Stab Magazine | 680 Surfboards And Shipping To South Africa

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680 Surfboards And Shipping To South Africa

The Positive Vibe Warriors to Oprah: eat your heart out. “You get a surfboard! Annndddd. You get a surfboard!”

news // Oct 10, 2017
Words by Jake Howard
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The text came from Dane late Friday night: “Can you update the story, we’re up to 500 surfboards now.”

On Saturday morning, while Lowers was inundated with 1,000 swell-hungry goons and plenty of overhead sets, Dane, Pat and Tanner Gudauskas, along with a handful of friends and family, were sweating in the San Clemente High School parking lot, stripping wax, stacking and packing boards. Overnight the total # of sleds donated to the Positive Vibe Warriors’ South Africa surfboard drive had ballooned yet again, this time topping 680. 

“It’s unbelievable, I don’t even know what to say,” said Tanner, perched at the mouth of a Matson container. 

While Dane played quarterback in the parking lot, making sure boards were properly prepped, Tanner and Pat loaded bundles of boards into the container. The plan was to have all the boards loaded by noon so that a semi-truck could haul them up to the port in Long Beach, where they would then be loaded onto a cargo ship bound for Capetown. After a lot of work, a lot of laughs and one lost set of keys, the entire container was stuffed to the brim with boards on time. 

“You know what’s amazing about all those boards?” inquired patriarch Tom Gudauskas. “Every shaper you can think of is represented here. From Terry Martin to Midget Smith, to Bill Stewart, to Biolos, to Xanadu, almost every shaper is here. Not only that, but all the glassers and sanders that helped build these boards. Then think, at one time or another, somebody loved every one of these boards. That’s a lot of love. And now they’re getting shipped to South Africa where they’re going to begin a new life.”

Seeing all the boards filling up the parking lot, Tom’s point was well illustrated. 

“We even got a couple boogies,” joked Dane.

And every board came with a story. Flea donated a quiver of Barney’s old boards; shaper Donnie Brink custom built five of his unique boards (and donated another 20 to boot); a couple of Kolohe’s old boards were in the pile; former longboard champ Colin McPhillips handed over old pro models; and the list goes on and on. Hundreds of wetsuits and fins were also added to the pile.

“For me, when I heard what they were doing, I just wanted to give back a little,” said Donnie, who brought his family on Saturday to help. It’s worth noting how much time and care he put into the boards he made, even going so far as to hand shape a unique, custom set of wooden fins for each board.

As if all this weren’t enough, keeping the vibe alive, the Gudauskas boys ran it back the next day, hosting their annual Stoke-O-Rama at T Street. With over 100 local groms hucking themselves into the heavy south swell, Dane was on the mic hooting, frothing and yelling things like, “How was that Haleiwa fade, folks!” 

“I love beach marshaling!” beamed Tanner.

As for the surfboard drive, the boards are slated to land in Cape Town at the end of January, at which time the boys will head down there, team up with Surfers Not Street Children and Waves For Change, and get on the road distributing them to communities in need from Cape Town to Durbin. It’s fair to say the G Boys are winning at the game of life.

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