Come ogle Bobbys crotch-revving turns…
And, here, in a film shot last winter, we see Bobby Martinez, a surfer who committed career suicide when he lit up on on the webcast at the 2011 Quiksilver Pro in New York.
“Every surfer was complaining and no-one was happy,” Bobby told me the year after when I went to examine the wreckage a year later in Santa Babs. “But, they wouldn’t say shit. It fucken got to me because I love surfing so much. I only did this and stuck with it because I loved it. And, I started forgetting about the love I had because so much shit was going on with it that it made me hate it. And, I knew then, that it was my time to hang it up and to quit because the one thing that I love was slowly being sucked out of me.”
Come on a little tour of Santa Babs with me.
The joint is split into three parts: Westside, Eastside and the Mesa. Bobby ain’t one to work the horn or call poor drivers asshole, and, driving real slow, he gave me the whole tour: the boy’s club where he grew up playing with his cuz’s and where now there’s a wall mural featuring Bobby in a tube underscored by a Mexican flag.
His showed me his second house, the duplex where his parent’s live. Bobby had bought it in the late nineties for a song but it was “fucked up. All this shit is brand new.” He rents out the back unit to another family.
Bobby is third-generation American, even his grandparents were born in the USA, which kinda feels weird don’t it, the whole Mex thing when you don’t speak the language and haven’t had any real Mex blood for a hundred years.
But, spend time here, or even in southern California, and the Mexican identify is powerful, an ethnic grouping that defines how they live, speak and work.
Over to the Eastside, where his abuelita (grandma) still lives and where his papa was born. Across the road is the Pennywise market, the joint that used to be a big hangout for the gangs.
I asked what life was like post-tour.
“I missed having a goal to work towards. Freesurfing is just, I’ve never been a part of freesurfing. There’s no goal, it feels like you just go out there and someone takes a photo. I miss having something in life to chase. And, it doesn’t need to be surfing. It needs to be something. I’m, like, what do I do with myself now? Like, where is that chasing something to get a fulfilment? What do I do now? I surf to have fun now, but it’s kinda aimless…”
He thought about it, his time on tour and said,
“I know I wasn’t the best but I could beat the best. But, I mean, fuck, was I the most exciting surfer? No. Was I kinda boring at times? Yeah. I was just trying my best and trying to fit into the standards, to make it through another heat. I’m happy where I came in, I came in good, and I feel like I went out with a bang because I spoke from my heart. And, I’m happy with my time there.”
Now thirty-seven, Bobby ain’t hating life, as evidenced in this very good short.