- From the Beginning -
Our journey began together, and I mean that quite literally. Growing up as a twin with my brother Patrick, and soon after welcoming our little brother Tanner into the equation served as a basic foundation to how we would come to function together. Learning to share. Learning how to support each other when times were tough and always inspire each other and grow into our own unique personal identities. Values that we would learn to rely on through our journey growing up in a surfing life.
For us riding waves seemed a natural part of life growing up. Our mom and dad are still both surfing enthusiasts and most weekends were spent filling up their Volkswagon van with surfboards, beach supplies and the three of us bobbling blonde heads in tow headed down to San Onofre beach in San Clemente. The beach was a place of total freedom, a wonder of new elements, creatures and experiences. Every day presented new challenges of riding bigger waves and pushing more critical maneuvers thriving off the local camaraderie and natural talent in San Clemente at that time. Surfing has always remained a sage teacher throughout our lives, allowing the lessons and challenges of life to be received as naturally as interpreting the dynamic nuances of reading the ocean, each wave a new unique fingerprint from storm energy now steamrolling towards shore. It is no wonder that riding waves became not only our way of life, but our lens that we would interpret the world through allowing us to connect with people and communities near and far.
- OVER THE PAST DECADE -
Patrick and Tanner have both spent years pursuing their competitive goals competing on the WSL’s World Championship Tour. Qualifying together in 2010, they not only pushed themselves to achieve personal bests, they forged life-long friendships within the community of surfing brothers and sisters as they traveled across the globe. While having also grown up competing, by 2010 I took a different path towards freesurfing. Chasing new waves in unknown locations, learning how to ride big waves and beginning to peel back the layers of thought behind unique board designs throughout the rich history of our surfing culture became my obsession. As the years have gone by our relationship as brothers has always remained collaborative, with both Patrick and Tanner joining me on outside the box missions and myself spending time at events developing a deeper appreciation for a surfer’s passion to express themselves within the competition format. It was through these collective experiences that we came to understand there is no singular way to be a surfer. Surfing is open to all people and every interpretation of riding a wave you could imagine. It remained a pursuit that was a form of individual expression yet held even greater rewards when shared as a collective. Those days opened our minds to the limitless positive impacts riding waves in the ocean could have on people’s lives across the globe.
In 2012 my brothers and I founded the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation that works to support youth water safety programs and emerging surf cultures. No matter where we seemed to travel in the world the connection between people in the ocean was universal. It became a place to better understand one another, to heal oneself and an outlet for creative expression and joy. From the snowy beaches of Norway to the shores alongside townships in South Africa and everywhere in between, the reflection of stoke on peoples faces coming together to share the waves of the ocean were the same. Learning the fundamentals of looking out for one another when we were young became the blueprint of how we engaged with the world around us. Believing that the individual is better as a result of a better community. Sharing our passion for the ocean with others is what inspires us, passing it forward for the next generation to enjoy.
In 2010 we worked alongside our long time sponsor Vans to create the Stoke O Rama. Inspired by what we wished had existed when we were groms, these events are free youth surfing celebrations and a day all about fun and camaraderie. We have since continued to hold these events annually in our hometown of San Clemente along with Makaha Beach Hawaii, Huntington Beach and New Jersey. These events serve as fundraising opportunities for our PVW Foundation, raising over $100,000 to support youth water safety programs in these communities since the Foundation was created.
Along with supporting these youth water safety programs we took notice of a lack of surfing resources within many of the emerging surf cultures we traveled to. Yet in spite of these challenges, the simple love for surfing and the local’s passion to improve remained strong. By 2016, inspired by these findings, the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation began our first of three board drives resulting in over 1,000 donated surfboards distributed in communities all over Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. One of our most meaningful experiences was not only connecting with incredible communities across the globe, but spending time with the local leaders within those communities who had dedicated their lives to creating a safer and healthier environment for developing youth within their communities through riding waves. We were learning that surfing was having a hugely positive and transformative effect on people and their communities.
- Looking Forward -
Today, my brothers and I are as inspired as ever about riding waves and continuing to share all the joys of a surfing life.
It is with this spirit, that my brothers and I have launched Positive Vibe Warriors softboards in 2021. Founded upon our shared passion to introduce and support surfing in emerging surf cultures, these boards have been built to ensure your first experience in the ocean can be a positive one. See you in the water!
- Positive Vibe Warriors Co- Founder Dane Gudauskas