Professional surfing needed Martin Potter. He was an adrenaline needle that pierced the heart of a bloated 1980’s ASP schedule, a contest lineup dominated by gutless venues favoring only the most emaciated and delicate of surfers. But Potter was pure power, applying modern embellishments to Richard Cram’s gouging figure eight roundhouses and setting vertical lines that catapulted him beyond the lip. Lacking the nuanced artistry of Curren or the coiled tension of Carroll, Potter’s surfing was fully extended and obvious. His turns were marked by meat and muscle. He could fly off the shoulder of a knee high dribbler or thread the guts of a 12-foot drainer. A Pipeline prodigy at 15 and among the first to incorporate aerial surfing into a powerful carving aesthetic, Potter called to arms apprentices the likes of Matt Archbold, Christian Fletcher, and later Kelly Slater. Often described by way of “beast,” “erratic,” “explosive,” “hyperbolic,” and “unpredictable;” “Pottz” entered pro surfing like a shooting star that wouldn’t dim until reaching maximum altitude.
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