Dancing When the music stops

Bobby Martinez’s first email to SURFING came almost a year ago. It was a pitch. A request. A rant. A kick in the balls to spell check. It was this, verbatim:

…whats up its bobby martinez. hows everything hope all is good. i had a idea. i wanted to run it by you. i acually never read surf magazines ever but i wanted to do a story about surfing and surfers lifes after surfing is over…i can talk to the surfers for the so called interviews and get info from the guys and one of ur writers can help me put it all together. my reason is because i feel like kids and parents at this day and age feel like surfing is gonna make there kids rich and have huge success and surfing will make the kids multi millionaires. and i no in some cases it does but thats only 1 percent of the surfers. the rest of the 99 percent arent and once finished doin the asp or photo trips and its time to have to find a new chapter in life simply because they get to old or the company drops them, then whats next for that person…id like to make people who are reading this story realize that once this surfing is over and ur not a multi millionaire what is ur next plan in life. have u had a goal outside of surfing that u wanted to pursue once ur done surfing. cuz from 35 to 70 is a longlife and no one will be paid to surf all day everyday unless ur maybe kelly or curren…

A nightmare for our copy editor, a dream for us. Surfing’s most honest and outspoken character approaching us to do a story, one that he was uniquely qualified to tell. Why? Because only a surfer who’s danced the dance and seen what happens when the music stops can look a peer in the eye and say, “Let’s cut the bullshit. This party won’t last forever. Do you or do you not have a plan?”

And so he engaged five pros in an open discourse about the realities of life before, during and, most importantly, after, they’re getting paid to surf. And while there weren’t many definitive conclusions drawn — few surfers had a concrete plan for life after surfing — maybe that’s OK. Maybe it’s enough to just get the dialogue started so that current heroes can start hatching plans and future pros will realize that stickers on your board don’t guarantee a lifetime of riches, nor are they a substitute for school. It’s a thought-provoking read, and it begins on Pg. 68.

Bobby Martinez was one of the next Kelly Slaters. He was in public school until 10th grade, after which he home-schooled until graduation. He qualified for the ‘CT in 2005 and finished 5th that year. He won four WCT events. In 2011 he quit the tour and now lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Cleo, and dog, Rio. He is starting a clothing company, Sea Sic (I don’t think the “sic” spelling was meant to be ironic, but if it was, bravo, Bobby). He is starting a family. He is figuring out what the future holds and writing the next chapter of his story.

We can’t wait to read it. —Taylor Paul

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