They are quite possibly the most positive family in surfing. If you don't know them, meet the Gudauskas brothers, aka the “Gudangs.”
Twins Dane and Pat are 30, Tanner is 28. All three have surfed the World Championship Tour, but they are so much more than just competitors.
Hailing from San Clemente, California, they’re something of a package deal. They travel together, they make films together, and they all surf for Vans, Channel Islands and Electric … makes it easier for Mom to keep tabs on them.
And this week, they are all in Huntington Beach in their native Orange County, California for the Vans US Open of Surfing. So, exactly what have the Gudauskas boys been up to this summer?
For one thing, Pat and Tanner have been putting in the hard miles on the World Qualifying Series. Pat is currently ranked 10th on the WQS and Tanner is currently occupying the Number 18 slot.
Dane is more interested in chasing critical waves around the world than qualifying points. Aside from the US Open, his contest resume these days consists of a few WSL Big Wave Tour events.
“We’re just keeping really busy with the Vans US Open this week. The conditions have been super fun, perfect for Huntington. We’ve all been surfing our brains out,” reports Dane.
The Gudangs don’t sit still. They recently scored some epic footage in Fiji and went way off the grid in Iceland. Earlier this summer, they visited their grandmother and got a few waves in Ventnor, New Jersey, because after all, they’re nice boys.
Since they’ve been training harder, they recently did the San Clemente Ocean Fest 10K Ocean Paddleboard Race. And then there was the Stoke-o-Rama in Huntington Beach last Saturday, a lighthearted grommet contest that the Gudauskas brothers have been organizing for the last few years.
“It’s just basically an entry level surf contest for the community, a stoke event that we do for the Positive Vibes Warriors non-profit, with Vans, Jack’s Surfboards and Electric. It’s free to the kids and we make sure the first experience is fun rather than a win or lose cutthroat competition,” Dane explained.
The Positive Vibe Warriors is the Gudauskas family’s charitable organization that raises funds to assist communities with youth water safety programs and ocean education.
It’s funded by donations and the Positive Vibe Warrior apparel sales in order to help kids become more comfortable and knowledgeable in the ocean.
“We’ve been trying to raise funds for water safety programs through the YMCA in Huntington Beach. We’re trying to get swim scholarships for underprivileged kids, reaching out to these inner city communities where maybe these kids didn’t have an opportunity to learn to swim,” he adds.
The Gudauskas boys have already worked with the San Clemente Junior Lifeguards Program and the Nā Kama Kai in Makaha, Hawaii.
“And we’re learning ourselves. We’re learning how to talk to people to learn what they're passionate about,” said Dane.
One major source of funding for the Positive Vibes Foundation is the Vans Blackball Surf Collection, released by Vans last week. Vans and the Gudauskas brothers have a solid relationship and this was the footwear company’s way of supporting them. The Blackball is basically the ideal beach shoe.
“Vans is like family to us. When we started on the Positive Vibe Collab, we wanted it to be light, breathable and really wearable. Pat came up with the idea to make it mesh, so it’s really comfortable for travel,” he said.
The boys will be in HB all week for the US Open. Then it’s back on the road, filming for the new Vans movie and documenting some more Positive Vibes work in Jamaica.
“And Pat and Tanner are ripping,” he added, “They’re heading for the back half of the year and at any moment, one of them could just catch fire and get a couple of good results in the prime events.”
More from GrindTV