He has small wave credentials that any ‘QS grinder would admire—a WCT win, yearend top five finishes, and the final section of a Taylor Steele video. He’s a card-carrying member of the New School and, along with guys like Slater and Machado, helped transform surfing into what it is today.
He’s a delight to watch. Sections most surfers dodge Dorian hits. Tubes most surfers fear he’ll pull into switch stance. When Dorian attacks small waves, we kinda feel bad for them. Like watching the bully poke the computer kid in the chest. C’mon, pick on someone your own size.
But then he does, and we respect him all the more. He takes all that skill and style he has in the small waves and he uses it on waves that frighten. Nobody has ever spanned the gap between big and small better than Shane Dorian. It all started at Waimea and the Outer Reefs. He was only a teenager, and Brock Little and Todd Chesser pushed him over the ledge every time it was big. Then the tow-in movement created a new game, one that Dorian was all to happy to win. Jaws in the winter. Teahopoo in the summer. Billabong XXL wins on the regular. Dorian owned warm water big waves.
Then the tow-movement slowed and he went to Maverick’s and melted her heart like no newcomer ever had. He saw the potential of what the wave could be, rather than what it had been. He paddled out the back, rolled in from the second reef, and pulled in. Then he did it again. Then once more.
Enjoy Shane Dorian with a clean pair of shorts close at hand.