Cloudbreak, Fiji May 23, 2016
Out of the three Gudauskas brothers, Dane is the most powerful and is always on the hunt for the big ones. He spends as much time as he can on the North Shore, chasing down the sets at Pipe when he can. Dane is also the brother who is not interested in competition surfing, finishing the 2016 season in 1168th position, while brother Tanner is currently sitting at 45th, and Pat is at 48th, both competing hard.
The Gudauskas brothers have been around for a while, and crop up in various different shapes in all parts of the surfing world. For this exercise it happened to be Dane who found himself en route to Cloudbreak last year to meet a swell head on.
It wasn't quite the epic surf that the surfers had anticipated, with the swell most definitely under-performing in comparison to what the charts were showing. There were still some bombs, and it wasn't all fun and games, with a few serious injuries on this day.
Dane gets in fairly early for a wave of this girth, and it looks like he is heading for the standard bottom-turn-to-stand-up-straight-in-a-giant-cavern sequence of events, and then it becomes a bit tricky. Dane suddenly finds the wave bottoming out before him, making it a little bit longer to get to the bottom.
By the time he gets to the base of the wave, there is a fairly nasty section looming for the goofy-footer that looks daunting to the uninitiated. He squares up unperturbed and picks a nice speed line to accelerate out of the tube of the day. Will it be tube of the year? It has been a while since Fiji has been on the important lists, so this might be the year she makes a comeback.