The New Guy by Chris Collier
by Chris Collier
May 11th, 2022

Competition Corner: Ray Martinez

San Antonio’s 2022 rendition of the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) is only 126 days away. The Henry B. González Convention Center hosts the Automotive Tint-Off™ Division, Architectural Tint-Off™ Division, Paint Protection Film Division and Decorative Film Competition. Ray Martinez, manager of Mr. Tint’s Vista, Calif., location, is currently prepping for a gauntlet he’s battled five times prior.

Ray Martinez has been in the tinting game for decades.

WF: What inspired you to enter the window film industry?
Martinez: I returned from college and looked for a job. A friend was already in the industry. I went to work with him and started as a cleaner back in the ‘90s. I’ve been tinting since 1998.

WF: This will be your fifth Automotive Tint-Off™ competition. How close have you come to winning?
Martinez: I’ve gotten as far as fifth in points in 2012 in Louisville, Ky. Hopefully, the nerves are lower this time. I’m pretty confident; I was confident last time, but I made a crucial mistake.

WF: Do you incorporate preparation techniques before competitions?
Martinez: When I get closer to the day, I will do less computer plotting and more hand-cutting and practice that technique to prepare.

Ray Martinez heads into WFCT 2022 hungry for victory.

WF: What’s your most memorable WFCT memory?
Martinez: It was my first competition. We finished the back glass on the car for the last round. I had fractions of seconds left to finish, and the other competitor on my car gave his final [customer] instructions to the proctor. I didn’t have a chance to give my instructions right away. I had to say them extremely fast before the bell rang—don’t roll the windows down, don’t use any ammonia products, it’s going to be slightly cloudy as it dries and there will be moisture bubbles.

WF: What is the largest hurdle you’ve overcome during your 24 years in the industry?
Martinez: I come across as slightly rude when I’m busy. I try and sit on the customer’s side and see how they would react if I were in a hurry and running around. Slowing down and talking to customers is how I overcame that hurdle.

WF: You’ve been in the industry for decades. What keeps you going?
Martinez: The freedom it gives me to make my schedule. I make pretty good money and do it with my own hands.

Stay locked into The New Guy for more conversations with registered WFCT 2022 competitors in the months to come. I can’t wait to see you all—including Martinez—in person come September 14-16.

Click here to register for the largest WFCT to date.

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