Stab: This week in bad-vertorial!

"Oakley paid us to say that, but it's true!"

Advertising editorial, or advertorial, is the wave of three years ago but if you go to Mar Vista’s own as much as I do then you would be forgiven for thinking that it is also the future. Nobody but nobody tries to twist a company’s ad budget into awkward prose masquerading as real news than Stab. Nobody but nobody also throws fake Facebook “likes” at that story to make it look miraculously popular.

Maybe it’s the website’s DNA as part of an online surf retailer. Maybe it’s just a passion project. Whatever the case, Stab leads the way. And let us examine today’s offering for Oakley underneath the subhead…

“Oakley paid us to say that, but it’s true!”

A good pair of sunglasses exists to serve two main purposes: To look fucking cool and to provide protection for you eyes. Oakley’s new PRIZM technology adds a third. It involves what they call ultra precise colour tuning, for any environment. We’ll let them explain: “by fine-tuning individual wavelengths of colour, PRIZM sharpens visual acuity to reveal nuances that would be missed by the naked eye.”

Etc. Etc.

You probably know Oakley for their classic Frogskins, or those big wraps you’ve seen Kolohe Andino wearing in his post-heat interviews on the WSL webcast. But Oakley has some really good contemporary styles in their collection. Easily on the top of this list is the Latch, an easy-wearing modern classic.

Do you think it really is true? Do you think Oakley likes that Stab hedges by claiming, “Oakley paid us to say that?” Does it make you want to buy a pair of “contemporary styles” in Oakley’s collection?

I think Oakley was as bummed as the reader here which means Stab wins the award for this week’s bad-vertorial!

"It's not just surfers and swimmers but people, millions of people, thinking: I don't want to go swimming in the ocean anymore. That's not just an inconvenience. That's taking away from us one of the most important things we can do. Which is to immerse ourselves in the ocean.

Humane: Greg Webber’s Miracle Shark Net!

No one dies! Shark or surfer!

This whole shark thing has got out of hand, wouldn’t y’say?

On the one side, the groovies who are firm in the belief that the life of every shark is god-like and therefore any attempt to mitigate growing populations is immoral and catastrophic.

On the other, pragmatists who believe sharks aren’t any different to the tuna we happily gorge on at the sushi carousel and therefore refuse to build shrines to the animal.

In a town like Ballina where the sudden arrival of Great Whites killed not just surfers but the whole surf buzz, it’s either net the beaches or don’t net ’em. And the problem, if you regard it as a problem, is that nets kill.

Drowning in the nets are the god-like shark, the happy turtle, the even happier and the even more photogenic dolphin and whale etc.

But what if I told that the shaper and possible wavepool inventor Greg Webber, whose brother Dan has become the defacto leader of the pragmatist camp, has designed a shark net that…doesn’t kill.

Webber’s shark enclosure wraps the surfer and swimmer up in metaphorical cotton wool but, through the use of pylons that move and keep the net taut and “little moving elements on the net that flutter enough in the flow of the wave that the entire net will be noticeable to any creature day or night”, it doesn’t trap the damn fish.

Perfect, yes?

Everyone’s a winner and so forth. 

Greg sent the proposal, at his brother’s behest to the Senate Standing Committee inquiry into shark mitigation and deterrent measures, an ongoing investigation by the Australian government.

The design, which Greg says is cost-effective as well as non-lethal, took him two days to work out.

“I didn’t event to bother going public on this one. Everyone would just think it’s another crazy Webber idea.”

The net is real simple. Mouth-wateringly simple.

Click here for the PDF submission

Click here for an animation of how the nets move with the waves.

“The animation helps visualise the fact that despite tilting to a moderate degree there is always enough net above the waves to make sure nothing scary pops over the top,” says Greg.

Millions of people, thinking: I don’t want to go swimming in the ocean anymore. That’s not just an inconvenience. That’s taking away from us one of the most important things we can do. Which is to immerse ourselves in the ocean. It’s what we need to be  doing more of, not less. We can’t be horrified of going into the ocean.

And the philosophy behind it all is beautiful.

“It’s not just surfers and swimmers but people, millions of people, thinking: I don’t want to go swimming in the ocean anymore. That’s not just an inconvenience. That’s taking away from us one of the most important things we can do. Which is to immerse ourselves in the ocean. It’s what we need to be  doing more of, not less. We can’t be horrified of going into the ocean. So if we can’t kill the sharks we’ve gotta keep the two parties apart. There’s too much fighting, people hating each others’ guts over the issue, people virtue signalling online and it’s distracting from a moral issue.”


Globalism: “I am Brazilian too!”

The world needs more uniters.

We live in the most divisive of times, blacks hating whites, browns hating whites, whites hating whites, whites hating taxes, whites hating healthcare, whites hating intercontinental ballistic missiles, whites hating North American free trade and I think this is all very sad. Oh of course our surf bubble is not immune. We bicker like the rest of them and maybe even worse. Australians hating Brazilians, Americans hating Brazilians, Hawaiians hating Brazilians, the French hating Brazilians, etc. A bunch of ugly nationalists.

This polarization is getting us nowhere though. And it is sad. So today I went looking for a role model. Someone we could all look to as an example of open-hearted civility in these darkest days. Someone we could hold up and emulate.

And I found that person.


Chas Smith.

Before the Corona J-Bay Open, you see, I set my Fantasy Surfer team to “all Brazilian.” That’s right. I paddled Adriano de Souza, Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Caio Ibelli, Wiggolly Dantas, Miguel Pupo and Jadson Andre into the best J-Bay ever and they performed horribly.

But you know what? I forgot that I had a Fantasy Surfer team and so also paddled them into the Hurley Pro where they did better and the Quiksilver Pro where they did worse. And now my team is 20,662 out of 21,583.

Expect to see me interviewed by Anderson Cooper soon. And don’t forget your tissues.

Choose: Your Stoke Ambassador!

The WSL is electing your voice! Choose wisely!

Being grouchy really brands a man as old and irrelevant, know what I’m saying? Or brands a man Gen-X which is pretty much the same thing. The kids aren’t grouchy. They are filled with hope and passion even though their entire world is ending in a hail of North Korean missiles and rising sea levels. Just kidding. Kim Jong Un will never really succeed and global warming is a lie. Know what I’m saying?

But how did we get so far away from Stoke and Leisure? Your World Surf league Ambassador of Stoke and Leisure finalists are in and YOU get to decide! Should we meet them?


1) Jason who says, “I’m the biggest gas station around. I use practices such as yoga, meditation, earthing, surfing and skating to fill my energy tank – not other people.”

2) Linda who says, “I’m stoked about surfing, coconuts, shells, people, stray dogs, mangos, sand between my toes, sunlight, sand in my wetsuit, bonfires, sand in my bed, moonshine, acoustic guitars, flashmobs, sand in my bikini…”

3) Mariana who says, “I’ve been working and traveling for a long time and I absolutely LOVED it.”

4) Sara who says, “eat as much coconut as i can and .. why not? share one with John John Florence!”

5) Scott who says, “I have those cahoonas and I’m ready for this challenge if given the opportunity.”

6) Adam who says, “Everything I have done, seen, and accomplished this far in my life has led me to this point.”

7) Zach who says, “Whether I get the position or not, I’m way too obsessed with filmmaking, photography, travel, surf, and the world of adventure to ever give up the dream.”

8) Pat who says, ” I’ve been told my spirit animal is a yellow labrador.”

Soooooooooooooooo? Who you feeling? Don’t be lazy. Vote today!

And it may totally read like I’m being ironic but I am not. Irony is cheap. Grouchy is out. Let’s embrace hope!

Watch: Kelly struggle with gender fluidity!

The world's greatest surfer delivers an object lesson!

Gender fluidity is the buzziest thing since wearing jeans backwards. It is all over the place and I’m not just talking about the TQ in LGBTQ. I’m talking everything from Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik sharing a wardrobe all the way to the non-binary scene. Those who don’t identify as male and don’t identify as female.

Much buzzy.

And we all have learned the proper way to respond to the genderqueer/agender/gender non-forthcoming. If a person tells you, for example, they are not a mr or a ms but an mx then you know to nod and say, “Nice to meet you, ze or zir…” while not smiling but also not not smiling.


But back in the dark old days of 2010 it was not easy. We were ignorant like cattle and thought humans were either male or female. Like cattle.

And let us watch a video of the world’s greatest surfer encounter Zazon in France in 2010. She claims to simply have been born a boy but transitioned to a girl so she could win the heart of Kelly Slater. Tres romantic and not at all even very fluid. And how does Kelly respond? Let’s watch!

Oh no. Oh no no no. No no no no no no no. This is like listening to my grandma talk about race relations back in the 1980s. No. No no no oh no. The real problem is that he dares correct zim’s assertion that “I am a huge fan of yours since I’m a little boy…” by saying, “Little girl.”


Such a cisgenderist! Such a dualist! Such a bianist!

I totally assume Kelly Slater knows the correct verbiage/understanding now and of course we don’t hold this against him but we also kind of do if ze’re going to be honest.