Zoltan Torkos Kick Flip Artist
JS:State your name, age, stance, hometown?
ZT:Zoltan Torkos, switch foot, Santa Cruz
JS: I remember a long time ago in Pacifica at a Vans Surfing Magazine Airshow. It was like one of the first ones. You had your signature hat on & you and your Mom were in bronze Toyota Corrolla. Correct me if I am wrong. I think Pat Bolinger showed up also at that same moment. Its all fuzzy right now to me. But correct me if my memory is wrong. Give us a little background to that moment. What were your thoughts going to that first airshow. What did you think about surfing back then and progression? Do you remember what trick you wanted to do back then in a heat?
ZT:Yeah actually, it was quite memorable because there had never been aerial surfing contests before. My whole life, I just wanted to be a surfing acrobat and finally the airshows were a place to be that. I think that the spark of aerial progression during these air series is what inspired me and I was able to continue that through my love for progression and change. I wanted to do a kickflip in my heat.
JS:Over the years being from Santa Cruz you’ve seen a lot of charachters to look up to surfing. Who was one surfer that really inspired you?
ZT:Growing up in Santa Cruz, I really didn’t hangout with a lot of surfers, but these were my main influences in life:
Carl Reimer, Rigo Torkos, Brian Oneil, Matt Barazza, Casey “PartyTime” Pennuto, Ryan Koontz, Genie Houdini, Mike OG Saddler, Robin Jansen, Skip Engblom, Mike Peralta, Frankie Tony & Ricky Moreno, Walt Waldemar
JS:Tell us a little about the kickflip. What got you going for it in the ocean, what inspired you to go for it behind a boat?
ZT:The Magic Flip was first invented by Rodney Mullen on a skateboard. The kickflip is one of the most fundamental tricks in skateboarding leading the path to all other technical air tricks. My best friend Carl Reimer told me that I would be able to pull the trick after watching me attempt it one day in the ocean. I was inspired to get the kickflip behind the boat to name another trick for Carl Reimer.
JS:I’ve had a lot people hate back in the day when I first started doing something that was not the norm in surfing. Why do you think that mentality exist in surfing and not other board sports say like skateboarding?
ZT:I think surfing reacted to the kickflip just they way they should. Because my whole life, the kickflip has been considered like the lochness monster. It was supposed to exist but no one had actual proof of it just like the kickflip. When I produced the lochness monster, I mean with the kickflip, surfing had no other choice to be shocked because it was supposed to be impossible. Even people on youtube thought it was a hoax.
JS:I noticed your board is long and skinny. My boards have been short and wide. Explain how hard the kickflip is to people, the mental capacity it takes to reach this point. Cause I’ve got guys like what up Sleigh!? And so you know Zoltan you’re a huge inspiration to many!
ZT:Thanks man. I’ve broken so many surfboards on my face, cracked and broken ribs, stabbed with the tail of my surfboard in the eye. I’ve also had the most exciting and fun surf sessions you can have. I felt like I was skateboarding on water. I think the key is to watch lots of cartoons, practice magic, and underwater basket weaving.
JS:Your a father, a husband? Whats the response at home with your surfing career?
ZT:Its awesome, my daughters Lexi and Abbra, have a barbie surfing movie and they both say that “you and Barbie can kickflip a surfboard”! I couldn’t believe it when I watched it with them and Barbie was ripping and ended her heat with a Super woman and a kicklfip! My family loves surfing. My wife grew up surfing and skating with her brothers. Its been a great experience because where else can you do your job and have a beach day at the same time with your wife and kids?
JS: What are your plans ahead with wakesurfing? Was that a switch kickflip body varial I saw you try in the video after you stuck the frontside kickflip? So sick..
ZT:I want to innovate and push my personal goals in surfing whether it is behind a boat, in the ocean, in a wavepool, on a skateboard, or on the tennis court. I just want to be as crazy and creative as I can be. This is just the beginning. My next project is the Tre Flip.
JS: Now that you got this behind you (KICKFLIP) are you willing to break down the kickflip for the kids of the sport?
ZT:Absolutely. You just have to go at top speed as fast as you can, fly off the section or lip or wake, tap your heels three times in the air with your eyes closed and say “There is no place like home”. No Im just joking, all you have to do is blast in the air and do a kickflip!
JS: Does your brother film everything for you? Who is now in your group? I noticed you seem to not really ride in a group but multiple groups surfing? Does that effect your performance? I know some guys that ride together really push eachother. You seem to be on your own deal. Tell us about that..
ZT:I try to only hang out with positive people and people that like to have fun.
JS:Give us a little background on your family. Are you the only surfer?
ZT:My brother surfs and he taught me how to surf when I was little. He is also a magician. I have more magicians in my family than I do surfers, there are 8 total.
JS: Where does everything go from here, sky seems to be the limit! Thank you again Zoltan for doing this interview with me and Alliancewakesurf.com. Good on ya and keep it up!
ZT:I want to continue inventing surf tricks, traveling to different spots, doing contests, and hanging with my family. So far I have been having a blast!