Dorian was born to Patrick, a former Hollywood actor and stunt double for Elvis Presley, and Susan, who competed in female bodybuilding events. When Shane was three, his parents opened a restaurant called "Dorian's" on the beach. Being a child, Dorian was too young to wait tables, and long hours at the restaurant resulted in him turning to the ocean for amusement.
Dorian attended Konawaena High School.
He started out on a bodyboard alongside friend, and future bodyboarder champion, Mike Stewart. Dorian received his first surfboard, from his dad, on his fifth birthday. He soon abandoned the bodyboard to focus on surfing.
Surfing and surfing education became a priority for Dorian. Dorian's mother, who had divorced Patrick when Shane was 12, worked out a system where Shane would spend the second and third quarters of the school year on the North Shore of Oahu (the peak winter season) and the first and fourth quarters back home on the Big Island.
In 1987, Shane Dorian had his first major success a the Gotcha Pro competition at Sandy Beach. He was able to beat some big names, made it through four rounds, and received some media exposure. He became friends with a couple of the up-and-coming surfers on Oahu, Brock Little and Todd Chesser who played a role in the development of his surfing.
World Championship Tour
Dorian joined the ASP World Tour in 1993 where he hovered outside of the top 10 for a number of years before cracking the barrier with a fourth-place world finish in 2000. He's also won a number of events in his career, including the Rip Curl Pro in 1999 and the 2000 Billabong Pro at Mundaka. In 2004, Dorian retired from the WTC tour, but not from a being a professional; choosing to focus on becoming a better surfer. Shane Dorian took the top prize at the 2008 Global Big Wave awards in California.
He has been a long-time member of the Billabong team, his main sponsor.
In the documentary Solid: The Two Days That Teahupoo Blew Minds, fellow surfers gave him a standing ovation for his wave conquering rides.
- In God's Hands (1998), with Surfers Matt George and Matty Liu
- Thicker Than Water (2000) a surf film by Jack Johnson and the Malloys.
- The Blueprint (2005)
- Solid: The Two Days That Teahupoo Blew Minds (2005)
- Campaign 2 (2005)
- A Fly in the Champagne (2009)
- Slater, Evan (September 2001). "Surfline - Shane Dorian Interview". Surfline. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Cote, Chris (May 2004). "Unchained: Is Shane Dorian retired or finally free to explore, create, and devastate?". Transworld Surf. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2013-11-07.