The past, present, and future of Bobby Martinez

| posted on January 22, 2013

Bobby Martinez, checking out a few fresh boards at home. Photo: Maassen


Surfing has really given me so much—it allowed me to travel to different parts of the world, see new places, meet new people. I remember all the places I’ve been, and each one made an impact on me one way or another. I met my wife because of surfing. I didn’t meet her through surfing directly, but I met her because surfing brought me to another part of the world. If I didn’t surf, I wouldn’t have been in Australia, and I may never have met her. That’s definitely my greatest memory. When I sit back now and I think about everywhere surfing has taken me, I feel like I’ve been very fortunate.

Bobby, on rail at his local beach break in Santa Barbara. Photo: Maassen


I’m very happy with where I’m at right now in my life. I’m just relaxed and I feel like I’m much more at peace with myself. I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve done at all, and I’m very lucky to still be a part of surfing. If I want to travel, I can still do that, but I’m much more at ease now compared to a year ago. I get to enjoy those little things that I couldn’t focus on as much when I was competing. I feel like I can spend so much more time with my wife and my friends. We’re a lot more social now because when I was competing, everything revolved around what I wanted to accomplish in that world, and what I had to do to be my best. There were so many times when I wouldn’t see any of my friends for a long time because I was so brainwashed and caught up with what I wanted to do competitively. Now that’s all done, and I feel like I can really enjoy my life without having that voice in the back of my mind saying, “I shouldn’t be doing this, I should go surfing. I need to get ready for the next event and it’s only a week away.” I get to live a life now outside of the routine of surfing contests, and I get to share it all with my wife.

Bobby and his best friend, Rio. Photo: Maassen


I want to have a family, and that’s it. I don’t concern myself with the future because I love my life right now. I love to surf, and I get to surf. Saying you’re the best because you won a contest and you did more turns than another guy in a heat—that doesn’t mean shit. The people that are caught up in that world, that’s what they love, but at the end of the day, that only goes so far. Look at Sunny Garcia: He won a world title, but man, he’s still had to face some hard times. So what does it all mean at the end of the day? It doesn’t mean anything except that now you can say, “Yeah, I won a world title.” But what does that even really mean? That doesn’t define your life, and that alone won’t make your life great. I’ve come to realize that more than ever since I’ve stepped away from it all. I enjoy my life and I don’t regret anything.

  • EZE

    Got to love Bobby Martinez, great outlook on life!

  • Kevin curran

    I’m glad to see Bobby is at peace with his life. That’s the goal right? I bet it shows in his surfing. I’m looking foward to future clips he releases. GO BOBBY GO

  • Sheit…….

    Nice to see that he’s made the transition successfully. I for one was getting tired of all his petty bitching about the tour. He’s probably learned now that if pro surfing wasn’t what made him feel good about himself then he didn’t need to try and justify it to the fans, he just needed to shut the h— up and move on. Good one bro, wish you all the best.

  • Tim

    Yes, great outlook here and impressed with some of the recent exposure he’s gotten (Dane’s Marine Layer for one). Also wicked surfer…. and really too bad he had to hack down competitive surfing with such vulgarity and misplaced anger (recall the post Quick New York heat interview and the ridiculous diatribe that followed on his twitter). Glad he’s in a better place now.

  • http://Facebook Paul Clarke

    I’m so glad to read that Bobby Martinez is doing so well. I know he’s gone through some difficult times, (as we all have). Now to read about where Bobby is today. How he describes his life, what he values,his outlook. Again I say i’m so happy for Bobby and his wife, i wish them the best. (I’m over 55 yrs old, i lived and grew up surfing in Santa Barbara. had to move a year ago, gave up surfing to bad knees 8 years ago.) I’ve been following Bobby ever since i first heard about him, a great surfer.

  • TidBit

    Kook. “what does that even mean?” Whatever. Martinez is a frustrated wannabe gansta. In the weirdest of twists, we have a guy from an upper middle class family who does his best to portray himself as a barrio homeboy. One of the greatest tragedies of a deceiver is that, before too long, he begins to believe the deceit. No wonder this guy is so messed up.

  • ferrismoses

    Glad he realized Tour life was not going to suit him. A bit angry @ times but it seems he is in a good place now. Keep RIPPING Bobby! Wanna see more clips too.

  • Jimmy the Saint

    TidBit – the way I see it is the surf industry wanted him to fit into some cliche mold. I remember in one of his interviews when he said that he was never asked what music he would like on his sections, and the director always had hip hop on his section. Bobby said he would rather have something like the Kings of Leon. This doesn’t strike me as the confessions of a wanna be gangster. I think his interview at the New York event was classic. Yeah there might have been kids watching it, but so what? He threw out a few profanities that they would have heard before, but nothing really vulgar. I hope to see a lot more of Bobby in the magazines in the years to come.


    He is a great surfer I love to watch him surf do not quote Bobby
    all the best in the future

  • TidBit

    Jimmy – actually, i was a bit harsh…calling him a kook is a disservice. But I’ve known more than a few of the ‘rage against the machine’ types who are so turned in on themselves that they think life is all about them, all the time. Noone forced him to be on tour. “they never asked me what music I wanted in my segment”…awww poor guy who gets paid to travel the world surfing epic waves. The whole “despite all my rage I’m still just a rat in a cage” mentality is wicked and deceptive and destructive. His attitude at the Quik pro was pure selfishness, and I won’t assume a ‘so what’ attitude about the way he spoke, words mean things and they matter. Professionals – mature men – learn to suck it up. You don’t want to be on tour…then don’t. The fact that the tour is irrelevant to Bobby’s life doesn’t make the tour irrelevant. It’s classic narcissism, and it’s sad.

  • Jason Kistoo

    Its so great to see that the ‘surfing world’ can still recognized great surfing!! From day one I’ve been a Bobby Martinez fan, I can honestly say I haven’t always agreed with the way he conducted himself in interviews but we all have are own way of dealing with things.
    I look forward to seeing more features on Bobby and hopefully some fresh videos!!! Keep shredding Bobby you will always be an inspiration!!

  • Jimmy the Saint

    TidBit – While you have a point on the fact that no one forced him to be on tour, and he had a dream job, he was – in retrospect – correct about the one world rankings. Not only did they abandon the concept after one year, but presumably due to the complexity of the rating system – Slater was announced to the world as World Champion prematurely and cost the ASP CEO his job. In regard to his professionalism, you may have a point, but I am not convinced. I have never read about him being hungover or wasted during his heats, in many ways he seems like a very dedicated individual, training in boxing when not surfing. The way he spoke during the interview obviously wasn’t professsional in the sense that you wouldn’t expect a policeman, a lawyer or an accountant to communicate in such a manner, but this is a sports star. I, like Bobby, don’t like tennis. This isn’t due to the game per se, more due to the boring robots that play it. If there were more guys like McEnroe, I might watch it. Bobby was our McEnroe, and unfortunatly for the tour, he is no longer on it.

  • larry

    He projects all his problems onto others. I saw him kick sand over his dogs duty on the beach recently; start picking up after your dogs you jackass. I also love how he comes from the mean streets of Santa Barbara, real gangster

    Good surfer, bad personality

  • Pete

    That dog poop Bobby chooses to kick sand over ultimately ends up in the ocean.
    That sucks that he doesn’t make that connection.

  • larry

    I forgot that’s his motto, F the world.

  • Jimmy the Saint

    Larry and Pete – Oh come on. Who hasn’t brought their dog onto a beach and forgot those waste bags. Dogs are great – they will only have a shit when there is a third party there to witness it and tut tut! At least he tried to cover it up, many would just leave it lying out. I have covered my dog’s waste up with sand when I have no bags, but what can you do, carry it off the beach? Larry what did he say when you complained to him? You did say something to him didn’t you? And Pete where do you think your waste ends up after it gets flushed down the toilet? It might – depending where you live – end up in the ocean.

  • juddy bentley

    I don’t care who you are. Don’t pollute the beach with dog shit! That’s not OK. All human waste that get’s flushed goes through a treatment plant and it’s not the same!
    I don’t want to get some skin disease b/c you feel lonely and have to have some animal to keep you company!
    have a little respect for the earth!
    keep your freakin’ filthy cigarette butts in your car too! I see you scrubs throwing it out the window!

  • larry

    What do you think he said … “F the world!” He went ballistic like an asp judge didn’t award him his desired score.

  • McBride (DynoComm)

    not a fan. no doubt the guy can surf, but not the kind of guy I want to see representing my sport. hope he manages his money well because he is destined to drop of the surfing map.

  • Kevin

    It’s all good except well the dog stuff on the beach thing. Bobby seems to have a good perspective on life and his priorities are on I’d say. All the best to you bro. Yes, many do get very caught up in the comp, and yes at the end of the day most of the wins don’t matter much save for the personal achievement and sponsors, which can be cool. Keep riding

  • Jimmy the Saint

    Larry – that is classic, good on you for saying something!

  • Ty

    1. Reading article
    2. Now reading comments, why are they so dumb?

    Every damn time.

  • rw

    Bobby Martinez, another product of the horrible American education system.

  • sam

    credulity === noun === °A willingness to believe in someone or something in the absence of reasonable proof; credulousness.”

    For those of us getting worked up over dog-poop-gate, it’s probably worth considering the possibility that ‘larry’ (13th comment) didn’t see what he claims to have seen. (Not saying this is the case, larry, you may well be recounting an event exactly as it happened; but unless the people responding to your comment as if it’s gospel actually know you, they should give the accused in this case — Mr. Martinez — rather than the accuser, the benefit of the doubt.)

  • Soul Archie Bunker

    I still don’t get it. There are only 10 events on the tour, say they run 2 weeks each that’s a 20 week year! 30 free weeks to run wild and free across the green green grass of home where the buffaloes roam and the deer and the antelope play Texas holdem.

    I miss Bobby’s barrel riding – he’s one of the very best esp. in Tahiti, the boys must be breathing a sigh of relief that he’s not gonna be in their heat in Tahiti any more, and his powerful vertical turns. I don’t know the stats but the average number of vertical power turns has surely taken a dive since he dropped out.

  • booger

    the gansta bit is a bit funny.

    But…..he is the only one to have the balls to call pro surfing for what it really is.

  • surferdj

    Guys, he’s just a surfer, just like we are all people.
    Sure he’s been a dick, haven’t we all been dickheads at times?
    Haven’t we all screwed up in life, said the wrong things, done the wrong things, projected our shit?
    So why does everyone need to tear this guy down for being, well, human? Could it be sometimes we feel envious? I do. Maybe we resent his balls for telling authority to go shit in their hat and we’d like to tell our bosses the same thing from time to time? Like he broke out, and we can’t? I do. So he chose to live his live differently than Slater, so what, good for him.
    Don’t take no shit Bobby, live your life……for better or worse.

  • TidBit really takes guts to pitch a fit like a spoiled brat. “so what, brah…he lives his life the way he wants to….” Wow, I wanna puke. “maybe we resent him…” You must have a mouse in your pocket, because you said “we”. It’s very simple. Bobby “the brat” Martinez’s words and attitude speak for themselves. “don’t take no sh*t, Bobby”…uhhhh, sorry but that’s what mature men do. No matter what job you have, whether you work for yourself, own your own company, or sweep floors at the local McDonalds, you have to take some degree of hassle. A man spends 12 hours a day 600 feet down into the ground to mine coal so he can feed his family. He gets stuck in a firefight in Afghanistan because one of his commanders didn’t see the danger. He spends 30 years in a job that he may not be passionate about, but it takes care of his wife and autistic son who still needs to be fed and bathed even as an adult. The comment below about being the product of our education system is spot on. A recent study shows the present generation (and I would say the last 2 or 3 generations) has as it’s defining character trait that of narcissism. Bobby “the brat” fits that to a T. So do most of the commenters on this board…nobody owes you a little leprechaun with a big pot of gold at the end of your happy little rainbow. Get over yourselves, braaaaahhhhhh.

  • Par

    Who is the idiot that pays this guy?

  • Bruce sanchez

    Hey TidBit. Did your girl friend give you that name last night. Good for bobby telling the tour to blow dick. The only two guys on your with any talent are jonjon and Kelly and Kelly is almost retired. Most the worlds best surfers split the tour because its lame. Bruce,Dorian,Dane just to name a few. He’s not your stereotypical surfer from Orange County. He’s a Mexican from sb who always looks like he has to shit. Further more tidbit you couldn’t carry Bobby’s wax.

  • Tim

    @Bruce Sanchez: When you immediately go to the d*ck size insult on someone you don’t even know it pretty much tells everyone what kind of person you are — a vulgar idiot who can’t control their emotions. Sounds like you fit the mould of what Tidbit describes. The fact you think Kelly and JJ are the only legit tour surfers further underscores your narrow view of things. The tour is not without its faults but to many of us it is damn good entertainment and inspiring surfing. Bobby lost it during the tour last year and anyone that din’t recognize that is blind. He handled the situation like a teenaged boy, harshly blaming the ASP for everything and taking no responsibility for how he ended up where he did. A real man takes his lickings, owns up to his shit, learns and moves on. It looks to me like he’s in a much better place right now and good on him. He’s a wicked surfer no doubt and we’d all like to see more of him ripping. Now as far as the dogshit on the beach goes though, welcome to California…

  • Matt

    @Tim- FINNALLY, a voice of reason!

  • Dang3rtown

    OMG!!! Bobby’s dog pooped on the beach! He hates the ocean! Also, all seals hate the beach! They poop on it!

  • Curtis Saunders

    Hey tinny Tim I’ve never seen someone get so butt hurt over a joke. You must have serious issues to put a full page rant on something someone else did over a year ago. You probly ride a retro/metro fun board and wear a goon cord every time it gets 2ft. And for everyone else that has beef with bobby say it to his face not behind your desk.

  • Tim

    @Curtis: Hurt? Are you kidding me? More like amused that people like you so aggresively come to the defence of helpless Bobby. I could care less about his blow-up, I just think he should own up to it is all. And last I checked, this is a forum where we can comment on those in the spotlight. I’m just giving my two bits, and I ain’t Tidbit.

  • Baja Malibu

    As an American of Mexican born parents I was hoping he would be our Tiger Woods of surfing. Tiger was always so perfect and I bet alot of people called him a credit to his race. I think there is still time for him to dominate the sport and screw up his marriage. So race BS aside he spoke on his beliefs and left a toxic lifestyle that didn’t fit him at this point in his life. I can respect that. Oh and the comment that he is not hard working…yeah… I’d like to see that guy perform on tour. Pro-Surfer = hard work.

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