Could This Be Surfing's Most Versatile Twin Fin?
Torren Martyn introduces his secret weapon.
If you've ever tried to scoop into a draining pipe without a centre fin, you'll know it isn’t easy. The shorter length of most twins mean you’re generally taking off later and, lacking that extra few inches of hold through the tail, it's harder to lock rail and steer down the line. With such a wide arc, you're fighting not to skip out and get exploded anytime you're faced with a takeoff that isn't a smooth roll-in. Watching Torren during his rounding of Australia for Lost Track (presented by SWELL), you’ll notice his knack for overcoming this hurdle, particularly throughout the South Australian and Western Australian segments. He’s quick to his feet, and with the help of a brilliantly refined craft, can knife into the throatiest of tunnels and ride out unscathed. Obviously the guy's got talent, style and the confidence to throw himself over the ledge, but what we wanted to know was just how much of a part his equipment played in the equation, particularly now that channel-bottoms and performance twins have grown in popularity.
Riding for Morning Of The Earth Surfboards for the last few years, Torren and shaper Simon Jones have developed a highly productive and symbiotic relationship. Simon’s boards represent the best of both worlds; beautiful, functional surfboards that are a dream to ride. With the drawn out lines and silk approach of Torren's waveriding and Simon's knowledge and shaping experience, the pair have worked together on the creation of finely tuned performance craft you see Mr Martyn riding in the above feature. We dropped Torren a line to learn a little more about these super versatile twins...
Stab: What kinda foam did you have on hand for the Lost Track voyage?
Torren: I left home with four boards and a log. I had a 5'7" channel bottom swallow tail, which was pretty much my pick for the best parts of the trip. I also had a variation of that same 5'7" minus the channels and with glassed-in fins, a 5'9" channel bottom diamond tail and a 6'1" channel bottom round tail that didn't make it past Winki. And the 9'4" log on the roof that became fossilised red dirt by the end of the trip.
At first glance, those twins looked like they were designed for longer, running point breaks. How did they go once you got further south and you were surfing those heaving ledges? Surely that would've been a challenge. Yeah, it's funny that – I initially thought the same. When I first jumped on one of Simon's boards, a little 5'8" glassed-in twinny, it was around the time Broken point at home had been pumping and I was obviously having a ball on it out there, but I also had a pretty memorable surf up at Kirra. I carted it over to Cloudbreak not too long after and couldn't get off it. I spent a good chunk of last year over in Indonesia with a variation of his boards from 5'7" to 5'9" and got to push them in a bunch of amazing waves, but never really felt under-gunned, nor that I really needed or wanted to be riding anything different. The quiver that I have now is nearly all channel bottoms and I guess relatable to an MR template.
Did you have to adjust your surfing? Maybe an adjustment to my surfing over time, but nothing too drastic to suit those waves. I feel like they're a whole lot more diverse than people assume. Just like anything that you ride where if it feels good, it's one less thing to think about when you're surfing, and they just seem to be working.
Pretty sure you blew a few minds at that left on the west coast. Those tubes were wild. Ah! That was a time to remember, f'sure! We were actually down in South Australia and had a week of amazing waves and were about to start making our way to the west. We saw this swell heading up that way and it was somewhere that I really wanted to spend some time. We ended up driving more or less non-stop to get up there, which was just on the other side of 3500km over about five days, which in that truck rattling out at 90km/h, no air conditioning, a breakdown and some bloody long days, took a bit of a toll. But yeah, definitely had a couple of days of pretty amazing waves and a good crowd to share them with.
Were there any waves that you had trouble riding? There were a couple of chunkier sets that came through up that way with those stiff offshores that I had a little trouble scratching into, but more or less it was pretty smooth sailing. Anything bigger or in deeper water would've been questionable, for sure!
Tell us about Simon and Morning Of The Earth Surfboards, how did that relationship come about? Simon and I developed a relationship over the past couple of years and he's definitely someone whom I have a lot of respect and appreciation for, with his approach to life and of course, shaping. One of the first boards I got my hands on of his was a little 5'7" six channel single fin that he'd shaped for a board test. Aesthetically the thing was amazing, though I've never really had a soft spot for single fins and it got put on the back burner for a little time until just before I was heading over to Indo. We decided to put a couple of side boxes to try it as a twin and it ended up being a favourite of mine for a while, and definitely sparked that interest that has evolved over time. We spend quite a bit of time hanging, surfing and talking boards at home and when I'm on the road we're always keeping in touch and there's always something to chat about.