Pro-surfer Pat Gudauskas on fashion, family and freedom

Pro-surfer Pat Gudauskas on fashion, family and freedom

  • Text by HUCK HQ
HUCK x VANS UltraRange — We caught up with the legendary surfer to talk about his latest collaboration with Vans, his love for the sea, and the connection between surfing and style.

Pat Gudauskas started his surfing journey early – at around three or four years old, on the sandy shores of Doheny State beach, California. For Gudauskas, being amongst the waves is a family affair – so it was only natural when mom and dad started encouraging Pat and his three-minutes younger twin, Dane, to brave the sea when they were children.

It was in those early moments that a lifelong passion for the sport was ignited. I was always so fired up on my wetsuit and my board and the feeling of being in the water,” Pat recounts. “It seemed like the waves were 10 feet high, but they were probably only one foot.”

Now, 28 years later, both Pat and Dane are world renowned surfers, known for their infectious joy and comradeship. Along with younger brother Tanner, they have been a part of the Vans family for over 10 years – so, of course, Pat’s collaboration with the legendary brand for their latest launch should come as no surprise.

Thanks to Pat’s input, the Vans UltraRange unites practicality with the versatility required to brave different terrains around the world – from city to sea – without needing to add various accessories for comfort or carry around a heavy suitcase. We caught up with Pat to talk about his love for the sport, and the connection between surfing and style.


What is the most rewarding thing about surfing?
The best part of surfing is the freedom. The freedom to express yourself however you want to, freedom from day to day things that can crowd your mind, and just the overall feeling I get when I get out of the water. There is a particularly rejuvenating energy you get from surfing, no matter how good the waves are. When you make it back to the beach, I am always happier than when I paddled out.

What’s your favourite surf location and why?
Tahiti. It’s been my favourite place to go since the first time I went just because it’s so incredible. It makes you feel alive to see natural beauty like that. The waves are my favourite in the world, they break over live coral reefs, and it feels like you’re surfing in a pool because you can see all the fish and reef with every wave you ride.  There a lot of barrels, which are my favourite thing in surfing.

Surfing runs in the family – how has it affected your relationship with your brothers? Have you ever felt competitive?
Yeah! Surfing has been a huge part of our family since day one. With Dane and Tanner and me it for sure gets competitive, just because as brothers you’re always aware of what the other is doing and how we are approaching situations. I think I see it most in the big waves or heavy barrels, because when I have those guys in the water with me I really push to be my best and go big.  I also feel exponentially more comfortable in heavy situations having them in the water because I know they have my back and are keeping an eye.  It’s a fun competitive energy and it extends beyond just us three in a lot of scenarios.


The style and fashion of the surf scene have always been very influential. Why do you think that is? What’s so appealing about the ‘surfer’ look?
Surfing is a lifestyle first, always, and I think that the styles that come from it are a reflection of the people living it.  There are so many amazing characters that define surfing as a whole, they are people that are creative and true to themselves and I think that a lot of people gravitate towards that [energy].  Surfing speaks to core audiences because of what it stands for and to mass audiences because people envy it, and want to be a part of that unique style.

You travel a lot and presumably have to travel light. What are the essential things you always carry with you?
I live out of a suitcase and I love travelling. It’s the sickest thing ever and I feel grateful I get to do it so much. I love to travel light, but effective for all scenarios – often times I will be in the tropics and get called in for a trip to somewhere really cold. I can’t travel without a good book, an art pad, headphones and music, and my surfboard and trunks.  I have been loving my new UltraRanges to travel and wear because they make my world so much better.  I’m always moving and love to be ready for any adventure that comes my way.  Other than that, my passport and my vibe, I think I’m all set!


Vans’ UltraRange are available in vans stores and now.

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