Weight: 150 lbs.
From: San Clemente, California
Sponsors: O’Neill, Channel Island Surfboards, Jack’s Surfshop, Astrodeck
Last summer, while on the South Shore of O’ahu, Tanner Gudauskas did a turn that would change his life—and his surfing. Tanner ripped a turn so hard he neatly broke his patella in half. Not many people I know have snapped their kneecap, or anything for that matter, while doing a turn. Tanner laughs at my assertions that it was probably the hardest turn ever attempted. Joking aside, it was a very serious injury—now after surgery and months of therapy, Tanner is back in the water and laying down the lines. Turns and words. He is the funniest towhead since Saxon Boucher. At the 2002 NSSA Nationals in the Explorer boys final, “Tan-Man” (as his brothers call him) did the hardest turn of the final and luckily at the time he still had metal in his knee to hold it together. Metal pins and plates were used to hold the entire joint together. The work of the scalpel left its mark. His scar is wide and long, and he still needs rehab. With plenty of Ping-Pong to loosen him up, hopefully the aches will stop and flexibility will be back, so watch out for this Irish-Lithuanian with a caring family and a nasty arc—but hopefully not too nasty.—Tim Dowell