Dane, doing it for the kids. Photo: Sylvain Cazenave
The Quiksilver Pro France is Dane Reynolds’ fourth WCT event this year. And while most of us see this as a good thing — a chance to see the most exciting surfer off tour put on a jersey — Dane has expressed that he feels a tinge of guilt over these opportunities. Why? Because it means he’s taking someone else’s spot. Someone that’s worked his whole life for the opportunity to surf at the highest level.
“There’s a weird psychological thing that I have to get over and just focus on surfing my best,” he said in Fiji. But for a guy that’s hyper aware of the silliness of his life’s work — getting paid millions of dollars to ride waves — how does he leap the hurdle of that “psychological thing?”
It seems he may have found an answer. By announcing that he’s donating his prize money to the Surfers Not Street Children organization, we see a humble man removing himself from the competitive and selfish nature of competitive surfing. In a recent interview, Dane told SURFING, “More than any personal achievements, what makes me feel good is stoking other people out.”
And now that Dane’s won his first round heat over Owen Wright and Sebastian Zietz with a 17-point heat total, he’s certainly stoking out the former street kids of Durban. Dane’s already secured them a minimum donation of $10,500.
“I just thought it’d be fun to come here and surf on someone’s behalf,” he told Peter Mel in his post-heat interview. “I have great sponsorship money and I just think that someone that needs it more could benefit from it.”
Of course, you can’t assign too much significance to one heat win. Dane flares and fails in heats more dramatically than anyone. But you’ve gotta think that as the contest progresses, as those situations arise where Dane has the opportunity to jockey for that first wave, to sit on someone at the end of the heat, or grind a final turn instead of dropping his head back in frustration, that he’ll do it, because at least for this contest, it’s not about him.
Just don’t expect him to accept a chair up the beach —Taylor Paul
And by the way, here’s where his money is going: