Listen: Bobby Martinez loves Waco pool and its “nasty-ass water”, says he won’t be surfing the Palm Springs tank (“I need to kiss your ass to surf some sh*tty chest-high wave?”) and tells Chas Smith “I would’ve f*cking lit your ass up!”

Beautiful Bobby…

Bobby Martinez is a thirty-eight-year-old former professional surfer from Santa Barbara’s westside in California.

In his rookie year, Bobby drew an axe from the waistband of his knee-length elasticated shorts and won Tahiti and Mundaka.

Fifth in the world. Rookie of the year, obvs.

Bobby was six when he got into surfing, and he got real good, real fast. He was riding Al Merrick handshapes by the time he was twelve (Bobby’s Abuelo met drug-smuggler Al in prison in 1969 and they became golf buddies) and he won a still yet-to-be-bettered seven NSAA titles.

In 2011, as we all know, Bobby committed career suicide live and quit the tour for good, aged twenty-eight.

Matt Warshaw, the great surf historian, described him as either “a giant crybaby, or the New Millennium Dora.”

If you’ve ever spun in Bobby’s orbit, you’ll know how much he likes to talk shit.

And pro surfing never meant that much to him, anyway.

Channel Islands’ Devon Howard tells me that every time they post a little Martinez footage, it gets twice the engagement of Dane Reynolds and co.

In this interview, Bobby talks about his old pal Paul Fisher, now a world-famous DJ (“When I heard it, oh my god, this is Fisher’s fucking music? What the fuck is this shit?), how much he loves surfing Waco, river surfing in Wyoming, his transition from boxing to jiujitsu to wrestling, how he would’ve made Chas flop around like a butchered dog after saying bad things about his house in a story and why, even after all these years, surfing still makes his soul sing.

(Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, TuneIn + Alexa, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Deezer and Listen Notes.)

Watch: “Surfers begin to unify behind consensus candidate Kanye West ahead of the 2020 United States presidential election!”

The future is now!

You, like me, are a political animal, no? Craving the various storylines coming from Canberra, London, Brasilia and of course Washington D.C. The intrigue, the power shifts, the alliances and scandals. Outside of the World Surf League’s Lawn Patrol, politics is the greatest show in town. In any town. But we are also tired of the tired “right” vs. “left” divide. Of the “culture war.”

Now, there is, you no doubt know, an important election in these United States of America this November pitting Republican incumbent Donald Trump against likely Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

An ugly choice between the lesser of two senilities and impossible for the surfer to be truly excited about either.

Thankfully, a possible champion has risen.

Kanye Omari West.

Tell me, true, that you haven’t been moved by the artist’s surprise candidacy. That it hasn’t spoken directly to you on a profound level.

President Ye would serve our interests and it frustrates me that he is being undermined by the mainstream media and Kris Jong Un, to say nothing about his wife Kim who dismissed him, recently, by saying he is currently in the midst of a bipolar snap.

Very rude.

David Lee Scales and I discussed presidential hopeful Kanye West, partners/lovers being unsupportive of brilliant ideas, famous authors stabbing possibly unsupportive partners/lovers with penknives, rebel surfers and microaggressions on the latest podcast. You may have already listened but now you can watch too because we live in the future.



Revealed: New report suggests that surfers are sexist homophobes given our “hyper-masculine energy and obsession with dominating the waves!”

An unflattering portrait.

But when you imagine California surfers, such as me and Devon Howard, is the very first phrase that springs to mind “hyper-masculine?” What about just “masculine?” I tend to think of us as “gently-feminine” but must be in the small minority and/or deluded as it was just revealed in a new, shocking report that California surfing has a racism problem – not to mention issues with sexism and homophobia.

In the piece “Don’t look now, but California surfing apparently has a racism problem – not to mention issues with sexism and homophobia” published by one-time conservative darling Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, the writer explores how people of color, women and those of varying non-cisgender sexual orientations are routinely kept out of the water, exposed to infamous “territorial aggression” and battered with a “hyper-masculine energy” as straight, white men blindly succumb to our “obsession with dominating the waves.”

Not a pretty picture at all.

But in this age of “listening” and “seeing” etc. what can we California surfers do better?

The piece does not provide any clues.

Do you have any ideas?

Should we throw an inclusive party?

Stop surfing?

Maybe you could stop surfing and I’ll just work on being extra nice in the water, closeting my obsession with dominating the waves.

More as the story develops.

Breaking: Woman dies after Great White hit in Maine, becomes first unprovoked shark attack casualty in state’s 200 year history

The director of Maine's Department of Marine Resources urges swimmers, surfers and other ocean goers to be aware of their surroundings and to "avoid schools of fish or seals."

Tragedy struck, yesterday, off Maine’s rugged coast when a Great White hit led to the state’s first ever shark attack fatality. The victim, identified as 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowach from New York City died from her injuries after being helped to shore by two kayakers who witnessed the attack.

Jeff Cooper, a kayak tour operator in the area, told the Associated Press, “They happened to be right there at the scene. They were courageous enough to jump in and retrieve the victim.”

Holowach had been swimming 20 yards off the western shore of Bailey Island when the attack occurred and pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials were able to confirm that the shark had been a Great White based on evidence from the Maine patrol and the medical examiners office. The last attack that took place in the state happened over ten years ago but did not involve a Great White.

Cape Cod, two hundred miles to the south, has seen such an increase in Great White activity in the last few years that officials warned this could be a “Summer of Blood.” Beaches have been closed, regularly, and swimmers warned of the dangers.

The director of Maine’s Department of Marine Resources urged swimmers, surfers and other ocean goers to be aware of their surroundings and to “avoid schools of fish or seals, which attract sharks.”

The WSL "transports both the speaker and the listener to a fantastical place where promises, dreams and realistic goals are replaced by delusional hope and earnest yearning…"

Op-ed: The WSL’s 2021 tour announcement is “delusional…a fantastical dream!”

Ain't gonna happen etc.

When I saw the WSL announcement about the new plan for the 2021 season and beyond I thought, “looks good, makes sense, long time coming.”


Inshallah literally translated is “God willing” in Arabic, but it’s got layers of meaning.

I first came across it in a George Packer essay in The New Yorker about the chaos following the American invasion of Iraq. Pakistani-American writer Wajahat Ali calls it the Middle Eastern version of “fuggedaboutit.”

“It transports both the speaker and the listener to a fantastical place where promises, dreams and realistic goals are replaced by delusional hope and earnest yearning,” writes Ali.


As in, want the WSL 2021 season to happen, would be great if it did, but it’s a fantasy to imagine it will go off as planned.


Let’s start with the season opening Triple Crown contests. If you’re an American, you’re welcome to fly to Hawaii anytime, but you’ll have to quarantine for two weeks in an airport hotel at your expense before you can go to the North Shore.

The mandatory confinement order was supposed to be lifted on August 1. It just got moved to September.

The Hawaiian Islands have been spared so far from the ravages of the pandemic because of the restrictions.

In New York State, where the virus was seeded by travellers arriving from Europe, 33,000 people have died from the virus; in Hawaii that number is 26.

Say Hawaii governor David Ige decrees that the islands can’t survive without tourism and he ends the quarantine.

How fast does that 26 death toll go to 100, then a 1000?

Does it reach the seven-thousand mark as Florida, another tourist destination, is about to?

Shit, so the quarantine likely stays.

The WSL surfers and staff all arrive at HNL, hang out for a couple weeks in a hotel, then get to work. All good except the majority of the surfers are from Brazil. Brazilians are currently barred from entering the USA, as are Europeans. South Africans aren’t going anywhere either. Australians are allowed, but try getting an overseas flight. Qantas cancelled all of theirs until 2021.

So, here comes the season opening Billabong Pipeline Masters starring Hawaiians, mainland Americans and Australians –maybe. Everyone’s six feet away from each other on the beach. Following the lead of the NBA, the WSL puts the surfers and staff in a hotel bubble. Travel and Leisure is reporting that Hawaii is thinking about requiring visitors to stay inside of their resort’s “geofence” for the duration of their stay.

Sweet, so now it’s the Turtle Bay Masters.

Point is, barring a blitzkrieg deployment of a miracle vaccine across the world that makes this virus thing “magically go away” by November, Hawaii’s not looking good.

Onto 2021. Here’s how it’s looking at the moment…

Portugal in February: Portugal is currently closed to anyone from outside the EU who is traveling for non-essential purposes. Surf contests are essential, right?

Australia in March/April: No one can go to Australia except Aussies and Kiwis.

Brazil in May: No foreigners can enter Brazil without government authorization. Maybe Medina and Neymar can hook everyone up.

Surf Ranch in June: Same as Hawaii minus the quarantine.

G-Land in June: No non-Indonesians allowed except those “working on strategic national interests?” Does a surf contest in the jungle apply?

J Bay in July: No commercial flights into South Africa. Shot bru.

Tahiti in August: Closed to everyone except travelers from a handful of European countries. Entrants must fill out a “sanitary entry form” and agree to pay for their expenses if they get sick.

September, WSL Finals: I’m thinking Maldives. Tropical perfection and It’s open to all! Pass a medical inspection at customs and you’re in. Good luck finding a way to fly there though that transits through a country that will let you step off the plane.

It’s a shit start of affairs, innit? Anybody out there know of a way to pull off a world tour if the Covid conditions stay the way they are?

What happens if they get worse?

More than half of the events are scheduled in countries that haven’t yet faced a full-scale outbreak.

The WSL has a tall mountain to climb.

Maybe they have incredible contingencies in place for staging events that involve charter flights, international diplomacy, rapid results testing and sophisticated medical protocols. But what happens when a sport like Major League Baseball, which has all of those things, and an annual revenue of $10.7 billion, now finds itself in a situation where seventeen players on a single team have tested positive?

The WSL is going glass half full on this one. They’re living on a prayer and just hoping, like all of us are, that next year is better than the horror show of 2020.

The sad irony is that professional surfing is one of the only sports that is socially distant by nature.

Put a couple people in the water, man a few cameras, turn on the internet switch and it’s on. Then of course there’s the permitting, the scaffolding, the crowd control, the catering, the accommodation, the transportation, and that’s where the virus stuffs it all up.

But we’re in the midst of a month-long flat spell here in California.

My expectations are low. My delusional hopes and earnest yearnings are high. I’ll watch anything live. I’m calling it now. Griffin versus Kolohe tomorrow at 9am at T-Street. Streamed live on instagram from Jacob Vanderwork’s phone. Loser buys lunch.