As most have seen by now, Dane just dropped two new clips produced by his ironically titled Chapter 11 project. With his loyal cohort Mini Blanchard behind the lens and pulling the levers, it would appear that Dane is indeed back in the entertainment biz.
All good, of course.
However, Dane’s latest creative output did bring to light a few interesting observations worth noting.
At least we thought so.
To start is the simple fact that what could have been a rather benign couple of minutes of surfing could also be so captivating when presented properly. Dane has long been the master of the sublime and this lastest effort speaks to that. Smallish waves, overcast, some wind on it, etc., but the pure surfing genius of Mr. Reynolds quickly wipes all that away.
The second episode features the Reynolds family project, Eithan Osbourne, and opens with some classic grom torture and early footage but quickly moves into young Mr. Osbourne showing just how far his surfing has come.
In a couple odd minutes or so of video, Dane vividly exposes so much of what’s wrong with the presentation of surfing today. Going out on a limb here, we will assume that these few minutes of surfing, by arguably still one of surfing most explosive talents, has been watched often and repeatedly. Not many “bells and whistles” really, just some very solid surfing by one of surfing’s enigmas. The one guy who can still truly command an audience while at the same time influencing surfing’s very core.
The beauty of that being he doesn’t even have to try.
He simply goes surfing.
What is it about Dane that captivates us so? There’s a lot of great surfing going on today and most have a filmer capturing literally every move. We’ve all seen the footage. Well, there is just something more from Dane of which leaves us wanting.
His clever cynicism. His “salt of the earth” Ventura roots. His walk from a huge contract because it no longer felt right. Shit, the guys married, raising three kids, and running a successful business.
He’s just a everyday guy like us.
And a damn fine one at that.
The same creativity from before is still there. Airs, cheeky barrels, full rail gouges, you know the guy. Would it work in a heat? Probably not, of which is exactly why competitive surfing often struggles to entertain. Perhaps it’s that we know that in most cases we’ve seen these same guys surf better without a jersey and that Dane messing around without constraint is still very damn entertaining.
We’re not sure there is a path to follow if creating compelling surf content is one’s goal, as it isn’t something that you can simply order up on demand no matter how much money you may have in the budget. Unfortunately, for those who are trying, capturing authentic surfing at this level with the proper dose of “I don’t give a fuck,” is just a hard formula to get right.