers to vocalize any of our judges’ wrongdoings. Hell, you can throw a rotten tomato for all we care.

“All that shuv-it crap isn't surfing,” proclaimed ...Lost Surfboard founder Matt ‘Mayhem’ Biolos after watching last year’s event, which saw Noa Deane win on two silky varials.

“Guys were doing that stuff 20 years ago,” Matt continued. “Eli [Hanneman]’s flips on the other hand…”

German artist Stefan Marks will be adorning Waco’s Barefoot Ski Ranch with all kinds of creative oddities, including the competitors’ T-shirts – of which the goofies will wear white and regulars black – the concert venue, and the wavepool wall.

Food, drinks, and exclusive event merchandise will be made available for our Waco event-goers. All ages are welcome and you’re allowed to surf during the event, too; we’ll just have you sitting away from the action and not fighting our competitors for waves.

And don't worry, we'll do our best to keep Harry “Headlock” Bryant away from the children.

Cost of admission to Stab High is $41.50, but $175 gets you to VIP status, which offers a number of notable perks.

For those who can’t make it, Stab High will be broadcast live for $14.99, starting at the following global hours on June 29 (or June 30 in Oz): 12:30 p.m PST; 2:30 p.m. CST (local Texas time); 3:30 p.m. EST; 5:30 a.m. AEST

See you there.


Noa Deane
25, Coolangatta, Queensland
Stance: regular | Specialties: loft, style, technicality
Noa Deane won the inaugural Stab High event on the back of two decisive varial spins. He did so while roughly six beers deep, which is a testament to Noa’s uncommon skill and intestinal fortitude. But with a talented field nipping at his recently-unbroken ankle, will the reigning champ be able to defend his title?
Harry Bryant
23, Sunshine Beach, Queensland
Stance: goofy | Specialities: loft, sure-footedness, imperviousness to pressure
Headlock Harry is back! After an unpleasant encounter with Waco’s robust security squad in 2018, Haz has been granted approval to re-enter the great state of Texas, but only if he keeps the neck hugging to a minimum at our Stab High afterparty.
Chippa Wilson
31, Grafton, New South Wales
Stance: goofy | Specialties: technicality, incredible balance
Chip finished second at last year’s Stab High—the result of a not-entirely-completed frontside varial in the final. Had he stomped this maneuver as cleanly as he did in the prelims, Chippa would have been the clear champion. As it were, the world’s most technical aerialist has room to improve at the 2019 event, and if he pulls out the “hand-assisted 360 shuv-it” in the final, it might be night night for his competitors.
Mason Ho
30, Sunset Beach, Oahu
Stance: regular | Specialties: quirkiness, eccentricity, Bruce Lee-ism
Mason Ho earned the single highest score at last year’s Stab High for a lofty, extended rodeo. It was the only wave to score in the 80-point range, putting Mase in a position to walk away with $25k if he could just land a simple frontside punt. Instead, Mason attempted Christ airs and finger-flips, bringing the crowd to their feet but ultimately leaving him scoreless. This year he promises to stick one.
Eithan Osborne
19, Ventura, California
Stance: regular | Specialties: getting high.
Eithan Osborne won the Big Air event at last year’s Stab High, netting himself a cool $20k for one sky-scraping straighty. He’s looking to bring increased altitude to the show in 2019, which is certainly possible, as Eithan’s recent acceptance of his Jewish heritage has added additional chutzpah to his approach.
Eli Hanneman
16, Lahaina, Maui
Stance: regular | Specialties: technique, flips, lightness of being.
A lot of people thought Eli Hanneman should have won Stab High last year. Maui’s prodigal son had the frontside flip on lock, and his backside rotations grew bigger and cleaner as the day wore on. While the judges appreciated Eli’s consistency and style, it was the redundancy of maneuvers that held him back from victory. If Eli wants to win this year, he’ll have to bring some variety to the pool (his new hairdo is a good start).
Matt Meola
30, Haiku, Maui
Stance: goofy | Specialties: double spins, flips, country music covers
After narrowly missing last year’s top 6, the world’s spinningest surfer will be looking for redemption at Stab High 2.0. And if his Waco-inspired parody of “Old Town Road” is anything to go by, we’d be more likely to peer through the circular hole in the bathroom stall before betting against Matt Meola. Seriously, you need to check that thing out:
Nathan Florence
25, Sunset Beach, Oahu
Stance: regular
Did somebody say Air Camp?! Despite only learning to punt in the past five months, Nate has already shown vast improvement in the air, having landed multiple backside full rotations in his eponymous vlog series. Will Nate win Stab High 2.0? Probably not, but we can guarantee he’ll have all the fun.
Eric Geiselman
31, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Stance: regular | Specialties: creativity and style
Ever-difficult to coax from his Floridian honey-hole, EG made an exception when he received a Stab High invite, agreeing to meet us in Waco so long as he could go fishing in the nearby pond after the competition had concluded. We obliged, if only to see his massive front-shuv and corkscrew flip in action.
Jett Schilling
16, San Clemente, California
Stance: goofy | Specialties: technique and style
Despite valiant efforts both frontside and back, little Jett Schilling couldn’t bring down an air at last year’s Stab High. Talking to him after the event, it seems our 15-year-old competitor made the rookie mistake of forgetting to wax his nose, meaning that every time he did the front-foot shimmy on a punt, Jett would slip right off the tip. “I’m never making that mistake again,” he promised in a post-heat confessional. Let’s hope not.
Tanner Gudauskas
30, San Clemente, CA
Stance: goofy | Specialties: judo kicks and a contagious smile
As the third member of surfing’s G(regarious)-Unit, Tanner brings unbridled stoke to Stab High along with a mean backside judo. While not a cruel man, Tanner has no qualms about taking competitors’ scalps (see: Gabriel Medina, 2016), so watch your fucking head when it’s this guy’s turn to fly.
Kael Walsh
19, Yallingup, West Aus
Stance: regular | Specialties: rotations, loft, absence of fear
Last year at Stab High, Kael Walsh launched a gravity-averse alleyoop, landing cleanly in the soup for a high single score. Unfortunately for the West Aussie, his air-wind upbringing hadn’t prepared him for the sideshore left, which resulted in the distinct lack of a backup score and failure to make the final. Rumor has it Kael’s been practicing in down-wind conditions throughout the offseason, so we can expect two makes and a potential finals berth at Stab High 2.0.
Kevin Schulz
23, San Clemente, CA
Stance: goofy | Specialties: spin rate, wingspan and technique
Clean-cut and amicable as they come, Mr. Schulz has some of the quickest, most efficient spins in surfing. The only question is whether Kevin can bring enough variety to please our highly critical judges. That semi-secret flip in his arsenal might do the trick.
Ian Crane
26, San Clemente, CA
Stance: goofy | Specialties: variation and style
Crane-o has two tricks up his sleeve that nobody in the field can touch. The first is a tail-high, stalefish backside air reverse, and the other is a backside alleyoop with a frontside grab (but to be honest, we’re not entirely sure what to call it). Regardless, if Ian sticks either of these moves to their capacity, he’s looking at huge scores from the panel. And if he figures out how to land a damn frontside punt in the final, the kid could be a sneaky winner.
Balaram Stack
27, New York, New York
Stance: goofy | Specialties: surfing in a gold chain and diamond studs
When he’s not packing Pipe bombs, “Ball Sack” (as he was lovingly referred to in his youth) is jumping off ledges that would make a mother say, “Oh no, sweetie, I don’t think that’s a very good idea at all!” Our favorite thing about Bal is how deeply he’s embraced his New York residency, as the kid can often be found wearing a Yankees hat, gold chain, diamond earrings, and did we see a grill at some point?
Parker Coffin
23, Santa Barbara, CA
Stance: goofy | Specialties: height (off the lip, not in the doctor's office), style
Porker might be a founder of the Fat Boy Surf Camp, but that won’t stop him from trying to fly! Gravity might, though, so he should probably lay off the brisket until the post-event festivities.
Noah Wegrich
25, Santa Cruz, CA
Stance: goofy | Specialties: massive straighties, pulls all the ladies
Waggy is Stab High’s quintessential Californian. He’s tall, skinny, blonde, goofy-footed, probably vegan and has a frontside hanger like nobody’s business. Our only concern is that Waggy will be molested by rowdy Baylor gals before he can surf his heat. With any luck they’ll wait for the afterparty.
Leon Glatzer
22, Pavones, Costa Rica
Stance: goofy | Specialties: amplitude and rotations
Who is Leon Glatzer? Nah, who are you? Just kidding... we don’t expect you to know the Costa Rican’s name just yet, but we doubt you’ll forget Leon Glatzer by the time Stab High’s come and gone. For reference: he’s the tall, lanky son-of-a-bitch that stomps full rotors like a bushel of ripe cranberries.
Shane Borland
20, Malibu, CA
Stance: regular | Specialties: skate-inspired punts
Another skater in Stab High? Yeah, there’s something to that. The consistency of a skate ramp lends itself to a repetition of maneuvers and, as a result, rapid skill growth. Surfing lacked this unique benefit until places like Waco popped up, providing an on-demand, cookie-cutter air section. We’ll see if Shane’s skate background helps him in the pool.
Curren Caples
23, Durban, Ventura, CA
Stance: regular | Specialties: low arms and tucked knees
Growing up a Ventura skate rat, all of Curren’s friends used to taunt him for choosing the beach over the bowl. “Why are you going surfing?” they would mock. “It’s so lame!” But Curren didn’t listen, and now, in the midst of a highly successful skate career, the 23-year-old is entering his first professional surfing event at Stab High. Don’t be surprised if he sinks a few aerial icons in the process