Dane Reynolds is one of the most exciting and imaginative surfers sliding today. He arrived raw and sensitive in the early aughts, took an immediate disliking to contests and celebrity, and carved out his own unique path to surfing god-dom, dropping riveting clips while remaining elusive and private. His 2016 autobiographical film, Chapter 11, shows him electric, honest, and at odds with the surf establishment. Now 36, he’s reflective, thoughtful, vulnerable even—and prone to giggling.
Dane and I spoke in the backyard of his Carpinteria home, his wife and kids playing across the driveway. He told me about a mental breakdown he suffered at the height of his surfing fame. I suggested that by being somewhat elusive, people became even more drawn to him (also known as the Streisand effect). We talked about his decision not to do the world tour, and how he was scared to win a contest.
In the back half we get into his love of making surf films, a typical day in his life, his peak surfing moment, the benefits of irony and self-deprecation, fame, his business interests, his future plans, and what he’s most excited about.—Jamie Brisick
Follow Dane at @sealtooth.
Producer: Jonathan Shifflett
Music: Little Wings
Feature image by Grant Ellis.