Would it be too much for a mag to write an open letter to Dane Reynolds?
Having just watched his latest moving images compilation of waves ‘Sampler’ and reading his rather lucid take on the burden of expectation. It felt like he deserved a few kind word.
Dear Mr. Reynolds,
Having just watched your Sampler video, and reading your own comments on the role of expectation on your surfing I’d like to say well done, impressive stuff.
We have a few highlights –
The tweak with purpose at 1.15
Pretty much every turn and full rotation from 1.35 – (that board with the pointy black rail graphic looks magic) finishing with with an un-naturally long application of power unleashed at 2.17
The the mid turn adjustment at 2.26
The pin point detonation at 2.30, and then, actually, stop…
The whole clip goes from one ridiculous turn with subtle adjustments to the next, full rotations as good as anyones (including Toledo), power lines Knox would be proud to call his own and then the easy lines and smooth bursts of acceleration are quite frankly unrivalled by anyone out there at the moment.
Power, difficulty and combination of manoeuvres, speed, style, flow, it’s all here, these are not b-sides this is current surfing as good as it gets. It has purpose and vigour – there is motivation is these waves, this is a surfer at the height of his powers firing on all cylinders. If the world tour was held in the types of waves seen on this clip no one would consistently beat this surfing, it’s not an expectation, just fact and it’s probably not what Dane wants, maybe, but have another look, slow it down, pause and think of someone else doing the same turn and then consider that most surfing looks better in real life…
Anyway, for what it’s worth, reputation defended, viewers stoked, this clip made me want to go surfing the most since I watched Kelly in Black and white, yep, it’s been a while, it’s serious but fun. Whatever, it got me excited and I wanted to let Dane know that he’s doing OK, no matter what his friend says, carry on! ”
PS I saw this from Bruce Lee and thought of you…
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine”
Enjoy the vid.
From the man himself:
i emailed a friend of mine a link to ‘SAMPLER’ the other day to see what he thought and he texted me back that it was ‘pretty cool.’ i said ‘that doesn’t sound very enthusiastic.’ and he wrote back that it was ‘a little too b sidey for me.’ then the next day he sent a long winded explanation saying he just expected more. i wrote back ‘that text leaves me more confused than before, so your saying you were just disappointed? i don’t really care i like it… it’s b sides whatever i’m not gonna force people to watch it or pay for it so if they’re disappointed then fuck em’
man… expectations, what a stoke killer. every time you do something, the expectation is that whatever you do next has to be better. do you understand how unsustainable that is? the pressure caused by this principle has stressed me out, burned me out, i eventually cracked, hid out, dropped out, turned away… but then it get’s to a point where you’re just like ‘fuck it.’ that’s when i’ve done my best surfing. when there is a complete absence of consideration for what people expect.
so here’s SAMPLER, which is a collection of surfing i’ve done the past year that didn’t make it into ‘cluster.’ so yeah, it is ‘b sidey’ but that is not a disclaimer, i’m proud of it. every moment can’t be your best, the waves aren’t always perfect, the more you expect the more your disappointed, do what you can with what you’ve got, surfing’s an art, there’s no winner and no loser, no right or wrong way to do it, there’s a big difference between saying ‘fuck it’ and genuinely feeling it, and as much as i wish it did, writing it on my boards doesn’t really make me feel it, and i have to say that for the most part, while filming the past year, i was aware that i was one of the oldest guys in the movie with a reputation to defend, and that is not the right frame of mind to surf your best. or feel your best, or be yourself… but seriously… fuck it, forget what your sponsors expect, what viewers expect, expect nothing, do your best, clear your mind, be present, turn off, tune out, drop in.
or as ethan fowler says it ‘do what you want, do it well, or, if you don’t want to do it well, don’t do it well, just do it how you do it, and that shit shines through a thousand times brighter’
for the prime cuts visit itunes.apple.com/us/movie/cluster/id969060730