Mick Fanning stars in the new Stab in the Dark

Mick Fanning and a gang of Epoxy boards star in the new, Stab in the Dark.

Stab in the Dark returns!

The newly “retired” Mick Fanning stars in the latest edition of Stab in the Dark. The incredible concept, by Stab Magazine, takes one of the world’s best surfers and pairs them with unbranded surfboards from some of the world’s best shapers. This year, the shapers had to use some combination of stringerless EPS blanks, carbon fiber, and epoxy resin. Mick reckons he never surfs epoxy boards, so I am excited to see what happens.

Location, location, location

The locations are pretty hazy, though it is clear that Japan is certainly one of them. Some good looking waves in the teaser, though Mick is quite capable of making crap waves looks exceptional. It appears they got stuck in a huge typhoon too, which could make for incredible waves post storm. Previous editions of Stab in the Dark have scored really good waves, so holding thumbs for this one.

The World’s Best have taken part

Previous editions have featured some of the world’s best, such as Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds and Julian Wilson. One of my favourite moments was when Jordy loved a board shaped by his old man, unknowingly, the now famous 44. (A board I have and love.) That is what makes the concept so cool, that they only find out who shaped which board right at the end. So enjoy the teaser…

Snowboard Heaven – Japan Snow – The Search for Perfection in 4K

If like me, you are sitting in a boiling hot South Africa and dreaming of deep Pow and colder climes, you might not want to watch this video. Filled with the most glorious powder conditions you could ever dream of, it has me pining for some snowboarding action.

Explore Japan with GoPro athletes John Jackson and Chris Benchetler as they seek to find a moment of perfection in the snow. Follow the journey from the bustling city of Tokyo, to the rural beauty in Hakuba, and finally to the wintery north island of Hokkaido as they find endless fields of untracked powder.

#BattleDrift – 550 HP 5.0L V-8 Mustang RTR vs 650 HP V-12 Drift Lamborghini

If you are a petrol head this video was made for you! You going to want to put on your best headphones or play it on the biggest surround sound system you can find.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. heads to Niigata, Japan in his 550 HP 5.0L V-8 Mustang RTR to take on Daigo Saito’s 650 HP V-12 Drift Lamborghini. Built by Liberty Walk and Phat Five racing, Saito’s AWD to RWD converted beast is looking for a fight. The two drift legends head to Niigata, Japan to battle it out on a tough run as they head into the abandoned Niigata Russian Village. Like something from a post apocalyptic world, the village provides the perfect backdrop for these outrageous machines to create some mayhem. After watching this video, if your dreams aren’t filled with the sweet sounds of a V-8 Muscle Car battling against a V-12 Supecar, something is seriously wrong with you. Put on a pair of headphones or hook up a nice set of speakers and Crank the Volume! #BATTLEDRIFT

Top 5 Web Surf Videos of 2014

With the Surfer Poll having just gone down and most sites picking their highlights for the year, I thought I would give you guys my picks for the best web surf videos over this year. There have been some absolute bangers, some that follow the old music and surf formula and the newer arty ones that mix and match between old french people smoking and John John busting. My criteria is simple, good music, great editing and surfing that gets me pumped to go session!

Before I get into the Top 5, one video worth watching in number 6 is this one, Clay on Clay by Surfing Mag. Unleashing Clay Marzo and Matt Meola on West Oz was a great idea. Maybe a little to many left handers, but the surfing and footage are insane.

Clay is Clay from SURFING Magazine on Vimeo.

Number 5 – LNF: Diamond of the Desert
With the focus on just the one spot, this video still inspires and fills with a sense of wonder. Having one of the longest tube sequences ever filmed also helps, with Koa Smith the standout.

LNF: Diamond of the Desert from LastNameFirst.tv on Vimeo.

Number 4 – Enjoy
John John Florence and filmer, Blake Kueny, have made some memorable web videos. This one definitely went arty on us, but the surfing footage and the feeling of being in France created by Blake definitely got me amped to go surf and eat baguettes.

Enjoy from John John Florence on Vimeo.

Number 3 – The Getaway
Jordy Smith has been having a banger year and he backed it up with this sweet video shot in Mozambique. Huge gaffs, big punts and long tubes in paradise make this video a keeper.

Jordy Smith: The Getaway from O'Neill on Vimeo.

Number 2 – Cheese 2
Noa Deane has just found himself in the cuck after some rather bad behaviour at the Surfer Poll Awards, but he still won the AI award and this video won best web video. There is a reason why, he rips and the video is shot so well with insane tunes. I almost made it number 1.

Noa Deane | Cheese II from Rusty Brasil on Vimeo.

Number 1 – Dirty Dozen
Pumping track, huge moves and of course Mr Dane Reynolds. This is everything you need in a surf short and its simplicity is the winning factor. Short, sharp and to the point, make this video my winner for 2014. These are twelve of my best clips of Dane Reynolds. Filmed in Sumbawa, Japan, Hawaii, and California from 2011 – 2013, for various Marine Layer Productions projects such as Excerpt, LOADED, and Kai Neville’s Dear Suburbia.

Dane’s Dirty Dozen in High Definition from mini blanchard on Vimeo.

So thats my web surf video choices for 2014. Let me know your thoughts and if I missed any good ones?

Japanese Cloudbreak with Dane Gadauskas and Kohl Christensen

You could be forgiven for thinking this wave is in Fiji, when it is in actual fact in Japan. Dane Gadauskas and Kohl Christensen travel to the land of the rising sun, chasing a Typhoon swell, to surf this heavy and rare wave. Dane broke his ankle on one wipe, but still paddled out for a few more. It really does look like Cloudbreak…

The Best tricks from Red Bull X-Fighters Japan 2014

There has been so much going on in action sports here and abroad that I almost forgot we get to see Red Bull X-Fighters live in South Africa later this year. Then the latest video dropped from Japan and I was like, “Oh damn, I cannot wait to see this live!” The boys went big in Japan! Everyone’s favorite Kiwi Mullet, Levi Sherwood won again!

At the ancient walls of Japan’s most famous castle, more than 20,000 fans gathered for Red Bull X-Fighters weekend in Osaka. This freestyle motocross competition was full of thrilling battles and epic tricks!

Boarding Powder in Japan with Will Jackways

There are very few things in this life that can compare to riding deep champagne powder! Japan has long been one of the top destinations for riding in deep pow pow and for good reason. With ocean on both sides and the right mountain line ups, they get fresh dumps almost every night. I could watch this video for days, but it would mean booking a ticket to Japan. Will Jackways is a great rider coming out of New Zealand and he spent the start of his winter in Powder paradise…

X-Fighters Japan 2013 Review

Hometown hero Taka Higashino of Japan won the first Red Bull X-Fighters event of his career, upsetting World Tour leader Tom Pages of France in a thrilling final in front of Osaka Castle watched by 11,000 fans. Time is ticking by for X-Fighters South Africa…