Dusty Payne has had plenty of success in his career. He was a star of the Modern Collective generation in the late 2000s. He's spent five years on the Championship Tour since qualifying in 2009. He's won major ‘QS events at Haleiwa and Margaret River. And he's twice finished runner-up in the Triple Crown.
But he hasn't realized his full potential.
His peers, guys like Jordy Smith and Julian Wilson, are perennial Top-5 finishers on the ‘CT and regularly compete for the World Title. Dusty, meanwhile, has yet to crack the Top 20.
Since 2010, Dusty has injured his ankle once, his knee twice, and, at the end of 2016, had surgery on his lower back to repair a damaged nerve. ("I was living with chronic pain in my legs for two years. By the end of it, I literally couldn't sleep at night.") Each injury has required at least six months of rehab, meaning he's spent just as much time out of the water as in it throughout the last four years.
Now that he's surfing again, and minus the chronic pain, we're working on a film with Dusty during the middle portion of his career. For the first trip, we just spent 10 days with him—along with Mitch Coleborn and Balaram Stack—in Portugal. You can click though the gallery above to see some frames of what we’ve found so far.
We'll be attaching ourselves to Dusty's hip for the next three months, following him through the Hawaii season and beyond—filming every wave and asking him lots of questions—and then we'll premiere the project around the Volcom Pipe Pro early next February.
Stay tuned to Surfer.com for updates.