Rapid Response with Torrey Meister

Torrey Meister flying high somewhere in the Pacific Northwest during O'Neill's epic 'Gooseberry Road trip,' photo Nick Green/O'Neill

Torrey Meister flying high somewhere in the Pacific Northwest during O’Neill’s epic “Gooseberry Road trip.” Photo by Nick Green/O’Neill

Hailing from the Big Island of Hawaii, Torrey Meister made headlines when he won the 2013 O'Neill Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California. For his efforts, O'Neill bestowed him $50,000 to be used toward his ultimate goal of making the World Championship Tour (WCT). Competitively, his quest for the WCT hasn't quite gone to plan, but he's got a few more big events in the latter half of the year where he'll be hoping for solid results. We caught up with Meister shortly after he arrived in Mexico for the Los Cabos Open of Surf and fired some questions his way …


Above: Torrey Meister starring in O’Neill’s “Gooseberry Road Trip”

From dawn 'til dusk, walk us through your dream day …
Wake up super early on the Big Island with a big cup of Kona coffee and watch the sunrise with my girlfriend and my dog, Kona. My girlfriend makes a big breakfast and we head down to our little wave that no one surfs and Kona can run free! We surf for a couple hours together and even Kona catches a couple nuggets. Then we head to our favorite sushi place and fill up on mouth-watering spicy tuna rolls and ice cold green tea. Head home, grab some warm clothes, and head up to Mauna Kea. Hopefully it would be snowing, and we would play in the snow, snowboard, make snow angels, and have snow ball fights. Then we would curl up all together in a warm blanket and watch the sunset with a warm cup of cocoa. We would head back to the house for a late dinner and watch a chick flick (or whatever my girl wants to watch) and fall asleep with Kona on our feet keeping them warm. That's my dream day!

Who's in your personal hall of fame?
I have a lot of inspirations and heroes—Jesus Christ being my biggest. He inspires me to be my best in all aspects of life. My parents are my heroes, too! They have supported me through everything and to this day have my back. They always have time to share their wisdom with me when I ask for their help and always make me feel loved. I believe my girlfriend is a superhero, too. Watching her chase after her dreams and accomplish them has inspired my life tremendously. She really taught me to grind and give everything my all. She's definitely the person who inspires me the most in my life at the moment. I also look up to sports icons such as Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Shane Dorian, and I'm a huge fan of Dez Bryant right now.

Clad head-to-toe in O'Neill'slatest rubber, Torrey Meister nails one of his patented airs; frame grab from video

Clad head-to-toe in O’Neill’s latest rubber, Torrey Meister nails one of his patented airs. Frame grab from video

What are you reading right now?
The Bible verse 1 Corinthians 13 is definitely my favorite thing to read. Every time I read it, it brings me joy. It reminds me of how I want to live my life on a personal level. I'm reading a book right now called “Mind Gym,” too. It's about building your mental game, and I'm enjoying it a lot! I believe that mental toughness is probably the most important thing about being a professional athlete. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “I may win and I may lose, but I will never be defeated'—Emmitt Smith. Here are a couple other quotes that inspire me:

-“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”—Michael Jordan

-“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."—Aristotle

What are you watching?
I don't watch that much television until football season comes around. As far as movies go, I love “Gladiator.” I could watch that movie over and over. “Man On Fire” is also another one of my favorites. “Wedding Crashers” is always good one, too.

As far as new releases go, my chick got me really into “Frozen.” Near our house there's a drive-in movie theater. The kind where you pull up in your car, turn on the radio, and watch the movies for eight bucks—it's a steal!

What are you listening to?
I'm really into country music—it's all I listen to! My favorite country singer at the moment is Jason Aldean. Some of my other favorites are Eric Church, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band, Josh Turner, Rodney Atkins, Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Chris LeDoux, Billy Currington, Florida Georgia Line, and a lot more. I love older country music better then the new stuff. I like all three Hank Williamses but Hank Jr. is my favorite. “Country Boy Can Survive” is one of my favorite songs of all time—in fact, it's my ring tone!

What's your code for living?
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go …"—Dr. Seuss. Enjoy everything!

Who's on your private party guest list?
David Bowie. My girl loves Bowie, so she'd be really happy to meet him. George Strait would be entertaining all the guests with some good country music. The whole Dallas Cowboys football team would show up including Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. My whole family and all my friends would be there, a bunch of surfers including Sion Milosky and Andy Irons. Johnny Cash would be there as well, playing a few songs. My party would be open! Anyone can come and have a good time—the more the merrier!

Any regrets along the way?
I try to learn from all my mistakes and not regret too much. The past is the past, and I'm always trying to move forward. I do regret not being there for the people I love in person. I honestly wish I could throw all the people that mean the most to me on the plane with me and be with them at all times. But unfortunately I can't do that yet, but hopefully someday I will get to take them to all the cool places I have been blessed to travel to.

Torrey Meister serenades his O'Neill teammates...keep your day job pal! Frame grab from video

Torrey Meister serenades his O’Neill teammates … keep your day job pal! Frame grab from video

Most embarrassing moment?
I will never forget this one … I was 17 years old, skinny, self-conscious, weird looking, and super unsure of myself. I had a crush on a girl, and I thought it would be a good idea to call her and leave voicemails of me singing to her. For some reason I thought she liked it, but I think she enjoyed listening to them with her friends and laughing at me. I have a terrible voice and can't sing for the life of me, and during that time I was going through puberty (late bloomer) so my voice was cracking, too. After a while I found out that she was playing the songs for all her friends and I was super embarrassed. I was the laughing-stock of all the girls that I saw all the time. I love telling people that story—I think it's hilarious!

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