These days it’s not uncommon to see surf lineage trickling down the generations to create new legions of great surfers—Dane Ward’s a perfect example. His dad and his uncle are well-traveled surfers who settled down in Southern California to raise young rippers like Dane and his cousin Shaun.
[IMAGE 1]Dane was born and raised at Cotton’s Point (the northern most point of Trestles) and rides the Lowers trail every day—that’s his training. Whether it’s his fellow San Clemente High teammates—such as the Gudauskas brothers—pushing him or the millions of great surfers he watches rip his backyard, Dane’s getting better and better and becoming the latest product of his San Clemente environment.
At the young age of sixteen, the kid’s already charged in more ways than one. At fourteen, he went to Australia on his own and also paddled in at big Todos Santos with Greg Long—something Greg doesn’t do with just anyone. According to his dad Gary, the kid isn’t afraid of the power of Hawai’I, either: “He likes Pipe, legit, big Pipe.” Dane looks forward to taking a shot at the WQS and is sharpening his teeth on the NSSA circuit, where he made every final this year going into Nationals.
“He’s super ahead of the game for a sixteen year old,” says cousin Shaun Ward. “As of right now, his surfing’s developing every day. He’s getting better and better—most improved grom of the year. Oh yeah, he’s out of control at Lowers.”—Checkwood