Sam McIntosh (pictured) unironically proud of himself.
Sam McIntosh (pictured) unironically proud of himself.

Stab Magazine co-founder Sam McIntosh levels wild accusations at Jordy Smith, John John Florence, Andy Irons in exclusive email!

Buckle up.

Now, those who subscribe to the premium web log Stab are, of course, treated to much beloved exclusive content behind the paywall. They are also, though, gifted periodic emails from the desk of co-founder Sam McIntosh. This week, in peek into the gilded remote office, patrons learned that Bethany Hamilton thought that the title had been purchased by the World Surf League. The reasoning behind her thinking? That Stab was so milquetoast as to belong, squarely, behind the Wall of Positive Noise.

McIntosh blushed with what he considered a compliment and bequeathed Hamilton a special code into the site to “see what they were all about.”

He then proceeded to explain:

Here however, after three years of Stab Premium, you guys understand what we’re trying to do and why we hide these easter eggs within.

Imagine the virality – and the ensuing meltdown – from any of the following headlines on IG.

Jordy Smith Sued For $500k As A Teenager For Trying To Change Sponsor

Why John Florence Didn’t Sign A $5m Rip Curl Deal And How He Turned Down The Volcom Pipe House As A Signing Bonus

How Red Bull Dropped Andy Irons Because Of Cocaine Use

We Convinced Surfboard Sadist Schroff To Shape A Board With Arch-Nemesis Hayden Cox

The list goes on and on and on. Instead, as you know, we release these stories with the most benign of headlines: How Surfers Get Paid, episode one; Electric Acid Surfboard Test episode two etc. Because of this, the people who give us their time are not crucified on social media when their quotes are taken out of context from an entire storyline.

By keeping the salacious headlines off social, our talent can be transparent and unguarded with us. The past 8-10 weeks proved that with us finishing about 30 more interviews for How Surfers Get Paid, shot between California and Hawaii. We’ve landed some hammers there, too — industry heavyweight Evan Slater is back, Rosy Hodge talked about the formative years of her surf career, Jamie O steps up again with some mind blowing deals, Ben Gravy said “you won’t get me, dude” (spoiler: we got him), and Laura Enever and Shane Dorian might be battling for this season’s MVP title.

Sam McIntosh nearing sainthood by protecting the delicate feelings of “his talent” and, thereby, “getting” Ben Gravy.

I suppose I will have to comfort myself in the embrace of “my talent.” Namely, the Hobgood who didn’t win a world title.

Watch here!

Ultimate surfers. Coming soon.
Ultimate surfers. Coming soon.

Cast finalized for new Fox television North Shore surf drama!

A thrilling blend of local motion.

The World Surf League badly failed with its foray into network television with its much ballyhooed reality series The Ultimate Surfer, the stink so bad that observers wondered if a surf project would ever get greenlit in Hollywood again. Good news, then, for surf and surf-adjacent actors as the Fox television network has finalized the cast for its upcoming North Shore, Oahu surf drama titled “Rescue: Hi Surf.”

Following “the personal and professional lives of the heavy-water lifeguards who patrol and protect the North Shore of O’ahu—the most famous and dangerous stretch of coastline in the world, each episode will feature these dedicated, heroic, and adrenaline-seeking first-responders saving lives in the difficult and often life-threatening conditions of Hawaii’s Seven Mile Miracle.”


But who will play this daring crew of Shepardsons?

Let’s, please, meet them.

Robbie Magasiva will play Harlon “Sonny” Jennings, a surfer, waterman, and North Shore lifeguard captain with deep ties to his community and an iron clad commitment to his team of heavy water first responders. A charismatic leader who inspires courage and loyalty, SONNY’S grief over his nephew’s death threatens to cost him the job and team he loves.

Arielle Kebbel as Emily “Em” Wright is a gal in a lifeguard force that is 90% male, yet still the best. A true maverick, EM is the first female lieutenant in Ocean Safety history, an accomplished surfer and record setting paddler who has her sights set on the captain’s job, a position currently held by Sonny, her struggling mentor and friend.

Adam Demos will play Mick “Micko” O’Brien, an Aussie surfer and certified lifesaver since his nipper days at the local board riders club, Mick came to the North Shore to challenge himself and stayed. Good-natured and loyal, Mick’s blue-collar work ethic and incomparable fitness means he’s game to tackle any situation the ocean throws at him.

Kekoa Kekumano as Keoni “Cheeseburger” Nozaki is confident, competent, and hilarious. Burger is an uber-fit Native Hawaiian lifeguard from Honolulu who patrols the busy North Shore beaches with a style all his own. Fearless in the ocean and never afraid of a good time, Laka loves his job and the lifestyle that comes with it.

Alex Aiono is Ezekiel “Zeke” Lau. Cocky and competitive, sweet but stubborn, Zeke was born into privilege in an upscale neighborhood just outside Honolulu. With a football coach father who’s on the rise, Zeke is defying lots of expectations (like appearing on, and winning, reality television programs) to be a rookie North Shore lifeguard.

And there’s a couple more characters, too, including the flashy Brazilian Philip “Pip” Toledo with oodles of talent yet a cowardly heart, Kelly “Slade” Slater, a former surf champion who just doesn’t know when to let go plus Kaipo “Kaips” Guerrero as himself.

Exciting days ahead.

Open Thread: Comment live on the Nazaré Big Wave Challenge!

Super size me!

Fantasy surf league
Fantasy surf league but ruthless and rich!

World’s richest but most ruthless fantasy surf league opens for 2024 WSL season

Seven thousand American dollars and a fleet of Panda surfboards in winner-take-all bunfight!

You all know the stories of fans winning the Surfer or WSL fantasy surf leagues, beating thousands of other keen surfers, and then getting stiffed of their rightful loot. 

Four years ago, the staggering lack of any prizes in fantasy surf leagues was brought into the spotlight when Berlin-based Australian surfer Shane Starling aka Zmonde, picked ten of the eleven event winners, although his victory came and went unacknowledged by the owners of the game. 

Surfer wasn’t any better, said Starling, describing it as a “dead platform.”

(BeachGrit remedied that situation when we despatched to the former home of the Reich a package of t-shirts and air fresheners,.)

Last year, the Australian husband of Lakey Peterson, Thomas Allen, won the WSL’s Fantasy League, beating an astonishing 115,000 competitors. His prize? Allen said, “I might have to buy myself a trophy”.

And, so, this is why the surfer Taylor Lobdell created Surfival League a few years back. You probs know the game by now, but, if you don’t, it’s real easy.

Instead of picking a team you pick one surfer to advance past the round of 32. 

If they advance, you advance. If they don’t, you’re out. 


And you can’t pick the same surfer twice. 

Last man, or gal, gets seven thousand American dollars courtesy of BeachGrit and Taylor and three Panda surfboards. 

Past winner of Surfival Fantasy Surf League include a construction worker from Colorado a butcher from Bondi and an Australia skipper. 

This year, is it you? 

Wanna put money where mouth is etc? 

Twenty bucks. 

We’ll be updating who’s in, who’s out, after each event.

Sign up here. 

Zombie surf industry apocalypse.
Zombie surf industry apocalypse.

Surfer Magazine robots quake in sockets as parent company lays off entire Sports Illustrated staff

It's a full zombie apocalypse.

The year 2024 has gotten off weird, let’s be quite frank. YouTubers calling out filmers for “blowing out spots,” icons retiring in prime, stickers being ripped off boards hither and yon. The World Surf League refusing to search for a new CEO instead depending on its PR chief and legal chief in order to govern the “global home of surfing.”

Most off, though, is the war between Surfer Magazine’s artificially intelligent robot staff and quaking in various wall sockets as Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA, Roxy, DC’s owner shakes an angry pitchfork in the air, baying for digital blood.

But here we are and it’s true.

Days ago, Authentic Brands Group, which owns 90% of the aforementioned surf industry, told The Arena Group, which owns “the Bible of the Sport,” that it could not longer use the name or logo of the storied title Sports Illustrated.

You’ll certainly recall the dust up, two months back, when it was revealed that The Arena Group had used “fake AI writers” for Sports Illustrated pieces about playing frisbee, or some such. Surf fans were not surprised, in the least, as months before that, one Emily Morgan was introduced to us. A “woman” who lived in the shadows of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains and “enjoyed” long walks with her “dog.”

The revelation tanked The Arena Group’s stock and led to the firing of its kinky CEO, who might and should be smashing LinkedIn messages to the World Surf League even as I type.

That was only the start of the troubles.

On Friday, every Sports Illustrated staffer was fired after The Arena Group missed a $2.8 million payment to Authentic Brands Group for the usage of the name Sports Illustrated.

“As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand,” Arena Sports told the magazine’s employees in an email.

Surfer Magazine’s algorithm-chasing digital tools very clearly on notice that they, too, could easily become put in the desktop trash bin.

And isn’t it odd.

Zombie Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, DC vs. zombie Surfer.

Would you have predicted?