The first shot in this gallery of John hopping in on the shoulder while his coach, Ross Williams, falls in the tube is the best thing we’ve seen today.

During the three week break (one of the longest between CT stops on tour) the rest of the top 34 fraternized amongst the world. Mick Fanning and friends did Octoberfest, Kolohe Andino (featured in this gallery) spray painted his boards in an ode to his most influential surfers, then there was Mr Florence. All we could find of the enigmatic surfer were shots from our dear friend Laserwolf featuring reigning world champ turning Rocky Point lips into proverbial mincemeat.

“It all started yesterday morning,” photographer Martxel Txintxurreta tells Stab. “I was heading to Hossegor from my home in Hondarribia, Basque Country and I sent a message via Instagram to one of the closest friends of John John (Erik Knutson) to ask if they were going to the beach. Once in La Graviere he told me they weren’t going to surf yet, and asked me how the waves looked like and I sent him some videos. Suddenly, they appeared.”

“I got where they were filming and after greeting Erik and Koa Smith – who didn’t surf this session – I got in the water and started shooting. I’ve only been shooting from the water for a year and a half, this three-hour session shooting John, Ross and Kolohe was like a master class in taking water shots.”

For more photos, check out:

As we all know, yesterday was a HUGE day in surfing history.  The first ever WSL wave pool event at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch!  Check out the photos and MUST SEE Video on the WSL website:


Click the link to watch this video:

If Mick can ride these softies like a regular shortboard, you can probs surf them like a quality soft top! But, that doesn’t matter; you’re not shooting for six-to-midnight stabs at the lip, you just wanna catch waves, soak rays, perpetuate the lifestyle promoted by Hollister Surf Co. So, here’s Mick tossing his hat into the ever-growing ring of surfer’s entrepreneurial efforts: MF Soft Boards. His portfolio already boasts Balter Beer, Creatures of Leisure, and now, with the help of Mark Mathews, Mick’s going soft—not soft spaceman soft, but summer fun soft, like margarine on sourdough.

“Just before Christmas, while Mark Mathews was laid up in bed (recovering from his mutilated leg), I went down to Sydney and checked in on him,” Mick tells Stab. “He had this soft board laying around his house. I was like, ‘Ah, how sick is this thing?’ He asked me if I wanted one. He was throwing around the idea of selling soft tops, but at that point, he didn’t have a major plan and asked if I wanted to get involved. That’s how MF Soft Boards was born, by going to see Mark.”

Soft tops, by definition, don’t really work well. In the past ten years, companies have been striving to create a foamie that’s manoeuvrable in decent surf and shorebreak. So, last summer in Oz, we conducted an experiment: Stab’s Definitive Guide To Softboards, to analyse this exact issue. But, Mick’s high-performance, and it comes as no surprise that he wants his name attached to a foamie that rival the best in the biz.

“So, we started working with the guys that do all the epoxy’s for Haydenshapes and Chilli,” Mick continues. “They were originally doing it under their own label; once we met they gave me a couple protos to try. They went well and it started to evolve. They asked me if I wanted to call it MF Soft Boards; I was psyched. I surfed on one at Snapper, in proper waves, and it went really good. You can actually turn them like a normal board.”

“My favourite model? Probably the Beastie or the Eugene, but the Little Marley is fun when it’s shitty. They all have FCS II plugs in them too. Which is nice, a soft top goes so much better with real fins.”

These aren’t available until September (just a few short days!), but browse their selection on Facebook, Instagram and, if it pleases you, enter your info here for everything MF Soft Boards.

The East Coast Surfing Championships may be a contest for grinders, but the Final of the Vans Pro QS3,000 was nothing short of a Champions’ Ball.

After all, former CT competitor Keanu Asing faced three former Vans Pro champions — Evan Geiselman, Patrick Gudauskas and Kanoa Igarashi — in the marquee heat. And in building two to three-foot wind chop at First Street Jetty, the Hawaiian put all three of those guys on the ropes with devastating backside flair.

In fact, he comboed the field right off the bat, following up a 7.33 with a 9.00. By the time they were able to break the combo, Asing was too far ahead. At only 24 years old, he is the first surfer to win both a WSL Pro Junior and the QS main event in Virginia Beach’s most prestigious surfing event.

“After getting through some tough heats today, the stars just aligned in that Final,” Asing said. “I just found my rhythm, so I couldn’t be more happy. Those three are ex-champions for a reason, so I took them very seriously. I have the utmost respect for them, and you can never take your opponents lightly.”

While this is Asing’s second QS3,000 victory of the year (he also won in Barbados), vaulting him back into the Top 10 on the QS rankings heading into Europe, it was perhaps Pat Gudauskas who stole the show on Finals Day. In his Semifinal, the Californian posted a perfect 10 and an 18.90 total for the highest single-wave score and heat total of the event — earned for a huge air-reverse and a couple carves all the way to shore.

Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Final Results:
1. Keanu Asing (HAW), 16.33, $12,000
2. Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 14.76, $6,000
3. Evan Geiselman (USA), 12.33, $4,500
4. Kanoa Igarashi (USA), 11.13, $3,500