Stab Magazine | Dane Gudauskas' top 5 destinations to get lost and found

Dane Gudauskas’ top 5 destinations to get lost and found

Words by Tom Freed Here’s a question for the youth: Are we going soft? No really, remember when we used to get our hands dirty? When we used to camp out on a break for weeks at a time, packed mosquito nets in our board bags and dumped our girlfriends before a trip because unbeknownst to […]

travel // Mar 22, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Tom Freed

Here’s a question for the youth: Are we going soft? No really, remember when we used to get our hands dirty? When we used to camp out on a break for weeks at a time, packed mosquito nets in our board bags and dumped our girlfriends before a trip because unbeknownst to them, we just might stay and work on a boat charter. Remember adventure?

You’ll recall Huntington Beach’s Timmy Turner and the inimitable surf traveler’s opus Second Thoughts. Remember when Timmy looked into the camera wild-eyed and said: “I’ll wait…” It wasn’t that long ago, 2004, right on the dawning of Facebook. Indeed, the world’s gotten a touch smaller since everybody got an iPhone (or a Samsung), but…has the world actually gotten smaller? Not at all, far corners beckon and adventure calls. Forgotten coastlines pump, reel and wait for you to seek them—to in turn, wait for them to pump and reel.

Now, boys-gone-feral isn’t a new notion and Timmy Turner and co weren’t the first by any means. There’s been Aussies wandering the jungles of Indo in search of surf since the 60’s and guys like Gerry Lopez camping out with pistols in their pockets in East Java (for the tigers) and of course men before them and now. Women too, we see you Liz Clark! Long story long, young ferals are a dying breed and Stab wants to see some cats take chances again.

San Clemente’s Dane Gudauskas has happily lost all bars on his mobile in more than a few zones from Angola to Russia to Gabon to the Faroe Islands. And if you’re wondering where else on this globe is holding some secrets, Dane won’t give you specifics (he’s cagey!) but he’s told us where his sites are set for future exploits.

Most people will go through life never having a grassroots surfing experience like this. Dane Gudang’s had plenty. (Photo: Alan Van Gysen)

1. West Africa

“Every country around the West African region is so different up and down the coastline. There you can keep finding new spots while experiencing something totally different in each place. Even though you might not necessarily have been the first person to surf in some of the countries down there, you can really feel the primitiveness. People have been surfing there since the 60’s, even today, surfing there feels like the first time. And that’s what makes it cool for me. It’s not about being the first to have surfed there, it’s more about having that really rich and wild travel experience that brings about a whole new cultural dimension. Something where you’re in a place and feel accomplished because you gave it that little extra and stayed a bit longer just to see that setup you didn’t know existed. It’s like, if you score perfect waves, that’s rad, but if you don’t and you’re walking around with tribesmen seeing things you’ve never dreamed of then how can you complain?”

Dane Gudang’s got no qualms about the chill. Here he goes tail high in Norway, which is not the Sub Atlantic, details of down there are on a need to know basis only. Photo: Chris Burkard

2. Sub Atlantic Islands
“Well…I can’t be too specific (laughs), but there’s definitely some places that are, let’s say, “Not quite to Antarctica,” that are in my sites. Definitely some special little hidden nugglets way down there. But I do enjoy somewhere really, really cold sometimes and feeling super immersed in radical nature. Like, where the wind is whipping, it’s freezing and you’re just hanging on—the payoff’s always worth the struggle in those conditions.

3. South Pacific
“I really don’t know if you could ever replicate a Teahupoo or a Cloudbreak, but I think getting out there in the South Pacific, experiencing all those little islands and hopefully finding some of the hidden little breaks would be so fun. To travel it by sailboat would be bitchin’. But even more than trying to find a world-class wave (and maybe you could on its day if you’re lucky) it’d be more about that remote, lost experience that’d be rad.”

4. Russia
“I’ve been to Russia before and I’d love to go back. There’s some really massive storms that hit it over the year and I think that if you could be in the right spot at the right time, you could find some CRAZY stuff around there. We got some pretty fun waves when we went, just enough of to make you want a piece of it again.”

You can get lost in Big Sur and up through the central/northern coast of California for quite some time, just ask Timothy Leary… or Eli Steele. Photo: Matt O’Brien

5. Home (California)
“I actually think that some more exploration in my backyard would be pretty cool. We spend so much time as surfers traveling out of the country that we don’t get a chance to explore home as much. Like, even as weird as it sounds, going and surfing Huntington Pier. There’s actually a lot of surf culture there, or even up to Santa Cruz and the places in between. Again, the most fun part about exploration is you don’t have to be the first, it’s all about the experiences. That’s what inspires me to wake up each morning, the possibilities.”


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