Dane's "Spring Fling" - 5 boards to set your springtime in motion

"Spring Fling"

- Written by Dane Gudauskas


Photo: Perry Gershow

 With winter nearing our rearview, we take a moment with PVW Co-Founder Dane Gudauskas to reflect on the season's changing, and the boards that are inspiring him heading into warmer water and Southern-Hemisphere swells.

Am I the only one who feels like as soon as our clocks spring forward that the countdown to summer begins?  Just 3 more months, meandering like a slow river through sand and silt. Into the sunlight.  Constantly pushing towards longer days.  Beach days.  Holidays.  The thought of adventure waking me from my wintery slumber.  And my oh my it’s a wonderful feeling.  

As my imagination stirs, warm coffee jiggles like jello, sloshing in my cup as I walk across the livingroom floor.  I grab a book and begin to turn its pages. Wrapped in a black cover, the cosmic image of sunlight bending into a circular rainbow sits center with the title “Morning of the Earth” sprawled above.  Pages filled with grainy frames from Albee Falzon’s seminal film.  A film created when the spirit of surfing was nothing more than an untouched diamond, still caked in the soil of Earth’s flesh.  Well before the process of manufacturing and marketing jingles.   


Terry Fitzgerald.


Micheal Peterson.  


Gerry Lopez.  



Streaking across blue walls.  Knees tucked.  Driving for speed.  I feel the nuance of each body position as I stare endlessly into each frame.  Every board, it’s own story.  A diverse collective of outlines, fin positions and pin tails standing trial amongst each rider’s applied style and technique.  

It’s getting harder to imagine my own quiver without paying tribute to some of the design concepts within these pages.  Maybe it’s a hopefulness to understand how that generation saw those waves.  A desire to reimagine my own approach taking new lines. A natural way to continue my own personal evolution of wave riding.  

As I rest the book in my lap I take a sip from my coffee.  The cup is still warm, but the heat is fading like a leaky faucet with each minute that passes. 

The sunlight pierces into my eyes as I get up, moving towards the garage where my collective of surfboards awaits.  Along the back wall stand tall stretched out single fins, round and flat twin fin fishes.  Thrusters with pointy noses.  Some with no noses.  Softboards.  Broken boards.  Nearly anything that floats is welcomed. In the corner, I notice my salty, crusty and dried out boardshorts sitting lonely.  Crumpled into a ball.  

Even though there’s sunlight it’s still chilly.  Outside the wind is blowing. Are the flowers quivering? Or merely just blowing in the gusty breeze. Spring is here, and summer is around the corner. 


My springtime quiver 


Photo: Nate Cox

5’8’’ Rocket Wide Squash tail

Photo: Nate Cox

It’s hard to think of a more versatile board in my quiver.  And in the Spring, you never know what you will encounter.  You could wake to late season North swells or early season Souths.  Or if you are lucky, a combo of the two of them.  No matter what the ocean provides, the Rocket Wide design has proven to be an enjoyable craft for nearly every occasion.

9’0'' Owl Chapman 

 Photo: Nate Cox

Photo: Perry Gershow

In Spring, my mind  automatically begins dreaming of warmer waters, especially left hand reef passes breaking in shallow waters..  Cloudbreak has a special place in my heart but a calling of all Goofy Footers must be to experience the infinite lines of G-Land.  This board would be a dream to ride out there.  Hopefully soon.


6’8’’ Tri-Plane Hull

Photo: Nate Cox

This single fin is smooth.  Riding designs like this has allowed my mechanics to slow down on the wave, finding the trim and tapping into the natural speed of the wave.  Through those experiences it has helped me simplify how I approach my thrusters and twin fins, designs that usually translate into flashy and quick moves.  Riding single fins has grown my ability to approach the wave as one continuous line of flow no matter the craft I am on. 

8’0'' PVW Scout

Photo: Nate Cox
I love riding this board.  Especially when sharing waves with my wife Anna on those Springtime wind swells that peel down the California points.  It’s easy to ride, a feeling that always puts me in a good mood.  Softboards allow for that train of thought to flourish, reminding us of why we started surfing in the first place…for FUN!
Photos: Jordan Banc

6’8’’ Rocket Wide Step up

Photo: Nate Cox

There is something magic in that Rocket Wide design.  The outline and rocker just allow for such an easy time finding that speed and control that we as surfers crave.  I usually ride this design in waves ranging from knee high to just overhead, but this is my attempt to expand that feeling into more high quality waves with wide open faces and hollow pockets.  I went for a 6’8’’ so hopefully there is still some gas in these later winter swells, or else looking south of the border for some sand sucking pits to drive through.