Three surfing brothers, born and bred in southern California, may seem unlikely hosts for a travel program, but then again Down Days isn’t like most travel shows. Don’t expect tours of ancient ruins led by archeologists or footage of luxury hotel suites. Instead Down Days is an adventure around the globe, with good food, many rounds of beer, excursions to the world’s best surf breaks, and new friendships formed on the road—the most important, and lasting, souvenirs. As you’ll discover when you travel with the Gudauskas brothers, you can perhaps learn as much about Japan by hanging out in a maid bar or practicing your samurai skills as you can touring Tokyo’s museums—and you’ll definitely have more fun.
In Season 1 of Down Days, the brothers started off their travels in one of surfing’s top destinations, Australia, hitting the beach at Torquay and others along the Great Ocean Road. The brothers are, however, interested in more than just the world’s best surf spots and their Oz-some travels also included learning about how Australian bitter lagers are brewed and meeting some of the people behind Melbourne’s art street scene.
Next stop was Spain’s Basque Country, where the brothers checked out the waves as well as the culinary highlights of San Sebastian—namely tapas washed down with hard cider—and met one of Spain’s most acclaimed photo journalists. In Germany the brothers discovered that surf culture thrives even far from the ocean, on the rivers near Munich. And, needless to say, they drank a lot of beer. Their time in Japan was as dizzying as the lights of Tokyo, with stops in the capital’s fish market and its izakaya bars, lessons from a samurai master, and a meeting with a geisha apprentice.
You can catch up with the brothers and their travels so far at http://offthewall.tv/show/down-days/. In upcoming episodes the brothers head to British Columbia, Cuba, Ireland, and Israel, in search of fun, friends, and good waves. As the brothers might put it, don’t be eggy, an epic adventure awaits, and Down Days is the frothiest way to see the world.
A Down Days Glossary
You don’t need subtitles to enjoy Down Days, but the brothers do use some phrases and words that might stump you if don’t spend most days on a surfboard. Here, we translate ten of them.
Classic—Something so good that it’s practically of historical significance.
Eggy—Crabby, grumpy, out of sorts.
Epic—A synonym for “classic,” above.
Frothy—Excited, animated, “psyched.”
Gremlin—Someone who is not frothy, and instead is being a “lemon” or downer.
Hard-boiled egg—Someone who is grumpy after stewing on annoyances.
No wukkas—The brothers have adopted this Australian slang phrase for “no worries.”
Nugget—Something especially good, like a perfect wave.
Sick—Used with the skateboarder sense of cool or even mind-blowingly cool.
Yolo—This acronym taken to heart by the brothers, and by Down Days, stands for, “You Only Live Once.”
The Gudauskas brothers have been surfing the waves of San Clemente, California since, in Pat’s words, they were “micro human beings,” and now on Vans Down Days they are exploring breaks around the world. All three are regulars at the ASP World Championship Tournament events and have combined career winnings approaching a million dollars.
Patrick “Pat” Gudauskas: Pat is the oldest of the three brothers, born just a few minutes before his twin, Dane. The biggest surprise for Pat in his Down Days travels has been their visit to Munich. “I was blown away by how hospitable and friendly all the people in Munich and the Bavarian Alps were,” Pat says. “And to see the community there inspired me, seeing that surf stoke can transcend all sorts of geographic and cultural barriers.”
Dane Gudauskas: Down Days has been an “epic” adventure for Dane who, despite his southern California roots, loves to “surf in the snow” and would return to any of the chillier locations that the brothers have hit on their travels. While he may be psyched by cold oceans, he likes his food hot and always travels with honey and hot sauce: “Keep it sweet and keep it spicy!”
Tanner Gudauskas: Of the countries he’s visited with Down Days, Tanner, the youngest of the three brothers, would head back to Japan first. “I love the cuisine, surf, and beer there. Lots of beer,” says Tanner. “It comes in vending machines, so if your midday thirst starts to act up you can pop some yen and quench it on the spot.” As Tanner is fond of saying, there’s “no bad time for a good time!”