7-time World Champion, God's gift to surfing, and everyone's favourite surfer Stephanie Gilmore features in the second iteration of Stab's alternative board test. Switching out Mexico for Mozambique, Steph and a super quiver of a-syms, single fins, twins, bonzers and everything in between, arrive in east Africa and its glorious point breaks.
Seeing Steph surf a quiver of alternate boards is all I want in watching surf. Watching her killing it on the tour will never get old, she is so far ahead of the entire roster on the WSL, with the exception of the radical emergence of Caroline Marks that is. Steph on a wave is pure art, aggression and elegance all rolled into one smiling Aussie. Throw in some left-field board designs and watch that style explode onto an acid-fuelled African canvas.
The shapers this year are varied and include some of the biggest names in surf with Simon Anderson and Mark Richards dropping in on their own twisted variations of classics. Matt "Mayhem" Biolos of Lost fame, Alex Knost, Al and Britt Merrick, Rob Machado, and a bunch more highly talented craftsmen all pitch in their designs for Stephanie to try out.
Taking professional surfers out of their comfort zone should be one of life's simple pleasures, it would be nice to see these super humans struggle like the rest of us. But just like last year watching Dane express his concern on how to handle a twin-fin, Asym, fork-nosed Ryan Burch creation right before proceeding to blow the roof off every damn wave effortlessly, and then Steph does exactly the same thing.
Steph on a finless asymmetrical deserves its own film. Ryan Lovelace and Dan Malloy's collaborative 'Rabbit Foot' creation would make most surfers flail and spin out most of the time, but Stephanie just slides and spins with such grace and joy that its just impossible not to smile.
In this age of quick fire 60-second clips, it's good to just sit back and enjoy a full length surf film for once. The guys over at Stab and Corona have struck gold with this series. Well to be honest, as soon as they secured Gilmore it didn't actually matter what happened next. Forget someone else for next year, just bring Steph back for round 2.
The full video is available free on YouTube, so press play and sit back and watch the Queen do her thing.