Pat Gudauskas, the older twin brother of Dane by approximately three minutes, is the lone regular footer in the Gudauskas family. There must be an aviator or stunt man back in the family gene pool because he punts some serious airs. Not your standard issue ones mind you. Rodeo flips, airs 360s with extra twists, and every kind of grab.
He finished off his illustrious amateur career with a win at the 2003 NSSA Nationals by doing a sick tailslide and then capping off the wave with a clutch 360 air. And his go-for-broke approach has stuck with him while climbing the WQS ranks.
In 2008, Patrick was only two places shy of making the tour. Instead of wallowing in disappointment, he used that energy the next year.
In June of 2009, he surfed in one of the most impressive Finals heats in WQS history vs. Australia’s Owen Wright in the 6-Star Prime Sri Lankan Airlines Pro held at Pasta Point in the Maldives. Pat managed to pull a Rodeo Clown in the final, but alas, it still wasn’t enough for the win. His 18.94 points out of a possible 20 was one reason why the Final was considered so historic.
After an impressive year Patrick deservedly qualified with a final rating of 2nd on the WQS and now is part of the 2010 Dream Tour.
Q & A
How did growing up with Tanner and Dane affect your surfing?
Surfing with my brothers my entire life, I'm always surfing with two guys who are at a high level. I'm always aware of what they're doing and trying to be better than them. We're constantly analyzing each other.
How do you stay motivated?
Ita's pretty easy. Every day we're so stoked to be doing what we're doing. A lot of our friends are waiting tables or sitting behind desks and although that's great too, we're traveling the world and putting some money away. Everyday is a party. I wake up and enjoy it. That energy comes naturally and I think it stokes everyone out.
Congratulations on making the WCT. Where and how did you celebrate?
The celebrations were kind of a multi-week project. It started in Hawaii with our friends and family. We threw a party at the house, then went to the Bay Club and tore up some D floors. The next day we kept it going with the Vans Triple Crown golf tournament, which was all time. Then we came home and San Clemente was pretty much painted red for myself, my brother Tanner, and also Nate Yeomans and Greg Long's victory in the Eddie. So it was pretty much as good as it gets. The energy of celebration was overwhelming. We had a party at our house then took it to the local bars. OC tavern was the final end zone where we showed no mercy! Greg's bar tab was the highest they've ever had at $1,200. My tab was $300 and Dane and Tanners (Patrick’s brothers) was equal... pretty much go big or go home!
What is one thing you did differently last year in contests or in your training?
I took a combination of factors from my previous years and put them into fruition. I wanted to do more aerials in my heats. I felt like my free surfing is acrobatic, but my heats were less exciting. I rode boards that allowed me to do progressive moves and raise the excitement level. For training, I got into a really good stretching routine that Matt Greigs gave me. I felt confident from my experience with the past few years and I was more driven then ever before to end zone it!
As a rookie on the WCT this year, what aspect will be the most challenging for you?
I think the toughest part will be learning the new waves. It’s like the QS. It takes a year or two to figure out what boards work good in which waves, where to eat and where to stay, all factors of the learning curve. I'm going to spend a lot of time before the events learning as much as possible at the different venues. Psyching!!
What stop are you most looking forward to? Why?
I’m really looking forward to Snapper and Teahupoo and Lowers and Pipe. I think it’s a dream to surf those waves with only one other surfer in the water. Straight up bullshit!
How long has this been your goal? Was there ever a moment that you swayed from this goal?
It's been a dream of mine since I started surfing; to surf the best waves in the world and make a living doing what I love. I think it has been a goal of mine since I was probably 18 or 19 to qualify, basically since I started surfing professional events. It's been all about making that dream a reality and I'd say I haven't wavered. It's a marathon not a sprint and I think it's all just stepping stones to bigger and better goals.