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P U N K E R
P A T
Straight outta Newport Beach, CA Pat Towersey A.K.A Punker Pat is a local legend, who invented the barrel selfie and is an insta icon.
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A/F: You’re born and bred in Newport, so you’ve seen some names come and go, who was your favorite guy that stood out locally growing up?
Pat Towersey: You had Troy Eckert, Richie Woolcott, Kurt Blackman and who still paddles out when it’s good. Some of the old guys like John Cunningham and Tim Brown at 56th st. Every spot has their own cast of characters. All in all, when the waves were pumping you could always depend on that crew when I was growing up to be out there and charging.
You haven’t been too much of a contest guy, but held close to free surfing professionally why is that?
For me the initial attraction was that it was and wasn’t an individual sport to express yourself. You know I pursued skateboarding a little bit before that, but it didn’t resonate with me like when I caught my first wave. I was hooked. Surfing was something that I didn’t look as a competitive thing, I mean there is a competitive aspect when you’re with your friends in the water. For me, I got into contests to be apart of the whole atmosphere. I didn’t have to do other sports because I had an excuse with my parents who wanted me to play other sports and to be well rounded. I surfed well enough to where I could justify surfing. I never did it tor be the best, but to hang with my buds. When I became a professional surfer I didn’t care, and pursued the free surf route from photo to video shoots. To me at the end of the day, it was short lived because I went to college, and pursued that for about a year. It was not very gratifying to stay motivated in that, but I wanted to surf for the rest of my life as much as I do right now. I came to a point where the love started to go away a little bit, and I wanted to work. So it froze up the space to allow me to enjoy surfing more.
How is it having the best job in the world rolling into the factory for some office biz and rolling out surfing for the family at Hurley?
It’s fun! The job I have now allows me to pursue what I’m passionate about and working with the upcoming youth. I get to surf, live a good lifestyle and don’t have to go far from home. I’m very lucky and fortunate to be doing what I’m doing.
Going from being a salted Grom and [Richie] Woolcott took you to the big screen in Veeco’s Alive We Ride for the first time, how stoked were you?
When I first got sponsored by Volcom when I was about 12, they were filming that movie. In ‘91 or ‘92 they had just started they were filming and I remember being at the party. At the time you didn’t see your footage, you just filmed and saw it whenever the movie came out. Then the movie came out being like, you thought you were ripping and was just blown away I thought I was surfing way better. [Laughs] I was bummed at the time, and now think it’s so rad. Because I was just 12 years old and thought it was cool to see that.
You've travelled with underground rippers like Ford [Archbold] to world class athletes like John [Florence] how is that?
It’s funny growing up and doing the photo shoots going on trips with veterans. Now being the older guy with these guys who just shred and I don’t even look at them as younger guys. To look at the level of surfing back then and where it is now. Some of the boys are still embodying that 90’s party and go shred spirit. That stuff is changing like what I’ve been doing like travelling with John [Florence], Julian [Wilson], or Felipe [Toledo] pushing their performance. We we’re was pioneering a lifestyle and having fun. So it’s cool… I love it. These days I wanna go to bed early, and surf. [Laughs]
What's Pat Towersey’s best pick up line?
The line is the cheesey part… you gotta get past the line. Just think of the girl as a bro, and just chill. Keep it simple and don’t over think it.
Advice to the groms Pat?
The golden rule just be nice. Help every man, woman, and child. It’s the most gratifying thing you can do!