Kelp Flip

Remember in winter of 2011 when Zoltan Torkos claimed to have landed the first kickflip on a surfboard as part of the Volcom KickFlip-Off? Chaos and controversy ensued. Was it above the lip? Was it a legitimate air? Would it be the future of surfing? Should it be the future of surfing? Should this guy pack it in? Do skaters think this is goofy?

(Actually the skaters I know loved it.) Volcom deemed it was not a proper above-the-lip air, but gave Torkos a boatload of cash for his efforts. Well, the magic man "from a long line of magicians," is at it again.

Zoltan Torkos landed the first ever kickflip on a surfboard and is still going strong.

Not only is he the only surfer to nail flip tricks, but it's a stock move now. I'm going to assume Volcom won't be writing him a check any time soon. I would, however, say that a few of these are technically above the lip. But he's not coming off the bottom and using the transition of the wave to propel himself over and out. It's not going to change surfing anytime soon. And Torkos seems OK with that. He just wants to keep doing his thing. He's a unique individual. He seems to line up rights at Steamer Lane and do them at will, along with effortless shuv-its and switch riding. He's getting multiple maneuvers on each wave and not falling. And I know what you're thinking -- he can land all the kickflips in the world, but he has no style linking any of this together.

I had to ask him about that.

"I know how to do turns, but my ultimate goal is to do flip tricks. I'm always looking to set that up down the line of the wave. So the approach looks more like a skate style," he explained.

I questioned him about his board as well. I would think a 5-11 fatty would be best in those lines, but he told me it's a 6-2. I assume he's able to land more on that.

Courtesy Torkos

Torkos explains that his style looks different because he just wants to set up skate moves.

I recently saw Stacey Peralta's "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography" documentary and Torkos kind of reminds me of Rodney Mullen's philosophy, although as eccentric as Mullen was, he entered and won every freestyle comp.

"I'm not following other peoples' lines so it looks like a quite different style. I want to surf like Zoltan, not like someone else!"

I'm not gonna argue with that.

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