Welcome back to Film Fridays, a feature where we post a video every Friday for your viewing pleasure. This week features a video from and letter to the guy that, in my opinion, is still the most exciting surfer on the planet, bar none.
Dear Dane Reynolds,
The great unwashed surfing masses are, as always, a-twitter about your latest video, “Sampler.” Much has been said of your own intro, honest and open, and as is the case with anything you put on the internet, it’s been scrutinized and hated on and dissected and, yes, loved, all with equal furor. Vimeo says it’s been watched 134,000 times, and when I’m done writing this, I’ll watch it again, and it’ll be 134,001. Then I’ll probably go back and watch Excerpt, or Singles pt 3, or any of the other gifts Marine Layer has given us through the years.
What I haven’t seen said is this:
We should all be at least a little sorry. Your intro called out every single person who ever said something you put out wasn’t as good as other things you’d done in the past, wasn’t “Dane” enough, was bigger or higher or faster than it was before. I did that, on reddit or twitter or Stab’s comment board, or some other insignificant corner of the internet where the fact that I can barely connect a decent top turn 34% of the times I try doesn’t limit my ability to say, “eh, I wanted more.” That sucks, that’s a shitty way to voice an opinion. Even if you preface something with, “Dane is still my favorite surfer, but…” that doesn’t make it better.
We clamor and pine for our favorite surfers, all of them, to give us these things, these pieces of themselves, and then when they do, we don’t treat them like diamonds we treat them like coal.
So I’m sorry. And thank you.
Thank you for opening Marine Layer. Thank you for Sampler, and every turn, every air, every goofy lifestyle shot, but most importantly, thank you for saying this:
“surfing’s an art, there’s no winner and no loser, no right or wrong way to do it”
In a time when surfing is drifting off its foundation and its biggest stars are either being pushed to fall in line with this bullshit competitive nonsense with numbers on their backs, and never speak out against it, or say anything that might offend anyone; or they’re getting yelled at for speaking their minds against that trend, it takes balls to come out and say surfing is an art. It’s not a cool thing to say, it’s not cool to say surfing has any meaning, but it’s honest and it’s right. And surfing needs people to say that, and we need people who are undoubtedly fucking cool to say it.
So I’m leaving Sampler below, and this letter here for posterity, and you’ll probably never read it, but maybe someone will in the future and they’ll remember that we should all be thankful for what we get.