Dane Reynolds, far right during reboot of Drive-Thru. | Photo: @benjiweatherley

Go-for-broke former world number #4 surfer reveals lifelong battle with anxiety; thought he was “dying” during heat with Gabriel Medina, “I couldn’t go outside… I locked myself into the house for months… there was no ending in sight!”

“The biggest problem was it kept happening. My wife had to travel with me for years.”

A terrific new entrant into the surf podcast arena is Soundings, hosted by Jamie Brisick, the thirty-year veteran surf journalist from Malibu, California. 

Brisick is the author, among many other titles, of the surf hunk to showgirl book, Becoming Westerly, which tells the story of Peter Drouyn’s overnight gender switcharoo. 

Part thriller, part melodrama, all page-turner. To be and not to be is the result.

Lately, Brisick has become the voice of the Surfer’s Journal podcast, Soundings. His silky baritone vibrates like muted thunder, the sound coming from so deep in his throat its hard not be shivered with excitement. 

Episode four is with Dane Reynolds, the thirty-six-year-old father of three, filmmaker, vlogger and former world number four surfer from Bakersfield in California.

Many topics are covered. Reynolds talks slowly, as if stiffed on a one-hundred dollar bag of coke. Brisick deftly leads the conversation. 

The interview gets good when Reynolds dips into the anxiety he felt when he was on the tour in his mid-twenties, as well as his fear of winning a surf event.

“Twenty-six is a weird transitional part of your life,” Reynolds says. “That year was learning to be an adult and being a professional surfer doesn’t teach you to be an adult. I was putting too much pressure on myself to do the best surfing I’ve ever done and, basically, wearing myself thin and it unknowingly spilled over during a heat with Gabriel Medina… during the heat I was in a complete panic…as anyone who has had a panic attack knows, I thought I was dying. When I got out I ran to the car, called my girlfriend, she was at a wedding, and said I think I’m dying. I was driving to the hospital and she talked me out of it. She’d had experiences like that before, and then I just passed out.”

Reynolds tells Briz, “The biggest problem was it kept happening. I was in Mexico and it happened again. I was going into a grocery store in town and it happened again. Suddenly, I couldn’t go outside. Courtney (Reynolds’ wife) couldn’t have people over. I locked myself into the house for months. There was no ending for months. I went to lots of therapy, had medication but, even then, my wife had to travel with me for years.”

Brisick says to Reynolds he imagined a day when Reynolds won a contest ‘cause he figured it would have a transformative effect, maybe give him the drive to chase title. 

“I don’t think that was ever in the cards,” says Reynolds, “mostly because I had a weird thing. I was scared of winning a contest. I didn’t want to know how it felt. I didn’t want to get carried up the beach. I wanted to get there, but then I’d blow it and get second. Not on purpose. It was a weird mental block.” 

Essential listening.

 


Fat-cat landowners strike heavy blow against poor beach lovers, surfers as Santa Barbara-adjacent Hollister Ranch remains closed to public pending a “full programmatic environmental impact report!”

"It could take years."

Any California surfer worth her salt is certainly aware of Hollister Ranch. The 14,000 acre parcel of pristine land, hovering just north of tony Santa Barbara, is owned by a handful of fat-cats and long been closed to the public. That same surfer, though, is likely enterprising and has likely been on a boat once, or twice, tasting those forbidden-esque waves, knowing how fine they are.

Mmmmmm.

Well, two years ago, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that was supposed to open that stretch of coastline to poverty-stricken beach lovers, surfers, who both couldn’t afford million dollar real-estate nor boats and there was much rejoicing in various Hoovervilles and French Laundries.

But the über rich don’t just lie down like that, now, do they and The Hollister Ranch Owners Association got together to declare that public access “threatens to eliminate the ranch’s right to privacy and will upend the longtime conservation efforts, destroying a host of constitutional rights in the process.”

Lawsuits, legal wrangling, hullabaloo and now an April 1st deadline for completion of coastal access is set to be blown right through, being replaced by a “full programmatic environmental impact report” that could take years.

Sarah Christie, legislative director for the California Coastal Commission explained how this would all be a great thing during a meeting earlier this week. “This additional analysis will not only increase the public’s confidence that access won’t harm sensitive resources, it will enable the commission to better withstand legal challenges in the likely event that program approval is litigated.”

Sen. Monique Limón, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, was made sad by the delay and declared, “The original intent of my bill was to ensure a balance between equitable access and protections for the environment. This was always the intent: to balance public access while protecting our environment.”

The 1% will likely use the delay to plot more shenanigans, possibly building that wall.

Dark days.

More as the story develops.


Aerial surfing influencer dies suddenly, aged 47, “He was way ahead of his time and took a lot of shit from media and surf fans who liked ‘normal’ surfing!”

"He traded rock cocaine in for meth and went to jail many times. He learned to tattoo and tattooed his own face while looking in a mirror."

The San Clemente surfer Joe Crimo, whose skate tech on waves was roughly twenty-five years ahead of the curve, has died suddenly, aged forty seven.

“I was a huge fan and heavily influenced by Joe Crimo,” says the surfing commentator Chris Cote. “Joe was an early innovator of skate style tricks like pop shuvits and varials. He was way ahead of his time and took a lot of shit from mainstream surf media and surf fans who just liked “normal” surfing… Joe’s talents and helping him enlighten the world with his raw, wild styled attack and skate influenced surfing.”

Matt Biolos, his shaper for a time, describes Crimo as, “Soft spoken. Exceedingly polite. Saccharine Sweet. Girls liked him. Had a really good face, actually…attached to a diminutive almost frail, body… Obviously dexterous and skilled with his feet. More nimble emancipated street skater than a true surfer. Made him a lot of boards to assist his approach, but never anything really skateboard style or double ended.”

His surfing wasn’t pretty but it was rad as hell.

Crimo was a wildcat, of course, ain’t no doubt about that.

Back in 2015, Crimo tried to raise money for laser tattoo removal after covering his entire face with ink while high on meth.

“Tattoos on the face are not the best way to get a job,” he wrote.

As Chas Smith wrote at the time,

On land he lived fast and his fast living started very much earlier than yours or mine. He grew up in East Los Angeles and his brothers were in gangs and going to jail. “I started smoking lots of rock cocaine at age nine. It’s just what we did,” he says.

He got shot, at some point, and moved to the San Clemente, starting surfing and cleaned up. But the wheels fell off, eventually, and he traded rock cocaine in for meth and went to jail many times. He learned to tattoo, during the dark years, and tattooed his own face while looking in a mirror or sometimes not. “Sometimes I just did guess shots,” he says.

Earlier today, Biolos told me, “I have no idea what happened to him or what his life was like the last couple of years. But he was a friend for an important time in all our lives. He made a mark.”

Hit here if you want to send a little cash, help his little kid Jacob out.


Explosive new rumor hints that longboard champion Joel Tudor has potential legal case available to him after being unprecedentedly suspended by World Surf League following “social media-based attacks on tour leadership!”

Hot hot heat.

In a wild swirl of hot hot action exploding to life earlier last month and seemingly culminating in unprecedented fashion last week, Joel Tudor versus the World Surf League has burst back onto the scene. You will certainly recall the rumor suggesting that Santa Monica was considering chopping the Longboard World Tour from three events to one. Tudor, an elder statesman and current champion, became vocal and challenged the League to actually practice equality.

Senior Vice President of Tours and Somesuch Jessi Miley-Dyer responded with a masterpiece of gaslighting, Tudor published it, on his social media, then published more before being indefinitely suspended.

The first sitting champion to ever be cancelled in sporting history.

Well, an explosive new rumor has whispered that Tudor may have a legal option against the World Surf League as the purported reason for his beheading does not, necessarily, line up with the facts. A well-placed source has declared, “I think he may have a case here.”

Though there is no indication that he is pursuing anything at this time, Tudor’s Instagram has been scrubbed of offending posts.

How much embarrassment would it be for the League to have to admit fault in the way it handled the whole brouhaha?

That it, as a corporation, got its “feelings” hurt and acted emotionally weird?

David Lee Scales and I discussed on this week’s podcast and also discussed the importance of keeping a relationship sexy.

Important.


Photo courtesy @gothic_dolphins.

Universally adored actor-surfer Jonah Hill unloading New York loft for $11 million sliding one step closer to full “kama’aina discount status” ahead of reported move to Hawai’i!

Welcome to paradise...

First came the Hawaiian vacation and Instagram caption, quickly removed, heavily suggesting that universally adored actor-surfer Jonah Hill and his girlfriend-not-fiancée, Sarah Brady, would soon be moving, permanently, to the islands. Then came the sale of Hill’s “windowless monolith” located in the famed Malibu Colony, a slice of real estate that instantly made the Academy Award darling heir to Miki Dora’s throne. Now, news has just broken that the Wolf of Wall Street star is unloading his $11 million New York loft in further preparation for that sweet kama’aina discount life.

Per The New York Post:

Jonah Hill is the latest in a fleet of celebrities to say goodbye to New York City.

The actor, 38, has put his Manhattan loft up for sale for almost $11 million — $1.83 million more than he paid for it in 2015, The Post can report.

Initially buying the Noho neighborhood pad to upgrade from his previous 2,000-square-foot loft in Soho, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom 3,280-square-foot residence hit the market last week.

The official move to sell the Big Apple pad comes after the “Don’t Look Up” actor has been spending most of his days in the Hawaiian Island of Kauai with girlfriend, Sarah Brady. The two have been linked since August.

The loft is located in a pre-war building and features three bedrooms, exposed brick barrel vaulted ceilings and “the most advanced smart home technology.”

Very cool but cooler still is the discount Hill and Brady will be receiving at Hawaii’s many Foodland locations seeing they will, officially, be kama’aina or “residents.” But can I be honest with you? Confess a great sin that I have been carrying for many years? During my various weeks long stays on Oahu, working on Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, Who is JOB (the film) etc. I regularly used Jamie O’Brien’s “kama’aina card” at Foodland even though I had no intention of a permanent move.

Shameful.

I’m assuming now that I’ve admitted, the State of Hawaii will seek to prosecute me to the fullest extent of the law but I will accept my punishment with a bowed head for I deserve the wrath.

I’m sorry.