Q&A with XXL Contender Shane Dorian

SURFERMAG.COM: The XXL wave, the left at Peahi — can you replay that ride for us?

SHANE DORIAN: That ride happened later on when the wind got on it. It was windy, and Ian [Walsh] and I were still just sort of feeling each other out as a tow team. We had never towed together. That set was a bomb, and we had to tow towards it. We were in the impact zone and we were at sort of a different angle. Ian, being a Maui local, called off the other team that was in front of us, and he did a great job of getting me into it. It was a difficult situation. I got into it fine, and I thought I was sort of on the shoulder. So I faded a bit and then the thing just started moving.

SURFERMAG.COM: Was there a moment that you thought, "I may not pull this off"?

SHANE DORIAN: Yeah. There was a moment there were the whitewater was on my back. But I just held my line and sort of shot out onto the shoulder. It was the biggest wave of my life, for sure. I was just so stoked to catch that wave.

SURFERMAG.COM: What's the left at Peahi like compared to the right-hander?

SHANE DORIAN: The right is way heavier. It's faster and hollower, and it'll eat you up. I could've wiped out on the left and probably been okay. But if I would've gone right on that wave and fallen, well, it would've been ugly.

SURFERMAG.COM: Pete Cabrinha won $70,000 on that left last year. Have you seen your competition, and what do you think your chances are?

SHANE DORIAN: Yeah, I've looked on that website. To me they all look huge. You know what I mean. They all look the same. They're all incredible rides. To win the money would be great. I’d like to just so I can split it with Ian, you know. But nothing can compare to riding that wave, it is the ultimate prize. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

SURFERMAG.COM: Speaking of incredible rides, we've seen you get your fair share at Teahupoo. Can we expect to see you at the Teahupoo event?

SHANE DORIAN: Well, the Teahupoo event is like the Pipeline Masters in that you have to qualify through trials. There are no sponsors' exemptions for that event. Which is good. I think they should all be that way. I have a commitment to be in California for the XXL Awards, so I may not be able to make it. It will be tight. If there is an epic swell I may have to do some scheduling changes. Tahiti is one of my favorites. I love that place.

SURFERMAG.COM: I noticed you picked Fred Patacchia for your Fantasy Surfer team for the Billabong Pro at Teahupoo. An interesting pick, seeing as how Fred is a rookie. Can you give us some insight into that?

SHANE DORIAN: Fred has a lot of momentum. He won at Sunset in December, he charges Pipe hard. He's good in both big and small waves, so he's got that going for him. Plus he's beat Slater last year in Fiji. You know Fred has grinded on the 'QS for a few years, so I think he has a lot going for him. Plus he was a value at, I think $600K. I don't pick my boys. I pick the guys I think are going to win it for me.

SURFERMAG.COM: Very nice. Thanks, Shane.

SHANE DORIAN: Cool, thanks Scott. Anytime.