“As daylight broke on an icy winter morning in August of 2017,” writes Jed Smith in his profile of Torren Martyn, “Go Along If You Like,” in TSJ 28.5, “Martyn found himself on the beach at Jeffreys Bay, enjoying a rare moment of perfect alignment. In front of him was six to eight feet of groomed Indian Ocean swell, bending and bowling down the point. Behind him, his surrogate family—filmmaker and best mate Ishka Folkwell, and mentor and shaper Simon Jones—watched on. Under his arm was six feet and six inches of experimental, channel-bottomed twin-fin—a board he felt had the power to radically change the trajectory of his surfing.
“After navigating the keyhole, he sat wider and farther out than the pack until a set wave approached. Crouched low on the descent with his feet close together, he squirted off the bottom like a banana out of a peel into a high-line trim. With a deft adjustment of his stance, he then buried a cutback—equal shades of Michael Peterson’s classic Kirra carve off the top and, as he cut down the face into another bottom turn, Tom Curren’s seminal second wave at that very spot.
“The sequence appears as the opening scene in Thank You Mother, Martyn and Folkwell’s feature film, which is comprised mostly of footage from their month-long stint at J-Bay. It’s an exhilarating and improbable piece of surfing—a single turn that spans generations, connects the gods, and blends beauty and performance.
“‘You see a lot of guys pulling in here on all sorts of boards and they don’t surf the wave to its, or to their, full potential,’ says Deon Lategan, a photographer who has shot and surfed alongside pretty much every well-known surfer you can think of at J-Bay. ‘But Torren’s boards never hindered him. They only worked in his favor. We all enjoyed watching him surf. So much flow, yet there was also the critical aspect.’”
Click here to watch Thank You Mother in full.