Stab Magazine | I Am A Dane Reynolds 

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I Am A Dane Reynolds 

An undignified recollection from Stab’s digital editor.

style // Jun 23, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Fuck, am I really going to admit to this? Ok, here we roll… This happened back in 2012, when I was still quite green in the bizarre game of surf media. I had email and phone relationships with a lot of professional surfers, but being only 18 months into the game and spending most of my time in a Bondi office, I was hardly a bubbling surf media personality. I was nobody. Shit, I’m still nobody.

Anyway. I was gifted a trip to the US Open of Surfing – my first time ever in the States. Ignorantly, I’d assumed that summer = trunks in California. An early morning dip on day one to clear the fog of transit sharply corrected that belief. First order of biz then became acquiring some rubber, and conveniently, Jack’s Surf down on the PCH had a sale on. The last XL was one of those wonderful monochrome navy Quiksilver full suits – like the one Dane Reynolds frequently wore for a two year period there. I love Dane! Done, and done.

Dane Rowland US Open

Reynolds sizzling at typically underwhelming Huntington, 2012 US Open. Photo: Rowland

Jake Howard was kind enough to play tour guide during my trip. For whatever reason, he felt compelled to repeatedly assure me that Huntington Beach, where I spent the entirety of my stay, was not how I should perceive America. But he also took pride in taking me to the best eateries in town and ensuring I had an enjoyable stay – which included lending me some equipment. He asked my preference and I requested something that’d chip around well in shitty waves. So, he suggested his Neck Beard. Another Reynolds-approved product? Where do I sign?

There’s something of an unspoken rule in surf media that when the opportunity arises, you introduce yourself to pro surfers. For this I find that the less people around, the better, since it’s not the most dignified act. Anyway, one evening I traipsed through the Shorebreak Hotel lobby post-surf, hurrying to the lift so I didn’t drip on the floor too much. I jumped in and hit my floor button, resting the nose of my board in the carpet, quietly thrilled that I’d made it to privacy before the hotel packed out for the Nike party that evening. The doors were closing, when a Vans Old Skool wedged between them to hold the lift. The doors slid back open and a recognisable labrador slunk in, followed by Miss Courtney Jaedke, and then Dane Reynolds.

Dane Reynolds 2 hi

No, that isn’t me on Dane’s left. Photo: Lallande

I hadn’t met Dane at this point. He was one of the two most famous surfers of the time (along with Kelly Slater) and had never picked up one of my calls. He had no idea who I was. This was the perfect time to introduce myself, create a dialogue, perhaps even organise an interview. But then… I looked down at my blue, monochrome, Dane Reynolds-favoured wetsuit. I looked at the Neck Beard logo on my board, and then realised that the fins Jake had put in it, which were at perfect eye level, were the Dane Reynolds Captain Fin Co model. And then I looked at Dane.

“How’s it going?” he said, nodding. I smiled back weirdly. Then, his eyes drifted over to his signature fins. And down to the logo of his signature board. And, over the navy Quiksilver suit he so often wore. I think it’s also worth mentioning at this point that Dane and I are of similar height and colouring. Almost a similar build too, though he looks like he surfs for a living and I look like I sit at a desk for a living. He smiled weirdly.

Dane and Courtney got out on the level before me and I then had a brief, internal meltdown, before exiting on my floor.

Thank fuck he couldn’t see the Dane Reynolds grip pad.


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