Our favorite bird has become a man.
Has any single surfer meant more to our beloved pastime over the last decade plus one year than the enfant terrible from Long Beach/Ventura? Has any single surfer made us hold our breaths, more often, or gasp as louder? I will say non! And the boy turned 30 this weekend past. He is an adult!
Let us, then, take a quick look back at the first half of a fabulous career. Do you remember Young Guns 2? He was 19 then but not enough superlatives can be employed to describe his ferocious attack.
Do you remember when he joined the World Tour, winning rookie of the year? His surfing was spectacular, of course, but his manner was even better. He was hungry to learn, to grow and change. I interviewed him at his house, around this time, and we had many laughs and I wrote a bad story (on purpose!) which he subsequently marked up with pen (innovative!).
Do you remember when he got 4th place in 2010? 4th in the world! But everyone knew Dane was better than 4th. He was number 1. “The greatest free surfer in the world!” according to Andy, or Bruce, if I recall.
Do you remember when he quit? He did not think the tour suited him, calling it “retarded” and broke many hearts. As much as we loved Dane’s video bits we loved him competing too.
Do you remember when he launched MarineLayerProductions.com? A game changer! More clips and better clips than anyone out there. Beautiful and inspiring!
Do you remember when Quiksilver paid him 23 million dollars? Worth every penny!
Do you remember his section in Dear Suburbia? My favorite by far.
Do you remember when Quiksilver almost declared, and maybe still will, declare bankruptcy (yesterday)?
What will the next decade plus one year hold for our Dane?