Shuffling the deck with Torren Martyn

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Talking Heads

This week, Swellnet ran an excerpt of the film 'Thank You Mother', that again highlighted the delicate and stylish tube-riding of Torren Martyn.

In the film, Torren takes his forward-weighted style to new extremes, edging closer to a longboarders hoof location while riding a sub-six twinny at grinding Desert Point. The data shouldn't compute - and yet it does, beautifully.

Following is a short conversation with Torren about his now-signature style.

Swellnet: To begin with, what board were you riding?
Torren: That board was a 5'8 and it had a diamond tail. Simon Jones shaped it.

A twin fin again?

What about fin positioning, where they further back by chance?
Nah, nah, all pretty similar. The fins we put in Simon's boards have always been a little further back than usual, though nothing too out of whack. That board though, the diamond tail, it's definitely a favourite on my backhand.

The reason I ask about the fins is that they can disengage when you put your weight up the front - at least they do for me. Do you have any issue with that?
It's funny, when you think about it, it doesn't really make that much sense. But yeah, with that whole transfer of weight thing, there's also a lot of rail - and quite sharp rail - in the water, and it's not a wave that requires a whole lot of turning. It's just more of a speed thing.

Speed thing?
Yeah. There's an advantage in being up the front there, you can kind of put the brakes on, and let them off, and you can play with it in that sense. That wave itself though, it's my favourite wave to surf. I find you've got all the time in the world, you know?

I guess it helps having a wave like that, but let's not discredit what you're doing there. Where did you get the idea?
I underwent the transition by riding Simon's board and there just being so much more foam up the front there. It sort of changed my stance, and it changed a bit with each new board - I just took a new approach. It wasn't planned out beforehand.

Spontaneous, then?
Yeah. Though it helps being in world class waves, you get a little bit more time to think and expand what you do, what's possible. Means you can have a bit of fun.

You mentioned that you started doing it with Simon's boards that had a bit of area up front, but that little 5'8 didn't look like it had that much area up front.
It can be a bit deceiving. In those boards the foam is distributed throughout, but the wide point is generally further forward than your standard shortboard or anything like that. It means there's definitely a little more room to move, there's a larger sweet-spot as well.

It's all part of learning to surf from different parts of the board, and also in different parts of the wave.

Another surfer who does that is Mason Ho, but he does it on high-performance boards - completely different boards to what you ride. Do you pay attention to what he's doing?
I appreciate his surfing and his energetic approach through it all. He always looks like he's having fun, which I love, and surfing all those novelty little waves. He always looks like he's having a ball.

I also like how you see him move around on his board quite a bit.

Towards the end of the video you take off on a wave and wag your finger at someone down the line.
Ah, yeah. I was saying, "Go, go!" It was a friend of mine.

Not chastising someone for trying to drop in?
Nah, he's a local friend of mine, yeah. That was Budi. I was going, "Go, go, go!"

While I've got you, is there anything you're working on at the moment with your boards?
Yeah, the boards are forever changing, that's the beauty of it. I've got a couple of boards that we're just polishing up this week, that kind of hint at the direction we've been heading. Generally, any board under seven foot we've been using an upright template and the seven foot and aboves have been a keel fin, but we're experimenting with the keels on the shorter ones. I know that's back to the traditional side of things, but it's new for me.

Anymore footage coming out soon?
Yeah, two years ago now Ishka and I spent three months on motorbikes around New Zealand. We did about 14,000 kilometres around the North and the South islands and had good days and shit days and we just wanted to celebrate the time we had on the road and how special it was to us.

Obviously, surfing was our draw, but it was one of those memorable times in our lives and we've sort of put it together. It's more than just a surf porn sort clip. It's camping, hanging out with your mate, travelling around and it's ended up into about an hour-long travel adventure thing.

When's that coming out?
We've finished it, it's in the very final stages, but we're just planning the distribution of it, so maybe the next couple of months.

Okay, great. We'll keep an eye out for it then.


linez's picture
linez's picture
linez Friday, 1 May 2020 at 4:40pm

Thanks Stu, unreal. This is the kind of stuff I love, could read this kind of thing all day.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Friday, 1 May 2020 at 5:39pm

Nice read Stu. It really is unreal when you look at that photo... I just had a look at a 5'10" I've got and tried to imagine nose-riding it through a DP tube and it does not compute.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Friday, 1 May 2020 at 6:22pm

Good stuff beats reading about china.......just wondering how flat that rocker is cause looks like its flat as so hence the speed and probably why the tail dosent drift with his weight up forward.Boards smaller than i first thought...he looks tall for the size of the board.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 6:49pm

hows the seamless 360 (s)~!

rondoggie's picture
rondoggie's picture
rondoggie Monday, 4 May 2020 at 6:35am

Simon please make my new boards a little faster:(
tis the season