A study of introversion

Confidence isn’t loud. Most respected doesn’t equal most followed. The best in the business isn’t always the most obvious.

For our collaboration with Stab, we’re taking our brand out of the equation and trusting the process to give you complete, uncluttered focus. After all, we were always meant to be the accessory to your adventures, not the main event.

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Stab Premium Members Review #1

Editor’s note: A few weeks ago Stab announced a giveaway of a Db x Stab boardbag to nine lucky Stab Premium members who submitted the best surf travel story.

WA’s Damon Hayes won for his story about snapping his shinbone in half in the remote northwest region of WA. He also attached an Indo plane ticket, which turned out to be fake. This should disqualified him from entering. It was pure cunning genius. ‘Play on,’ we said. We’re just surprised he actually sent us a review – Ethan Davis

Once unfolded the first ‘wow’ factor is the top of the cover – usually they zip from side to side and are always tricky to stack boards on. The Db x Stab coffin allows you to peel the top off like a can of tuna, allowing you to get a more calculated stack that can outsmart any anti-surf-baggage carrier. 

I had no plan to travel overseas at the moment but this cover has me thinking. Living in West Oz you hit the road a fair bit to find waves and I decide this cover will go perfectly in the back of the ute to protect my boards. 

There’s a deadline to test out the Db coffin – so I need a surf trip. Juggling work & family I can’t find a gap to bolt to Margaret River, the swell is too small for Rottnest, up north is calling but not until July for me. So with a deadline, I’m stuck to the city. I fear Stab’s going to cancel my subscription for stitching them up.

Stab Premium Members Review #2

Editor’s note: Sam Zubevich is the second Australian winner of the Db x Stab giveaway. Sam received his Db x Stab gear in the nick of time before heading to Fiji. For his review, he took a punchy, time stamped approach which reflects the vast superiority of the product range. Ethan Davis, Stab

Palm Beach, QLD. 4:35pm, March 13th. I open a box from STAB and begin to love this boardbag before even unrolling it. Surely, anything in this particularly bulky class of luggage that can comfortably transport three surfboards, yet comes to you neatly rolled up, is already well ahead of the competition. 

Palm Beach, QLD, 4:37pm March 13th. Two minutes later – it’s completely unfurled and ready to be packed for a week in Fiji. Further inspection confirms my initial hunch – this board bag blows it’s competitors out of the water. My roommate and I felt that this sleek Norwegian vessel had instantly backdated every other large boardbag — similar to how Tesla just made the rest of the automobile industry look like a horse and cart. 

And let’s be transparent, I drive a V8 turbo diesel Landcruiser Troopcarrier – Tesla’s inverse both in terms of polarity and technological prowess. For now at least it can take me places that most Teslas cannot, until Elon brings the CyberTruck down under. The same cannot be said of this Db stallion that feels as if it could follow me around the world for the next decade.

Brisbane International, QLD. 8:52am, March 14th. Unload my luggage and our group’s five other various boardbags from the back of the Troopy as we prepare to disembark. The subtle Db handles, protective padding and rigid walls elicit some not-so-subtle murmurs of jealousy from the rest of our party. The Fiji Airways hostess yells Bula and we check in via oversize, the tropics are so close we almost opt for beers instead of coffee with breakfast. 

Waidroka Bay Resort, Fiji. 6:22pm, March 20th. Our last evening. We each drink a cold Vonu in the lineup before heading in for a Fijian Bobo massage and seared Mahi Mahi. I return the quiver to their Db safe haven and sink into a blissful stupor usually available only to those who have had 30 cups of kava. I’ve only had 12 cups, so I put the state of happiness down to the peace of mind gained from transporting valuables in the classiest functional luggage you’ll ever lay eyes on. Well that and experience-based life choices, but mostly the boardbag. 

Waidroka Bay Resort, Fiji. 5:47am, March 15th. Anticipation wakes us just before dawn to get ready for the first boat ride out to the closest reefs. Relieved but not surprised to see that all three sleds have arrived completely clean and unscathed. Further bonus points to Db for the included board sock that keeps my chosen shooter clean during a day on the boat with a dozen other boards and excessive amounts of sun, zinc and half melted wax.  

Stab Premium Members Review #3
Committing fraud and having a moral compass aren't mutually exclusive. Here's how a British Stab subscriber docked tickets to the Faro Islands, won a free board bag, and then felt so guilty about it he punished himself with sleeping in it on a Northumberland beach

Unfortunately, my Db x Stab board bag review must start with a confession. It seems Ethan has been played for a fool by two winners of this comp. Upon hearing of the DB x STAB giveaway on ‘The Drop’ podcast I scrambled to find my plane tickets. I’m off on a longer trip to Portugal in June and desperately needed a bag to protect my boards from budget airline baggage handlers. With the help of the inspect element tool and a check of the dates needed to travel to win the giveaway, my entry email to Ethan was sent. A few sleepless nights later (guilt over excitement), Ethan let me know I had won. Surprising as my travel story was average – perhaps I’m the only STAB premium member in the UK… –Nathan Holden

Originally, my plan on ‘getting-away’ with this fraud followed a traditional three act structure:

• Act 1 – fraudulently receive fancy Nordic surf luggage (Check).

• Act 2 – write review, mocking up the Northumberland coast of England as the Algarve for a photoshoot. (Foiled by continual lack of sun – see photos 1 & 2).

• Act 3 – submit surf sin to the high priest revealing my elaborate ruse (now pointless). Unfortunately for myself, Damon Hayes is a fast writer and considerably more eloquent and has ruined my three-act play of the STAB team. 

So In an effort to be original, I gave myself a penance; spend a night within the confines of the Djarv board bag and product test the board to the best of my abilities. 

A bonus with this bag is the ability to stuff towels, rashies, tee-shirts etc… into the removable stuff pockets located at the nose and tail of the boards. Furthermore, there is plenty of space if only two boards are packed to add all the clothing necessary to do away with a suitcase for a trip and reduce the checked baggage fee at the airport (Pic 3). Packing and unpacking of boards is easy with the zip design allowing for the entirety of the top to be removed, there’s a decent sized pocket for fins, wax etc.. and a hidden zip compartment by the wheels.

When I am not sleeping in my board bag, the bag compresses, and clips into a cylinder around the size of a stool for easy storage. If I had the cash, I would make use of the clip together tech which DB has added to its luggage range, which allows for the board bag and additional backpacks, suitcases etc to be pulled by one hand.

My sleeping set up was simple, as pictured below (Pic 3). I pitched up in a garden and with the help of a Jed Smith golden cone piece I was away to sleep. The bag, although pricey, is well worth the cash. It doubles as a bed around the same size as a Portuguese budget hostel single bunk. Therefore around 2 weeks’ worth of very warm nights alone and the board bag pays for itself. 

Durability was assessed through my flatmate zipping me into the bag and pushing me down the stairs. The ribbing (for my pleasure) throughout the bag removed any impact force. To simulate baggage handlers’ Laissez-faire approach to surf luggage – one which has claimed a prized board from myself before – I loaded the bag with 3 boards, from 6”3 to 5”8 and dropped it from my first-floor flat window. Voila, no damage to the boards. Furthermore, the side handle is easily removable, meaning that the bag must be picked up as opposed to swung, a very neat feature.

However, I only received the coffin bag – no sock or tote –  I suppose karma works in mysterious ways. Perhaps this is an incredible bit of marketing from DB – as I am now saving up my hard earned surf instructor cash (level 1 ISA coaching award warrior) to buy the missing products. 

My only criticism is that personally I would want over-the-top horrific stab logos all over to lord my luxury surf luggage over my friends. The branding is subtle and tasteful, a few small gold dots and the Stab logo within the bag (pic 4). One word of advice, if you plan to travel with a stubby small wave groveller, the width of the board may impact being able to fit 4 boards into the bag. I hope I am not blacklisted from the STAB site, as this bag alone is worth a bit over 4 years of STAB premium subscriptions. Cheers fellas, Nathan