SYDNEY, New South Wales/Australia (Friday, October 7, 2011) – Martin Potter (GBR), 44, is the 1989 ASP World Champion. He has been heralded and berated, loved and hated. He is a statesman – one of the few we have in surfing. He was forged in the fire of the tour’s early cutthroat days and rode to glory on the back of preternatural talent. The man has gone from South Africa’s child prodigy to ASP World Tour wild man to world beater to universally respected leader within the sport. He has survived and thrived on four different continents, and even with all this, there remains lots to the Martin Potter story. STAB magazine has just compiled one of the most in-depth and compelling pieces you’ll likely find on the man we know as ‘Pottz’ with comments from Brad Gerlach, Tom Carroll, Mark Richards and a number of others. This…is their story…
He was a boy. Fifteen. And, over two events in the year of Reagan and De Lorean, he blew a generation back into the seventies. At the 1981 Guston 500, riding a green 5’5″ Spider Murphy twin-fin with an outline of The Saint painted on the deck because his mother thought he looked like Roger Moore, Martin Potter benched Derek Hynd, Mike Savage, Shaun Tomson and Dane Kealoha.
“Can you imagine the best Dane (Kealoha) surfing you’d ever seen and the best surfing of Cheyne (Horan)? Then, all of a sudden, there’s a kid combining the two?” says Derek Hynd. “I remember paddling out after desperately waging a hustling war on this little kid and paddling out in the lead with 30 seconds to go, knowing that if the kid caught anything more than a ripple he was going to smash me because he was obviously a fantastic surfer. And he did.”
Tom Carroll says: “Dane was the fastest guy at that time and he was matching Dane. We were flabbergasted.”
Mark Richards, who would win his third world title that year, faced Martin in the final of the second event, the Mainstay Magnum.
“I’d heard about him prior to…
For full story, check out STAB’s ‘Pottz is the Man’