Interview: Can’t Steal Our Vibe - Dane GudauskasNov 16, 2018
Part 2 of 4 in a series of surfer interviews from Vans new documentary film 'Can’t Steal Our Vibe'.
What was the most impactful moment for you, personally, from the filming of CSOV?
The most impactful moment for me was seeing Michael’s effect on the children of the township and how enthusiastically they reacted to his presence and surfing. When he would be in the water every kid just watched in awe and cheered each time he pulled a maneuver. It was so cool to see how much inspiration he provided that next generation of kids with.
What’s your fondest memory from your trip to South Africa?
I think my fondest memory of the trip was just seeing how beautiful the mentors of Waves For Changes work actually was and how incredible they were with the kids in providing not only structure and guidance but also just how they listened and had such incredible empathy. They themselves grew up in those hard environments and seeing them now dedicating their life to make positive outlets for others was just beautiful. It really continued to inspire me personally to live with compassion and an open heart. We’ve got to help each other along the way…
Did you get to know any of the kids in the film’s stories?
Just looking into their eyes and seeing so much tension, pain and experience well beyond their age and small frames. To hear about the violence and hardships those kids are exposed to in the townships each and every day cut into your soul. It was very emotional.
What is it about surfing that is so magical to everyone who sees it?
Surfing is a vehicle for self-discovery and personal expression. To see it opens the mind with curiosity, but to surf actually opens the heart and spirit to a journey of improvisational joy. It is incredibly satisfying.
What was your initial reaction when you saw all of the boards collected?
I couldn’t believe the incredible support received through the board drive. Just to think that each board was from an individual donor, who went out of their way to drive to a surf shop and give their board away…it was rad! It opened my mind up to understanding that contrary to all the negative stuff in the news or other forums, there actually are a lot of great people out there who want to help and make a positive difference. It gave me hope for the future.
What change has Waves for Change made on your life? On the lives of the children of South Africa?
I think they instilled in me that by working together you can lift up a community in need. You can make a difference and affect a positive change. It’s inspiring. Makes you want to wake up each day and give it your all. On the lives of the kids down in South Africa? Oh man sky is the limit! That’s what they are doing. Empowering the next generation to allow themselves to dream without limits. And by listening and caring they are healing the community, creating a more stable foundation for the kids to grow from.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to give children the gift of surfing?
The joy of the ocean is limitless, unconditional and non-discriminatory. Go for it all the way!