In the surfing world, there are few names bigger than Shane Dorian. He’s known for riding waves that are unrideable —like in January when he pulled an insane drop-in on a wave ominously dubbed Jaws during a warm-up session. It was a move that earned him his second “Ride of the Year” award in a row.
And though Shane hasn’t been a “pro” surfer in over a decade, he still leads the lunatic fringe of big wave maniacs who seek out and ride the gnarliest breaks on the planet. These are the sort of people who nonchalantly step into waves so powerful, they’d topple skyscrapers. They fly down the face of these waves, locked in by mere inches of foam and plastic, as tons of salt water try to swallow them whole.
It’s a bold life for anyone, and bolder still for a 43-year-old father of two. Even though Shane has a very different idea of “crossing the line” than most people, he says his family has actually tempered his taste for danger.
“I take less risks now, and a lot less often,” says Shane while bow hunting in his native Hawaii. His decision to take it a little easier was an easy one. “It was almost instantaneous when I had kids. There was a real change in my approach to surfing big waves.”
Shane is especially close with his nine-year-old son Jackson. The younger Dorian shares his dad’s passion for surfing, and the slight, long-haired boy has a power, style, and boldness that belies his age. Shane is quick to put the kibosh on talk of Jackson following in his footsteps. He believes that despite his son’s obvious talent and their close relationship, his son will choose his own path, no matter his input.
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