Stab magazine


Glossy magazine published seven times per year out of in Sydney, Australia; two-thirds surf and one-third fashion, with a dash of softcore erotica; founded by former Australian Surfing Life editor Derek Rielly and former Waves editor Sam McIntosh. Circulation in 2012 was about 40,000 per issue.

Stab burst out of the gates in 2004 determined to strike a different chord than its Australian surf mag competitors, partly with it's cheeky but cosmopolitan editorial voice (Rielly's work, mostly), and partly by taking on an urbane, fashion-conscious look. By the 11th issue, Stab was in fact divided in two: flip it over, and the back cover served as the front cover for Stab Style, the part of the magazine devoted to the latest in surf couture, pro surfer wardrobes, and peekaboo nude pictorials—models as a rule, but also top-ranked women pros like Laura Enever and Sally Fitzgibbons.

Cover headlines on boths sides of the magazine are often hyperbolic and played for laughs: “On This Day, August 1, 2008, The Surfing World Universally Acknowledges That DANE REYNOLDS is the Best Fucking Surfer in the World." Another long-running Stab feature has been it's Mad magazine-like comic strip, written by Rielly and drawn cartoonist Ben Brown.

On occasion, however, the magazine has taken on serious topics that other surf media wouldn't touch, including former pro surfer Matt Branson coming out of the closet—the first high-profile male to do so. Twice the magazine has drawn front-page attention from Australia's mainstream media. First, with 2008's "Facism Issue" (cover line: “Hey little nazi—you wear a black wetsuit and ride a white 6’2”? I got a book you’ll like. It’s called Mein Kampf"), and two years later, after staff writer Chas Smith described, in print, being accosted by world champion Mick Fanning, who repeatedly called Smith a "fucking Jew."

For the most part, however, Stab has earned a reputation for its superb cutting-edge design, beautiful photo spreads, and cerebral, well-written—if occasionally flippant—editorial content.

Stab's contributing writers include Lewis Samuels, Fred Pawle, Jed Smith, and Matt George. Contributing photographers include Nate Lawrence, Corey Wilson, Ryan Miller, Jason Kenworthy, Daniel Russo, DJ Struntz, Pat Stacey, and Tom Carey.

Stab's website, more familiar to the magazine's non-Australian readership, is equally well-done, but with a focus on video content and photo collages.