Torrey travels, a lot! We sat down with him yesterday (Thursday, May 23) because if we didn't meet up with him, we wouldn't have a chance to see him again till the middle of June... In fact, by the time your reading this he'll have already landed in Indo and is likely boarding a boat to hit up the Mentawais.
So before he left, we grabbed him for Coffee at Alta in Newport Beach to talk trips, favorite surf spots in Indo and most of all, what boards go into each of his quivers around the world.
Interviewer: What up Dude! Pumped to catch you before you leave! So jealous you're headed to warm water and pumping surf. You amped or what?
Torrey: Of course man. Super excited. It's my first time back to Indo this year, headed over with TracksMag so I'm excited to get into some perfect surf. That's Indo's thing. You're always gonna get something really good, especially in the Mentawais which is where we're headed. It'll probably be a bit more crowded than it was when I went back in 2010 but it's still so perfect and full of so many waves that we'll for sure find some sick waves to ourselves. A solid boat captain helps a bit too.
Interviewer: What's your favorite wave over there?
Torrey: Oh man... Lance's Right. She's probably one of my favorite ones. Macaronis, the Telos are really good too. Really rippable and perfect. Pretty much everywhere in Indo can be pumping. It's definitely the Disneyland of Surfing.
Interviewer: Yea it's definitely a special place. I Can't wait to go back. On board selection... when you're over there, let's say at Lance's and it's perfect and 6-8ft, maybe a 10 footer every so often. Are you on the same board that you'd take out at backdoor?
Torrey: Most people would think yes but actually no. Indo's really perfect. It's usually glassy and groomed versus the North shore cause Hawaii involves a lot of battling. The crowd, the wind, the currents... I don't think I'd take anything bigger than a 6'2" to Indo. It's weird how it can be 8 or 10 ft and you can ride a little board cause the waves are so perfect. In Hawaii you need more foam just to paddle into them. You've really gotta muscle it and that extra foam helps a ton in Hawaii. Indo is just easy in that way. The waves groomed, smooth, you can spot your takeoff spot a lot easier and that allows you to have a smaller board.
Interviewer: So more current and stuff means more foam, not necessarily the surf size?
Torrey: Yea like, in both places, the waves are really fast. In Hawaii it's kinda like fast and crazy-critical and heavy, not that Indo isn't. It's just more tapered and mechanical. You look at a place like Pipe and you're basically surfing on top of the beach. There's a lot of current, backwash and water moving. Indo, you're way out there on a reef shelf and the wave just approaches it so gradually, they wrap in and they're just perfect.
Interviewer: When you get home and you're back in California and you're surfing Newport, Huntington or headed to Trestles, how much does your quiver change from those perfect shortboards you have in Indonesia?
Torrey: Oh so much. I'll never really ride anything smaller than a 5'10 or a 5'11. But that's where different board material kicks in. Epoxy, stringerless, as far as surfing small waves around home, you're always fighting for speed so you're riding something a little bit thicker and more buoyant just to pull in as much of that wave energy as you can.
Interviewer: So what's your favorite board for lowers?
Torrey: Ironically, the same board I'd probably ride in Indo (Laughs). Lowers is just such a good wave that when it's on, you really want a good poly under your feet. Even when Huntington is good, you can get away with the go-to shortboard you'd ride in Indo. The best is when you find a magic board that seems to work across everything. You're go-to and, like you know how it is, it just works everywhere. I wish they'd come around a lot more. Can't really put those in the equation but I do have this fishy 5'9" channel bottom that's great when it's mushy. It just picks up speed right away and typically I'll just do airs on it. When the waves get tiny and I need the speed that's when I'll ride Epoxy boards. They just add that little bit of float and keep me on top of the water and moving.
Interviewer: Yea the shift to epoxy for surfing in SoCal was huge for me. The further you get into board design it's kinda crazy how advanced it all is.
Torrey: Yea equipment is crazy now, like I went on a trip with Asher Pacey and the waves were huge. It was like 6-8ft Maldives and he was ripping a 5'5 twin fin. He's a big guy, riding maxing Maldives on a twin fin and ripping harder than anyone. He's like 6'1 and was flying on this twin fin. Hitting the lip and getting as deep as anyone in the barrel. He's just a freak and seeing guys rip on those classic shapes is insane to watch.
I like to dabble with some of that stuff too. Surfing in California can get a bit repetitive and boring so it can be really fun to experiment with equipment and put some spice into your routine. Speed will save us all so as long as you've got a stick that moves fast, you can do what you want on a wave. That's really the goal. You gotta asses the surf and put the right board into the mix to make it work.
Now the big stuff, that's a whole different ball game. But yea, for Indo, ironically it's just perfect for a solid quiver of standard shortboards. At home in CA, whatever you need to generate speed, more foam, thicker rails, different materials. Then you got Hawaii where half the battle is winning against the crowd and the conditions and the raw power of those waves.
Interviewer: Well I'm jealous. Have a sick trip and send us pics.