Bobby Martinez, 29, is retiring from the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour this September, according to his manager.
Martinez, of Santa Barbara, Calif., is in the midst of his fifth season on tour. He was named ASP Rookie of the year in 2006, finishing in fifth place. He has won four World Tour events.
According to Bryan Taylor, the surfer's L.A.-based agent, Martinez is not surfing the Billabong Pro Tahiti this week, where he has won twice, but will return for the Quiksilver Pro New York in September. He is currently the No. 22 ranked surfer in the world.
"After some 12 years of grinding it out, Bobby quite simply has had enough, and is looking forward to the next chapter of free surfing and the occasional boat trip," said Taylor today.
Taylor added that Martinez recently left for a vacation with his wife and is not available for comment.
For the last several years, Martinez has been plagued with sponsorship issues. After years with Reef, in 2008, he turned down their offer to resign with a cut in his salary. He signed with O'Neill in early 2010, a relationship that only lasted a year. Monster Energy has supported him through these times, but not as a primary sponsor. Martinez's best result of the season thus far was an equal fifth place at the Billabong Pro Rio in May.
In June, he told ESPN Surfing: "The surf world has given up on me. It's a small world and there is this image that all the big bosses of every surf company have of me. I'll remain sponsorless from a major surf company the rest of my life."
As a competitor, he was still very much in the thick of the hunt after beating Kelly Slater in Brazil to move himself up to the No. 14 spot. He had bright moments at the Nike Lowers Pro in May and the Nike US Open in July. But he was a no-show at the Billabong Pro J-Bay and is not competing in Tahiti, where he won in 2006 and 2009.
Martinez had also become a very open critic of the ASP in the last several years, making controversial statements in post-heat interviews and through his Twitter account. His most recent blast came via the social media outlet in June about the ASP's new One World ranking system. He has been fined in the past.
This is not the only news coming out of the Martinez camp. It seems that the goofy footer has also signed with FTW Clothing, a streetwear company launched in 2004 by Von Dutch co-founder Robert Vaughn, now owned by urban apparel company, Unit 98 (Sean John, Rocawear, Apple Bottom Jeans). FTW, a name borrowed from a motorcycle gang slogan, is based in Rockaway, New York, where Vaughn opened a surf shop in 2009. According to Taylor, Martinez will compete in Quiksilver Pro New York because this is where FTW is based.