After winning the 2013 O’Neill Coldwater Classic, Torrey Meister was given a once-in-a-lifetime shot to make it to the big leagues of surfing: the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT). We’ve been following Meister as he battles through the rigors of qualifying, loaded up with $50,000 to spend pursuing his dream. The ASP Qualification Series (QS) — a series of contests Meister will be surfing in this year — kicked off in January on the North Shore of Oahu, which is the perfect location for the Hawaiian to showcase his lightning-fast and absolutely fearless style of surfing.
You made it to the Semifinals of the ASP 5-Star Volcom Pipe Pro. Tell us about your run through that event:
Surfing Pipeline with only three other guys is probably the coolest thing on Earth. You learn so much about the wave and where to line up. I haven’t been in the Pipe Masters since 2009, so my main goal this year was to make the Quarters or better to earn a spot into the Masters. I was really nervous for my first heat. There is so much riding on this year, and it being the first event of the year, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well. But once I hit the water, all the pressure washed off me like it was never there and I really just enjoyed surfing Pipe.
I felt like I had a pretty good game plan for that event based on the way the conditions were and I kinda just stuck to that in each heat because it was working for me. It worked all the way to the Semis, where I came up against other guys that were looking for the same kind of waves and I simply got out-positioned on the best waves in that heat. I was really happy with a Semifinal finish, though, and I’m so stoked to compete in the Pipe Masters this year — that is a dream come true! [With his Semifinal finish, Meister qualified for the 2014 Pipe Masters.]
Your goal this year is to qualify for the 2015 ASP World Championship Tour. Did you watch the season-opening Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and think to yourself, “I can do that. I can beat these guys!”?
The surfers on Tour are amazing and I respect every one of them. Getting to the level that they’re at — and just to make it on the WCT — is such an accomplishment. These guys have put their heart and soul into their surfing and that is something that we have in common. I have put everything into my surfing since I was a kid and all I have ever wanted is to be on the WCT, and that is something that won’t ever change. I will keep working and doing my best to get to where I want to be. I believe that hard work pays off and I will keep putting in the work until I am on the WCT, just like every guy that is in the Top 34 has done. I think if I do make the WCT in 2015 I will have a lot to learn, but I can promise you one thing: I will put in the work to earn a spot on that Tour. As far as my level goes, I will let my surfing do the talking.
For the full interview, check out GrindTV's Feature on Torrey