An interview with Jr. SUP Champion: Max Torres of Puerto Rico

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Max Torres APP World Tour Puerto Rico SUP Surfing
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Standup Journal’s roving ambassador, Jason Cole of Barbados interviews 17-year-old Max Torres from Puerto Rico soon after his triumph as Junior SUP Surf Champion in Gran Canaria, Spain the final stop on the 2019 APP World Tour. Max’s presence continues to be powerfully felt throughout the Tour as he poses a lethal threat to any lineup. After winning the Junior Pro SUP event in Gran Canaria, Max was also awarded an 11th place finish Overall in the Men’s Pro rankings.

Celebrating, encouraging and showcasing the rising tide of young athletes stepping up into the arena is an aspect of the sport of SUP we are all passionate about. Witnessing these incredible athletes progress and even challenge their mentors in World Title events continues to make stand up paddling one of the most exciting sports growing on the planet.

Thank you, Jason Cole and Paddle Barbados for your commitment to highlighting the next generation of World Champs. Here is Maximillian Torres.

Max Torres APP World Tour Barbados Pro
Max Torres trains every day by swimming, weight lifting, and surfing when at home in Puerto Rico. He is focused and committed to his goal to become SUP Surfing’s next World Champion.

Max Torres of Puerto Rico Sets Sights on APP World Tour

Paddle Barbados:  Where are you from and where and when did you start paddle surfing?
Max Torres:  I am from Isabela, Puerto Rico. It is on the northwest side of the island in the Caribbean. I started SUP surfing when I was 13 years old.

PB:  What do you do when you’re not SUP Surfing?
Max:  When I am not SUP surfing or surfing, I love to swim, golf, gym and play basketball!

Max Torres APP World Tour Pat Rawson boards Barbados
Torres showcased his powerful drives and snaps off the lip to a welcoming crowd at Soup Bowl in Barbados in November of 2019. Photo: Brian Bielmann/APP World Tour

PB:  Who are your main influences in the SUP world?
Max: My main influence in the stand up paddling world is Kai Lenny because he is a true waterman. I respect him because he is diverse and talented in all kinds of water sports.

PB: How long have you been competing and how long have you competed on the APP word tour?  What is your best result?
Max:  The first time I completed in a SUP Surf contest was four years ago.  I began competing on the APP World Tour last year at the NY SUP Open, but 2019 was my first full year to compete in multiple events on the Tour. My best result in the Men’s Pro category was making it to Round 4 at Sunset this year in Hawaii.

Max Torres APP World Tour Barbados Pro stairs SUP Surf
Torres competes in both the Junior SUP Championships and the Main Event on the APP World Tour, just to keep things interesting.

PB: Do you like traveling and what do you miss most about home?
Max:  I love traveling!  I enjoy getting to meet new people and learning about new cultures. What I most miss from back home in Puerto Rico is the food and my pets.

PB:  What equipment are you presently using and who are your sponsors?
Max: I currently ride a WRV SUP surfboard shaped by Patt Rawson and love my Hippo Stick paddle. My sponsors are: Dakine, I-Sea sunglasses, Freestyle watches, Buell Wetsuits, WRV surfboards, Dbowls Açaí and Hippo Stick.

Max Torres APP World Tour Puerto Rico SUP Surfing
Complete commitment. Max Torres is the future of SUP Surfing. Photo: Brian Bielmann/APP World Tour

PB: What are your plans for the APP world tour?
Max:  Ha, that’s simple. My plan for the APP World Tour is to one day be World Champion and win the Pro event!

Thank you, Max!  We look forward to hearing MORE about this radical young surfer in the months (and years!) ahead.  He is one to be watched on the 2020 APP World Tour.  Aloha.

For MORE groms-to-watch, check out Jason Cole’s interview with rising champ, Brazilian Kauan Terra.

Stay tuned …