The New Normal: Tanner Gudauskas On Manual Labor And Pirated Surf Films

by stab April 03, 2020 4 min read

Tanner Gudauskas has a little 14-inch TV with a built-in VCR in his house. Over the last few months, he’s been geeking out on the classic surf videos that somehow only live on VHS — think Searching For Tom Curren and Raw Irons.

When California went on lockdown and Tanner quarantined himself, he decided that he would livestream these videos a la pirate radio. The reaction has been striking as friends and fans have been tuning in for the daily entertainment. Here’s how else Tanner’s hanging in there.

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Photo: Jimmy Metyko

Stab: Where will you be riding out the germ apocalypse?
Tanner Gudauskas: I’m at my house in Oceanside. I’ve been pretty much been here all day for the last ten days. 

Who are you quarantining with and are you sick of them yet?
I’m with my fiancé Shelby Harvey, our black lab, Charlie, and I’m dog-sitting Patrick and Hanalei’s baby Australian shepherd, Ziggy. We’re cruising.

What’s your screen time been this week?
My average screen time in the very beginning of the lockdown was pretty light. I had deleted Instagram for about a week because it was super dark when the news first hit and I was just so overwhelmed. And then I started listening to the podcast stuff with The Daily and that kind of drew me back in. And now I’m live streaming surf movies out of my bedroom. That’s leaving me with my phone in my hand, a YouTube chat going and a live camera in front of me for probably about four to five hours a day. 

How are you streaming it? What’s the technical like process?
In a technicality sense, I’m at a level white belt. I called a friend who had helped do all the Triple Crown broadcasts and he’s working with Vans and lives in town. Really cool guy, we’re good friends. He had an encoder at his house. So, he walked me through how to set it up. In my room I have an ethernet cable to the Internet, an encoder that hits to YouTube live and in my phone, and somehow they all sync and I can push it live.

What’s the YouTube channel? 
The YouTube channel is called the “Vibe Up.” Pat, Dane, and I have been talking about launching something like this just to keep the vibes up and the stoke levels high. We’re going to be launching a bigger version of it later this spring or summer, but with everything going on right now, I figured we could fire some people up right now. 

When not using a device, what have you been doing to keep your mind occupied? 
I have been doing a ton of yard work, so I’ve been chainsawing a lot. I have a bunch of trees that are overgrown. I’ve also been weed-whacking a whole bunch. So I have a lot of yard work to do and that’s cool because I just basically plug into that two hours every day and at the end of the day I feel good. 

And what are you doing for your body? What are you doing to maintain the rig? 
To keep the pencil sharp? Dude, you’d be surprised, like if you’re literally hiking like 40-pound pieces of plant up a hill, it’s a pretty good workout. And Shelby and I have been turning up the music loud and dancing, which is funny. It seems just like a normal, fun, uplifting activity. But you do get a psycho workout on that one, too. 

What was the last dance track you played? 
It’s so funny because it started with me on a Rick James kick and now we’re into Chris Brown’s newer stuff and it’s way danceable.  

What are the three most essential apocalypse food requirements?
I start with oatmeal every day, without fail. Yeah. Then it’s coffee time. Coffee has been incredibly important. I also keep beer cold in the fridge, so since lock-down, I’ve been on one Tecate a day. It’s just mind-blowing at the end of the day.

And three inedible possessions that you couldn’t quarantine without?
One hundred percent the VHS is at the top of the list. I kind of started up the livestream because I was just watching these VHS movies every day and they gave me something to do. I would also say my chainsaw is on the list because it’s way easier to cut trees and plants. Then I would say maybe my vinyl, but I have music on my phone with Spotify, so I’ll just say just music in general. 

When was the last time you surfed?
Last time I surfed was at Cotton’s Point with Dane-O. He was on a Skip Frye. I was on a twin-fin. I want to say that was maybe five or six days ago now. Yeah, it’s been a while. It feels like a ton of time now. 

If you could do this whole thing over again, where would you prefer to be quarantined and why?
Oh my goodness. Well, I was talking to Nathan Fletcher today and it just made me think about how fun Hawaii is. He was saying the beaches are closed, but the surf’s still open. Man, it’d be cool to be in trunks, feeling the sun on your body, and just Hawaii rocks. So, that’s where I would go. 

Who is the last person you’d want to be quarantined with? Most?
I’ll plead the fifth on that. 

Do you know anyone with Covid-19?
You know, I’ve heard from a couple friends that are potentially positive, but no one with an actual confirmed case.

What’s the first place you’re gonna go following the pandemic?
I could go to the local watering hole with all of my best friends. It’d be really fun to be able to buy your friends a beer again. 

Final thoughts on these strange and chaotic times?
In general, you feel overwhelmed with the global news, and you know, as we’ve hunkered down. I’ve been having actually really nice days just hanging with Shelby and the dogs. It’s just a rollercoaster ride and I hope that we get through it sooner than later.

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