Dane Gudauskas surfs like a wailing guitar solo. The lines that he draws and the power he throws behind them are pure rock ‘n’ roll on a wave. And, as you’ll both see and hear above, there’s no better band than the almighty Hawkwind to soundtrack Dane’s surfing. Dane spent the better part of last year abroad, chasing wide-open tubes in the South Pacific and in Hawaii. When he found himself at home late this winter and early spring, in prime surfing shape, he continued his wave hunt at standout spots near his California home, often scoring them under the radar of dismal forecasts and with minimal crowds. His edit above, “Wind,” are the fruits of his labor.
Ahead of Dane’s new release, SURFER rang him up to check-in and learn more about “Wind.”
Dane, your lines are like the surfing embodiment of a wah pedal during a Hendrix solo.
[Laughs] Thanks man! Surfing is so fun. I really enjoy cleaner and longer waves because there’s so much room for reverb and interpretation of that energy. Listening to music like that gets me psyched.
Tell me about the making of “Wind”.
It was really fun to reconnect with California. I haven't spent that much time surfing around home for a while. So these waves really kind of took me back to being a grom again. I'd show up at some of these spots I'd spent 20 years surfing and I'd feel totally re-engaged with my California roots. It was rad.
What boards are you riding?
I'm mainly surfing an OG Flyer [Channel Islands]. I had two of them, one with a pad on it and one without. The one without a pad just felt so insane. I felt like I could put my back-foot further up on the sweet spot, near the hips in the tail. It was like I could steer the ship from farther up on the board. It felt so much better than having a kick to wedge your foot on. It forced me to have my foot real flat on the deck, which allowed me to get into different lines on the wave face. Usually if you're hitting hard on the back kick, you're surfing more pivot-y. It was so cool surfing it from the middle of the board. I can't surf any other board without a pad, but if I have a Flyer, I leave the pad off because it feels so cool.
Looks like you managed to score some solid sessions near home during a below-average winter.
It wasn't a great winter. It was really inconsistent, even through this spring. If you knew where to look at the right time—you could be having fun. That was the weirdest part, too, I feel like everyone is looking for waves in California but if you treat the search like a Magic Eye, you can find the waves hiding under the layers and score a little window. If you just let go and get in tune with it, then waves might find you. It's so rad! I re-fell in love with California. It's not like these were epic glory sessions condition-wise, it was just the process of finding waves near home that was satisfying.
So what’s next?
I really want to go to Indo. I want to check out G-land—I've never been. I'm obsessed with reef passes and barrels. Waves that you can get barreled on, but also, somehow, allow you to do big turns. That interpretation moment of how you read a barrel, position for a turn and then pull back in—I'm just super compelled by. As a goofyfooter, there're some places on Earth that you just have to go, and I want to go to them.
It's the sickest thing ever when a wave is loading up, coming at you and see the clear water drawing off the reef. Growing up in California, you don't get those experiences. So the fascination with the types of perfect lefts like that never wears off. You're like "I've had couple barrels in my life that I'm really stoked on…but I could always fit in one more."
Video edited by Alex Kilauano.