bobby kept it real and said what he felt , fuck the ASP , they dont know how to judge a pissing contest
By Matt Coker
By R. Scott Moxley
By Charles Lam
By Nick Schou
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gustavo Arellano
By Steve Lowery
By R. Scott Moxley
Bobby Martinez warned them.
He had won his first heat in the Quiksilver Pro New York 2011 on Long Island’s Long Beach when Todd Kline, Quiksilver’s global-sports-marketing manager, pulled him over for an interview for the company’s webcast.
“The ASP and you guys aren’t going to want this interview,” he told Kline, referring to the Association of Surfing Professionals, the sanctioning body of surfing’s World Tour. Though he’d put on his sponsor-logo hat, his personal emblems—the glorious tats that unfurl across his back—were hidden by the long-sleeved, colored jersey surfers wear so judges can identify them on the water.
But Kline waved the words off. When the mic went live, the surfer let loose for one minute and seven seconds. By the time Martinez was done, F-bombs littered the sand as though they were trash on the beach after Memorial Day.
Seen live on the net and on huge screens at New York’s Long Beach, the 29-year-old Martinez hammered the ASP, the World Tour and his competitors, starting slow but gaining momentum as he leaned toward the camera, his board next to him. “I don’t want to be a part of this dumb, fucking, wannabe-tennis tour,” he let them know. “Fucking surfing’s going down the drain thanks to these people.”
Martinez had a case to argue: The tour's recent adoption of a rolling world-ranking system, similar to the one used in competitive tennis, meant the tour's top 34 surfers could be outranked by competitors who had never surfed against them. "Come on now. That's bullshit," he scowled. To many, his ferocity was unintelligible.
Quiksilver's Kline froze. His mouth gaped open.
The ASP didn't hesitate to react. Martinez had been jabbing it with fucks on Twitter for months. Even before the interview turned into a global blow-up with thousands of downloads, its Rules and Disciplinary Committee disqualified him and suspended him from the World Tour.
Bobby Martinez, a rare Latino surfing superstar from a working-class background, had risen to the top tier of professional surfers and was now too rebellious for what had once been a rebel sport.
Even two months later, there's an edge to ASP spokesman's Dave Prodan's voice when he discusses Martinez's suspension. "Bobby made it abundantly clear that he was . . . not happy with being on tour. And I don't think there's much of a reason to give him a second chance or a third chance or a fourth chance."
Since he was 20, Martinez has skirmished with surf-industry powers in Orange County and Australia. With his stylish, effortless surfing, he nailed huge wins as a rookie and was once seen as a possible successor to Florida's Kelly Slater, who has won more World Tours than Lance Armstrong has Tours de France. But he also defied sponsors, took public his complaints with competitive surfing's hierarchy and called BS on competitors he didn't respect because they wouldn't speak up.
Though he beat Slater long before the New York contest, there were plenty in the industry who saw him as petulant, stubborn—unhire-able. But to discover the story behind the controversial interview is to find another Martinez: hardwired to speak the truth, but also, "honestly, one of the most humble guys I've ever met," says Tarik Khashoggi, a lifelong friend.
But surfing is money. Begun as surfer-to-surfer small businesses, it's now part of the $50 billion-per-year active lifestyle market that includes skateboarding, motocross and snowboarding, with its nexus point here in Orange County. The surf/skate industry had $7.22 billion in U.S. sales in 2008 and is dominated by companies that sponsor surfers and pay for a key industry-marketing vehicle, the World Tour. That tour has always struggled to grow its audience, though, and this new ratings system—the radical reworking of the World Tour that Martinez pilloried—was conceived as a solution and a way to showcase new faces.
Quiksilver had hoped to increase surfing's profile by hosting a major contest in an unlikely locale just miles from Manhattan, the media capital of the world. Instead, viewers were treated to Martinez spitting on his sport.
But within two months, the ASP would have its own self-inflicted, epic fail on its hands by crowning a champion before the real scores were in. And some would see Martinez as a truth sayer. On Dec. 27, 2011, the ASP abandoned the most controversial aspect of its new rules—the one Martinez had vehemently railed against.
"Unfortunately for pro surfing, there are very few people like Bobby who are willing to speak out," says Sunny Garcia, surfing's 2000 World Champion, who splits his time between Hawaii and San Clemente. "Bobby said it so the rest of the world could finally hear what a lot of surfers actually think."
* * *
“From surfing, I bought this place," Martinez says quietly. It's two months after the blow-up in New York, and he has pulled up his truck behind a modest duplex in Santa Barbara—the house where his parents live.
bobby kept it real and said what he felt , fuck the ASP , they dont know how to judge a pissing contest
I know this term gets thrown around a lot against the media ... but I have to say, this article is biased.
I mean, how can you not mention the benefits of the mid year rotation - like the appearance of Gabriel Medina and John John Florence. And the maths of the One World Ranking vs teh World TItle race weren't that hard to understand! It was extremely simple!
Of course most surfers want just one cut at the end of each year, it suits their selfish goal of wanting to stay at the top as long as possible.
The top half of the World Tour competitors didn't need to compete in the lower tier events, because they were doing well enough. Only the lower ranked surfers had to, and that is fair enough, those on the edge of qualification should always be competing for spots.
Slater also counted the points when the Waimea Eddie Invitational was messed up. He is an articulate and extremely intelligient competitor.Long time ago, there was something called "Soul Surfing". I travelled, found a great wave far from the scene and raised my family there. When I returned to the North Shore scene, I discovered that you were in/cool or nobody. Money talks loudly, it's who you know. Companies acted as though soul surfing was an extinct historical anomaly. The independents with attitude all went to "skateboarding"? What's up with THAT??Martinez is a soul surfing. Good on him mate!
I agree with the comment below. The fact that Bobby spoke out does show he cares. It was his life & livelihood. Since the ASP has confessed so many changes they ought to show the corporate world how surfing industry corporations are different, i.e., at their core, still a band of brothers from the beach. One way it could do this is by taking Bobby on their board of advisors. The contest thing needs to convey the charisma that every surfer feels when they paddle out. Bobby would go.
Hey, this is Tibby Rothman the writer of the OC Weekly and LA Weekly's Bobby Martinez story. Thanks to everyone for dropping by with their comments--no matter what their POV is on the piece. Many of the notes, ideas and perspectives are very interesting, and I'm super glad people have been posting up their thoughts. Have a great day, peeps.
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the problem is is the tour is stuck in the past its not progressing with how fast surfing is the judging system is old and dumb.Bobby is not a puppet and cant just sit there and ignore the hopeless tour bullshit,he just wants to surf and kick arse but the tour is stuck in the past.
Bob Mart, repackaged and refitted with the latest branded clothing line to flog.
If Bobo was currently right and well in his world, would not every surfer on tour have hired him by now to re-negotiate their contracts?
Here's an idea, if the contest hating kooks really wanted to see the ASP fail quickly, install Bobo Mart as the ASP CEO.
I think I am fortunate to have surfed here in Hawaii since my dad floated me out on his wooden hollowed board. I got to see the evolvement of surfboards, fins and leashes. Which is a far cry from drilling my glassed in fin and tying a cord to it. I was asked by a tourist recently as to what I didn't like about surfing. Commercializm...that is killing the sport. Let Bobby M surf.....he is the 99‰. Nuff said, Aloha
bobo's gripe is with the industry and it may be fair but he also sounds like a complete and utter retard. bitch ass move to quit the tour though.
Yawn. Bobby wasn't cutting it and was too dumb to figure out he only had to surf J-Bay and Tahiti to qualify. Good riddance, we got way better surfers out of the exchange. Surfers who actually give a shit and are thankful that they are paid to be flown around the world to surf. What's he still crying about?
Have been interested in this story for a while, but who exactly are you saying he's rebelling against? The tour? The industry? If so, I would like to have heard more from Dave Prodan or Renato Hickel or even some of the other surfers on tour instead of ones who are past their expiration date. Also, in terms of the industry, I would have liked to have heard from people at his former sponsors like Oakley or Reef or O'Neill to hear what they have to say about it. Tibby basically rounded up like-minded individuals here whether it was Sunny or Bobby's friends or sponsors at FTW or Channel Islands and pretended like she was presenting a balanced story. It just seems really one-sided.
Also, I'm an occasional follower of the world tour and I thought the midyear rotation worked great. We got Miguel Pupo and Gabriel Medina and John John Florence out of it. Gabriel won two events and John John won the Triple Crown. I'm actually disappointed that they got rid of it for this year. Anyways, just wanted to hear a bit more fact and a bit less opinion.
Have you voiced this concern over the 99.99% of propoganda released by Surf Writers over the last three decades? What Tibby did was unearth voices of dissent. Something squelched like a robber's fart in the Smithsonian by The Industry for eons.
You pee on this article?
Where have you been the last 30 years? All the Mags are beholden to the Corporations that run surfing and therefore propogate their agenda, and a lone person OUTSIDE The Industry tells the actual story of a single surfer dispatched by Their Syatem and YOU cry foul?
You fail statistics young lad.
The up and coming generation are just more cow-towing to 80 pages of rules that no one else lives by when SURFING. Therefore the disconnect. No one else CARES!
Wake up, child!
See the light.
Imagine SURFING. Is that what you see on tour? If so, you are months and years late. What you are wtinessing is ancient history. Already documented on YouTube or Vimeo.
Gird your loins brothers! This article was a watershed momement.
Yea, real watershed.... How many people do you think never heard of the brand Bobo is currently flogging?
Good jobbie, Bobo. Capitalizing on it all. Ceasing the moment.... Making bank while the sun shines on your dome.
True blue American all the way!
You're upset that one side is inhibiting the truth. I'm upset that ANYONE is inhibiting the truth. The problem we have in today's corporate-ized and #occupy society is that there is not even a modicum of truth in any journalistic piece (the above, absolutely included). You either have bias and propaganda from one direction or bias and propaganda from the other direction. Now, it's likely that one side began the propaganda war and it's also likely that the finger can be aimed at the corporatocracy. However, that doesn't mean that the "media" should further corrupt itself in pursuit of "balancing out the system". The media should be out to find the truth regardless of the circumstances. However, this article's most cited sources are:
- Bobby Martinez (has an axe to grind)- Bryan Taylor (Bobby's Manager)- Bobby Vaughn (Bobby's sponsor)- Travis Lee (Bobby's sponsor)- Paskowitz (Industry outsider with an axe to grind)- Tarik Khasshogi (Bobby's friend)
I simply wanted to see further comments from Prodan or Hickel or, AT A MINIMUM, comments from Bobby's former sponsors at Oakley, Reef and O'Neill (instead of Bryan Taylor's recount of what happened).
Again, I'm not saying that Bobby and his points are without merit and it's sad that an agenda-driven piece like this cannot seem to get to the root of the truth. However, this article either does Bobby and his opinions a disservice or Bobby and his opinions are (as displayed above) unintelligible and disorganized.
The journalist has been good enough to list the names of the people you want to hear from. Look them up, give them a call. If you're feeling generous - feel free to let us know what transpires.
Strange thing about media operating around an enclave like the ¡surfing industry: they're not going to be let in.
Strange thing about the ¡surf med¡a: they're not going to let dissenting opinions in.
But you, dear citizen of the modern world, (if you really want to know) can make a phone call to find out - if you're really a part of the citizenry not a member of the ¡surf world - you'll have more of a chance that they'll talk to you than a journalist like Tibby holding them accountable for comments.
The industry loves nothing more than spreading gossip and innuendo, because gossip and innuendo can't be held to account.
"I NEVER knew Andy used drugs" - Brodie Carr, often, to many many people that wouldn't hold him accountable, including the ¡surf media. The only true part of that statement is that he said it. The rest is a lie, and he knows it.
Now that's a bit myopic, isn't it? Here I am 'thinking' that this article is bullshit. And here you are telling me to what? Stop 'thinking' that? To take this story as gospel of what actually occurred? You're the one that needs to start thinking there big fella. I think that the mags are full of bullshit. I think this is bullshit too. The difference between you and I is that you choose to exchange one lie for another. I don't.
Show me a single piece of journalism written by anyone that is completely unbiased and without objectivity. ONE. I bet my life savings you can't because it's not possible. Every journalist knows this. It's taught in journalism school for christ's sake.
This article was about telling Bobby Martinez side of the story.
Agenda driven? Of course. Axe to grind? Who doesn't? Will this win a Pulitzer? No.
I champion this article because it told Bobby's story. Not The Industry's story.
You want to hear from The Industry? "I simply wanted to see further comments from Prodan or Hickel or, AT A MINIMUM, comments from Bobby's former sponsors at Oakley, Reef and O'Neill (instead of Bryan Taylor's recount of what happened)."
Go buy a surf magazine or read all the surf blogs out there on the internet. Every single one gave the opinions and thoughts you are asking for. So, meld the two in your head and decide for yourself what's going on.
It requires YOU to think for a change.
You are a classic example of old Media 1.0 asking to be spoonfed everything so you never have to think for yourself.
bobby's a wash out. everyone in his life told him he would be the champ and when it turned out that that wasn't the reality he started blaming everyone from the sponsors to the tour to even kelly himself.
This is the most agenda-driven piece I have ever read. You can't find a single surfer currently on tour to speak about Bobby and resort to quoting his sponsor? Pathetic.
Try finding a pro ¡surfer ALLOWED to comment on Bobby. If they don't want to be FINED they're not allowed to comment on him, what he said, or the changes taking place. Pro ¡surfing is run by fascists. Ask one of they fascists why the pro ¡surfers don't talk about the most discussed post heat interview of the year.
Standing ovation from the dunce section of SURFING.
I've been telling people in "The Surf Industry" for months that they were clearly missing the mark on Bobby's "Victory Speech" in New York. The tennis reference alone has much deeper roots that start with the Bronzed Aussies that created "competitive surfing."
It will go down in surfing lore as the Gettysburg Address regarding competitive professional surfing. The line's drawn. What is SURFING? Is it a sport? Does it NEED to be a sport.
I believe Bobby's speech is more significant than all 11 of Slater's titles at this point. Slater is the best natural surfer the planet has ever seen, yet (similar to Michael Jordan) he's done nothing outside the water to use his monumental power to develop something that appeals to 99% of the everyday surfers out there. Let's forget non-surfing audiences. If This Bogus Tour could attract even a quarter of the world's everyday surfers to watch, they'd be melting internet servers around the clock.
Instead, the Surfing Industry is led by the third and fourth generations of inbred hillbillies who are "connected to the family of surfing" - yet have IQ's a that Down Syndrome patient's scoff at.
Bobby has seen the light. Jamie O'Brien, Bruce Irons and many other have seen the light. It may have taken a while (Bruce and Bobby obviously had successful stints on tour - Jamie never bought in), but they saw.
Speaking of the Irons' family. You may want to follow up with Bobby regarding his thoughts on Andy Irons and his treatment by The Industry. THAT... may lead to the BIG BANG surfing is waiting for.
Movie scripts are nearly finished regarding THAT story.
Thanks again, Tibby.
You kicked the shit out of any living "Surf Journalist" in one resounding bullet to their temples.
Yours in our beloved Jesus Christ and Loving Savior,
I think the mid year rotation/cut to the top 34 worked. This article fails to address how it really worked, but then, the ASP has never done a good job at explaining how the One World Rankings and mid-season cut really worked.
And re: Bobby's analogy that "imagine if a hard-court tennis player who failed on Europe's clay was banned from the US Open?". Well, Bobby and Tibby - that is exactly how tennis works! If you can't defend your points over the last 12 months, you don't make the main draw for grand slams. Usually around the top 110 in the world gain direct entry from their rankings/points from the week before the slam, but there are wildcard and qualifying playoff spots for the rest. A totally fair and transparent system. And the players who are on "the bubble" have to do well in lower tier events to get their points up ... just like in surfing.
But Bobby just didn't want to compete. He could have easily stayed in the top 34 and then even requalified if he wanted to. You make no mention of CJ Hobgood who was dropped from the tour at the same time as Bobby, yet after competing in only 3 events (including a low-tier contest he won) he made it straight back.
If only Bobby had put it as eloquently as you have during his outbursts. Maybe he wouldn't have been dismissed so quickly.
He was actually in the perfect position to 'rally the troops' but I fear he's lost his credibility.
I know he's walked away from the tour, but there is no doubt in my mind that he still cares.
It's articles like this that will help restore his image, and hopefully make some positive changes to the surfing world.