Dane is a wild card in this year’s Quiksilver Pro – a card he’s been playing in contests for the past few years. A lot of people are wondering if Dane’s interested in re-qualifying for the world tour so we chatted with him on one of the lay days to find out.
QS: We’re going to try and avoid the most annoying question about whether you’re going to be qualifying or not … how does it feel with everyone asking you about that?
Oh, I don’t know, I’m fine with it. Seems to be what most people are curious about right now which is cool. But I don’t have to tell anyone because that’s not really my plan.
QS: I guess a lot of people are asking because they’d like to see you on tour. Does it give you some sort of motivation?
I appreciate that anybody wants to watch me surf and I understand why people want to see me in contests because I like watching the contests too. So I’m honored that everybody cares, I guess.
QS: Last year you were really busy with the editing and shooting of ‘Slow Dance’ and were out of the water a little while. What’s your motivation now? Just to surf really good waves?
Yeah, just to get all my surfboards dialed in, get some good trips filmed and do some cool projects this year. I’m going to do a few more events this year than I did last year for sure.
My main focus this year is to surf the best I can and get the best waves I can and hopefully put out a couple of really cool projects. ‘Loaded’ was really fun and was a lot looser and easier to put together than ‘Slow Dance’ and it was fun being on the surfing end again.
QS: Have you scored any good waves yet? Any good trips?
No, at the end of last year I was injured a bit and started freaking out watching contests and seeing John John and Julian killing it and thought that’s where I wanted to be. So I came to Australia at the beginning of the year and did the first two QSs but it didn’t feel right and the waves sucked. I was in California for the first month of the year and the waves were small and they have been here too, so it’s been a little messed up but hopefully I get in the groove.
QS: What do you think about the standard for the first event of the year?
It’s been kind of hard to tell where the level is at so far because it’s only been two-foot little peeling point break stuff – except the women got four foot and much better waves. [laughs] I was pretty impressed with their level of surfing; they’re surfing really well. As far as the level of surfing this year I’m sure it’s another notch up from last year but I haven’t seen enough to really tell yet.
QS: As you’re not following the world tour this year you almost have an outsider’s perspective. What do you think of the new ASP gig?
It doesn’t seem like that big of a change yet, I don’t think. There’s just bigger scaffolding and the site looks a little different but I haven’t noticed a big difference in the way that’s it’s run, but it does seem like a little bit more professional.