Before he could even sprout peach fuzz, Bobby Martinez was the next big thing. The first Kelly Slater. The Santa Barbara goofy foot was California’s great hope to bring a world title back to California. Can you imagine that pressure? Jeeze, at 13 most of us were stressed about pimples—imagine being the future world champ and worrying about pimples. Nobody should have to go through that. But Bobby did. And while he doesn’t yet have his world title, he brings flavor to a sport that is predomately two scoops of vanilla with a side of water. His Mexican heritage alone makes him stand out. Add to it a handle-bar mustache, full-back tattoos, shaved head, a pack of homies riding with him in his BMW, decked out in Raiders gear, bumping gangsta’ rap, and you get a character so unique that if you saw him without knowing who he was, you’d think he’d drowned if he got near the ocean. Not so. Bobby may be the best goofyfoot in the world. His backside attack is as flawless as Rincon, the wave that shaped it. But that doesn’t mean he’s weak in lefts. He’s twice won at both Mundaka and Teahopoo, and since his rookie of the year performance in 2006, he hasn’t left the top 10. The best part is, the guy is real. He is humble and says please and thank you and passes praise to others and lays blame on himself. You almost want to write it off as an act until he balances his nice guy side by calling bullshit on someone or something. The ASP. The surf industry. Whatever. It’s an attitude that more pro surfers should adopt—its just surfing, and I’m going to do it whether you’re here or not.