Stab Magazine | Paint it black! with Dion Agius, Craig Anderson and Dane Reynolds

Paint it black! with Dion Agius, Craig Anderson and Dane Reynolds

Words by Theo Lewitt @sealtooth for @quiksilver Everyone’s picked up a can of spray and botched a perfectly fresh piece of fibreglass. If you haven’t, please, indulge! As a grom, puddle your spray-can excitement into offensively bright patterns of mess. But, live and learn. That craving for colour dwindles. A matured palate prefers the colours […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Words by Theo Lewitt


@sealtooth for @quiksilver

Everyone’s picked up a can of spray and botched a perfectly fresh piece of fibreglass. If you haven’t, please, indulge! As a grom, puddle your spray-can excitement into offensively bright patterns of mess. But, live and learn. That craving for colour dwindles. A matured palate prefers the colours that have stood time’s test, the blacks and whites that hold value so wonderfully. Yohji Yamamoto calls black “modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all Black says this: I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.” The perfect mix of adult sentiment and finger raised juvenescence. The long-legged model of pigments.

While colouring a board with black isn’t new, it’s been having a renaissance of late. The Nevillian stars, in particular, have welcomed back the value of the dark shade, sporting it regularly and, more importantly, tastefully. Dion’ll spray his whole board black, Noa his nose, and Dane will pick up a black Sharpie and do his worst. Then there’s Brother, Craig, Chippa, Ozzie and Warren. The list goes on.


Dion looking fierce in black (mainly) and red. Photo: John Respondek


@kellyslater’s Orca awareness boards. Peep his IG for full info.

Ask most and they’ll likely say Dion Agius is the modern Man in Black. Johnny Cash rocked his black suits, Roy Orbison sported midnight Ray Bans, and Dion murders out his Super sticks tip to tail. “Dion’s the master at that,” Craig assures. “I feel like every single board I’ve seen him ride the last year or so has been sprayed all black. Guys have been doing it forever, but he’s been the most consistent at it for a little while. Then again, Ozzie Wright has always spray-painted shit on his boards. Just big black pieces of nothing.”

But, Dion quickly passes on the credit: “Warren (Smith) is the godfather of everything. I think he’s been spraying his boards black since he was 16, playing in a metal band in Florida.” Craig agrees: “Warren almost always does it first before it trickles out and people bite it.”

As far as his own boards, Dion explains, “I usually spray the whole thing black so there’s really no artistic skill involved. A four-year-old could do it and it would look exactly the same. The general rule is a shitty spray that you hate will always be the best board. The ones with great sprays go terrible, or you snap them first surf.”


Ando kicking black glass up and over a Stockton sandbar, NSW. Photo: Jack Taylor


@haydenshapes / @johnrespondek

On this point, everyone can agree. Black isn’t the only the trend: iIt’s a serious distaste for one’s own board art that’s caught on. There’s a reason Mr. Reynolds enjoys his quick and painless doodles over lengthy painting sessions.

So, a quick spray-blanket of black or scribble of the pen keeps things simple. Assurance that a board won’t suck! For Craig, it’s a matter of longevity: “Black has just always been people’s color of choice. Whether it’s clothing, spray paint on boards, anything. It just a fucking cool color that can’t be judged. If you start going fruity with colours, you kind of lose that. It just stands the test of time because…it’s black.”

For Dane, it’s simply a thing of preference: “When I was a kid, airbrushes were super cool, and then I kinda quit liking them. Then spray-paint was kind of the thing, but, for me, I think black just came from having a Sharpie laying around, really. If you want to do something on your board and you’ve got a Sharpie, it’s gonna be black.”

Dane, sharpie tweaker, Gold Coast. Photo: Bosko

Dane, sharpie tweaker, Gold Coast. Photo: Bosko


@sealtooth for @quiksilver

But, Dane’s black Sharpie drawings have a utility, too. “I don’t really do it for any design aspect or to look good at this point. I do it on every single board to ID them. If I’ve got eight new boards to try before a trip, instead of just trying eight blank white boards, they’ll each have their own little identity. Usually I draw different things on different batches of boards. It’s always changing.”

Most trends spread and fade quicker than all hell. Black-on-board, however, simply won’t budge. “There’s nowhere you can really go from Black,” Craig thinks. For Dion, the next step would be a “move on to black stand-up boogie boards, I guess. Although, it would be hard to move on, they just look so sexy under everyone’s feet.” Yes they do, Dion.

Dion also thinks Steph Gilmore is holding it down hardest for the color at the moment. Why? “She’s just the queen of everything.” Hard to argue with that, really.


Steph, the queen of stealthy glass with a whole lotta class. Photo: Morgan Maassen

Of course, it’s not all black, all the time. The occasional homage to the day-glow brightens things up here and there. “It’s just ironic when you do a corny spray job though,” says Dane. Just remember where the classics are.

Tools you’ll need: Sharpie Magnums (Dane’s pick) + Rustoleum Matte Black (Dion swears it goes faster than the glossy stuff).


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