|Dino Miranda Amongst Ali'i
Internationally and professionally Dino Miranda is most recognized as a world champion longboarder, but here at home, he is revered as one of Hawaii's top watermen. While most categorize him as longboarder, my first recollection of Dino is of him getting barrel after barrel on a shortboard at V-land nearly 20 years ago. I remember being shocked several years later when he paddled out with a longboard and had the ability to get just as deep and surf just as hard. Back then, surfers didn't really longboard high performance waves like V-land, so in retrospect, that may have been the beginning of a new era that Dino and a handful of his piers would then pioneer on Hawaii's Northshore. When I asked him, why he switched from shortboarding to longboarding, he corrected me clarifying "I don't think I ever switched," and then explained that although shortboarding was what he loved most he just didn't want to limit himself to that one thing. "I love to bodysurf , bodyboard , windsurf , kitesurf and towsurf" says Dino who is up to the endless amount of activities the ocean has to offer.
You never know whether Dino will come out on his shortboard or a longboard, but what you do know is that if there is a good barrel to be had, he will find it. On the Northshore, Dino is probably most distinguished for his skill in the tube rather than his wave riding vehicle, He has however, taken longboarding Pipe to the ultimate level, surfing it every day at every size and pretty much getting some of the best rides of anyone all winter. At times, I could see top guys standing on the beach in awe of Dino wondering how he was getting tubed on some the biggest waves all year with a longboard, as they stood there trying to find the nerve just to paddle out. Dino makes sure to go to sleep early so he can get up and check Pipe at the crack of dawn every morning. Pipe is his favorite wave and his home base. The waves, crowds and conditions decide what board he will bring out. Though he enjoys the quicker, tighter action type surfing he pursues on his shortboard, he also takes the challenge of adapting his technique to the longboard allowing him to do 360s, airs and other skills which aren't neccesarly familiar to longboarding. He has been able to really refine his boards by working with Surftech and their new foam technology and is currently working on a new progressive surfboard model. Their new epoxy foam has brought the number of broken boards each season from numbers as high as 20 to now just 3 or 4 a year. Being that they are currently the worlds largest surfboard manufacturer, Dino doesn't usually even have to bring boards when he travels, but is pretty much supplied from their factory at each international location.
Miranda's approach to surfing sets him aside from most professionals these days. He doesn't just turn up once in a blue moon when there is a barricade of photographers on the beach and he never looks jaded. Whether its barely a foot and raining or the biggest day of the year and onshore; Dino never misses a day and is always one of the first guys out in the morning. He doesn't take any of it for granted and is a hardcore Hawaiian local whose keepin it real. He seems to have an incredible sense of balance between being a freesurfer and a competitor and just sees it all as another addition to his love for the sport. Instead of viewing competition as a burden, he again applys the theory that it is just a different form of surfing. He describes the contest scene as just another challenge "testing your abilities in competition and taking you skills to another level" Besides that, competitive surfing has put him in the history books and allowed him to live his dream of being a professional surfer and make a living from it. Following in the footsteps of Duke Kahanmoku, he tributes his career as an opportunity to share his culture with the world, reminding them that Hawaii is where it all started and that "surfing is a sport of kings".
Dino's personna in Hawaii's heavy lineups might resemble that of the former ali'i; his voice is soft or silent, but his spiritual presence speaks volumes. I don't recall him ever hooting someone off his wave, he doesn't have to. When the waves are junk however he turns into more of a happy go lucky Hawaiian, who you might find crusing at the beach park talking, laughing and smiling amongst a pile of friends. This more spontaneous character that comes out on the off season also loves deep sea fishing on the charter boat Ku'uloa Kai 2 and having the opportunity to travel and meet interesting people. There will soon be a DVD out featuring some of his travels from Hawaii to Mexico. It will be produced by Dave Ogle who will have updates at Oglevision.com
He is most serious however about his passion for art which is inspired by surfing and his healthy island lifestyle. His first experience with art was drawing on the wall at his house in Makaha. He states that it was when he was living at this house that he first saw people surfing and thus a relationship sparked between the two passions. His paintings and sculptures depicting Hawaiian flowers, ocean images and landscapes are created with a mixture of all artistic media including oil, acrylic , watercolor and airbrushing. Van Gough and Steve Powers are a couple of the artists who inspired him, but his work is definitely Dino. His pieces have sold anywhere from $50-$10,000. They are sold online at www.M51.com and at 2 surf shops in Hawaii; Haleiwa Surf n Sea and Surf Garage in Honolulu.
Whether it be painting on canvas or on a wave Dino Miranda has built his life around surfing and has no regrets. After 30 years surfing and 25 years competiting, Dino says that he is still having fun and living his dream. He encourages others that "dreams do come true" and that it doesn't always come quck or easy, but that if you give it your heart and soul, it can be a reality. He thanks a list of sponsors including: ONEILL, SURFTECH , SURF & SEA , COSTA DEL MAR , SURFCO , HALEIWA JOE'S. and leaves us with the motto: "Life is to short. Don't waste it, Go surfing"