Conan does Dorian

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V2N6, Shane Dorian

Shane Dorian At Home On Kailua, Kona, Hawai’i
Interview By Conan Hayes [IMAGE 3]

Usually when you come out of a long, dark tunnel you’re blinded by light¿that’s exactly how Shane took on the surfing world. From a quiet hometown to the speed of the modern world, we get a megastar of such magnitude that only few rival. But we’re not going to dwell on that because he sure doesn’t.

We’re going all the way back to the beginning¿back to where he came from. One thing’s for sure: Shane Dorian will never forget who he is or where he came from. And so our journey begins …

Conan Hayes: You started surfing at age five. Who introduced you to the ocean and the board?

Shane Dorian: My mother and father purchased a restaurant right on the beach in Kona called Dorian’s when I was three years old. So I was already bodysurfing and bodyboarding at age three. On my fifth birthday, my dad got me a surfboard that was really a longboard cut in half and reshaped. I painted a lightning bolt on it with my grandfather because I wanted to be like Gerry Lopez. Soon after that I started surfing.

I’d walk down the street to a different surf spot a mile away. I remember my arms not being long enough to go around the board. So I’d have to carry it on my head¿it was an old longboard, so it was super heavy. My mom would give me 50 cents for the whole day¿I’d buy a soda, a Hershey’s chocolate bar, and I’d surf all day long. I remember I was a black-skinned, white-haired grom. Basically, my parents introduced me to surfing because they got the restaurant on the beach.

Conan Hayes: Before you became aware of surfing in the outside world, who inspired you at home?

Shane Dorian: Like all little kids, my father was my hero when I was a kid¿I always wanted to be like him. He has tons of friends, and he was always cracking all kinds of jokes and making everyone laugh. When I was a kid, that was all that mattered. I was inspired my father.

Conan Hayes: You’ve been publicly recognized and scrutinized since you were fourteen. Has that been strange for you?

Shane Dorian: At first, getting recognition as a surfer through photos in magazines was really strange, but also exhilarating. When you’re a grom, and you get your photo in a magazine for the first time¿I can still remember the feeling I had. It was like no other feeling I’ve ever had again. It kinda wears off after a while, but I remember the first photo totally freaked me out. I called Akila Aipa and asked him to send me a copy of it, because it had come out in O’ahu earlier, and I couldn’t wait laughing. It was a big deal when I was kid, but eventually the shock of being in a magazine wore off. Now it just seems kinda natural.

Conan Hayes: I think you’ve handled the pressure really well. What’s your advice to the kids coming up for dealing with recognition?

Shane Dorian: As far as advice for a younger person looking to do the same thing I’ve done¿basically, just let your surfing speak for itself. Keep it at the essence of what it is, enjoy your time surfing, and practice as much as you want. Just make sure that what you’re doing is making you happy. If that’s to be a pro surfer, then make sure you never lose sight of what’s important¿and that’s just surfing. Go out and go surf, and have a good time every day. Don’t take it too seriously, or else you’ll get burnt out. Make sure you remember what’s important.

Conan Hayes: Was it hard to adapt going to the North Shore at such a young age?

Shane Dorian: I started going to the North Shore when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. It was a huge transition for me, because I was so scared of big waves. At the time in Kona, the waves rarely got bigger than five or six feet. I wasn’t used to any kind of big waves, actually. I surfed the waves as big as they got where I lived, but I was terrified of really big surf.

I’d see photos of Pipeline and Waimea, and I was positive I’d never surf waves ke that in my life. I was always kind of the wimpiest guy. Whenever I’d go to O’ahu, I’d hang out with Jason Magallenes, Matty Liu, and Ross Williams. They were my peers when I first started going over there, and they all charged in comparison to me. I was kinda freaked out by them, but eventually surfing with them more and more rubbed off. I met Todd Chesser and Brock Little through those guys, and it was a natural progression from there.

Conan Hayes: Growing up with such a tight group of friends, why do you think we were all drawn to each other?

Shane Dorian: That’s a really good question laughing. It blows my mind how close all of our friends have become. We all want to live next to each other and hang out together after the tour. It’s really quite phenomenal.

I think because of our lifestyles, and what we have in common¿we all had the same dreams when we were kids. We all wanted to be pro surfers, and we all wanted to surf as much as possible. We just grew together, and there was a chemistry. Eventually when we all started to manifest what we wanted to do, our camaraderie made us stronger, and helped push each other.

Conan Hayes: Todd Chesser was a big part of that. How has losing him affected you?

Shane Dorian: It’s affected me in so many ways. Todd was everyone’s older brother, and he was such a special person to all of our close group of friends. I felt that out of all of my friends, at that point¿he was one of the closest people to me. He took me in when I lived in California and had no place to stay. Todd let me sleep at his house for four months! He fed me and made sure I could take his truck wherever I wanted to go¿he was like my older brother. [IMAGE 2]

Losing him was like losing a brother, or even a father figure. He was the one who taught me about the most important things in life, you know? All of the things I hold dear to me now, and many the theories I have in life¿things are straight because of Todd. I always think about what it would be like if he was still around. I always feel that he brought so much joy and knowledge to me and all my friends. I wonder where we’d be, if we’d be in the same place, or if we’d be further along and more educated if he was here. I’m sure everything would be more fun if Todd was around.

The loss of Todd Chesser has affected me in a million ways. But the thing I think about all of the time is how he left us a sense of appreciation for life and friendship. Todd’s death brought all of our friends closer together and made us realize how much love and respect everyone has for one another. It’s really made a special situation even more special¿I’m really thankful for that. Oftentimes if you can find something good in a tragic situation, it’s definitely a blessing in some way. I’m sure Todd looks down and is super happy for all of his buddies who are still around.

Conan Hayes: You’ve traveled for the better part of the last ten years. Where’s your favorite place and why?

Shane Dorian: My favorite place on Earth is Kailua, Kona, Hawai’i because I was born and raised here. This is where my family still lives and will remain for the rest of their lives. I feel at home here, my roots are here. This is where I want to bring up my children. I feel comfortable here; it really feels like home to me. I’m growing to love Tahiti, so that’s probably my second favorite place. Eventually, I could see myself spending more time there in the future, maybe a few months a year, if all goes well.

Conan Hayes: Growing up on the road and maturing at an early age, how do you differ now from when you first began traveling?

Shane Dorian: Obviously, I’ve matured in every way. I’m more experienced¿all of the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to go through have shaped who I am today. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to travel at such a young age. A lot of people work all their lives, and then go on vacation and travel maybe once a year, or after they retire. I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced that at a young age. I’m not as naive anymore, but deep down inside I still feel like a little kid. I still have the same outlook on most things: every day I wake up and try to have as much fun as possible. So not much has changed since I was grom.

Conan Hayes: Personally, what’s been your greatest challenge and your greatest achievement?

Shane Dorian: What up with the questions, huh Coco? There’re been a couple of challenges throughout my life. The transition from an amateur surfer to a professional surfer was my biggest challenge early in life. Being a professional was something I thought was nearly impossible. I didn’t think I had what it took at that point. To overcome the fear and lack of confidence was a huge challenge for me. To get over that is something I’m proud of.

I consider my greatest achievement to be the annual Keiki groms contest that Conan, my sisters, family, and I run. I feel it’s my biggest achievement, because it actually makes a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives in our little town, and on our island. It’s spread and evolved into another competition we have now, Keiki’s in Japan.

Also, Rob Machado does one in San Diego, and the Malloy brothers are doing one in Ventura. Kelly’s working on one in Florida, and Ross Williams is going to do one on the North Shore. Kahea Hart, Raimana Van Bastolaer, and Manoa Drollet are thinking of doing one in Tahiti as well. So it’s spreading now, and hopefully in years to come it’ll be everywhere. Good things have come from it, and it’s changed people’s lives¿I’m proud of that.

Conan Hayes: It’s a big commitment to build a house. Why did you choose Kona?

Shane Dorian: Kona is where I live, and it’s the place I love the most. That’s what I wanted to do at the time I started, and now my house is almost finished. I’m totally happy.

A lot of guys making money spend it on stupid things like fancy cars and endless gadgets. By looking at your dump truck, this isn’t so for you. What has been your biggest splurge this month?

This month? Probably all of the crap I’ve been buying for my house lately. I just purchased these cool sunflower showerheads for the showers in my house. I’ve been spending money on things for my home, and my biggest splurge has been my house that I’m building¿it’s ridiculously expensive. I hope I’m not biting off too much.

Conan Hayes: If you were to press “play” on your CD player right now, what would we listen to?

Shane Dorian: Slim Shady, Eminem. Unfortunately, it’s not the brand-new one, because it hasn’t come out yet. By press time, I’m sure it’ll be out and I’ll definitely be bumping that. He’s a sick little kid, but I like the way he does his thing.

Conan Hayes: We all you know you’re into movies. Which is your favorite and why?

Shane Dorian: My favorite movie of all time is one called Splendor In The Grass. It was made in 1952, and it’s a cool love story of these high school kids. The girl’s Natalie Wood, like the hottest girl who’s ever lived. The guy’s Warren Beatty, who’s cool. The reason it’s my favorite movie is because I like it more than all the rest.[IMAGE 1]

Conan Hayes: Are you a popcorn or Red Vines guy?

Shane Dorian: I want it all singing!

Conan Hayes: What’s going on for you in the next 23 days?

Shane Dorian: Why 23 days?

Conan Hayes: I don’t know.

Shane Dorian: I leave this afternoon to Fiji for the Quiksilver contest at Tavarua, which I’m happy about. I come home for a week, then I’m in California for a week. I might take off and go to Vegas or something, and then I go to South Africa.

Conan Hayes: Describe a day in your life at home.

Shane Dorian: A day in the life at home has changed so much. I have a lot of responsibilities with my house now. So a day in the life would be waking up and thinking about going surfing, not having enough time; meeting with the contractor; and researching products on the Internet,r they retire. I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced that at a young age. I’m not as naive anymore, but deep down inside I still feel like a little kid. I still have the same outlook on most things: every day I wake up and try to have as much fun as possible. So not much has changed since I was grom.

Conan Hayes: Personally, what’s been your greatest challenge and your greatest achievement?

Shane Dorian: What up with the questions, huh Coco? There’re been a couple of challenges throughout my life. The transition from an amateur surfer to a professional surfer was my biggest challenge early in life. Being a professional was something I thought was nearly impossible. I didn’t think I had what it took at that point. To overcome the fear and lack of confidence was a huge challenge for me. To get over that is something I’m proud of.

I consider my greatest achievement to be the annual Keiki groms contest that Conan, my sisters, family, and I run. I feel it’s my biggest achievement, because it actually makes a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives in our little town, and on our island. It’s spread and evolved into another competition we have now, Keiki’s in Japan.

Also, Rob Machado does one in San Diego, and the Malloy brothers are doing one in Ventura. Kelly’s working on one in Florida, and Ross Williams is going to do one on the North Shore. Kahea Hart, Raimana Van Bastolaer, and Manoa Drollet are thinking of doing one in Tahiti as well. So it’s spreading now, and hopefully in years to come it’ll be everywhere. Good things have come from it, and it’s changed people’s lives¿I’m proud of that.

Conan Hayes: It’s a big commitment to build a house. Why did you choose Kona?

Shane Dorian: Kona is where I live, and it’s the place I love the most. That’s what I wanted to do at the time I started, and now my house is almost finished. I’m totally happy.

A lot of guys making money spend it on stupid things like fancy cars and endless gadgets. By looking at your dump truck, this isn’t so for you. What has been your biggest splurge this month?

This month? Probably all of the crap I’ve been buying for my house lately. I just purchased these cool sunflower showerheads for the showers in my house. I’ve been spending money on things for my home, and my biggest splurge has been my house that I’m building¿it’s ridiculously expensive. I hope I’m not biting off too much.

Conan Hayes: If you were to press “play” on your CD player right now, what would we listen to?

Shane Dorian: Slim Shady, Eminem. Unfortunately, it’s not the brand-new one, because it hasn’t come out yet. By press time, I’m sure it’ll be out and I’ll definitely be bumping that. He’s a sick little kid, but I like the way he does his thing.

Conan Hayes: We all you know you’re into movies. Which is your favorite and why?

Shane Dorian: My favorite movie of all time is one called Splendor In The Grass. It was made in 1952, and it’s a cool love story of these high school kids. The girl’s Natalie Wood, like the hottest girl who’s ever lived. The guy’s Warren Beatty, who’s cool. The reason it’s my favorite movie is because I like it more than all the rest.[IMAGE 1]

Conan Hayes: Are you a popcorn or Red Vines guy?

Shane Dorian: I want it all singing!

Conan Hayes: What’s going on for you in the next 23 days?

Shane Dorian: Why 23 days?

Conan Hayes: I don’t know.

Shane Dorian: I leave this afternoon to Fiji for the Quiksilver contest at Tavarua, which I’m happy about. I come home for a week, then I’m in California for a week. I might take off and go to Vegas or something, and then I go to South Africa.

Conan Hayes: Describe a day in your life at home.

Shane Dorian: A day in the life at home has changed so much. I have a lot of responsibilities with my house now. So a day in the life would be waking up and thinking about going surfing, not having enough time; meeting with the contractor; and researching products on the Internet, and in catalogs and stores. Do a bunch of home stuff, basically, and meet with my project manager. Oh, and eat a couple of meals in between, surf before dark, and hang out with my friends at night.

Conan Hayes: You’re creeping up on 28. How much longer are you going to do the tour?

Shane Dorian: I don’t know.

Conan Hayes: Is that what makes you happy?

Shane Dorian: The tour makes me happy, for sure¿a lot of different things make me happy. The most important part of the tour, and the reason I’m still on it now, mostly, is because all my friends are on it. Almost every one of my really great friends is on the tour, except for Kelly. That’s probably the reason why I’m still doing the tour.

I like to compete¿it’s fun. And traveling is fun, also. But I’ve been to all of the places before. The most important reason I’m on the tour is because all my buddies are on it. But who knows, I might do the tour for another three years. Or I might not do the tour next year at all.

Conan Hayes: My friends and I know you, but for the people who don’t¿who is Shane Dorian?

Shane Dorian: Shane Dorian is someone who’s trying to simplify his life, who’s just like anyone else. He’s trying to live and learn, and find out what makes him happy.

Conan Hayes: Speaking of life, you’ve had a pretty enchanted one. Who do you give thanks to?

Shane Dorian: I’d like to make a shout out laughing. I give thanks to everybody, but first and foremost to my mother¿who I owe everything to. I owe a whole lot of people a whole lot. It starts with my mother, and the way she brought me up¿the values that she’s instilled in me.

Her inspiration, and being a role model to me¿I owe a lot to her. My sister Paige has also been a huge influence on the way I live my life and continues to be nowadays, more than ever. My father, of course, and all my tight friends¿Conan Hayes, Ross Williams, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and all of my friends at home. I owe a lot to them. They keep my feet on the ground and keep me motivated to continue to have a great time and grow.

Conan Hayes: Is there anything else you want to say to a captive audience?

Shane Dorian: No, that’s about it.net, and in catalogs and stores. Do a bunch of home stuff, basically, and meet with my project manager. Oh, and eat a couple of meals in between, surf before dark, and hang out with my friends at night.

Conan Hayes: You’re creeping up on 28. How much longer are you going to do the tour?

Shane Dorian: I don’t know.

Conan Hayes: Is that what makes you happy?

Shane Dorian: The tour makes me happy, for sure¿a lot of different things make me happy. The most important part of the tour, and the reason I’m still on it now, mostly, is because all my friends are on it. Almost every one of my really great friends is on the tour, except for Kelly. That’s probably the reason why I’m still doing the tour.

I like to compete¿it’s fun. And traveling is fun, also. But I’ve been to all of the places before. The most important reason I’m on the tour is because all my buddies are on it. But who knows, I might do the tour for another three years. Or I might not do the tour next year at all.

Conan Hayes: My friends and I know you, but for the people who don’t¿who is Shane Dorian?

Shane Dorian: Shane Dorian is someone who’s trying to simplify his life, who’s just like anyone else. He’s trying to live and learn, and find out what makes him happy.

Conan Hayes: Speaking of life, you’ve had a pretty enchanted one. Who do you give thanks to?

Shane Dorian: I’d like to make a shout out laughing. I give thanks to everybody, but first and foremost to my mother¿who I owe everything to. I owe a whole lot of people a whole lot. It starts with my mother, and the way she brought me up¿the values that she’s instilled in me.

Her inspiration, and being a role model to me¿I owe a lot to her. My sister Paige has also been a huge influence on the way I live my life and continues to be nowadays, more than ever. My father, of course, and all my tight friends¿Conan Hayes, Ross Williams, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and aall of my friends at home. I owe a lot to them. They keep my feet on the ground and keep me motivated to continue to have a great time and grow.

Conan Hayes: Is there anything else you want to say to a captive audience?

Shane Dorian: No, that’s about it.