Shooting Blanks with Dane


Not THE photo from the DC ad, but one shot during the same session. Dane Reynolds.

Look at the ads in any surf mag - white boards, sharp logos. There’s a formula in place. Tight, bright, and proper light. That’s the way advertisers like it.

Which makes DC’s latest surf ad all the more interesting. A two-page spread of a logo-less Dane Reynolds, launching on a yellowed Merrick that would look more appropriate in your uncle’s garage than it does under the feet of California’s favorite son. It’s a wonderfully atypical ad, one that prompted a call to DC’s Surf Marketing Manager Tim English to learn how they came to choose the surprising photo (there’s not even a DC sticker in place - shocking!).

“We wouldn’t go out and shoot Dane with no logos… I’m definitely not out to piss anybody off, that’s for sure,” said English. He wasn’t planning an au natural campaign. Dane had grabbed Rob Machado’s old magic board from a shadowy corner of Al Merrick’s shop and taken it out for a spin. Then William Sharp’s photos of Dane on his garage sale special made their way back to the DC offices.

“All those shots came through and that one backside air…for one, it’s a sick air, and then for him to be on that board…we knew we had to run it.” DC isn’t out to prompt a paradigm shift; there are no plans for any more ads featuring delightfully nude boards. “It was a one-time thing. It’s cool to see Dane on boards like that. But you know, with other sponsors, that’s a low blow. If it were someone else running an ad like that, it would kind of suck.”

Politics. [sigh]

Be absolutely sure to click here for a video of Dane surfing this same board on his personal website. While you watch, please enjoy the musical stylings of The Smiths - it’s the post titled “Sweet and Tender Hooligan.”