Stab Magazine | "Prepare For The Best Board Of Your Life," Gary McNeill Told Dane Reynolds The First Time He Shaped Him A Board

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension


“Prepare For The Best Board Of Your Life,” Gary McNeill Told Dane Reynolds The First Time He Shaped Him A Board

“It paddled shitty, felt slow, sluggish,” said Dane Reynolds. Welcome to the first of our shaper profile series from “The Electric Acid Surfboard Test”… or the second time Gary McNeill shaped a board for Dane. 

cinema // Oct 19, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

About ten years ago, the ever curious Dane Reynolds sent an email to the man he understood to be responsible for the boards Dave Rastovich had been riding, and riding well. 

He told him he liked the way Rasta looked on his boards, and wanted to see about getting a few.

“Prepare for the best boards of your life,” Dane recalls being McNeill’s answer, whereupon a few weeks later a couple fishes arrived that, according to Dane “paddled shitty, felt slow, sluggish…”

“I think one of his friends spray painted all of them, and they sat in his garage,” McNeill admits. “So this is my second go ’round with Dane…”

While there were more than a few fishy options in the Acid Test’s mixed bags, the McNeill immediately caught Dane’s eye; he I.D.’d it almost immediately: “I’m guessing this is Rastovich’s shaper, right?”



AcidTestMEX AlanvanGysen 24

“This looks a little more, like, high performance.”


Alan Van Gysen.

After a quick under-arm test, and an appraisal of what McNeill call’s “teeth”—the “Taurus” part of his Taurus Twin—a single channel running slightly convex to the board’s outline, Dane’s eye for detail drew him directly to the Futures boxes set against the channel…

“Little issue with the finning,” Dane mentioned offhandedly, drawing his finger around the box, before moving on.

AcidTestMEX AlanvanGysen 0036

Dane spotted the fin box’s weak point like ten seconds after he picked up the board.


Alan Van Gysen

AcidTestMEX AlanvanGysen 0470

5’7″ Gary McNeill Taurus Twin.


Alan Van Gysen.

AcidTestMEX AlanvanGysen 0630

Dane pushing through one of his first waves on the Gary McNeill.


Alan Van Gysen.

Two days later, after catching two or three average waves at Bomba, Dane got to his feet, let the zippy little EPS number get up and going before jamming on the gas, gunning towards a helpless section begging for a layback, leaned into a bottom turn and… ping. 

The tail went slipping towards shore, Dane went full yard sale, and when he surfaced, the fin, box, and about twelve inches of the bottom was missing, torn clean out. (You can watch him break down the cause in the clip above, it’s quite insightful.) 

AcidTestMEX AlanvanGysen 0634

And all on a one-foot wave…


Alan Van Gysen.

While we were sad the McNeill didn’t get its proper time in the Mexican sun, as fortune would have it, our friends at Corona, who helped make this project possible, had sent Stab filmer Dylan Roberts with a bonus whip in tow—one of Corona x Parley eco board collaborations with McNeill, and as luck would have it, literally an exact replica of the Acid Test board… 



Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024

The Lefts Off The Rights

Detailing the goofy-footed proclivity to go against the grain.

May 15, 2024

Watch: ‘Shotgun’ featuring Josie Prendergast & Taj Richmond

The allure of contradiction, displayed in the virtue of Northern Rivers sand.

May 15, 2024

How Accurate Were Our Pre-Cut Predictions?

Reflecting on the rookie-centric forecasts offered by CJ Hobgood, Stace Galbraith, Brett Simpson, and Mikey…

May 14, 2024

Local Wildcard Jordy Lawler Dusts 79 Transplants, Issy Nichols Denies Prodigy Erin Brooks Another Plush Toy

The Stab High winner is one semi-final away from tour qualification after only two events.

May 14, 2024

Which 2024 Stab High Competitor Has Given Us The Best Surf Part?  

Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Julian Wilson, Ian Crane and more duel for the most impactful…

May 13, 2024

There Are Still Perfect, Empty Waves Left In The World

Soli Bailey, Timo Simmers + Layne Stratton on the sand-bottomed unicorn seen in ‘Maps to…

May 13, 2024

What Happened To Bali?

And is an ethical future for surf development possible in Indonesia?

May 12, 2024

Premium Peek: Mason Ho + Sheldon Paishon Vs A Scottish Widow Maker

Less like a wave, more like a German Panzer tank (180 tons, FYI).

May 12, 2024

Tactical Burn, Shove + Leash Pull Ends In Tears, Disqualification + Fines At ISA World Juniors 

The young Portuguese surfer has since apologized for her 'grevious unsportsmanlike conduct'. 

May 11, 2024

Dion Agius On Upcycling Surfboards Tastefully, Sharing A Commune With His Boyhood Hero, And Snagging A Gig With Former

A rapturous discourse with the master of entrepreneurial surf longevity.

May 11, 2024

Barron Mamiya Won Pipe On A Pair Of Borrowed Fiberglass Prototype Fins

Illuminating the full circle moment occurring under the back feet of the world's best.

May 10, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Creed McTaggart (Revisited)

This time, with a car.

May 10, 2024

How Can Surfers Stay Safe In Baja?

Dino Andino, Rusty Long, and Damien Fahrenfort offer their insight following the tragic murder of…

May 8, 2024