#15 Martin Potter

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

Pipeline 1982. Photo: Jeff Divine

Pipeline 1982. Photo: Jeff Divine

Pottz was a beast. He blew everybody away in terms of maneuvers and speed and flash. The first time I saw Pottz I didn't even know who he was. I was just a little guy at T-Street, where I grew up. He paddled out one day and I saw him catch a wave right off the bat. I watched that wave and then turned to my friend and asked: "Who the f-ck is that?" He was on a twin-fin, one of those old classic twin-fins that he rode, a green and yellow one, and he was just destroying everything. He had such good style and he was so fast and powerful. I was into Cheyne Horan and Rabbit at the time, but after I saw Pottz, he took over my whole way of looking at surfing.

He'd get on a wave and fly--literally fly. Other people looked like they were dragging anchors behind their boards compared to him. His surfing made me realize that if you're not going fast, no matter what you do, it just looks like shit. So I always, from that first moment forward, tried to build my approach around speed.

Later on, we both ended up riding for Town and Country and we eventually got to hang out a lot and surf together and he was always super cool. We were on tour together when I got older, too, and we had some nights. He liked to have fun. I was stoked on him, like a grom, even after I got to know him. I still am today. I saw a photo of him recently in one of the mags from a boat trip and I caught myself staring at it. And it was all there, just like that first time I saw him. The speed. The aggression. Everything. He's still the animal that I remember from that day at T-Street. --Matt Archbold

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