The Surfersvillage Interview
From encounters with giant sharks to giant, horrific slabs of water – Dan Ryan has a few good stories to tell
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 May 2017 – Western Australian big-wave charger, Dan Ryan was humbled to be shortlisted in the 2017 World Surf League Big Wave Awards in the category of Tube of the Year. He didn’t win, that honor went to good mate Shanan Worrall. But Dan’s epic wave at the notorious Right in May of last year and caught on film by friend Trent Slatter is one of the most perfectly ridden waves we’ve ever seen. Had Dan drawn any other line or done it differently he would’ve fallen and been sucked over the falls (something he’s done a few times at the spot.) Fortunately, he made this wave.
Between traveling from Oz to the States for the WSL Big Wave Awards Dan found time to join us for The Surfersvillage Interview.
How would you describe what you do for work to a very small, inattentive child?
I’d give them a visual image of a massive wave with dolphins, whales, sharks, turtles and all sorts of sea creatures all swimming amongst this immense, barrelling wave, to give the impression of the entire ocean rising up. That would get their attention and start them asking questions!
How do you wipe out at The Right and not die? I mean, you hit rocks each time don’t you?
I train the body and mind all year round so I can enjoy moments where most others would be terrified. So much about surfing big waves is mind over matter. Meditation and breathwork really allow you to be able to remain calm through the wipe-out so you don’t burn extra oxygen. Fitness, of course, has a lot to do with it as well, but keeping calm or panicking is the difference between life and death. I haven’t yet hit the bottom – thankfully. It goes from a shallow rock slab to very deep quickly.