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Martinez: “Surfers can’t say shit!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

The mouth from the south is back!

Bobby Martinez was a bright comet that streaked across our sky. Oh we all cranked our neck to the heaven’s and admired the Santa Barabarans’ backhand attack, his fearless tube weaving, his opinions on this and that. He was a beautiful distraction. And then, just like that in 2011, he was gone and we looked back toward earth. Toward each other.

Toward Todd Kline.

Truth and honesty are two rare traits in our surf world and Bobby wasn’t afraid to share and still isn’t afraid. A just-published, wide-ranging interview in the Men’s Journal brings him back. It is vital that you read the whole thing but here are some outtakes.

On his 2011 explosion: They wanted a ranking system like they use in tennis. They wanted surfing to be this broad-scale sport — like soccer or something. I knew it was wrong, and so did a lot of other people.

On his relationship with the WSL: I never heard from them ever again. I haven’t heard shit from these people.

On being part of the surf industry: I get nothing from the surf industry. I didn’t want to stay in their little box and be a yes man.

On the surf industry in general: But I’m so thankful that they have been with me like that because other companies like Billabong and Quicksilver — that are 100 percent about the tour and all this fucking surfing blah, blah, blah — would have cut me regardless. You can’t be yourself with those companies. The industry is horrible. It’s hard to find a company that just respects you and is going to let you be yourself. Surfers can’t say shit because where are they going to go?

On surfing in the Olympics: It’s the dumbest thing in the world.

On small waves: Brazilians are the only ones who surf good in small waves…

On surfers who will surf in the Olympics: I think they’re just going wherever their sponsors tell them to go. I don’t think they have a voice, or else they would have been speaking out when I spoke out.

On wave pools: Surfing isn’t done in a pool. Surfing’s done in the ocean. I mean, are you fucking really going to travel to Kansas to surf the world’s best wave pool?

On surfing Kelly’s wave pool: Maybe if it was literally in my backyard. But, no, I wouldn’t drive to it.

What is your favorite line? I can’t choose. Each is like a beautiful but different child.