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Redemption Song: Bobby Martinez Wins Billabong Pro Tahiti

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Entering the 2009 year on the ASP World Tour sans a major sponsor probably isn’t something Bobby Martinez ever anticipated taking place. However, when a well-publicized contract dispute with longtime sponsor Reef sent the two their separate ways, that’s exactly where the Santa Barbara, Ca. surfer found himself. Driven to once again prove himself as one of the top all-around surfers in the world, sponsored or not, Bobby Martinez claimed another WCT victory at Teahupo’o yesterday by beating out Taj Burrow to win the 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

bobby martinez billabong pro

The win is the second for Martinez at Teahupo’o and his fourth world tour victory overall. From start to finish, Bobby surfed with as much poise, patience, style and confidence as I’ve seen him surf a ‘CT event in quite some time. While Taj was relentless in the final heat, Bobby Martinez was just way too in sync with the wave at Teahupo’o for Burrows to even have a shot. Even with the dominant performance, Martinez’ humble nature shined through in his post-victory comments. “I got lucky finding the good waves and things just seemed to work out for me today,” said Martinez. When GT asked him about the hefty cardboard check that was heading his way, Martinez was quick to let him know that today’s win at Teahupo’o was about much more than the financial reward. “I didn’t start surfing to make money. It’s about the feeling the feeling I feel right now. The money could never overcome the experience of having this feeling.”

A huge congratulations goes out to Bobby Martinez- winner of the 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

*On a side note- I’d also like to thank Billabong for pairing up Joel Parkinson and Andy Irons in the commentary booth, even if it was for just one heat. The combo of A.I. and Parko was classic and made for some truly golden exchanges.

Posted in Surfing | 3 Comments »

Andy Irons Taking 2009 Off, Billabong Backs Him Up

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

The bru’s over at Stab Magazine just released these juicy little nugget’s of industry information.

- Andy Irons will take next year off to chill and do some surf trips. He will aim for a wildcard in 2010. Billabong is backing him all the way, and has just given him a new five-year deal. (Parko’s just signed up for another five, too.)

- Wonder why Bobby Martinez has been shredding Pipe with no stickers on the nose of his board? He’s no longer riding for Reef. Despite the tough economic times (and his management persuading him to put ink on paper), Bobby walked away from an offer that was three-quarters of what he’d asked for. When he simmered down, Bobby went back to Reef, saying okay, I’ll take the deal, but Reef had withdrawn. It’s gonna be tough trying to find a company with $500k kicking round in its marketing budget right now. But Bob has signed some of the smarter deals in surfing. Remember seeing huge Monster energy drink green and black “M” on the bottom and deck of his board? Rumors suggest this nets him around $US300k.

- As always, Dane’s endorsements are the subject of constant speculation. The latest has it that the golden child is going to break his deal with Quik to join Analog. With Burton’s backing, Analog’s certainly got the cash. But Dane has not suggested he’s even thinking about moving, so the rumour remains unfounded.

The Andy Irons info actually makes a lot of sense. Time away from the Dream Tour has worked out well for past champions Curren, Occy, and Slater. And if Billabong is backing this, chances are there will be unreal amounts of fresh footage of Irons freesurfing to look forward to next year.

As for the industry as a whole, especially regarding sponsorships, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming month with the economy being what it is. Everyone is re-evaluating their financial strategies and chances are we’ll be hearing more stories similar to the Bobby Martinez/Reef situation.

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Quote of the Day: Taj Burrow

Monday, October 27th, 2008

taj burrow“It’s part of the tour and it’s an event that is there for taking. Winning contests is the most amazing feeling so why would I miss that opportunity. I can’t wait.” – Taj Burrow

It’s always cool to see when a professional surfer ‘gets it’. When he realizes that this small window he has to surf for a living is something special, something that was made possible by the hard work of many before him, and takes full advantage of it. When he realizes that there are thousands of fans, the very people who make this dream job possible, who look forward to watching him perform at each event whether it be live at the beach or via webcast.

The Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro will be starting tomorrow. For reasons varying from injuries and illnesses to personal matters and burnout, the event will be without 11 of the Top 45 ASP World Tour surfers, 4 of which are currently sitting in the Top 10. If there is anyone who has reason to be legitimately frustrated at this point of the year, it’s Taj Burrow. Taj has had arguably his best year on tour, yet he is destined to once again finish as runner-up. Had Kelly Slater not decided to go mental on the ‘08 Dream Tour, Taj would most likely be on his way to his 1st world championship, something he has been working his ass off for this year. Knowing that goal is now out of reach, Taj still recognizes, as Bobby Martinez did before Spain, the incredible opportunity this is for him and everyone else on tour. One that won’t be around forever.

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Quote of the Day: Bobby Martinez

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

bobby martinez“For me it’s different, I am still pretty new to this tour – I am not going to give up, I’m not going to quit just because Kelly is going to win the title. I still want to do my best. People where I come from don’t get the opportunity to do this kind of stuff and I have, so I’m going to take it and run with it as far as I can. As much as people are over it after watching Kelly win all the time, I look at it like there are kids where I come from who have nothing and this is something big for me.” -Bobby Martinez

Kind of puts things into perspective with all the talk going on about guys on tour who are “over it”. It’s rad to see guys like Bobby, Taj, and everyone else take advantage of their situations as pro-surfers and continue to work their asses off in the water, even if Slater has #9 essentially wrapped up. I guess that’s why they are called professionals in the first place.

Thanks for shedding a little bit of perspective on this Bobby. There are thousands upon thousands of kids, all over the world, and from all walks of life who only dream of getting paid to surf. I’m always stoked to see these guys appreciate the opportunity and privilege they have of being a professional surfer.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Mundaka Under the Microscope

Monday, September 29th, 2008

“I don’t think we should have an event there. I love the wave, great place, nothing personal, it’s just too frustrating of an event” – Kelly Slater

billabong pro mundaka

Following his almost-victory in France and with all eyes turning to the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka, Kelly let his thoughts be known on holding another ASP event at the fickle Spanish wave. In large part, Kelly was just voicing the thoughts of many when voicing his discontent with the Mundaka competition. The last two years have been anything but spectacular in Spain. This led to rumblings earlier in the year that perhaps the Billabong Pro Mundaka would become the Billabong Pro Somewhere Else. These never really materialized, and Surfline’s Marcus Sanders recently released a great interview with ASP CEO Brodie Carr and ASP Tour Manager Renato Hickel as to the thought process that is currently taking place as far as Mundaka is concerned.

One of the changes that will go to make a difference, as well as one I think should be adopted permanently is the elimination of surfers who place 3rd in the 1st round of heats. This eliminates a full-day’s worth of competition featuring guys with no real shot of winning it, while at the same time allowing the top guys more of a chance to surf during the swell’s peaks. This is ideal for Mundaka, and probably ideal for the other stops on the Dream Tour.

Although most of the tour is in favor of dropping Mundaka from the schedule, you probably won’t hear much of that from Bobby Martinez. Martinez, current world no. 7, has won at Mundaka the past two years. Even so, he is well aware of it’s stinginess at times. “It’s so tough because I just got lucky with waves and my luck is bound to run out sometime so it could be this year,” Martinez said. “Mundaka has been a cool place to me the last couple of years and it will always be cool no matter what happens but I’ve never done good in France and then I’ve done good in Spain so I’m just hoping it’s not the other way around this year since I just did alright in France.”

Stay tuned to 5’s for more updates on the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka, waiting period opens tomorrow-

Top 10 ASP World Tour Ratings going into the Billabong Pro Mundaka:
1. Kelly Slater (USA) – 7852 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) – 6002 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) – 5668 points
4. Adriano De Souza (BRA) – 5426 points
5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) – 5373 points
6. Mick Fanning (AUS) – 5310 points
7. Bobby Martinez (USA) – 5092 points
8. CJ Hobgood (USA) – 4880 points
9. Adrian Buchan (AUS) – 4719 points
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA) – 4407 points

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

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