Renaissance Coming: Exhibit C

This five-part series examines the cultural tremors shedding light on surfing’s future.

Exhibit C: The Dane Effect

Dane in a moment of iconic laconicism. South Africa. Photo: Sherm

"Being around the tour events is a stifling environment. I feel my best when I get to be creative and make things. That's when I'm ‘living,’ you know. It's really hard to snap back and forth between that frame of mind and a competing frame of mind. —Dane Reynolds, as quoted in Stab magazine

Few times in the history of surfing has a surfer of Dane's influence spoken with the candor that he demonstrated in a recent interview with Stab magazine. Over a two-hour discussion, Dane spoke of the "stifling" environment and "kinda retarded" format of World Tour surfing; recounted an instance in which he was heckled while freesurfing on an experimental craft during a World Tour event; and criticized surf culture's upper echelons. It followed a year in which his unbranded blog,, became the star of the online surfing world, boasting countless videos of Dane riding unstickered boards and, more recently, spruiking his indie T-shirt label Summer Teeth, which he used to raise $10,000 for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Everything this man does cascades down through surfing's every echelon. It remains to be seen what affect this latest spurt of indie ethos will have on the sport. —Jed Smith

Any pre-heat ambivalence… Photo: Sherm

…is well-hidden in the water. But for how much longer? Photo: Jimmicane

Next in Renaissance Coming: the return of big budget surfing psychedelia.