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17-year-old boosts his “two biggest airs” during standout sessions of the summer on the Gold Coast

A recap of recent D-Bah sessions including the "air heard around the Gold Coast".

Surfers at D-Bah can be compared to kids in a candy shop.

They are spoilt for choice, they’ve got all of their favourite types of waves; lefts, rights, tubes and ramps.

However, like any good sweet shop, there are often squalls of kids queueing to get their favourite chocolate bar, waiting to walk outside and tell their friends what they got their hands on.

The past few weeks at the D-Bah candy shop on the Gold Coast has been no exception.

The line-up has been filled with the Goldie’s best surfers who have been trading tubes, laying down big hacks and boosting huge airs.

The surfer who took the cake was standout performer 17-year-old Dane Henry. By now you will have most likely seen the two clips Dane posted to his Instagram which have gathered hundreds of thousands of likes and comments ­­– one lofty full rotation and a crazy backflip.

Sheldon Simkus described the flip as “the air heard around the Gold Coast” while Shane Dorian titled it “monstorous” and Bede Durbidge said it “was messed up”.

Other household names such as Joel Parkinson, Noa Deane, Kolohe Andino and Mick Fanning have all heaped praise on the youngster.

Dane believes the airs were the “two biggest” he has landed in his life and said that he always heads to D-Bah when he is looking to “pull off something huge”.

Clips from Dane’s session which includes the backflip on his first wave.

“I had just had a training session at Burleigh and then me and my mate checked D-Bah and Owen Milne, the Surfing Aus filmer, was down there so I decided I’d go out for a quick session and try some carves and then first wave I pulled that flip, which was pretty sick. It’s pretty funny because I should’ve gone in straight after that but I went back out for half an hour and had such a bad surf because I was shaking so much after pulling that flip.

“After that I went in and had a little reset, went back out and about 20 minutes later I pulled the full rote. It was definitely a landmark in my surfing career, pulling off my two biggest airs in one session.”

He added: “The social media side of it was so funny because Milne took a film of his monitor and posted it in a group chat. After the session I came in and had hundreds of messages of people sending me that clip which I had only seen on the camera so far.”

Photographer Simon “Swilly” Williams was on hand to capture Dane’s full rotation and described the maneuver as “mind blowing”.

“I was there, it was at D-Bah wall. Ever since Dane came back from Hawaii, he has gone up a gear. In my mind, in the past six months he has hit a new level. His progressive aerial game is just mind blowing. He’s got such a great rail game, he reminds me a lot of a young Fanning. He’s got everything; this kid has got the potential to be one of Australia’s Ethan Ewing’s, Jack Robinson’s or Mick Fanning’s. He’s got it all there, I’m backing him all the way.”

Mick Fanning with his trademark carve. Photo: Swilly.

Dane, who resides at Fingal Head, returned to the Goldie at the start of February and has been making the most of the recent swell.

“Other than the sessions with those two airs, my favourite was probably my first session of the swell event, as soon as I got back from Hawaii. Me and my mate went out at Lovers in the opposite corner at D-Bah and for the first half hour there was no one out, the bank was insane. We ended up getting heaps of tubes, like below sea level slabs. It almost felt like a reef break and that was the first time I thought, yes, this is going to be a good run of swell.”

“It doesn’t get like that at lovers too often, but it’s best when it’s gnarly. That’s the best session I’ve had out there. On some waves I was thinking, wow, I could get smoked on this, which was pretty cool.”

Swilly, who has been posted up shooting at D-Bah for the last couple weeks, believes the recent sessions there have been the best all summer.

Sheldon Simkus at D-Bah wall. Photo: Swilly.

“It has pretty much been nearly three weeks of non-stop waves and for this time of the year, it is cyclone season but, wow, it has been good.”

Aside from D-Bah, Snapper, as always, has been a popular choice.

Swilly added: “This year has been one of those where we haven’t seen that classic Kira session, good couple of Snapper ones, a lot more D-Bah days, but this run has been the standout so far.”

It’s rare to see a wave like this go unridden on the Gold Coast. Photo: Swilly.

Swilly believes Dane, who has also just come off the back of a Quarter Final finish at the Burleigh QS 1,000 and a Semi Final placing at Port Stephens QS 1,000, has been one of the ‘standout performers’ in recent weeks.

Commenting on his recent results, Dane said: “They have been my best results on the QS so far and we got cooking waves at Burleigh which was lucky. I’m really pleased with how the year has gone so far and it’s given me a confidence booster knowing I can compete with some of the big boys now.”

Swipe through the gallery below to see more photos from the recent run of swell.

Sheldon Simkus at Snapper. Photo: Swilly.
Coby Percovich makes the most of the air wind. Photo: Swilly.
Sheldon Simkus taking shade from the Australian summer sun. Photo: Swilly.
Kyuss King. Photo: Swilly.
Dane shows off his rail game. Photo: Swilly.
Summer crowds. Photo: Swilly.
Mick with his usual DHD in tow. Photo: Swilly.

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