Noa Deane: the inner of the inaugural Stab High | Photo: Stab High

Noa Deane has taken out the inaugural Stab High, held at the BSR Surf Resort, in Waco, Texas.

Sixteen of the best non-aligned, aerial surfing specialists gathered to compete in an alternative format. Stab High proposes a simple exercise: to land the biggest and most innovative air maneuvers possible.

The event got underway at the first full-sized wave pool developed by American Wave Machines where, for many, it is possible to enjoy one of the best man-made air sections in the world.

The contest is not sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL), and the organizers seem proud of not flying the "official" pro surfing flag.

Stab High was sold as "an invitational surfing contest, mostly in the air."

Eithan Osborne: he landed the highest air | Photo: Monster Energy

Waves Scored From 0-100

The judging criteria are radically different, too. Waves were scored from 0 to 100, with judges looking back at past-completed airs to keep their scoring consistent throughout the competition.

Only air moves were awarded scores, and they had to be completed with control and ridden out under the power of the wave, with at least the nose of the surfboard breaking free from the whitewater.

Judges wanted to see height, speed, and distance covered, style, progression and creativity, and landing.

The contest had a Round 1 and Round 2 in which surfers rode two lefts and two rights. The top six surfers later met in the final, where they got the most out of four lefts and four rights, plus a bonus wave of choice.

In the end, the best two scores - left and right - were taken into account to determine the grand winner. Noa Deane stormed the show and went home with $25,000 in his pockets. Eithan Osborne got $20,000 for the highest air.

2018 Stab High | Final

1. Noa Deane (AUS) 150.33
2. Chippa Wilson (AUS) 149.00
3. Eli Hanneman (USA) 138.33
4. Eithan Osborne (USA) 96.34
5. Mason Ho (USA) 91.66
6. Ian Crane (USA) 79.33

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