Two If By Sea
If you’ve been to New York City in the last few years, you might have noticed a groundswell happening in the city’s surf community. Though many might not immediately associate the concrete jungle with surfboards and rash guards, there is a substantial international subculture taking to the shores of Rockaway Beach and Montauk — and a host of stores popping up to service their needs.
This is where Indoek comes in.
Indoek (pronounced “in-doe-eck”) is the beachy brainchild of photographer/ filmmaker Drew Innis and graphic designer Matt Titone. One part online surf shop, two parts cultural warehouse, Innis and Titone have created a well-curated pit stop for the digital world.
It should go without saying that the two are avid surfers: Titone’s been in the water for 17 years and Innis clocks in somewhere around 15. What separates them from other NYC surf outfits (Saturdays and Pilgrim, to name a few) is that while Innis lives in Brooklyn, Titone is holding it down in Venice Beach, CA. The result is a happy marriage of east and west, bridged by music, waves, and definitely babes.
The Inside Source was lucky enough to have a chat with these fine fellows about… [MORE] the beginnings of Indoek, the East and West Coast scenes, and secret surf spots that, well, will remain secret.
Jenny Bahn: State your age and place of origin, please.
Drew Innis: 31. Connecticut, outside of NYC.
Matt Titone: 31. Delaware.
JB: Where did you two meet?
DI: We met through a mutual friend. Now that I look back on it, it was kind of strange. It was like a friend setting you up with someone to date: “Hey, you guys would be good together; you should meet.” We were introduced over email or Myspace, I forget. And then we talked about creative stuff on the phone. I had never physically met Matt before, but I flew to New York and stayed with him for several days. We did an outrageous amount of partying and I left with some stories that will never get repeated… a bond was formed.
JB: What was the genesis of Indoek?
DI: Back in 2005 we wanted to start a more mature and classic lifestyle surf brand than what was out there at the time, but we lacked the resources, knowledge, and connections to execute it properly so it didn’t get very far.
MT: Five years later we decided to try again from a different angle and start a little smaller to see if we could grow from there. So far it seems to be working; we just want to use it as a means to catalog and make stuff we like.
JB: What’s the most amazing surf trip you’ve ever taken?
DI: I haven’t been on too many surf trips. I’ve done the Caribbean and South American destinations, but nothing as good as a boat trip to the Mentawais or anything. Probably the most exciting trip was going down to Todos Santos off the coast of Baja for the infamous Big Wednesday swell.
MT: Nicaragua is definitely up there.
JB: Your dream beach?
DI: It’s a secret spot somewhere in New England that I can’t name. There’s nothing like a crisp fall day with offshores and some warm sun on your face and just a couple friends to trade barrels with.
MT: It’s funny. I’ve been to a lot of really cool tropical beaches, but to me there’s no place like a fall day on the Northeast coast. No place like home, I suppose. I have one spot in particular in mind, but I’d rather not say where.
JB: Your Mixtape Mondays compilations are divine. How important is music to Indoek?
DI: Thanks. There’s a lot of energy and hours spent digging through the Internet to find music for them so it’s always nice to hear people are listening and enjoying. Music is very important to Indoek and it’s great way to share our enthusiasm for certain genres and bands and connect with our audience.
JB: Any favorite surf photographers/ videographers out there right now that people should know about?
DI: Our’s and the younger generation are really breaking the mold of traditional surf photography and cinematography. They’re finding inspiration outside of action sports and bringing a fresh and thoughtful perspective to the sport. For photography, Morgan Maassen and Chris Burkard, as well as the rest of the photographers under Massif Management (Will Adler, Nolan Hall and Rob Kulisek). Guys like Patrick Trefz have been doing it right for a while.
JB: Matt, what’s most remarkable about the LA surf scene?
MT: I think it’s remarkable how friggin’ crowded it is everywhere all the time! The good part is that it is way more consistent than back east, but unfortunately everyone else is out here for the same reason. It’s also really cool to be able to surf all these famous breaks you grew up looking at in surf mags. There are just so many options, it’s crazy. Every weekend can feel like a surf trip. That keeps me stoked more than anything.
JB: Drew, what about the NYC scene?
DI: Obviously it’s remarkable that there is a such a healthy surf community here, but what’s remarkable, or, better yet, refreshing, is that surfers here are so many other interesting things — artists, filmmakers, designers, business owners, writers — with such a garden of interests in culture and hobbies that being a surfer doesn’t define who they are.
JB: Five things every surfer must own?
MT: The bare essentials are board, towel, boardshorts, wetsuit and wax, but here are some of my favorite “luxury” surf items: 1) A Merrick shortboard or a Takayama longboard; 2) Leatherman multi-tool; 3) Surfers Salve (cures everything!); 4) GoPros are pretty cool; 5) Indoek Wax Kit, of course!
JB: In a crueler world, how much would someone have to pay you to quit surfing?
MT: Couldn’t pay me to.
(Photos courtesy of Indoek. Text by Jenny Bahn)