WE LIVE IN A STRANGE EPOCH.
Its main trait, so it seems, is a fascination with being childlike. our hipsters ride bicycles, like children, and ironically collect lunch pails and wear footy pajamas and watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and buy ice cream from ironically painted ice cream trucks. More and more twenty-somethings live at home, with their parents, and also more and more thirty-somethings. This sort of devolved perpetual childhood should be stress “hey-mom-can-I-borrow-ten-bucks-for- a-video-game” free but our hipsters, our twenty-somethings, our thirty-somethings are going to counselling in record numbers. They all suffer from “anxiety.” Everyone has “anxiety.”
Everyone except Shane Dorian.
Shane Dorian does not live at home with his parents. He lives with his wife in the town of Kona on the Big Island. He does not ride a bike, he drives a giant pickup truck. He does not wear footy pajamas, he sleeps totally naked. He does not eat ice cream, he hunts pig and eats pig. Shane Dorian is antithetical to our strange American epoch. He is not simply a throwback to a manlier time because I don’t know that anyone was ever as manly as Shane Dorian. I mean, have you seen the waves he has caught this year? Did you see the barrel he snagged at Jaws? Did you see him almost drown at Mavericks and then paddle out again on the next super sized swell and bag one of the biggest waves of the day? Have you seen him paddle Cortez? Shane Dorian should have “anxiety.” After his wild feats of oceanic strength he should end each day on a therapist’s couch crying. But he does not. He goes to his Big Island and hunts pig. With a bow. And eats pig.
Shane Dorian is not a one trick big wave danger pig hunting pony either. He is well-rounded like the Renaissance Men of old. He is a movie star (starring in the movie In God’s Hands). He is dresses well (though he used to dress a bit better when he was in his Gucci period). He is the best surf event commentator around (he slays all in the booth with both his knowledge and his willingness to call bullshit when he sees bullshit). He is well groomed (shaving his head and using Vertra on his olive skin). He is safe (perfecting a floatation device wetsuit that has saved him and others from drowning). And at the end of it all he rides big waves and he hunts pig. And eats pig.
Shane Dorian is a man, not a child, and he is an inspiration. He does not seek praise for his life, nor does he seek recognition, but we should all praise and recognize and seek to be a little bit more like him. This does not necessarily mean we should all paddle Jaws but it does mean we should stop with this “anxiety” business and really take life by the horns, or pig tusks as it were. We should toughen up. Like a lot up. And we should usher in the next epoch. I’d just as soon call it The Shane Dorian Era but I don’t think he would like that so, for now, let us just say we all need some more Kona Blood.
– Chas Smith
Nazaré, Portugal. Photo:Pujol / Portrait: Joli