CONVERSATION WITH HIGH RISER: TROY MOTHERSHEADon
By: Liz Lang
Yes, this Pro Longboarder’s name really is Mothershead. Troy Mothershead, raised in San Clemente, CA, now resides in Ventura, CA where he works for Patagonia—a company that produces organic outdoor clothing, gear, and sportswear. This spunky High Riser started surfing just as a hobby, growing up he aggressively pursued dreams of playing as an NFL star—playing baseball and basketball during the off-seasons. When he hit middle school Mothershead whimsically decided to join the surf team. It only took him until the end of freshman year in high school to ditch all sports to exclusively surf.
“I spent a lot of my early years surfing in contests,” Mothershead says, “They were fun, but definitely warped my ability to truly enjoy the feeling of surfing. You are tailoring maneuvers to fit a judging criteria, rather than simply doing what feels best. I’ve surfed in very few contests the last 3 years or so. Riding a wave is a crazy feeling, and in the last few years I feel like I’ve really learned how to fully enjoy that.” The ocean is both a mysterious and exciting place that sparks many emotions. When we asked Mothershead about his experiences out in the water he said, “The ability to project speed off the rail of a piece of foam covered in fiberglass, while riding a wave that has traveled thousands of miles to meet you is pretty special. I feel like it’s something you just have to try yourself.”
Surfing wise, Mothershead hasn’t lined up a ton of goals. He says, “I think I ditched those with the whole contest thing. I just want surfing to be something I do because it’s fun and enjoyable and feels good. I’m not so worried about winning contests anymore, or exposure, or filming, or what have you. Although I will always be stoked to be involved in those things, I just want to be as excited about surfing as the kid from Missouri who has never seen the ocean before.” Mothershead finds his inspiration mostly from those who take a different path. “I have a lot of respect for that,” he says, “and I pay surfing homage to any of my epic teammates from my early years.” The hope for adventure “in this rad world God created for us, and each days new opportunity to hang out with and love the people around me” is what motivates Mothershead to rise each day.
If given the chance to surf with anyone, alive or dead, Mothershead would choose his role model, Jesus, because, “he didn’t even need a board to stand on water.” When he’s not surfing, you can find Mothershead rock climbing, watching football, poorly fixing surfboards, attempting to read, or occasionally snowboarding and wakeboarding. Post-surf, you can find Mothershead munching at a place called the Farmer and the Cook in Ojai, CA, which serves locally farmed food, dining at a mind-blowing vegan restaurant called Mary’s Secret Garden in Ventura, CA, or chowing on a carne asada burrito from any of the wonderful Mexican restaurants in Ventura, CA.