An Open Letter to Surf Team Managers

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Bobby Martinez: A hugger, not a monster…logo notwithstanding. Photo: Sherm


Dear Surf Team Managers,

You don’t tell us how to do our job, so we won’t tell you how to do yours starting tomorrow.

Until then, hey, you should meet our friend Bobby Martinez. He’s unsponsored, kinda cute, and actually isn’t less interesting than cottage f–king cheese. You two have so much to talk about!

For instance: what it’s like to be an inked up Mexican among Beachboy Ken dolls; Tupac; spacious pants; why boxing is better than surfing; and keeping it real. Also, why Bobby — backhand genius on a tour that’s ethnically cleansed itself of lefts — is without a major clothing sponsor. That’ll be an interesting conversation. Maybe we can sit in.


Sign Bobby and he’ll totally sport your stickers while rebuking judges after his heats. Photo: Sherm


It’s just that…how do we put this? Imagine Bobby as a magical marketing unicorn in a herd of mules. You and your bosses ignore him because he looks a little on the grumpy side, as unicorns go, plus he has that ominous pointy horn and you’re pretty sure he’d gore you if given half a chance. So you pretend there’s no unicorn, and pay all your attention (and cash cash money) to the mules, whose assembly line sameness could knock a coked up insomniac out cold.

Sponsor Bobby, is what we’re saying.

Hey, it would be so much fun (for us as fans — not for you). Even if he wouldn’t wear your product and might actually ridicule you publicly. Even if he wouldn’t play Reach Around the Media like most pros (and we do enjoy it). Even if your brand would struggle to market him like a pathetic baby bird struggles to fly. Even then it would be so much fun. Bobby is spice on rice. Flavor. Chipotle sauce.


Bobby’s friends are wondering why his boards have blank noses. What should we tell them? Photo: Monster Energy


Again, we can’t guarantee he’d provide a return on your investment (but neither can you, with any athlete sponsorship, and you know it). We can’t guarantee his blunt demeanor wouldn’t hurt your feelings on a daily basis. We can’t guarantee he’d return your phone calls (sure won’t return ours). But what we do know is this: if Bobby can’t get paid to surf and abandons this racket, quits this life, goes off to bet the fights and play handball and raise Rottweilers, we’re holding all of you accountable for negligence. And we might just play the race card for good measure.

Don’t let it go down like that. Don’t toss out this national treasure just to be one of a dozen logos on the next slice of Wonder Bread to learn an air-reverse. Look into your hearts and budgets and think about Bobby: laughing, slashing, kind of intimidating you. Think about Rincon, and diversity, and the Fourth of July. Think about freedom. We got Osama this month. Do the right thing.


SURFING Magazine