Silver Creek Park, Bakersfield 1995. I used to love the cranberries and I was so embarrassed about it. I was meant to be singing ‘bro hymn’ with my friends ya know… not that I didn’t do that, but anyways… I was driving sammy to school this morning and a Cranberries song came on the radio and I had the biggest wave of nostalgia and it made me think of this video my mom made for a college class. She rented a professional camera and really went mad with the effects. It reminds me of going to wavelengths surf shop and picking out a new deck and convincing my mom I needed a shirt too and sitting in the living room watching MTV and ‘questionable’ and ‘wu tang clan ain’t nuthin to fuck with’ blasting out of my brothers room and my mom getting pissed.
Dane Reynolds has always struck me as pretty damn sincere. Every time I’ve spoken with him, or interviewed him, he comes off as straightforward, his message rarely wavering: he wants to surf, he’s been over competition for a long time, and he’s not that interested in being the center of attention. I feel like people have given him a hard time for that last point.
That’s what happens when your surfing is a moving piece of artwork–an ocean installation, with all its raw, unleashed power and spontaneous creativity. Ha, listen to me–okay, I admit it. I want to see more of it, too. I loved watching him compete and checked Marine Layer incessantly, waiting for new edits. I think that’s why internet trolls and cynical folks have complained: they want more Dane. More of those wild cutbacks in steep sections that look as though he’s putting every ounce of passion, and frustration he’s ever experienced into a turn. It’s like a symphony being played on the water. In my book, there’s only one other guy out there who surfs with similar ferocity (the one whose first name is used twice).
Maybe that’s why I loved this Instagram post so much. It’s just Dane being sincere. His mom created this vid for a college class while the family was living in Bakersfield, Calif. in the mid-1990s. It’s got special effects. It’s got the Cranberries (RIP Dolores O’Riordan), and it’s got Dane developing that passionate style that he couldn’t have known at the time would someday drive surf fans wild.
Dane has three kids and a brand he’s running these days. Life isn’t as simple as it was when he was riding Silvercreek Park back in the day. The artist’s priorities have changed. But that doesn’t mean we want to see his art any less. It just makes that art a whole lot more valuable.