Probably the filthiest turn thrown on Tour, ever.

it’s no secret that Dane Reynolds is the man. he has a knack for caring but not caring all at the same time. his abilities in the water are unmatched. he is the most exciting surfer to watch, period.

STAB‘s Jed Smith recently did a pretty in-depth look into Dane’s head and spit out this masterpiece: The Boy And His Doll. since I’ve never had the opportunity to interview Dane at all, I’m gonna poach some of the best insight Dane provides in this one. it seems like something’s going to change pretty soon with Dane and yes, it will most likely shock a lot of people. but you know what? Dane will be probably better off for it, and happier. funny when things don’t turn out to be what we expect them to be, even after years and years of pursuing that one thing. check out the full interview at STAB.

STAB: Why don’t you just disappear?

DR: I’ve left the last three events thinking I definitely can’t do this again next year. But leaving is such a gnarly thing. Since I’ve been 11 years old when I started surfing good or whatever and they ask you, “What do you wanna do now?” “I wanna be on tour.” For the last 15 years it’s been a goal.

STAB: But can you live by the goals you made when you were 11?

DR: No, I know. But it would be a really big ordeal. I have considered what it would be like to be climbing up and down the ratings for the next five or 10 years but it doesn’t mean that much to me. But then it’s a scary thing leaving.

STAB: What’s scary?

DR: Just… um, I dunno. It’s just a really big change, I guess. Change is always scary. I don’t really wanna say it like as a definitive fact but I don’t really feel like I will do it next year. I can’t say that for sure because it’s a big change and scary you know. And, you’re walking away from a pretty cool thing. I like competing. The problem is it’s not that important to me.

STAB: What motivates you to compete?

DR: It’s still exciting putting on the jersey and having the showiness of it. It’s totally still exciting. Is it worth spending the next years of your life doing that and nothing else? I dunno. But, it is exciting.

STAB: Can we get this straight – is there a difference between good surfing and winning heats?

DR: Yep.

STAB: And are you more motivated by surfing good as opposed to winning heats?

DR: Yeah, I think so.

STAB: So you do care, but about surfing well?

DR: Yeah, I guess that’s right.

STAB: How has surfing changed for you since you were a kid?

DR: Everyday I surf I’m trying to get back to that excitement but it’s not really there. Riding some new board that you’ve got no clue how it’s gonna work kinda gets you there a little bit. I get so bored if I’m gonna ride a thruster everyday and pretend I’m in a heat. It’s not surfing, you know. It was this big giant awesome world that you didn’t know about when you were younger. Now, I still have a lot of fun surfing but it’s all there, conscious. It’s the same with everything. There’s no mystery in anything.

STAB: What did surfing mean to you when you were younger?

DR: Have you ever watched VBS TV? You know Epicly Later’d, Bummer High (The Ethan Fowler episode). There was a part in there that really spoke to me. He’s like, “All these kids skate really good and of course they’re gonna get sponsored. But, what you don’t realise is that that totally fucks up the radness of what it used to be as a kid.” I totally think that for surfing as well. Being sponsored and taking it serious totally fucks it up. Kids today totally don’t have that awesomeness that I had. Twelve-year-old kids already have a manager and a trainer and I’m like, “Well, it’s already fucked up.”

Dane can still muster a smile at contests because he knows it's about fun, for the time-being at least... Photo: Steindler

STAB: Do you feel your appeal is because you resemble something different to a conservative and corporatized modern incarnation of surfing?

DR: Yeah but you know what sucks about that? I’m as much aligned with the corporate agenda as anyone else. Well fuck, man, although I feel like I’m misrepresented by Quiksilver for the most part, I’m sponsored by one of the biggest surf companies in the world and every action I do, is for someone else to sell product… I don’t think surfers are disenchanted. I’ve seen Kolohe (Andino), I’ve seen Evan Geiselman at the last couple of events. They don’t question anything or think twice about this whole pro surfing format.

STAB: You said surfing is in a weird place. How so?

DR: It all feels like there’s no realness to it. Everything feels like a gimmick or a campaign. Everything is about pushing product more than being real. But then the consumers are as guilty as the companies pushing it because they’re buying it. Surfing doesn’t necessarily need to do cool new shit because Quiksilver’s top-seller is gonna be a logo on a green shirt in Pac Sun in Dallas, which is not even a surfer shop.