Dane Reynolds surfs his self-shaped “Sperm Whale” quad in Ventura County, California on September 29, 2011. Song: “American Prayer” by The Doors.Check out peathead.blogspot.com for more video, photos, and words from surf savant Michael Kew. Share Tweet Melissa Man I wish I sucked as much as him… best board name ever! Sebastian Beautiful flow. Al Baydough Well, he definitely sucks at shaping boards… for now. We’ll see what the future brings. The only thing that board inspires in me is the desire to launch a harpoon through its deck. He should have named it the Pequod; it deserves the same fate. Every artist has a bad experiment – or twelve – to go through. The ironic thing about this stick (or stump?) is that it looks like it couldn’t even jump a grunion let alone a shark. I like watching the guy play around with different equipment but I prefer to see him on carpets that let him fly. This bored the shit out of me. Al Baydough Correction: he should rename it the Pequad. C’mon, that would be a great name for a four fin! Well, until you got eaten by a whale in which case you’d have to rename it the Jonah. Malam Minggu The Pequad is good…Not that Ishamel gives a shit if the ship he is sailing upon don’t pique our interest, he is on his own trip.Proving that he is not beholden to no one or is he? Didnt he win his last heat with a floater?Its all good.Rage on Ishmael, Venturas knocked kneed roots run deep apparently, and I for one am into it. Al Baydough You need to read my posts with greater acuity. And I lived in the VTA longer than any other town I’ve called home in the 25 odd years I’ve been in the state for a reason. Steve Briggs Someone has to state the obvious. The board sucks and it handicaps his surfing. This is the best surfer in the world?! Surfing on a slug? What is Dane doing? The shitty boards, the shitty towels, the shitty hats, the skinny jeans, all selling in the competitive marketplace while his talent is being wasted surfing boards like this? One day he will look back and wonder what might have been. The “Reluctant Messiah” was the best name ever given to Dane and holds true today. Eric It’s the “rib injury” that’s handicapping his surfing, remember? Looks really painful. Actually though, I sorta dug the effortlessness and the smoothness of his approach vs. a typical boost which may have ended many of those waves prematurely. Hanging five under a falling albeit small lip on a 5’4 or whatever is still pretty radical. …or maybe he just had me at “American Prayer”. Jmcconaghy You’re only young once…… He’ll be an old man filled with regrets. My guess is the money spoiled him. Al Baydough Another internet know-it-all judging a person he knows nothing about and has never had a substantial conversation with.You are infinitely more likely to suffer the fate of regret that you foolishly think Dane will suffer from. Michael @ JMCCONAGHY Your right. And it comes down to money.All Pro-surfers have to earn enough money in 10-15 years (max) to last a lifetime. It’s like UFC fighting. Your only young ONCE. That’s it. Then it’s over. They can’t see it. Until it’s too late. Suddenly they are 30 something and father time coming home soon. These super young guys fall into money early and think it will last forever. They are blinded by the pretty girls, flattering friends, parties, perks, fame and early fortune.Sure some surfers turned soul surfing into careers during and after their earnings years, Donavon Frankenraiter, Brad Gerlach, Rob Machado, Joel Tudor, come to mind but there’s only room for so many clowns in the car plus things change. Corporations are greedy. Profit driven. Cutting guys. Look at Clay Marzo. Best surfer in the world cut by Quicksilver.I can hear the replies now. “Duuuude you’re a kooook” “your mean” “you’re a bad person” “your rude” “your judgmental” “you’re a d-ck” etc etcOk fine. Say whatever you want. but if you don’t have money, especially when your old, your f–cked. As a matter of fact the older you get the MORE you need money to survive, stay healthy mentally and physically etc. When you young you need less money to get by.Allot of these guys and girls are absorbed into the corporate world as sales reps etc (ex: Lisa Anderson, Conan Hayes etc) but there is only room for so many and things become more and more competitive.It would be a crime against himself to run out of money being a rich and famous professional surfer globe-trotting to exotic locales as a free bird to end up living off his parents, working a low paying job after surfing.The standards of surfing are so competitive and high he is surfing a little better than ME in this video when I was 28 at my prime.I watched a video in Young Guns 3 where he says that he dropped out of competition to be a soul surfer because his airs weren’t as good as other guys or something. Like he was trying to “ingratiate” himself or “humble” himself like a hippie so he’s like ahhhhh duuuuude I quit.Seriously? Listen you spoiled little.. You’re lucky enough to have a God given gift to be a professional surfer. You are the chosen 1% of 1% of 1% of 1%.So get up and off your lazy bum and WORK YOUR A-S OFF NOW while your young and have the time.You need to have a fully booked schedule surf all the contests AND do sponsor trips, autograph signings, marketing etc. Be away from home 11 months out of the year. GET OFF YOUR A-S. You’re not Jimmy Hendricks. You’re not Gavin Beshen, or Buttons whatever his name was either. You don’t even fit the marketing image of a soul surfing hippie stoner etc.You’re a progressive talented highly gifted professional athlete. So get back to your roots, start acting like one, and WORK YOUR A-S OFF.Anyone else would give anything to have what you have pal… Val Yeah! So glad you stated the obvious! Screw Dane for goofing around and having so much fun. He sucks at having a good time and loving surfing, experimenting, creating and keeping an open mind. He’s just such a hipster jerk-off for shaping his own board and then flowing and carving better than 99% of most surfers on thrusters…all while riding a board that’s ‘handicapped’ him from twitching his butt around, hitting the lip ad nauseam. Yeah, screw Dane for not competing and surfing for a bunch of inept judges who can’t decide which sponsored monkey will get the big pay-day at the end of the year. Dane is so lame for doing what he wants to do. So lame. bert “Yeah, screw Dane for not competing and surfing for a bunch of inept judges who can’t decide which sponsored monkey will get the big pay-day at the end of the year”Well, Reynolds is just one of those “sponsored monkeys” (your terms), and he competed enough to keep his qualification this year in order to…compete again. And what’s he doing is for getting the pay-day at the end of the year, or was he paid at the beginning? I understand the marketing wants Reynolds to be the maverick, the outsider, and it works with kids, but come on…There is nothing more conventional in this kind of strategy.He has the right to do what he wants to do, but when what he’s doing has nothing to do with pro surfing (“art”, surfwear…), the average customer like me is able to call for an end. For months, Reynolds didn’t surf anymore, but needed media coverage for his clothes and stuff. That’s where the troubles began, ’cause media covered stuff that had nothing to do with surfing, just to keep Reynolds at the top of the papers…I didn’t want to hear about towels, shirts, two fingers piano playing and black and white movies in my surfing media. Val I see your point. Which brings up the question of what a pro surfer is becoming these days. Brands benefit off the doings of nearly every surfer’s move, whether they play the banjo, bodysurf nude with dolphins, or if they’re into the New York hipster art scene–it all filters down to the customer who wants to pay for that packaged ‘soul’ in the form of branded crap. Maybe the real question is: do brands dictate what the surfer’s do, or is it the other way around? It seems that Dane is one of the lucky few that can do what he wants: the turns he makes on the waves are his, not the judge’s, or Quik’s or the photographers. So whatever Dane does, designing towels and skinny jeans, he’s still considered cool; and that may satisfy both his desire to do something different and Quik’s desire to stay hip and move units. I agree with you that the artsy thing is pretty boring, but at least it seems he’s doing what he wants to do, fulfilling his end of the contract, whatever that is…Or maybe Quik is fuming? I don’t know. Dumpster Divers becoming the biggest selling board last year…? At least CI is happy with that. As for contests, I’m sure Quik sat him down and said, look…try to show up to our contests, stay in it just enough to qualify… It’s a strange push/pull maneuver for Dane. He says fuck the contests, but when he does show up he blows minds despite never being consistent and safe enough—i.e., a Trained Sponsored Monkey–to ever really stay in the running to win contests. Never winning makes him cooler. And what’s great is he’s not posing. You can tell he’s putting his all into not being safe. That’s cooler than cool.The point I’m making…is that Dane is unique. He’s sick on every board he surfs, even this so-called ‘slug’ that people seem to hate here. And to me it’s really amazing to see a surfer on boards that I, and others in the non-thruster riding surfing community, love to surf. Machado is the same. Kelly gets on a fish or rides a Tyler Warren shape now and then. Not every session has to be the equivalent of watching Ferraris on a race course. Progressive surfing is spectacular to watch, but it’s not everything. Surfing a board like this (that he shaped himself!), name-checking the Alex Knost (who is both fun to watch as a surfer, and annoying for his hipster posing) in the latest Surfer Mag, he’s at least being honest. He’s having fun and looking great doing it. If he makes money off this along with Quik than everyone wins…and the best part is that he has more freedom than most. His style on a wave, from shredding to his goofing around (there’s something comical and blasé about his wipeouts)…he’s exciting to watch. I say more power to him. I’ll watch him surf any board, but I’ll never buy anything that he’s selling. Go Dane! Keep sucking! Al Baydough “what he’s doing has nothing to do with pro surfing”You have a very narrow and totally inept idea of what should and shouldn’t constitute “pro surfing.”Yes, the board sucks. I didn’t particularly care for the video. But the best bands, artists, scientists, thinkers, creatives, etc. had a lot of less than stellar moments on their way to achieving great heights, something they never could have done if they listened to the likes of you. As for your criticisms of his endeavors outside of surfing, well, EVERYTHING is derivative of something else. Instead of taking cheap shots you could get out and take some creative risks yourself and demonstrate the fortitude to do what you wish while the hecklers do nothing but jeer.You got one thing right, you certainly are average, Ahab. Jmcconaghy Who cares? He quit the tour and is too busy making hipster clothing inspired (uhm rip-offed from) by Urban Outfitter. Sweet dude.