Congratulations to Bobby on winning the 2009 Billabong Pro in Tahiti!
TEAHUPOO, Tahiti (Tuesday, May 19, 2009) – Bobby Martinez (USA), 26, has taken out the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui, defeating fellow Finalist Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, in clean three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves at Teahupoo.
Event No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti survived a marathon waiting period, culminating on the second-to-last available day in improving conditions that peaked for a climactic Final. Martinez surfed a near-flawless heat, opening up with an impressive 8.73 out of a possible 10 before putting his opponent in a combination situation with a Houdini-esque 9.73 out of a possible 10.
Netting the highest heat total of the event, an 18.46 out of a possible 20, Martinez claimed his second Billabong Pro Tahiti and fourth elite tour win, establishing himself as one of the premier tube-riders in the world. “I feel great and a bit emotional,” Martinez said. “I feel wonderful.
I waited for the good ones out there and just got lucky. There weren’t too many waves and I was lucky enough to get a couple of good ones and not fall. Things just seemed to work out for me today. I really don’t know what to say. It feels really special.” The form surfer of the event, Martinez surfed the majority of his heats on borrowed equipment, having broken most of his surfboards early in the waiting period.
“I actually borrowed a board from Alain Riou (local Tahitian surfer),” Martinez said. “He rides Darren Handley shapes and the board was the same dimensions and pretty much the same board I ride. It was great to find that as yesterday, I was a bit skeptical about today in terms of the conditions and my equipment, but everything worked out perfectly.” 2009 is Martinez’s fourth year on tour and, so far, he’s been a model of consistency. He finished all three seasons in the top-10 (6th, 10th and 9th, respectively), has won three major events and was the 2006 Rookie of the Year.
Kelly Slater recently called him the “hungriest” surfer on tour. For many years, Martinez was the hottest young goofyfoot in Santa Barbara, a competitive animal from the same pastures as Tom Curren, who claimed seven NSSA National titles. With that momentum, Martinez jumped on the WQS Tour in 2000 at the age of 17, but injuries plagued him for half a decade. During the 2005 season Martinez won events in Brazil and Santa Cruz, and he made the WCT in 2006, a veteran at age 23. Martinez’s sponsors – Ocean & Earth accessories & hardware, Monster energy drink, Swatch watches, and DHD surfboards – take care of his travel and provide him with gear, boards and a salary that allows him to live comfortably and pay the mortgage.
“Money doesn’t make you happy. It only makes materialistic things come easier,” Martinez wrote. “I’m not a materialistic guy. All I want is family, friends, surfing and my two dogs. I’m a simple person with simple needs. I will live my life happily as long as I can just get by and be surrounded by the things I love. I never dreamed of being rich—just of being happy.”
With this decision, Martinez says happiness is exactly what he’s found (it doesn’t hurt that he got married recently).