Culture Shock: Team Gudauskas, Germany and Japan
Story by Oscar Long | Photos by Tanner, Pat and Dane Gudauskas Vans’ new Down Days series, hosted by travel gurus / culture lovers Tanner, Pat and Dane Gudauskas, ventures from the ancient sword wielding land of the rising sun to the high alpine peaks of outer Bavaria. You’ve already watched the four latest episodes. […]
Story by Oscar Long | Photos by Tanner, Pat and Dane Gudauskas
Vans’ new Down Days series, hosted by travel gurus / culture lovers Tanner, Pat and Dane Gudauskas, ventures from the ancient sword wielding land of the rising sun to the high alpine peaks of outer Bavaria. You’ve already watched the four latest episodes. Now, here’s some behind-the-scenes photos shot by the Gudang bros themselves…
Germany: At the base of the Bavarian mountains, cameraman Chris ‘Zammer’ Zamms accompanied the Gudangs running and gunning through peaky mountain ranges you could imagine Bear Grylls comfortably urinating in. They set up base camp and shot from dawn til past dark. “He sets up shop and gets the craziest lighting and footage, it’s super fun working with him,” says Tanner. They explored the alps where the castle game is architecturally superior to most and the giant alpine peaks that run to flat ground give the impression of standing under a 10 foot bomb.
Japan: Dane reminisces on his old QS days, tucking in nicely to the Japanese sleeping experience. After the boys left the luxuries of room service and toilets that wiped your balls in Kyoto, they found the Japanese bedrooms brought the tribe together like a gang of boy scouts. “Full of traditional Zen vibes and a phenomenal night’s sleep,” says Tanner.
Germany: Being way out in the Alps without surfboards, with their Mountaineer guide Carl (who also plays in a punk rock band), dabbling in German folk music, was a wild experience for Tanner and Pat. Climbing down the mountains as fog and the smell of ales rolled up the valley was surreal, and it felt like a stop on tour as people were in and out for the night to go and cause trouble in other parts of the punk rock mountain range.
Germany: “People were tripping” to see the Gudang brothers cruising through the back streets of Marienplatz, Munich as they seemed super out of place. But they were comfortable observing the different way of life and indulging in traditional fuck-off-big pints of beer and pretzels that could win awards, which is totally normal, like sitting down for a donut and coffee. “It’s like you’re about to crack up laughing but no one else is breaking face,” recalls Tanner of the culture shock.
Japan: In Japan the three bros teamed up with one of Masatoshi Ohno’s pals who owned a hotel near the beach. After escaping the coffee vending machines and notorious city intersections, they loaded into his old school 20-seater bus with a psyched crew of locals and headed into the land of the rising sun to explore its icy beachbreaks and killer rivermouths.
Germany: Instead of walking over sand dunes looking for waves, Pat and Tanner found themselves in the middle of a German city looking for a river running up through the buildings. They rolled up on a grom in a 4/3 hooded wetsuit with a board strapped to his bicycle, gunning the footpath, and knew they’d found The Eisbach, tucked away in the heart of one of Germany’s biggest cities (Munich). The banks are packed with Munich’s surf crew braving the cold to get a few turns in before work. Surfing the river break in autumn allowed the Gudangs to see the local crew of surfers gathered at the flowing wave – they narrowly avoided the colder winter months where they would’ve had to hammer away the ice to get in place for a set.
Japan: In Japan the boys got a lesson in ancient Samurai sword play by the guy who taught Uma Thurman everything she needed to know to scalp Lucy Liu. The boys quickly nailed the technique but were strictly reminded to wipe the big Californian grins off their faces as they kept cracking up at the sight of each other running around a park in Tokyo with swords in traditional clothing and sandals.
Japan: Tanner takes a look down onto the world below post-Japan mission, reflecting on all the crazy and amazing adventures the Down Days trips afforded him. “It’s a different type of travelling to being on tour where you’re focused on the comp or on the swell and only have one goal,” he says, compared to these trips which allow him to properly immerse himself in the culture and experience different things not normally associated with professional surfing. “A different but good type of travelling, definitely a fortunate experience.”
Japan: The team ready to fillet some icy tuna at the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo. As blue fin tuna season rolled up, the boys got a lesson in how to slice and dice the fish with a samurai sword. Bigger than any fish they’d ever seen and going at up to $10k, they were kinda sketchy going into it. Dane and Tanner each took to the tuna with the same sword and, according to Tanner, “absolutely botched it (laughs). Yeah, that bit didn’t make it into the edit.”
Japan: The Shibuya fisherman carefully carving up a 100-pound tuna in the traditional blessing of the restaurant. After the boys attempted to cut up their share of the catch, the tuna had to be discarded into the bin and they were told to practice their filleting skills. Later the boys dug into some fresh sashimi – it felt like ice cream melting into their stomachs.
Germany: Surfing a river in the middle of Munich, Tanner and Pat couldn’t believe some of the gear the local crew were using: “We were tripping on all the different boards they had and I think they were tripping on all our boards as well,” says Tanner. “It really was a surreal experience.”
Japan: Hanging with a couple of geishas-in-training for dinner, and dabbling in some Japanese drinking games. “It was weird, I didn’t know if I was attracted to her cause she had make up on…” says Tanner. “But it was one of those bucket list, straight out of a movie type deals… fucking wild.”
Germany: Tanner says he’s still got his funky German drinking shorts (lederhosen) at home and plans to keep them forever. In Munich they cruised around in them all day, the tight leather is just like boardies, perfectly normal get up for all occasions from wandering through town to chasing curvy womens around and drinking gallons of expensive German lager. “You gotta free ball it, man.”
Japan: The half-Samurai, half-surfer, full-legend that the boys had as their trusty guide up the coast was always 100 percent psyched on finding some hidden little coves when the wind was up, and ready for the long sessions when the waves were firing. “Its such a better experience when you’re with guys who are super keen to surf and explore,” offers Tanner.
Germany: Pat couldn’t get enough of his Lederhosen. Tanner understands why: “Oh dude, it was so uncomfortable to wear, literally felt like a spring suit, but it gave us this authentic feel so we rocked them.” Seen here at the foot hills of the Bavarian mountain range embracing the laid back German country air and ready for a night to indulge in some local treasures.
Japan: These outfits took a solid 10-15 minutes to climb into, because there’s so many pieces involved. As soon as they were correctly tied the boys started swinging their swords in “classic warrior vibes. We were gromming so hard… felt like a Halloween outfit man.”
Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*
May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.
Long Read: Pete Beachy Is No Bore
The life and times of an off-the-grid Alaskan surf pioneer who claims to cure cancer.
Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band
What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6
An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer
Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game
…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.
Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing
But will surf final CT event at Bells.
Fancy An Ale, Some Good Music, And A Bunch Of Tubes?
Ballet's minimalist full-length will satiate your needs.
Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver
Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.
Jessi Miley Dyer On The New Challenger Series Schedule And More
Did you know that you could miss the mid-year cut and still theoretically win the…
Don’t Miss The Last Wave Of The First 2023 SEOTY Entry
Jacob Willcox's ‘Into Dust’ just set the bar.
Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace
Now available in the Antipodes...
Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made
BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…
Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands
How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.
Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?
William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.
Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.
Already a member? Sign In
Want to join? Sign Up