Surfing is not typically a sport one might look to for design inspiration. Over the past half century, surfing’s biggest impact may have been the floral print shirt and boardshorts—not really enough to justify a design legacy.
In recent years the sport has struggled with balancing years of innovation in board technologies, a radical expansion of ways of surfing a wave and the long tradition of its history. Only recently has it reached a certain perfect symbiosis of progression and tradition, power and experimentation that is a lesson for all of the other creative fields searching to balance history and innovation. No surfer better exemplifies this relationship than Ventura native Dane Reynolds.
Reynolds is one of many surfers emerging from the current generation with interests beyond surfing, and the impact can be seen not only in his surfing, but also the boards he rides and the style of his videos. Consulting as a designer with Channel Islands Surfboards, Reynolds is responsible for two of the most iconic board designs of the past few years, the Dumpster Diver and the Neck Beard. Described as, “short, wide and ugly,” their look has had as much impact as how they ride; moving to single concaves, increased rail-to-rail transition, and a flatter, more planing bottom allows for both traditional power carves and more progressive airs.
The video Excerpt, released for free through Reynolds’ own site, Marine Layer Productions, is a document of the balance developing in this new generation of surfers, who don’t see surfing in reflection of itself, but instead as an extension of the culture that surrounds it: music, film, art and design.