Dusty Payne Wants To Have Fun

posted by / Blogs / March 13, 2014

Photos: Brent Bielmann

This is fun. Dusty Payne and the loft we love.

This is fun. Dusty Payne and the loft we love.

Dusty isn’t looking to put together a re-qualification year on the WQS, but he is looking to put together a few stellar edits. And apparently looking at boulders on Maui.

Dusty isn’t looking to put together a re-qualification year on the WQS, but he is looking to put together a few stellar edits. And apparently looking at boulders on Maui.

The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast just happened and Dusty Payne wasn’t there and that’s weird. Dusty is one of the most talented surfers in the world. A place for him on tour was only destiny. But after a few years of ill-timed injuries and lackluster results on the WCT, Dusty bit the dust. He’s now off the tour — but certainly not off the map. As he talks about in the interview below, this year he’ll be chasing fun instead of chasing 4.5s. But come on now Dusty, 4.5s? We’ve seen that tail toss of yours — and it’s at least worthy of a standalone 7.33. —Brendan Buckely

SURFING MAGAZINE: Are you planning on competing at all this year?
I’ll compete in a few events, but I won’t be taking the WQS too seriously. I’m just going to whatever waves I like, the ones that have went well in the past.

So you’re not trying to get back on tour?
That’s not my focus right now. I didn’t do too well on tour so I’m not really dying to get back on. To be honest, I wasn’t having any fun when I was on tour. I lost sight of why I started surfing and wasn’t even enjoying it anymore — that’s not fair to anyone. You should be able to enjoy the tour.

Do you remember a point in which you realized that the WCT wasn’t for you?
It wasn’t right off the bat. I was obviously excited to qualify and really stoked to give it a go. But after the first two years, I realized that it was working out as planned. I wasn’t surfing the way that I know I can surf; I was tense and nervous. I didn’t enjoy it all.

What made you decide to pursue other options?
Well, we all surf because we enjoy it. We surf to go out there, have fun, relax, enjoy ourselves and enjoy nature. We do it because we love it, and that wasn’t happening for me on tour. So in stepping away from it all, I feel like I can really enjoy surfing again. I can really love it again. And that’s so much more exciting than going to an event and trying to get a 4.5 or something.

You think you’ll ever give it another crack?
I’m a competitive person, so maybe sometime down the road I’ll get the fire to do it again. But I won’t try to re-qualify until I feel good and ready, and feel like I can really give it my all. For now, I’m just going to make movies and try to be a part of a bunch of different projects.

Are you gonna do web clips or long-form ones?
For now, I’m working on putting out some quick edits. But I want to start doing some of those longer movies. I’ve seen what Dane and John have done and that seems really fun. You get to showcase surfing, and I want to showcase how fun it is. I want to get people psyched to go out and enjoy themselves.

If you haven’t already seen it, we recently re-released old footage of the Nike team. Dusty’s section will most certainly get you psyched to go out and enjoy yourself.

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  • Stu

    I don’t understand…your endorsed by your sponsors to surf competitively & you don’t show up due to a few poor results? I guess he wants to surf for the pure enjoyment…give me a break, f#*#ing entitled generation. Showing/getting paid to surf a contest sure sounds easy compared to working construction or agriculture.

  • Collin

    Well, Dusty’s right about surfing tense and nervous on the WCT. He never really performed to his potential on the CT’ and it’s probably a good idea to take a bit of time off from competition and reconnect with his surfing.

    If he can kick the nerves in a heat he could be top 10 on the CT’. But some guys just don’t excel at competition.

  • willie

    think about it for a moment who is he surfing for? i don’t surf for myself any more.

  • Drew

    Stu…you’re looking at “surfing” from one point of view. I completely understand where dusty’s coming from. My son at a young age competed and went through something similar as dusty and I saw him not enjoying surfing. Dusty’s sponsors pays him to surf, not just surf competitively. Making movies and other projects and staying busy showcasing his sponsors is just as valuable as surfing contests. I would say the vast majority of surfers across the world don’t care for contest results or contests.

    Surfing competitively for a living is only for a small breed. Most surfers enjoy surfing for surfing.

  • Kenny

    I can’t help thinking of Chas Smith’s Welcome to Paradise every time I see or read something about Dusty Payne. This interview makes me think his description might not have been too far off the mark.

  • TPI

    agree with drew. cant wait to see what dusty does off tour!

  • Jimmy the Greek

    “When did he DECIDE to pursue other options?”

    What kind of f*cking question is that?

    This kid didn’t decide sh*t. He couldn’t hack it on tour. The industry hype machine expectations didn’t correlate with how he performed in the field and he didn’t requalify. He was forced out due to poor performance.

    Now the spin cycle is trying to frame this as though he made a conscious decision to do something else. Bullsh*t.

    Dane set the tour on fire, finished 4th and then decided to pursue other options. Dusty’s just another underperformer trying to justify to the world why he still gets paid.

    Call it like it is Buckely.

  • http://Marinehq.com Mitch

    Agree with the Greek. Such a spin. You don’t re qualify and so you are pursuing other options… Nice!

    My favorite part is the “Not taking the QS too seriously” so if he doesn’t perform it’s not a big deal. Must be nice dude. In the real world people get fired. In Maui surfing la la land you get to go blaze with Marzo and free surf all day.

  • JM90

    I totally agree, one of the surfers that has the largest difference between insane video edits and then poor competition results. Keep to free-surfing and enjoying it that’s obviously where he surfs better (and its much better to watch!)

  • EJ

    I’m happy any time a young person is comfortable in their own skin.
    That’s it – Do what makes you happy DP because life is short…

  • Alex

    I’m so sick of people calling out surfers by telling them that “In the real world you get fired,” or “Showing/getting paid to surf a contest sure sounds easy compared to working construction or agriculture.”
    Yes, getting paid to surf is a lot easier than construction or agriculture. Yes, in the real world they’d get fired.
    But you’re telling me if you had the chance to surf and get paid for it, you’d say no? You’d do the exact same fucking thing as these guys do. You just sound like a jealous asshole that hates their own job.
    And Stu, I’ve seen on all over these message boards. You’re just a huge piece of shit.

  • Mik

    Dusty is a very talented surfer…

    But it takes a very savvy strategist to win at the WCT level, and you need to love competition analysis as much as surfing in order to get through the wave/luck factor in Heats.

    Kelly is a Master of that combination, and he also adheres to a lifestyle that enables him to take advantage of the dulling effects of alcohol and lack of fitness discipline. But that gap has been closing and Kelly’s loss to Adriano at Snapper is a good example of how even Kelly is vulnerable if he deviates even slightly from his usual laser focus.

    So Dusty may be wise to chase waves, rather than points. Surfing is as much an art as it is a sport, and the performance art world of surfing has many people in it that people like to watch, and who also represent a sponsor’s brand well, and Dusty can be one of those guys. He surfs allot like AI, and I am still mesmerized by footage of Andy to this day.

    As for Stu and Jimmy the Greek, don’t expect artists to think like whatever the fuck you do.

  • greg hoey

    I think surfers and the wider surfing community esp within australia are a bunch of self-satisfied, quite dumb and complacent, upper-middle class coastal snobs who need to think a bit more about the rest of the world and not just themselves once in a while.

    POPE FRANCIS and THE VATICAN [Protestantism/Anglicans and the ‘American Evangelists’ both black and white included]

    portrait of the myth, the man the dogma?

    The obssesssion these old men of the Vatican like Pope Francis have with the crucified figure of an overtly muscular, very healthy, white anglo-saxon male, naked and bloody on a cross speaks volumes for a Church and a Religion that at its heart is disturbing and ultimately very negative.
    A beautiful image it maybe, but it is also hideous too at the same time, an image that appeals to the two worst aspects of the human psyche both narcissism and cruelty in order to assuage some ancient guilty appeasement to the gods by sacrificing someone or something.

    [afterall the whole jesus thing is little more than the Prometheus myth retold. And even before the Greek god Prometheus there was the Egyptian god Pheonix, again similar mythology. its obvious the early jesus cults were well researched and pretty enterprising too for that matter.

    And who gets to play this sacrificed Jesus character one has to ask?

    -No doubt some poor bastard who’s either been unwittingly, ceremoniously slung into an anachronistic cauldron run by spiritual fakes, or more likely some poor unbeknown sod who has rather been shanghaied against his/her own free-will into playing the modern returned ‘jesus figure’ for the 20th and 21st centuries…because if such a person had have been asked up front no doubt there would have been a case of outright refusal to obey the instigators of all of this self-serving nonsense and great and higher purposes/commands.

    Guaranteed the sort of righteous folk who like this kind of thing are on an intellectual level very shallow people indeed. Mindless and shallow and pretentiously ‘non-materialist-non-narcissistic’.
    The same sort of people who think someone like Gwyneth Paltrow is really deep and meaningful and a basic, kind hearted soul who is not an inbred preppy psychopath either, who can actually act.

    Again the type of folk inured to this sort of thing are usually from pretty well-off backgrounds which explains the rosey-eyed world view and idealistic nature they tend towards others esp those from lower class backgrounds.
    They’re most definitely not from low socio-economic backgrounds or of the working classes that can be guaranteed!

    And rarely is the sacrificial victim a nice, well educated, upper-middle class rich kid, it would have to of course be generally and stereotypically someone of low economic means with little familial backup who is seen to be and considered disposable enough to suit the evil minds behind such religious/spiritual machinations engineered to facilitate and expunge some unconscious corrupt guilt the wider body politic senses of itself.

    If these church/religious leaders like the new media saavy and enlightened newly elected Pope Francis and his kind ever had their ‘Jesus’ actually arrive back on earth one day in order to seek his ownership of ‘their’ control and stewardship of the Christian church’s [both the catholic and protestant churches including all of the little jesus based cult’s] and all of its accoutrement and lucre guarded over by these Holy-men and women, Priests and Popes and Bishops etc., all for his own personal useage-

    [ie possibly to use for acquiring land in the best parts of the world with which to fashion a majestic home or two upon in which he might also choose to partake of various high-class whores and other fleshly pursuits- like a nice large collection of art and trinkets, perhaps some nice expensive wines/spirits/cocaine, maybe a little yacht or three-none of which happened to be under 60 foot in length and perhaps a little gambol here n there at various casino],

    – I feel damnably sure that the slitherer’s who now watch over the various Christian church would very quickly have their ‘lord jesus’ quietly hung, drawn and re-crucified before the deadly hour of dawn preferably before the sun was set.
    All to make damn sure that all the excessive power, glitter, gold and other largesse like the vast holdings of real estate that these church’s/religion’s own was never lost from their controlling, greedy, insidious, tenacious grasping hands basically. -greg hoey

  • http://www.homepagely.com/ Homepagely

    Great photo!

  • Fat guy

    Hey Jimmy, now that Dusty won Haleiwa I think you should reconsider trolling over him. Go hate somewhere else.

  • http://www.thesurfnomad.com/ Surf Nomad

    what the hell are you talking about?