Scanning the horizon, “Shano,” as he is affectionately called by his father Jimbo Borland as well as others, answers quickly and at times he is taken aback at some of my vernacular. To be expected, the kid is only 14 yet he has traveled the world more than most people ever will in a lifetime. Lately, Shane Borland has been night surfing with Christian Fletcher.
Shane Borland feels “no pressure” from surf industry sponsors to perform. Well, he just won his division at the NSSA Santa Cruz (16 and under) and has returned from a trip to Nicaragua, where he said the waves were the best he has ever ridden and he got the barrel of his life. It appears there will be many more barrels of his life in many more far off and exotic lands. The kid is on fire and the surf, rather than quenching this fire, only adds to the combustion. Speaking of adding to a conflagration, Shane is also a top-ranked amateur skater, stating, “Skating adds to my surfing and surfing adds to my skating, it gives me flow.” This wunderkind has a knack for flow as I watch him launch a lien air to tail to shallow end speed carve to ollie over the hip in the main bowl at the Venice, California, skatepark.
As we pause for a quick change into wetsuits and a paddle out to small yet fabulous conditions at the Venice Breakwater, Shane gives me the rest of the story (thanks Paul Harvey). Like most kids who have “jobs” such as skating, snowboarding and surfing, Shane is homeschooled. This allows for him to travel and compete. The kid has been to Fiji, Bali, Mexico, as well as every spot on the west coast. Although surfing with top pros and legends such as Fletcher and the like as well as being influenced by the surfing of John John and Dane, Shano says his ideal surfing buddies are, “My dad, brother Jimbo Jr, Big Al Sarlo, and Bro G.” If Shano is at home in Topanga, California, he can be found surfing his local Zuma and, of course, Malibu.
As we chat it up in the water, Shano stands on the low tide-exposed rock and waits as dad catches a slow roller and, as the soup bounces off the rock, he quite simply steps off the rock and onto his potato chip of a board following dad down the line, breaking rail and busting several airs of off Jimbo Sr’s wake. “That was fun! Let’s do it again, dad! As we wrap up the interview, Shano says his favorite food is plate lunch. When pressed, he just answers, “Plate lunch.”
Shane did expound upon surfing however. “Surfing gives me a feeling of accomplishment and freedom.” I pressed him as to his contest strategy, and he revealed his go-to move in a contest, if he has to gain points. I’m not going to reveal that as perhaps you will go and check the kid out for yourself. Well, on second thought I will give you dear readers a clue, as the first letters to the move are the same whether skating or surfing: F.S.R.
Shane thanks his mother, father, brother, Uncle Al Sarlo, his sponsors, RVCA, Tuttle surfboards, FCS, Jack’s, Gorilla Grip and Globe. The kid is all heart and roots.