Stab Magazine’s Jed Smith speaks to Nugable about love triangles, titties, lesbians, the time Kelly Slater called him buddy and the life of a young magazine editor trying to find his way in the world.
Give me your vitals…name, rank and serial number.
6’1″, 81 kilos (178 lbs.), Mediterranean descent, dark features, blue eyes, five o’clock shadow, ripped and curious.
What is your background?
Raised by a low-income single mother. Put through a catholic, all boys school by staunchly catholic grandparents. Started surfing at 13 and grew up in Australia’s most famous and dysfunctional beach, Bondi. Never surf here. Hear me? Never. I went to a grimy left wing university. Boston exchange lesbians with pit hair hated me because I surfed and played football. Currently I am a 22, susceptible to wild mood swings and periods of stability followed by periods of violence. I’m in a violent cycle now but pulling hard up on the joystick. You got me at a good time, Nug my man.
When did you become a Stab staffer and what are your daily duties?
Must be almost twelve months now. I need a story a day, maybe two on the web. I do the departments for the mag plus contribute a feature whenever there is space, something good comes up or I am asked. I love it here because I am given complete autonomy. I hate it here because I am given complete autonomy.
Derek Rielly wrote of his days at ASL that he “shat on the office floor during biz hours, introduced eight staff members to ecstasy and made an early mentor eternally regretful that he ever showed me how to use a comma.” What have been some of your achievements at Stab?
Kelly called me “buddy” in an email once. That was pretty neat. I haven’t done anything that I’m particularly proud of yet. I reported Parko’s injury first. Then had Transworld, ASL and every other mag hang shit on me for exaggerating it. Nothing really springs to mind.
Tell me a story about a pro or industry person who was less than pleased about what you wrote.
Nathan Webster said he was gonna slap me after I did an interview with Dion (Agius) in which he fessed up to the anger he once possessed towards Nudes for fucking his ex girlfriend. But I’ve never actually seen him, so it hasn’t come up. That humorless old crank, (Tim) Baker flipped at me pretty hard in South Africa. That was funny. Um, Bobby Martinez came at me with his fists raised in South Africa but that was something Derek wrote. What else? Nothing really. Friendly guys most surfers and surf industry types, I have found.
Has an advertiser ever pulled out or threatened to as a result of something Stab published?
Yeah, heaps of times. Quik pulled out after the first cartoon we ever did. In my first week I wrote a piece about Erin Wasson designing clothes for RVCA and that lost RVCA.
What is Stab’s philosophy on nudity?
We’re a men’s interest magazine with a sway towards surfing. What man doesn’t like a little bit o’ tittie every now and then? I like it best when they do the shoots in the office (see upcoming Stab book. Lots o’ big titties in there). Sometimes we’ll even fuck the models. No shit.
Why are American surf magazines so puritan? What would it take to dislodge the enormous stick they have up their asses, and is Chas Smith the man for the job?
Without having ever been to America it is hard to say. Here’s a wild theory though. Southern California is the epicenter of the American surf media. Southern California is also quite a well to do region. Rich people, not always, but typically equal conservatives. These same people breed the people that run your magazines, do they not? What would the American surf media be like if it were run out of New York? Would it be different? Fuck, what do I know? That could be complete rubbish but it’s the best I can do for you without knowing much about it. It’s changing though. Travis and the guys at Surfing are cool as fuck. I know a cool young cat who writes for Surfer that I met in Tahiti. It will change with the new generation.
Chas Smith told me he has always been curious as to why you don’t wear a mustache. He thinks you would look really good with a mustache goatee combo. Like Lenin. Thoughts?
Yeah I wore a mustache a couple of times. I got told I looked French. I didn’t like that description. Don’t know why. Nothing against the French but when someone tells you that “you look French,” an Australian for instance, who has never been to France, it’s likely your peddling a radically stereotypical French look. The kind that says you should be wearing a sailor suit, walking around a tropical French colony, speaking in pidgeon Fren- wait…
Recently Stab began moderating the comments on the web site. I know one reader who is not happy about this. Does this stifle free speech and the organic bravado of its readers?
We do it on select articles, the ones that are likely to get real defamatory. Blame yourselves anonymous fucks. You ruined it for everyone with your endless cheap shots and miserable lives. We tried to keep it totally unmoderated, and intelligent and incisive criticism will always be passed, but all the conspiracy theories, sexual slander, dick jokes, gay jokes, please. That shit is only funny when it’s about Derek.
Who wins a world title first…Jordy Smith, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson or Dane Reynolds?
Owen. Kid loves comps. Jordy might. Can’t see Dane winning one. Julian? Sure, why the fuck not.
You are on a desert island. You have a laptop as your only means of entertainment. There is a bottle of lube, the new Modern Collective DVD and an instructional video of Alana Blanchard doing a bottom turn. Which do you grab first and why?
I grab the Modern Collective DVD first, and snap it into two shards. I give one half to Alana and I take the other half. I point the computer towards us and turn Skype on, assuming by this point we will have global broadband. We fight to the death and it is relayed back to Stabmag.com to be later played exclusively. I’m assuming I would win although Alana did grow up on Kauai. If I was to win, I would bleed Alana’s neck in a cup and drink it. Then I would carve steaks off her, starting with her rump. Big dog’s gotta eat, ya know.
After that I lube up the gap between the computer and the keyboard, stick my penis in and slam and open and slam and open. I have a powerful mind. That should keep me going for a couple of weeks. At which point a shirtless Shane Dorian and Fred Pawle will arrive by hovercraft with coconuts of pineapple Malibu and a big joint.. My denim jeans will be cut and frayed at the knees. My hair will be curled and blonde tipped and I will be man, a real fucking man, you hear me Baker! I’m coming for you mothafucker! Argh!
What are your prejudices and how does it affect your writing?
I’m prejudiced against douchebags. If someone is a dick to me, I find it hard to write objectively about them. This is wrong because it’s not always relevant when you are writing about athletic performance. I have overcome this since I first started in the job but it was a sobering experience to be thrust into the WCT atmosphere with my recorder and be regularly vibed out. Surfers are still struggling to grasp that without the media they are nothing. They are also struggling to grasp that it is not there interests but rather the public’s interests we are paid to look after. Wait, no, that’s surf writers who are struggling to grasp that one. Wait, no, it’s both. It’s so easy to treat us like shit because they have traditionally never had to deal with the consequences.—Nug