The Gudauskas Brothers, sometimes known as the G boys, the Gudang trio, or many other warmly adopted names, have made a mark in the surfing world for being some of the most kind, creative, and talented people to ever do it. The electricity and stoke that each of these San Clemente natives has in and out of the water is unmatched, and their impact with the work they do is felt worldwide.

Having recently welcomed Pat and Dane to join Tanner in the RAEN family, we wanted to dig in and share their story. We spent a day with the trio to talk about their earliest memories together, their path through to the other side of competitive surfing, and what this next chapter looks like for each of them.

Photography by Jack Antal and Zak Bush.

What are some of your earliest memories around growing up and surfing together?
Dane: I remember we would wake up, watch some cartoons, eat apples, and then get loaded in the van and just go hang at the beach. We weren't even really riding waves when we were super little. We were kind of just splashing and there was probably a kickboard or a boogie board that we would ride at Doheny. Those are the earliest memories that I can think of. There wasn’t much intention of performing or surfing at any level. It was more just like, hey, we're all going to the beach, mom and dad are going to go surf and hang and you're going to be along for the journey.

Pat: Our dad was in the industry as a sales rep for 30+ years and worked really hard Monday through Friday, so Saturday and Sunday were really times for us all to go to the beach as a family. It was where we all came together and spent time in the water and just enjoyed that. Now that I am a dad, I can look back on that and remember how special that was for us then and to be able to really enjoy that now.
Tanner: I think we were just baked into beach going. And whether it was boogie boarding, kick boarding, swimming, and then surfing... we just did everything together. Same car, same room, same everything. It made it easy.

Was it typically more competition or comradery between you guys?
Dane: I don’t think it was ever any of us against the other. There were of course lots of instances where we had heats against each other, but in the big picture it was just us working together. There are so many talented surfers out there. We knew that in order to get to that level and achieve our dreams, we needed to work together instead of fighting each other.
Tanner: Yeah, I remember around my last years of competing, Pat and I were traveling so much together. We would go so far across the world to compete just to draw each other in our first heat. Then if I lost that heat, I would step into being the supporter/coach figure and there was never any weird trip on it. There’s a strange comradery in competitive surfing because it’s not very glamorous and everyone is working so hard that you’re stoked for your friends when they do well. But when it’s your brother, it’s just different. The veil comes down so easily, and you’re just like.. It's your turn here. Rock on.

Pat: The ceiling was so high for competition and that brought us all closer together. We didn’t have coaches or filmers or anything that a lot of the kids have these days. So it was us figuring it out together and learning from each other. Like, how do you make a heat? How do you travel? It all brought us closer together into that passionate fold of learning.

“...when it’s your brother, it’s just different. The veil comes down so easily, and you’re just like.. It's your turn here. Rock on.”
How have each of you navigated your competitive careers and grown into who you are now?
Dane: In the beginning, competition was the way you improved and spent time with friends; it was a community effort. But growing up around all the freestyle guys at lowers and then being able to be on Vans and looking up to guys like Nate Fletcher and Joel Tudor—that really sculpted the way we looked at competition. It was exciting to compete and definitely a dream. But as time went on, I realized that competition just wasn’t the ingredient for me. There’s so much more out there in surfing.

So, when I had the opportunity, I got a fresh start and went on the road with Reef McIntosh, Danny Fuller, and Nathan Fletcher and we got some amazing waves. I fell in love with tube riding and being around people who saw surfing in a creative way that wasn’t adhered to anything else and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve found that if you open yourself up to spending time with elders or people who see surfing in a whole new way, it just broadens your perspective of it.
Tanner: I qualified at a younger age and then set a goal to requalify, which took me a long way within competing. Introspectively, it taught me so much about goals and orienting myself towards those goals. I had so much fun with it but towards the end I started noticing that I had lost the drive to compete. I just liked surfing so much and began to feel confined by the jersey. I started doing more trips with Dane and dipping into that world and I loved it so much. So, it felt natural to leave competition and I never looked back because now I am so much more inspired to learn all the different crafts within surfing. Competitive surfing is just a niche within the niche. So, I just refocused the lens and now I am going in a different direction.

With the whole creative side of things, I remember I would lose heats and feel so robotic and needed to get something creative out to feel unique. So that’s when I started taking photos and collaging on the road when I was on the QS and would just stack up books of that stuff. After I stopped competing, I didn’t do it that much until recently when I really started to miss the painting, cutting, gluing, spray-painting part of it all. So, I picked that back up and it’s been so enjoyable. And like Dane said, surfing is an art form, so I love to intermingle all of that.

Pat: I spent about six or seven years on tour and it was amazing. I love performing on a wave, the discipline of performance, and feeding off my brothers too. I was also passionate about improving myself personally as well as in my surfing whether it was in big waves, small waves, boards, or any aspect of it. The framework of competing was always a challenge and a constantly fresh canvas—it was fun to figure out how to paint that performing art.

It was a shock when Dane decided not to compete anymore because it was always me and him doing everything as a team. And that was the first time in our lives where one of us broke off and said, ‘I’m not going to do what everyone else is doing.’ But these boys really inspired me in the movement they took away from competing and seeing their personal growth outside of the jersey was really cool for me. They inspired me to take the challenge and growth aspects of competition and channel them into creative passions like PVW, or raising a family, or making films... it just all changed for me after seeing them do it. That passion and energy is still there, it’s just for different things now.

It’s really unique that all three of us have found passion in the same space and have all excelled in that space too. But ultimately, it’s cool to be able to find your own voice within that and we’re really grateful for the opportunity to do that.
What kind of surf culture would you hope to see the next generation grow up in?
Pat: I just hope that my kids love the ocean and find their own path within it. It’s about having appreciation and gratitude for each aspect of surfing and not being judgmental. There’s more than just one path with surfing. Right now, my son is only three and he doesn’t ride waves but we go out and he likes touching kelp and looking at seagulls and it’s just the sickest thing. It’s another way of enjoying the ocean. And maybe he won’t be a surfer at all. Who knows? But I just want him to grow up with a love and appreciation for the ocean, whatever that looks like.

Tanner: I feel like globally, growth for surfing is inevitable and it's to be welcomed. From an inspiration perspective, there's going be so much more diversity to dip into and all those cultures are going have their own stoke and that's going to look different everywhere.

Dane: I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of surfing. There are so many communities engaged and excited about surfing and accessing the ocean. That has potential to grow surfing in such beautiful ways and create more of a diverse look at how surfing is presented, experienced, and shared. I think surfing is moving towards a more open-minded approach and there's so much out there to be experienced. There's enough for all of us and there will always be if we take care of the ocean.

Images by Zak Bush and Jack Antal
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