This past weekend at the Ventura Theatre, Dane Reynolds premiered his latest short-ish surf movie, Loaded. Much like Slow Dance, it features Dane, Craig Anderson, and a bunch of other hipster aerialists twisting and twirling far, far too high above the lip. Also like Slow Dance, Loaded is chock full of those quirky handwritten scene cuts and weird drawings, plus plenty of that cool ambivalence which we’ve come to expect from Dane. However, there are (thankfully) fewer awkward voice-overs and staring scenes in Loaded than we got in Slow Dance.
As always, Dane’s surfing is raw and violent. He targets and pursues the next section of a wave like a lion stalking its prey – fast, compact, powerful, and always with 100% commitment. I have yet to see a clip of Dane where he approaches a maneuver tentatively, and his surfing in Loaded keeps with that consistency. As much as his persona out of the water might reek of pre-meditated indifference, there is nothing casual about the effort he puts into his surfing. One of my favorite things about watching Dane surf is that, every once in a while, he will pull some outrageous maneuver that seems to surprise even him. It’s as if he had no clue what he was going to do, but somehow it all worked out beautifully.