Riptide: Can you give us your thoughts on the current state of bodyboarding and dropknee?
Dan: Bodyboarding seems to be on the rise. I guess it's hard to tell exactly, but the way they're running and televising the comps the past few years has definitely helped. The state of dropknee - there's none. Without Lackey I don't think anyone would know what dropkneeing looks like. Hardly ever see decent podcasts and once in a blue moon you'll see a shot of Matt in a mag. That's about it. Years ago mags actually did DK trips with photogs and video guys. It's a bit annoying, but there's not much you can do about it. The mags are all about the money. Unless you've got a few sponsors that will run some ads they ain't gonna run shit and because of that photogs don't really care about shooting DK. There's no point. It's a vicious circle. There is luckily a few guys like Mitch (Mitch Payne) and Brockie (Matt Brockie) that like shooting DK which is good. Mitch has done trips with me and made sick edits all for nothing. I appreciate this heaps.
All Frames // Courtesy of Logan.
Where's the best place you've been for waves and where would you like to go?
Best place will always be the Cook Islands; so many different waves in such a small place.
How would you change the perception of DK to the public and surfers?
Hmm. I don't really care what anyone's perception of DK is. If I'm speaking to someone that doesn't know about bodyboarding and I tell them I dropknee, if they say "What's that?" I just change the subject and talk about the weather or something. As for surfers, if they're good at surfing they'll know that it's tricky without fins and they're usually cool. It's the kooks that are flat out struggling when getting up that show no respect, but they don't really matter. I've noticed that much. Doesn't matter if you prone, surf, dropknee or paddle board, all the guys that can ride solid waves usually respect each other. With some exceptions I guess.
Do you like the fact or consider that DK is underground?
Haha. Nah. It's not underground. It's just not popular.
Who's you favourite dropknee rider and why?
Too many to choose from. Roach will always be on the top of everyone's list. Kainoa has been the best dropknee rider ever in solid waves. His barrel in No Friends 3 is the best DK tube ever. Raffi had the best style. Phil Hansberger did heaps of airs. As for now, Lackey is leaps and bounds in front of everyone. I really haven't seen a section by any riders today that I've wanted to watch more than once, apart from Lackey's.
As for getting recognized in the sport, do you think it's best to just let your surfing do the talking or hustle?
If you want to 'make it' you've gotta hustle, that's the only way. Look at Nick (Gornall), he didn't give a shit for years. As soon as he hustled a bit and got his foot in the door he blew up, hes' been surfing like this for the past eight years or more. It 100% helps if you have friends in high places too. Helps a lot.
For people that take DK and bodyboarding a little too serious, say when they're out in the surf not smiling or enjoying themselves what do you think of this?
Depends why they don't have a smile. If it's because they blew a bowl, then yes, a frown is required and some right-offs from your mates. If you don't get angry at yourself for not surfing as good as you think you can, you're never going to improve. Whether it's for fun or it's your livelihood everyone wants to improve.
Any last advice on anything?
I can't imagine one person out there wanting to hear anymore advice from me!