Shawn Dollar is one of the most fearless big wave riders of our time. He is a perennial Maverick’s standout, riding the biggest wave ever there in 2010 and making it to the finals of this year’s event. He paddled into a monster at Cortes Bank. A real monster that is nominated for XXL awards in the Monster Paddle and Ride of the Year categories. He is a man. A man with a fine name. Yet with all his amazing accomplishments, and his fine name, he has a job. A 9 to 5 like you. He works as a rep for Reef and oh the injustice! Oh the painful, painful injustice. You deserve to work. You don’t drop into fiery bombs.
I called Shawn Dollar to hear the pain in his voice and to soothe him.
C: Why do you have a job?
SD: Hahahaha. You know, big wave surfing doesn’t have the exposure yet that the World Tour guys have. The web impressions and magazine stories just aren’t quite there.
C: Do you hate the pansies that surf Trestles?
SD: No, no, no. It can be a little frustrating but the guys who are charging now are like pioneers and hopefully, in ten years, kids will be making money riding big waves. Hopefully we are the inspiration for the future.
C: You surf giants so that your kids will make money?
SD: No! I hope my kids don’t surf big waves.
His voice has no pain. It has joy and happiness and the rare contentment of a man living on the very edge. But, still, he should not have to have a job. He should spend his non-surfing hours talking to Anderson Cooper about his vast accomplishments. For reasons unknown, Garrett McNamara has this distinction. God save big wave surfing from that strange man. God grant it to Shawn Dollar.