This Is Matt Tromberg | NobodySurf

This Is Matt Tromberg

Filmmaker Matt Tromberg Playlist & Interview 72 Videos ・ Last Updated: Nov 14 2023

Hey, my name is Matt! If you are reading this, I hope you are having a great day!

Nickname: Tromberg

Born and raised: Orange Country, California, USA

Based now: Orange Country, California, USA

Stance: Regular

When and how did you start surfing?

Started surfing when I was 12 years old. Don't remember much from back then, but I think the first time I stood up was on a really big boogie board at 36th street in Newport Beach.. I was always skateboarding, and I had friends who were surfing. It just happened naturally. I also had started to really dislike the team sports that I was playing...Pretty Soon after that day at 36th street, I convinced my parents to stop sports, and surfing took over.

Which type of surfboards and fin setups are you into?

Thruster Shortboard. I usually ride the hand-me-down boards that don't end up working well for one of my friends.

Who are the surfers that inspire you?

First and foremost Andrew Doheny. He made everything possible by making it my job to travel around and document surfing. Over the years we made 2 feature length films together (Metal Neck 1 , and Metal Neck 2 The Bangover) along with a shitload of web clips. I am so fortunate to have traveled around the world and back with Droid. Also, Mauro Diaz, Ford Archbold, Matt Archbold, Christian Fletcher, Metal Jimmy, Colin Moran, Ken Suzuki, Shane Borland, Alex Knost, Kai Hing, Daniel Shea, Bobby Okvist, Wil Reid, Balaram Stack, Noa Deane, Creed McTaggart, Beau Foster, Ozzy Wright, Shaun Manners, Dane Reynolds, Gabe Morvil, Joe Frey, Merrett Scott, Jonah Carter, Parker Cohn, Mark Contreras.

Where are your favorite surf spots that you've been to?

I love going to this one wave in Nicaragua the most. Indonesia is always super fun, France and anywhere in Europe is rad. I have a lot of friends in Australia, it's always fun to go there and see them. I am very fortunate to have traveled to these places and to many others. Each trip is different in its own way and they are always a new, fun, and exciting learning experience.

Where are the surf spots you want to visit in the future that you've never been to?

I don't know. I actually think that I have ticked off all the boxes on my list, as far as getting to go to a certain wave or location that I always wanted to go to. I know that isn't something that most people get to do in their lifetime..... So, that being said, I consider myself extremely lucky and I am very grateful to have traveled to all these beautiful locations and experience and see so many different types of cultures.

Which video would you highlight in this playlist and why?

I would highlight my newest video "Aquí" Featuring Mauro Diaz and Balaram Stack. It is my most recent full-length movie project. I think that during the creation process of a new project, I learn and discover a lot of things that I didn't necessarily know about on a previous project. Also, the surfing level and wave quality in "Aquí" is really gnarly. Mauro is an animal, he puts on a great performance.

Gear: Panasonic Gh5 with a Tamron 150-600 Telephoto Lens

Editing tool: My senses of sight and sound, whatever's left of my brain, and Adobe Premiere Pro.

What's your favorite focal length?

I have no idea. I guess I don't pay enough attention to that aspect of filming. If the location allows me to, I usually will get as low as possible on the beach and shoot with a direct straight-on angle, adjacent to the surfer/surfers. I try to make sure that I'm never too zoomed-in but still shooting tight enough to capture the wave breaking from top to bottom and every movement that the surfer makes while up and riding on a wave. I really like my telephoto lens because It gives me the option to adjust to whatever length I need to get the job done.

When and how did you start filming?

18 years old. Maybe 17. I have no clue or recollection of when or where I filmed for the first time, but I do remember why. I remember seeing a few videos on Surfline that had great surfing, but a terrible music selection. A lot of the music I was listening to at the time had come from surf movies. I thought that if the music didn't compliment the surfing as a whole or the surfer as an individual, it was a waste of footage. One video in specific that got me thinking, was of Kelly Slater surfing Shipstern Bluff. It had really good slo-motion water shots, great lighting, and huge tubes, but the music sounded like I had just stuck my head inside a spinning clothes dryer. I remember thinking to myself how rad the clip could have been if it had a Pink Floyd song set to the footage instead. My love for music played a huge role in getting me to stand on the beach and film when the waves were good, instead of surf.

Who are the creators that inspire you?

Tom Carey, Jack Coleman, Dane Reynolds, Hunter Martinez, Troy Eckert, Richard Woolcott, Tim Reardon, RT, George Greenough, Joe G and anyone who ever made a cool surf movie that made me want to go surf, make a new movie, or find new music.

What are the surf films/videos that inspire you?

Magnaplasm, Frankenplasm, Computer Body, Football Shmootball, The Bruce Movie, All the Lost movies, Crystal Voyager, Doped Youth, all the Wave Warriors movies, Secret Machine, Blue Horizon.

Other than surf films?

Scarface, Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, Barton Fink, True Romance, all Clint Eastwood' old western films, The Godfather Part 1 and 2, The Shining, One Flew Over The Cooks Nest, Easy Rider, most Adam Sandler movies, and a whole lot more than I can't think of at the moment.

Who are your favorite bands and musicians?

Jimi Hendrix Experience, Ween, Frank Black, The Pixies, Lou Reed, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoades, Bon Scott, early Iron Maiden, Joe Frey, Kevin Ayers, T2, David Bowie, Les Claypool / Primus, Droid, Beck, Andy Bender, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Meat Puppets, Magazine, The Melvins, John Lennon, Ennio Morricone, Lemmy/Motorhead, Gong, Leonard Cohen, Power Lunch, Stain Org, Shel Silverstein, The Cars, Rick Okasek, Danzig, ELO, Thin Lizzy, Warren Zevon, Harry Nilsson, The Soft Pack, Johnny Cash, Marc Bolan/ T. Rex, Dead Kennedys, Syd Barrett, Townes Van Zandt, Goons of Doom.

10 tracks you love?

"Here are ten songs that I WOULD use in my work, but most likely won't because thanks to the internet, there's so much more great music out there that is practically unheard of. It's basically just sitting in a time capsule, waiting to be discovered and used in a surf movie."

  1. "The Rebel" by Earth (pre- Black Sabbath) (*not on Spotify)
  2. "There's No way Out of here" by David Gilmore
  3. "Skin Horse" by The Melvins
  4. "Misfit Kid" by The Cars
  5. "Don't Ya Rile Em" by Frank Black
  6. "Just Dropped In" by The First Edition
  7. "Reflections of My Life" by The Marmalade
  8. "1983... ( a Merman I Should turn to be)" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  9. "Waves of Fear (live at capitol theater)" by Lou Reed
  10. "Lawyers Guns and Money" by Warren Zevon

Spotify playlist: This Is Matt Tromberg