You may have seen the cheshire-cat grin and flawless hair of Troy Mothershead, 25, as he shreds and/or flows on many sorts of surfcraft in the Tri Counties zone. Now is as good a time as any to get to know the funny man in the shiny Nineplus wetsuit.
PEATHEAD: Who is Troy Mothershead?
TROY MOTHERSHEAD: A loud guy, and a bit of a character, but he’s mostly enjoyable and will do his best to enjoy you. He usually rocks up in a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of pants which may not fit properly, depending on how successful he was at hemming them. Raised in a world of competition and longboard roundhouses, he’s understanding the true beauty and freedom of surfing anything propulsive. The joy of the Lord is his strength, and he mainly loves riding waves because it offers one of the raddest forms of connecting to the Creator. He prefers long righthand pointbreaks, where all lengths, widths, and shapes are catered for. Beer is a four letter word, and Troy enjoys it. In fact, he has recently brewed a black IPA. He’s climbed the Royal Arches in Yosemite, but would not claim himself a climber. Although his mother thinks he’s lactose intolerant, he loves ice cream. He might just love football more than surfing, but considering his size, surfing was a more enticing pursuit.
Three years ago, Troy was in the running for Orange County Surfer of the Year. What happened?
He couldn’t put the phone down. Ad agencies across the nation were calling. He graced the cover of People magazine and nearly grossed $3 million that year. Troy dined with Hollywood’s finest, and even dated Katie Perry for a bit. Actually, he lost. Joe Motion won. Troy cried. Most of his votes came through his grandma’s book club, so maybe he won in spirit.
How did he end up living in the 805?
Patagonia was nice enough to employ Troy as an accountant right out of college. A friend of his was living in Summerland, who graciously became Troy’s roommate, and he lived there for a year. Great place, awesome commute, but the changing job sites and approaching marriage of said roommate caused Troy the current convenience of living in Ventura. He is on a pull-out couch in Pierpont residing with Holga enthusiast Ryan “Mustache” Murphy and photographer Justin Bastien, who exclusively eats at Farmer and the Cook and Mary’s Secret Garden. Originally from San Clemente, Troy really enjoys it here — fun waves, great surfers, cultural diversity, a little more edge, a little less People magazine.
How is Troy digging the hand-shaped masterpieces of Ryan Lovelace?
It’s an honor to call Ryan a friend. He’s a great dude. Troy has learned a lot, and appreciates Ryan's enthusiasm for surfboard-making and surfing as a whole. Adding a few of his boards to Troy's quiver has made a big impact on the way he approaches a wave. Troy owes most of his current surf enjoyment to Ryan. The v.Bowls and Piggyback are radical surfcraft. Troy had the privilege of traveling with Mr. Lovelace to Bali a few months back. They met up with Deus Ex Machina in Canggu. Ryan plowed through some foam and Troy did his best to ride what Ryan had created. He lucked into a solo session at steamrolling Temples riding a 6’3" bonzer Ryan built. Troy had never in his life gone so fast nor experienced such thrilling drive off the bottom. He did his best to ingrain each wave to memory. Ryan is currently working on a $0-budget surf movie called Almost Cut My Hair. Troy is jazzed to be a part of it. The preliminary work looks awesome.
Describe Troy’s overall ruling mantra about surfing and what it means to be one around here.
Surfing is a wild thing. Bear with him, but Troy will argue that it’s the most connected human activity to nature in the world. You need an ocean, wind, swell, properly structured sea floor, maybe a beach, maybe a board, strength, balance, wave knowledge, reactionary movement, and all of those things have a few hundred variables among them. The other great thing is there are so many approaches and styles. The real bummer about surfing is that it fuels selfishness. You’re always searching for the best wave and often get trapped dogging people, sneaking around a person or two, and cursing set-wave riders. It’s especially easy for that to happen at a spot like Rincon. Troy doesn’t like that. Surfing needs to be more about fueling the stoke, the love, the enjoyment of being in such an epic environment. It should be shared. And so, he is struggling, but really trying to take that approach when he enters the water. Troy thinks guys like the Gudauskas brothers and Ryan Burch have figured it out, so he’s taking notes.
What’s next for Troy Mothershead?
It seems as though he just wants to have a good time. It’s easy to get caught up in the world, the attempts at exposure, the glamour of fame, but at the end of the day, Troy wants surfing to be about the experience, and simply fun. His hope is to head to El Salvador with his cousin in May and also attend the Deus Ex Machina 9 Feet and Single event in Bali in June. You can find him at around noon, on most weekdays, surfing the inside cove of C Street, and, if swell permits, joining the crowds of Rincon in the evenings and on weekends. He will continue to pursue whatever it is that fuels, strokes, ignites, and promotes the stoke of wave sliding, following adventures when able and sharing good times at all times.