The Life of Bobby Vaughn, Part III

posted by / Blogs / March 23, 2012

Bobby Martinez and loyal companion, Rio.Bobby Martinez, representing Bobby Vaughn’s FTW.

Missed parts one or part two?

Soon an entire SWAT battalion burst in. Surreal. Helicopters of fully armed fully armored men smashed him to the ground, subduing him. He was taken to Los Angeles County Jail, Men’s Central, a notorious facility, and locked up with the worst. C-44 module. He was not allowed outside for six months and spent his days and nights with five other men, mostly murderers, in a four men cell. One person always sleeping on the ground. True hell.

He was charged with first-degree murder, a penalty that would carry three life sentences. His bail was set at five million. OJ Simpson’s had been set at 2.8 million. And he was left to rot with the lowest of the low. FTW for real, he thought.

His plea, of course, was self-defense but he had to stay in jail through the entire trial since he could not post bail. He was taken up to the insane floor after the warden discovered that he had killed his best friend. Straight-jacketed and not let out except for one hour a day. He had to petition the jail that he was not crazy. Finally he was let back into general population, which is only arguably better. He shared a cell with three other men who had just been given life sentences.

Every day that his trial was on he would go to the courthouse. Shackled. Onto the bus. Into the holding room. Into the courtroom. The jury listened attentively to the details of the killing. They watched as Bobby took the stand. And then it was time for them to deliberate. To hand Bobby his fate. They had heard the prosecution and had heard the defense. He was resigned at that point. For the first time in his life he felt everything was in God’s hands. On murder one cases it usually takes days of deliberation. Bobby was taken back into the holding room to get shackled to go back on the bus to go back to his cell. Right in the middle of getting shackled, though, a guard came in and told him the jury was out. They had his fate.

Bobby was taken back into the courtroom.

The jury foreman stood and read the verdict.

Not guilty.

He broke down. His life was his again. His life was his.

He still had to go to Beverly Hills and fight another legal battle before becoming completely free, but the worst was over.

He had to go to rehab in Utah, too. The Olsen twins had gotten out of the facility right before he arrived. The Olsen twins. Brittany Spears. Full circle. But he met a kid from Jersey there from a well-to-do family who told Bobby that he had to come out and meet his dad. So when rehab finished Bobby went to Jersey and met the kid’s dad and the dad provided the financial backing he needed to get FTW off the ground properly. So much money had been spent in court battles. In defending his very life. And he needed proper backing. But he knew what FTW could be. He knew what it needed to be.

He got a place in Rockaway because he wanted to be near the surf again. Always his salvation. And the New York surf rats adopted him as one of their own. Soon a whole pack had moved into his garage and they would all surf and work on designs for the brand. Surf. Always surf.

He had another brush with the law, an unlawful gun possession charge and had to do some time in New York’s Riker’s Island but it was that charge, and the probation that followed, that kept Bobby in New York and kept the brand growing.

His office is now just off of Times Square in Manhattan. He has big, bold ideas of what he wants it to be. A real and authentic surf brand. A gangster equivalent to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed fluff that dominates the space now. He has Bobby Martinez.

And he has a drive that is almost unequalled. He was an orphan, a gangster, a businessman, a Hollywood fixture, a Navy SEAL, a prisoner, a killer, a felon. He is, above all, a dreamer.

FTW. Fuck the world. It sure doesn’t sound like the slogan of a dreamer, but Bobby Vaughn has never been regular. He says it can mean anything from Fight Terrorism Worldwide to Fine Tennessee Whiskey to Follow the Word. But it is best as Fuck the World. And Bobby Vaughn fucks the world with his own special blend of dogmatic, never-say-die, panache each and every day of his life.

An odd role model. The best role model.

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  • Shot 23

    So Bobby Martinez is “representing Bobby Vaughn’s FTW” by wearing a Patagonia jacket? C’mon ING. We believe in you and you have to be better than this.

    This is a non-story to begin with, and what’s worse is that you’ve let Bobby Vaughn feed you a truckload of bullshit for the piece.

    A better read would be calling this douche out for being a bullshit poser and for duping B. Smartinez into signing up with him.

  • torpedo of truth

    Sounds like packy talk to me

  • I call BS

    This whole story is a load of crap. Completely fictional crap.

  • Jared Legeko

    1) Don’t ever let a real SEAL catch you writing this shit! Let’s call a spade a spade: He flunked out of Hell Week because his heart wasn’t in it. Not a problem, 100,000′s of other men have done the same. That said. He was NEVER a Navy SEAL. Get that straight.

    2) It’s funny that you’re trying to push this “HE IS A ROLE MODEL” shit on us. Sure if your idea of a role model is a quitter, liar, failure, murderer, and felon! You homosexual writers are losers yourself and need to re-evaluate your lives. If this man is your role model then you’re a very stupid person.

  • Chongo

    Good to know. I figured anyone who would have BM, is well, full of BS. There are way better places to put your money. This whole 3 part saga was simply weak sauce.

  • Ryan

    First of all he was never a seal if he quit bud’s before hell week. He wasn’t even third of the way through training. Calling that thug a navy seal is quite offensive

  • mattman

    I used to hate Chas Smith. Now, however, after much soul searching and personal growth (no doubt brought on by almost murdering myself repeatedly and/or resorting to heavy partying/drugs/gangsterism in order to distract myself from what has, due to this story, turned into a Hell Week), I am proud to say I now only hate Chas’ writing.

  • Benny T

    As a Navy veteran I am ashamed and furious to read this. This man was NEVER a Navy SEAL! As Jared said, DONT LET A REAL NAVY SEAL KNOW ABOUT THIS CRAP!

    He dropped out of BUD/s and never wore the TRIDENT, so he was not a SEAL. Real SEALs who have completed BUD/s, received their Trident, and carried out missions around the world would be PISSED at this shit!

    Actually, I think I’ll forward this article on to the boys at:

    Let’s see what they say about their fellow “SEAL”

    This is BULL SHIT journalism at it’s finest!

  • Uncle Morty

    Seals are role models, not this habitual screw-up.

  • Mik

    wow. amazing read. interesting reaction. as if Navy Seals are all angels. they’re not. a close friend of mine was one in Nam, and he know’s what’s up, but for sure they are Samari material. Some are full-on hero Samari, others have problems with judgement. sometimes i respect people for being badass, good or bad. this might be one of them. btw: bobby martinez is his own man. nothing wrong with that.

  • Mik

    BTW: to the moron who dissed Bobby Martinez for wearing a Patagonia parka: ???

    does it bother you that he’s smart? that he can afford it? that Patagonia is local to Bobby? grow up, tool.

  • yeah guy

    @Mik – “does it bother you that he’s smart?” What in the world are you talking about?
    The three questions you pose are so weird. Also, I thought that Bobby Martinez was from the ghettos of Santa Barbara? They wear over priced parka jackets in the ghetto up there?

  • torpedo of truth

    ftw = fuckin toot whiffers

  • Mik

    Bobby Martinez is from SB, and SB is next to Ventura, and Patagonia is in Ventura. Patagonia is a core outdoor company, and there’s allot of cool surfers involved. Bobby is smarter than the media hypes. His take on the WCT was spot on: it takes years to get on the WCT, and it sucked that you don’t get a full year of competition to learn and adjust. He’s also acutely conscious of judging and media and sponsor bias. yeah, at times he over-reacted, but fair enough. no one knows what its like to be looked down on before someone even knows you, unless you’re on the short-end of the racial divide. live in Hawaii as a Haole for a while and you’ll start to notice the subtleties. compare the media love of Kolohe to Gabrial Medina, or Adriano to Owen and you’ll start to understand. yeah? guy?

  • AppleNuts

    bobby so smart, listen to his interviews. what a GENIUS he is!!

  • reindeer

    Sick story Chas, I’m gonna get a FTW tat just above my a$$ crack. Chas, did you get the new Van Dutch sweater? Heard its hardcore like v-neck t-shirts. Dude, can we shave our heads together and walk pit bulls in HB together? Let me know if we can walk the boardwalk with surfboards with HUGE FTW logos and just chill in Pacific Beach…I need to look hardcore Chas. Thanks for helping me make that happen.

  • yeah guy

    @Mik – Well said! Thanks for putting so much thought into your responses and thanks for the geography local linkage connection; So if I understand correctly… if I live in LA, I surf in the pacific ocean, hawaii is in the same pacific ocean that I surf in and a lot of cool surfers surf in hawaii… so i guess hawaii is local to me? Using your logic of course. You are so in left field… it’s actually kind of amazing. I do not believe that Bobby is smarter than the media hypes, have you ever heard one of his interviews? If Bobby was as smart has you claim, then he would have hired a legit PR guy, instead of getting a hoodrat backer, that would’ve told him to keep his mouth shut. Then maybe he would still have a legit sponsor and be on tour… but he really had the last laugh the way he went about it. They kicked him off and then changed the tour. Lastly, I would love to compare the ‘media love’, being that I am a stay at home dad/ex pro surfer/living off my wife’s trust fund/blogger/free lance marketing guru of action sports/I know a guy that knows a guy that works at a surf shop… Have you ever left the OC? Go to Brasil and see how much love US pros get down there? This is what happens when you are dealing with an international sport such as surfing. So what’s your point? This is america, and groms in america want to dress like kolohe, Medina can’t sell sh*t in America. And judging by the other comments, looks like you and Chas are the only ones buying bedazzled FTW shirts… at least you’ll be easy to pick out of the crowd.

  • joe cartwright

    Chas, great work. This article shows some of the darker sides of humanity turned in the right direction. I train MMA and walk the walk.

    Joey “knuckles” Cartwright

  • WOW

    Mik – Your point is great about Bobby understanding the BS of the ZCORPO SURF BARNS, But the comparison of Kolohe and Mendina and Adriano and Owen is not needed to forge your point. This whole website is BullSHIT and Jimmy Wilson is sitting on top of the pile of shit looking like a KOOK, along with all his pals. Chas is cleaning up the dingle berries.

  • yep

    Ha ! How’s Mik mentioning Medina and Adriano ??? Take the ASP blindfold off buddy.

  • rawdog

    hey, i want to kick with the hardcore wedge crew… maybe bring some boom-boxes down to the wedge and wear a big puffy FTW jacket with a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and toss sand like i toss salad. maybe do some mma moves on guys to toughen up my image…hardcore cali bro inc.

    HCBI…. hardcore cali bro inc… tats, mercedes, golf, and daddy’s trust fund

  • East Coast

    no offense mik, but a smart person would have said “i am a pro surfer and I make enough money competing and from sponsorships deals to make a living, I am going to protect this.” Instead he blew it all up like a spoiled 13 year old who doesn’t get the toy that he wants at his birthday party and blames everyone else. In my opinion, Bobby is one of the worst personalities to meander through the sport and I hope he continues to fade away…

  • pooop

    Does anybody remember when the skateboard industry died in the late 1980′s?? I surfing is about to do the same. All signs point to it

  • Mik

    @leastcoast: bobby’s not that different from Dane, except he’s Mexican and blunt, so all of the racist SoCal haters hate on him. and that is entirely his point.

    @yeahguy: you need help. get counseling, or maybe an education soon.

  • Moke 808

    @ Mik…..I think you need to stop licking Bobby’s nut sack! He’s nothing more than a crying Mexican. Were you in Tahiti in 2010 when he lost in the early rounds and cried all the way to Papeete airport and in doing so left all his boards and luggage for his team manager at the time, Garth, to bring everything back for him? I was there! Yep, such a sore loser he can’t even check in his own bags. He’s a punk Mexican who thinks he deserves the world and all the fat paychecks to go with it!

    As far as Bobby Vaughn goes, nothing but a thug P.O.S. who should not be going around telling people he was a Navy SEAL. I’m sure the SEAL community here in Hawaii would like to read this article? The punk went AWOL, he didn’t even ring the bell!

    Chas, get your facts straight before writing an article and Surfing Magazine, time to cancel my subscription for publishes this crap!!!!

  • WOW

    I got erased for my true statement????????????

  • bobby

    Wow, this guy’s life is really dramatic, an unbelievable read. Loved the Tommy Lee video, seems like the guy fit in with “the boys” everywhere he went….north shore too, that’s a big accomplishment. He must be a pretty cool guy. I have no idea why he would want to sign Bobby Martinez though. He is an amazing surfer, but his interviews are completely disrespectful. The way the media has put this man on a pedestal with all the interviews and last months cover… very bizarre. Bobby, the best backside surfer in the world, screaming the f word thirty times, and the magazines love him for it…shocking.

  • yeah guy

    @Mik: Awesome… telling me what I need to do and then walking away? You’re starting to sound like Bobby Martinez.

  • Big PappiDfdr

    Van Dutch part was fascinating thanks Chaz dope story keep em coming

  • Mik

    @Moke 808: RE: gay comment: grow up. i’m not, and I don’t go around calling others Gay if they disagree with me. What are you, like 14 years old???? Mentally???

    also, I disagree with “angry Mexican” comment. As if other people, including Hawaiians, don’t get angry? You’re exactly what Bobby is reacting against. And no I wasn’t in Tahiti, nor did I suggest that I was. My take is that Bobby worked hard to get to the level of surfing he achieved, and if he saw higher scores being thrown at non-Latinos, then it wouldn’t surprise me that he’d eventually get tired of it. There’s all kinds of bias on the WTC, though. Si yeah, he shot himself in the foot by over-reacting. But whatever. There’s all kinds of ways to react, and I try to understand where people are coming from.

    @yeahguy: walking away? from what? come back to reality dude. people have different opinions. I’m exposed to racist comments against Latinos all the time. To say it doesn’t exist is nonsense. Same with racism against Brazilians. It’s lame. Ugly. Old. Pathetic. I react to what I see in front of me, and treat everyone the same.

  • Seppo

    As far as I know, Vaughn was never really accepted into the Rockaway surf scene. His shop opened and then closed about a year later. He also said in a NY Times article that surfers need to be more gangster. Sounds like a lot of BS with no research. Chas, you just sat and took Vaughn at his word with no fact checking or research. Typical.

  • Matt S.

    Wow! This story stirred up more shit than anything else I can remember on this site.
    First, good for everybody who called this out as partly fiction. But… now that we can all agree about that, can we also agree that it was partly true and very entertaining? So Chas, thanks for a good story but come on man, we know there is some bullshit in here.
    Second, why am I seeing all this hate towards Mexicans and gays? Let’s not resort to ignorant bigotry when . We’re better than that.

  • tx surf

    This Guy Is One Real Bad Ass. When Is FTW clothing coming!?

  • Jeff

    Why are you glorifying a complete loser?

  • douchey mexicant

    what a pile, Role model???? a gang banger murderer???
    what? do something good for society and DIE…

  • John

    Does FTW stand for fucking total wanker?

  • Dave Mailman

    Great surfing talent. Yes. Mexican? Dude doesn’t even speak Spanish… Slater called him out on it the last time Bobby won Mundaka, on the podium, in Spanish. It was classic. As for Bobby Vaughn and FTW… whatever!

  • plump blumpkin


    where is the video? haha

    heavy story even if it is only half true, but this story barely relates to surfing today! bobby will become less and less relevant off the tour with FTW backing him- its’ sad but true. can’t wait to see him on marine layer though! (about once every year)

    do more stories on actual surfers/surf brand owners please. thanks

  • richard verga

    in the recent surfing interview, bobby martinez wonders why he is continually portrayed as a gangster in the surf media. come on bobby, you have a bandito wielding straps of gun ammo tattooed full size on your back. you have your area code tattooed in gangster script on the back of your neck. you took this picture:

    you drove a mercedez on rims. you have said all your friends are homies and almost none surf. you’re renowned for making outburst that are on the verge of incoherency but rely heavily on expletives. and now you have associated yourself with Bobby Vaughn and his gangster brand, FTW. you either aren’t very bright or are regretting the branding you did for yourself in the past. regardless, you made your bed, now lie in it.

  • Big Pappi

    Alright fess up how many of you losers are surf industry drones/employees just here to talk nonsense the story is hella entertaining

  • Tim C

    This guy is no role model, not at any level. I think the posters above have summed him up pretty well already, but I would just like to say that a thug life gangster brand such as FTW has no place in surfing, none what so ever.

    And your logo is crap. Come to think of it, the name is too.

  • Cardiff92007

    This guy is a dirtbag who’s life doesn’t deserve to be glamorized.
    Shame on you Chaz, i thought you were better than that.

  • Cardiff92007

    FTW = Fags That Wank

  • FTW

    I just got a tat just above my a$$ crack: it has a picture of bobby vaughn’s tongue–> on his tongue it reads FTW… fill thy whirl…

    so hardcore, let me shave my head, and walk my pitbulls around with a flannel shirt in 90 degree weather. f222 the world bros..

  • John Boomer

    This Bobby is a hard worker, I’ll give him that, and give respect to anyone who can make it on their own, a self made-man, thats respect, it has to be (IF this story is true) but a role model? That’s where my respect ends. Drugs, gangs, killings, criminal, etc, not a role model at all. And dont call him a SEAL, only if you complete the course, I would not even call him former military, he dropped out.

  • Pingback: FTW Industry » The Life of Bobby Vaughn – Surfing Magazine

  • Fag The World

    H-Thug bro

  • shamas

    This Bobby is a hard worker,

  • cinsy

    yes This Bobby is a hard worker

  • True Venice Family

    Bobby Vaughn is a punk ass, pathological liar, who killed his best friend Mark, shooting him 7 times, when Mark asked for the money he was owed for serving 7 years for Bobby…Mark took the rap for Bobby…Mark was a great man!!! Ask Nicole Narain…Bobby did not start Von Dutch, nor was he ever a Navy Seal. Bobby is a professional con man, crook, thief, coward, and owes thousands in back child support, simple check here
    He also owes so many people he duped in LA. No wonder he ran off to NYC, becuase there is a bounty of his head in CA…wonder if the Rivas brothers know he’s in NYC, just off Times Square. A role model not.

  • Amanda Sanchez

    I was his girlfriend at a very uncertain time in my life. This guy is a complete low life as a human.
    He tattooed my name 1 month into knowing him. Then as we lived together stabbed holes in walls with a knife and gave me a black eye. He owned a gun and pointed it at me in a fight. He has mental problems but you would never believe it. Until he starts listening to 2Pac… Then he will change. He is a peice of shit. He would lash out on me , as he was having melt downs over not seeing his kid.
    This person belongs in jail or at the very least I’m telling any female who dates him…. This guy IS an abuser and is a complete CON?!!!! He will do whatever it takes to win you over. I lost everything over this price of crap. His lack of family, you will pay for! Get some help ” Bobby Vaughn” … We all know it’s not your real name. You had nice people in your life and you fucked then all!!! Loser

  • mark thomas

    please contact me, let’s talk FTW stuff