There aren’t too many surfers who can do it like Torren Martyn. None, actually. Some are similar, but Torren Martyn is one of the few surfers on Earth who other surfers emulate. Oh, he’s got influences, for sure, just like anyone else, but what makes the difference is that Martyn takes his influences, takes his own preferences, and puts them together to make something unique. Put that together with the filmmaking talents of Martyn’s good friend Ishka Folkwell and you’ve got something magical. And Lost Track Atlantic is magic.
Martyn and Folkwell are in the middle of releasing a four-part series called Lost Track Atlantic. The first in the series was released back at the end of April, and since then, I, along with many others, I assume, have been eagerly awaiting the second installment. The premise of the film is a simple one, and it’s one that has been done ad nauseam. But the way that Martyn and Folkwell do it feels new. It’s just a road trip film, after all, and we’ve all seen a million of them.
A few years ago, near the end of 2019, Martyn and Folkwell flew from Australia to England and bought a 2008 Ford Transit van for peanuts. The plan was to outfit it so they could call it home and hit the road. Of course, the van was a lemon and multiple things went wrong with it — the clutch was on the verge of death, as were the timing chain and water pump — but that’s all to be expected when you buy a cheap van and attempt to drive it very long distances.
The plan was to go from northern Scotland all the way down to the equatorial coast of West Africa. It was a search for waves, but more than that, a search for the kind of trip that will be something they remember for the rest of their lives. It’s a long journey down the Atlantic coastline, and the roads they took went through a dizzying array of countries and cultures. It was, of course, all done before COVID restrictions would have made the trip impossible, but now, looking back through the haze of 2020, that makes it even better. Lost Track Atlantic makes you — or me, at least — feel absolutely desperate for a long and winding road trip in a dumpy old van, hoping for waves, laughing around fires, meeting new friends that you’ll likely never see again, and making memories that will last a lifetime. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it?
At the end of the first episode, they made a huge decision. “After scoring some incredible waves in Scotland,” Martyn explained, “we saw there was a huge swell destined for the Moroccan coast. We made a big call to skip the rest of Europe and drive more or less 3,000 miles to meet the swell… We felt crazy to be missing the beautiful places and all the epic waves through the rest of Europe, but we were on a mission to get to Africa.”
Episode two follows along as they do just that. And it’s even better than you hoped it would be. Better than Torren and Ishka hoped, too — after driving for 3,000 miles, the waves they found were… perfect.
Follow along as the next episodes roll out on YouTube.