The Rapture of Dane Reynolds

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Dane walks on water in Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro
By Chas Smith

The Lord pours his wrath on the Gold Coast this morning. Yesterday a tsunami was supposed to wash all the sluts and naughty boys out to sea. It never appeared. So the Lord opened the sky and totally so much rain came down! An old standard! Flood! (even though Snapper Rocks is, in fact, part of Rainbow Bay).

The ASP, fearing no act of God, has the women paddle out at 8:30 am. The rain is driving. On the covered deck, Lisa Andersen, looking almost too beautiful, tells me her favorite surfers to watch are Silvana, Carissa, Coco, Sally and Steph. She tells me that these girls are setting the bar, setting the standard, and good rivalries are starting to percolate. Carissa vs. Coco and Sally vs. Carissa. Lisa Andersen is ravishing.

The rain is pelting. I go for breakfast (smoked salmon and a tall black. Have I already written about the troublesome names they have for coffee here?) and come back to watch Owen Wright’s sister’s barely lose. Owen is supportive, telling her, “good on ya.” And noting that she looked nervous in her heat. He isn’t nervous. He defeated Patrick Gudauskas and Fredrick Patacchia in his first round and can cool his heels until round three which probs won’t run until forever. Wait! Round two is running today! The ASP, shaking an arrogant fist toward heaven, has Taj Burrow and Garret Parkes paddle out just after lunch to start. The rain is cascading.

Taj wins, then C.J. wins, then Bobby Martinez wins (Craig Anderson gets totally robbed), then Damien wins, then Dane pulls on the red singlet.

And the rain stops entirely. The Lord is a fan of Dane Reynolds just like everyone else. A still totally grey and but bone-dry sky illuminates waves that are starting to break perfectly. In color, they are greenish or, like, sea green. In consistency, they are as smooth as Peter Mel’s face because the wind has turned proper.

Dane paddles out to battle Australian rookie Blake Thornton underneath a banner of grace. His each stroke effortless. He is in no hurry. The surf is now, officially, pumping. Razor thin green or sea green lips tossing over into such calm. Walls that appear to run forever. Grace and mercy.

Blake catches one and does some very beautiful wrap around gouges and cutbacks. Dane catches one and does some crazily torqued off the top into a series of somethings ending with a fall. Dane catches another, stalls for the barrel, comes shooting out and slides his fins across another perfect labium. There is a frozen moment at the crescendo. A wave so long and perfect stretching out before him just gagging for it. What will he do? What can he do? Anything! And he does anything ending with a deadly slash.

When Dane slashes it seems as if he is angry. So much wicked quick motion. So much water spraying and moving. It is not normal. He is not normal. Later in the heat he tosses a huge air which doesn’t get landed but who cares, sneaks into tons of barrels, does a 360 and slashes more.

And every wave he catches, the spectators rock back on their heels in anticipation. Grown men breathlessly saying, “Wait, wait, wait, watch this” to their grown counterparts. Spontaneous applause even after botched air attempts. Dane wins with a 17.36.

As soon as his heat is done it starts to sprinkle again. Then pour. These sluts and naughty boys will get theirs yet. But then again, Dane Reynolds might be the one righteous man who saves us all.