Dane Kealoha, a pioneering surfing icon famed for pioneering the ‘pig-dog’ style of surfing, died at the age of 64. Mr. Dane Bryon Kalei Kealoha was the son of a carpenter and was born on July 2, 1958.
In the late 1960s, he learned to surf on the world-famous beaches of Waikiki. He won the Hawaii state surfing title in the boys’ division in 1973, at the age of 15, demonstrating his innate talent. He continued to succeed in surfing, winning another championship in the junior class of the 1976 National Surfing Championship.
Dane finished third in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, a prestigious surfing tournament held on Oahu’s North Shore, in 1977.
This outstanding achievement placed him behind Bobby Owens and the legendary Eddie Aikau. During the late ’70s and early ’80s, Dane developed a peculiar surfing style known as the “pig dog,” which became his hallmark position.
This technique allowed him to ride deep within the wave’s tube while remaining balanced and stable.
Dane embarked on a globe surfing tour during this time, reaching the pinnacle of his career in 1983.
That year, he won the Duke, capturing the top spot after previously winning the Pipeline Masters earlier in the month. Dane resurfaced years later after leaving professional surfing owing to issues with the surfing association’s regulatory body.
He made waves at Jaws in 2002 by dragging Garrett McNamara into one of the largest barrels ever ridden. Dane still has an open invitation to surf in the Pipeline Masters whenever he wants.
Dane also worked closely with Quiksilver, where he ran a store in Ward Village and later opened two Roxy stores on Oahu and Maui. After leaving Roxy, he opened a surf school at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki.
Dane’s legacy and surfing style, widely considered legendary, continue to inspire many young and aspiring surfers, including renowned figures such as Sunny Garcia and Johnny Boy Gomez. Dane was named the sixth greatest power surfer of all time by Surfer Magazine in 2011.
Dane passed away peacefully on May 10th, 2023, after battling cancer. He is survived by his mother, two brothers, four sons, three daughters, and two grandchildren.
Leave a Reply