The man, the myth, the legend, Dane Reynolds is not only an innovator and creative genius in the water, he also flourishes in these departments on dry land. With surfing becoming remotely stale and surfers beginning to funnel into a conveyer belt chalk filled with corporate flannel and mainstream wanabe vulcanized shoes, it's surfers like Dane that shatter such said molds and give some life to a rather snoozy culture/art/sport/whatever label it has now achieved. I've been completely amazed at Dane's creative talents not only in the water but also with his various land mediums and creative talents including: board art, super 8 filming, music, and photography. Thanks to intern grom Totes McGrotes I now am pretty much addicted to Dane's blog entitled Marine Layer Productions and frequent there quite often to see what the dice will land on next; a video of Dane busting bafling airs? a bizarre yet intriguing music video? or an artistic vision from the man behind the lens? Hopefully the answer is (D), all of the above!
It's cool to see guys who let surfing enrich their lives but don't let surfing solely define them as an individual. Behind every person there is something more than meets the eye, a simple fact that many people take for granted. I do see how it would be hard to break out of just being known as a "professional surfer". Ultimately, a lot of times, it's the corporations paying the rent and writing the checks who frequently don't like to see their team riders venture into other endeavors and possibly jeopardize their "public image". On top of that head ache, there's other exterior pressures, especially on the CT, from other people who have dreams for you and do everything in their power to make sure you meet those dreams but won't let you follow your own dreams.
Dane getting weird while doing a "busted wing layback"
The all too familiar scenario happens every 3 years or so; a new wonder kid pops up and gets a stellar video part that blows peoples minds, then the masses get to talking and start making comparisons to "a young Kelly Slater", more people talk and talk and soon enough a bar is set so high for this new wonder kid that anything below said bar or failed attempts to obtaining this standard are soon seen as the end of the world and the hopes of others slowly trickle down the drain and end up at Shit Pipes.
Sure this scenario seemed evident to happen to Dane in his freshman years of big time exposure. When he came out and blew up, the rumor mill started running its mouth and Dane was already coined as the next World Champ without even having made the CT yet. You can imagine it would be a little difficult to fill such shoes and even more difficult to satisfy the wants of others. But Dane, Dane was different. Dane flourished on his own without having to rack up a stellar QS batting average. He flourished through his unique perspective on surfing. A surfing perspective that could be compared to an art form where he is the painter and the ocean is his canvas to sometimes depict with style and grace and other times give a more aggressive abstract meaning to it with crazy yet flawless airs.
Dane likes art, therefore art likes Dane
I originally wasn't planning on ranting this long, just wanted the post to be about Dane's blog but I hope you get what I'm sayin here. Just sayin that it's cool to see people break out of the mold and be who they want to be and do what they want to do even if it's not what's expected of them. I sure wish more pros out there took a quick step back to look at how much professional surfing has engulfed their lives and just realize that life is about the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is not always achieved through success and success does not define an individual. If your dream is to be a pro surfer, live out your dream, but do it for you. Much respect to Dane Reynolds for bringing a whole lot more to the table than just a bag full of tricks! Who's to say surfers have to be more than normal anyways?