Torren Martyn: the phoenix surfing needed

Everyone knows the feeling of when just the right song comes on and you’re instantly transported into a trance. A trance that has temporarily separated you from your thoughts and worries, and fully submerged you into the here and now. Nothing matters but that song and this moment.

Introducing Torren Martyn

This is the same feeling I got when I watched Torren Martyn surf for the first time. It strummed every string across the fret of my heart. He had me hooked from the first bottom turn that he linked into this velvet-like line along the lip of the wave. It was as effortless and stylish as any surfer could dream to make it look. I was sold. Along with his gracefully drawn-out turns, another element that jumped off the screen at me about him was his equipment. Here is a guy painting Picasso-like lines across the globe on seven-foot-plus twin fins. For someone who has lived and surfed on the East Coast of America my whole life, a seven-foot board is almost an essential just to be able to get into waves. How can someone do those turns on boards that we use in one-foot dribble? It almost makes me believe for a second I could instantly get dropped into a reeling right-hand point break and Michelangelo my way down the line. Not quite. His surfing just feels so relatable that it almost makes you believe it could be you.

Sure, everyone likes seeing the world’s best dropping out of the sky at maxing pipeline and carving the guts out of roping point breaks with airs and fin throws everywhere. While just like the rest of you, I can sit and indulge it that all day, it just doesn’t feel like something that could ever be obtainable to me. What Torren is doing is.

Torren reconnects with surfing’s essence

Not only is he tapping back into the true roots of surfing with his smooth lines and oozing flow, he also is doing it with his lifestyle as well. He is a true nomadic swell chaser that cares more about the adventure and getting barrels with no one out, than fame itself. With the boards he rides, and the films he makes, he is an authentic throwback to a bygone era of surf exploration. 

The importance of choosing the right shape

It can’t be overstated enough as to how important what we are riding shapes how we are riding.  Shaper and surfer relationships have decided world titles and brought out some of the best surfing from some of the best surfers we’ve ever seen. So, it seems almost like divine intervention that a silky soul of Torren’s ilk would have his surfing shaped by Simon Jones.  Or as they say in Harry Potter, “The wand chooses the wizard.” Simon Jones is a descendant and disciple of the “Morning of the Earth” crew.  For those of you who haven’t seen “Morning of the Earth”, stop reading this and go watch it RIGHT NOW! This standalone cornerstone of surf films was made in 1972.  But in my eye, to this day, there still hasn’t been a film that has captured the essence of this intangible thing that has us all hooked-on surfing.  It’s the adventure and fun that we are all after, not likes and posts!  It’s about getting off the beaten path to not only discover new places and new people, but also to discover yourself as well. Even though Simon was not in the film, with the blessing of the producer, Alby Falzon, he started Morning of the Earth surfboards some 25 years ago.  These boards that are being made in 2022 with modern technology, still are being injected with the soul of that era, for people that resonate with that era. These are the boards you see in the movie with just a modern twist. Torren is taking classic lines but doing them with modern speed and control. Everything always sounds better in theory, but it’s what you do with it that truly leaves a lasting impact on society.  That lasting impact that he has left comes in the form of a series of spell binding surf adventure films sponsored by Need Essentials.

Surf travel, sponsorship and lifestyle

Need Essentials is not only just a surfing brand that sponsors Torren and his work, it also is a fairly accurate description of his films. Bring only what you NEED and the bare ESSENTIALS. Over the past six or so years, we have seen both him and his Filmer Ishka embark on journeys that would bring a smile to their predecessor’s faces. In their first film, we saw Torren and Ishka travel around Australia in search of waves, and an answer. 

The question might not have been clear to them at first, but the answer was there all the time. This lifestyle is it. This is what we need to do. From a simple brainstorming event that happened around a campfire in the middle of the desert, a series of films were born. Their first brainchild was to take motorbikes through New Zealand for four months in the middle of winter. 

In case I forgot to mention, Torren had never properly ridden a motorbike before. Following the success of their first two films, this audacious duo started putting the pieces together for their most epic voyage yet. They were planning on buying a van, equipping it to live in, and driving it from Ireland to Scotland and then down to Africa.  Throughout this journey across barren landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and endless amounts of driving, they found gold.

Not literal gold, but figurative gold in the sense that it’s almost worth as much as the real thing.  Sure they did end up surfing some of the most mind-melting waves ever seen in Morocco, but that wasn’t the sole purpose of this trip. This was about so much more.  It was about finding themselves through the medium of surfing. Reconnecting with the true driving force that made us all fall in love with surfing in the first place. 

Love of the ocean

Sure, riding a wave is the most fun thing ever, but it’s this universal shared love for the ocean that shows us that the surfing community is truly worldwide. Anywhere a wave breaks you will find a friend. We have become so jaded these days with all these Instagram clips, to the point where it’s hard not to think every surfer other than yourself is mindlessly scoring at all times.

What these Need Essential films do, is lift the veil on all this and bring us back to our roots. There is a common thread that runs through all these movies. A real rogue renegade feel that leaves you wanting to quit your day job, invest in a camper van, and live out the rest of your days in solitude with a one-board quiver. 

In this life of ours that seems to be getting quicker by the day, we sadly need to be reminded to take a breath and look around!  Life isn’t all that bad and filled with people looking to take advantage of you. Actually, if you look close enough, you might see yourself looking back at you in the form of another face.

Why we need Torryn Marten

As surfing continues to boom and lineups continue to get more and more crowded around the globe, maybe Torren is exactly what we need. A gentle reminder of what this is all about. 

We do this for the pure joy surfing brings us and nothing else. 99.9% of us aren’t going to end up getting famous off are Instagram posts, so why act like the people we see on there? Torren certainly is far from the only person living this off-the-grid, underground surfing lifestyle. But what he has done is brought it back into the public’s consciousness. 

In times where airs/punts are ruling the game, he has come along and thrown a massive wrench into that wheel. A wheel that has been gaining momentum over the past few years with no end in sight. A wheel that had no time or place for a long-haired nomad that was more smooth than highflying, that is more soul than skate. 

He has made us sit and think it through for a second. Why did we start surfing? What is this whole surf experience truly about? It’s within these deep philosophical questions that we find the true answer. You don’t need to get spat out of some crazy tube or pull off some crazy combo to feel good about your surfing. All you need to do is leave the ocean with a smile to truly win. It’s this type of thinking that Torren provokes that truly makes him the reincarnations of the surfing forefathers.

He truly is the phoenix that surfing needed right now.

Torren Martyn – LOST TRACK ATLANTIC – Episode 1
Torren Martyn – LOST TRACK ATLANTIC – Episode 3