Billabong Pro Tahiti: The Homie Blog With Manny Raya

Manny's main man and 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti champion Bobby Martinez. Photo courtesy ASP.

Manny's main man and 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti champion Bobby Martinez. Photo courtesy ASP.

Who is Manny Raya? Manny is one of Bobby Martinez’s best friends and on occasion gets to go with Bobby to stops on the World Championship Tour. We hung out with Manny and Bobby this past May in Oaxaca and after learning that Manny was in the process of becoming a professor at San Francisco State University, we signed him up for a few projects. We hope you enjoy his reporting from the Billabong Pro Tahiti, he’ll be doing the write ups as long as Bobby’s still in the event…

Eight hour flight and made it to Tahiti. The plane was pretty empty for the most part so we were able to move seats and kick it together. We played cards for most of the flight, you’ll never know who won because I swear I won a majority of the games but Bobby will swear the opposite. Besides cards we watched some videos on our computers. We watched a video on the history of the Bloods and Crips as well as the latest UFC fight. The fights were kind of weak so we pretty much talked through them about boxing (our endeavors in the sport and that of the old school lightweights like Eric Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera).

We bought food at L.A.X before boarding our flight which Bobby swore wouldn’t be enough but I shrugged him off saying that the in-flight meals would do and guess what? Funny thing about our flight, as empty as the plane was, they ran out of chicken dinners before they reached us and since neither Bobby or I really eat fish we only ate the desert.

Poor babies, huh? On a flight to Tahiti and we didn’t get chicken dinners. Well, truth be told no one complained so don’t hate. And yeah I’m sure some of you reading this may be thinking, “real Mexicans eat anything”, but you know what? We’re Mexican Americans so we happen to be a little pickier about what food we eat. As we landed in Tahiti I though we were going to land in an airport construed out of small huts, but to my surprise the airport was kind of swanky. After getting picked up from the airport we went to a local spot to eat some real Tahitian cuisine. I had the Big Mac combo and I think Bobby had the same or maybe he had the Double Royal, and Freddy P grinded on some chicken McNuggets. After our authentic Tahitian dinner we drove along a narrow windy road and had some good conversation. Our conversation comprised of tales about ghost chiles, shark week, how kick ass Bethany Hamilton is, and how hopefully the change in schedule doesn’t doom the event with shit wind and bad surf.

All and all, Today was a pretty regular day of just hangin’ with the homies and having a few laughs. Its pretty dark out so I can’t see much of what Tahiti has to offer but I know that to my right is the ocean and to my left are some really green mountains. Hopefully tomorrow Ill get a better image to paint for you guys but as far as scenery goes that’s all I have for now; another thing, hopefully tomorrow is a good day of surf out at Chopes and the homie rips it because who am I kidding it’ll probably be too big for me. Or wait…maybe just maybe, the Tahitian cuisine from tonight will kick in and I’ll charge that monster of a wave just like a Tahitian Loc.—Manny Raya

To watch the event live go to www.billabongpro.com