Born on the Big Island, it’s no wonder SPY surf athlete Torrey Meister is a master of Aloha. Responsible for spreading positivity far beyond Hawaii’s island chain, Torrey recently jetted to Peru to hook up some groms in need of cleft palate surgery through Operation Smile. Fresh off a third place finish at the Bud Light Lime series in Oceanside, CA, SPY caught up with Torrey to find out how someone balances a life of fins-free turns with being an ambassador of altruism.
On Op Smile: “I’ve never been part of something like this before. I’d seen and heard about what was going to happen, but meeting the kids, watching them go through the surgery screening process and meeting their families really made me feel connected to each kid. It was literally like being nervous for your own child. I had no idea it would impact me the way it did until watching them get the surgery they needed, which ended up changing their life. The doctors give 100% of their time and energy for free, and the surgeries are so simple for them, like us doing a cutback. This project was nothing but big hearts and good vibes. Seeing each kid with their brand new smile impacted me in a bigger way than I ever imagined.
For more information on Operation Smile, head to www.operationsmile.org/sanuk, after that, visit Torrey's new blog www.altorrego.com/ to see what he’s getting up to.