Brave the Wave (Japanese: ムロジム！波乗りジムリーダー・トウキ登場！Muro Gym! Enter Touki the Surfing Gym Leader!) is the 20th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 294th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 10, 2003 and in the United States on February 7, 2004.
Ash charges out in the early morning, ready to challenge the Dewford Gym. He's followed by Max, May, and Brock who are all still wiping the sleep out of their eyes. Upon arriving at the door to the Gym, Ash is bowled over by a group of energetic surfers charging out of the door. The surfers are followed by a man who apologizes for the commotion and turns out to be none other than Brawly, the Dewford Gym Leader. Ash instantly asks for a match, but Brawly has plans to go surfing. Ash is irritated that Brawly won't accept the challenge, but he, May, Max, and Brock end up following Brawly and his surfer friends to the beach—much to his dismay. At the beach, Team Rocket is happily running a snack stand and they modify their motto to suit the service industry atmosphere. Of course, they see Ash and his friends arriving at the beach and begin devising a plot to steal Pikachu; although James is content to continue selling their frosty beverages. Brawly and his Makuhita begin surfing the waves.
On shore, Pikachu is caught by Team Rocket. They try to get away in a motor boat, but they are tailed by Makuhita on its surfboard. Makuhita rams into the boat, sending Pikachu flying into the water. Ash has Pikachu do a Thunderbolt attack to send Team Rocket blasting off again. Brawly then agrees to a 2-on-2 match with Ash. Ash uses his Taillow against Brawly's Machop. Brawly's Machop knocks out Taillow with a Karate Chop. Next Ash sends out Treecko, which knocks out Machop. Brawly then releases Makuhita against the already tiring Treecko. Just when it seems like Treecko won't give up, Makuhita evolves into Hariyama and finishes off Treecko. Ash takes Treecko to the Pokémon Center to rest up and regrets the fact that he put Treecko through such a tough fight. The episode ends with Ash deciding to stay on the island to train some more.
Ash and Pikachu rush out of the Pokémon Center, ready to challenge the Dewford Gym. Brock and Max remark that Ash sure is keen, and May prepares to walk out carrying her pillow, causing her to blush. The group all reach the Gym's entrance. After noticing the Gym's entrance arch stating "Fight the big wave", Max remarks that the Gym Leader must be confident in their fighting skills. Brock wonders if the Leader is a musclebound man like Chuck from the Cianwood Gym. However, Ash sweeps aside their concerns, declaring that he can still win. Ash walks up to knock on the door, but he is knocked over when a fleet of girls with surfboards rush outside. A man follows them out and says that Ash should probably not take a nap there. Brock immediately begins to flirt with all the girls. Ash says that he is looking to challenge the Gym Leader, and the man introduces himself as Brawly, the Dewford Gym Leader. Ash is unimpressed when Brawly declares that he is going to enjoy the surf and suggests he come back tomorrow. May and Brock tell him to relax and both head for the beach with Ash and Max grudgingly following them.
Many people are out surfing on the ocean already. Two people walk into a café looking for service. Jessie and James emerge from behind the counter, working as wait staff, recites a motto about food. After getting their drinks, the customers rush out after being creeped out by the wait staff's enthusiasm. Meowth alerts his teammates to the twerps arrival, and the trio set their sights once again on stealing Pikachu.
The group reach the surf beach. May promptly begins removing her clothes, revealing a swimsuit underneath. Brock spots some surfer girls riding the waves and begins calling out to them, while May sees Brawly nearby. Brawly sends out a Makuhita who goes surfing with him. Ash looks Makuhita up on his Pokédex. As Brawly and Makuhita are working on their surfing, Ash calls out to them, demanding a battle. The distraction almost leads Makuhita to lose its footing, but Brawly orders it to concentrate on its balance. Ash makes a desperate plea before diving into the sea, where he emerges between Makuhita and Brawly to demand a challenge. Ash's attempt to get the pair's attentions, leads them all to wipe out. Brock and the others rush out from the beach café to check on Brawly as he revives his Makuhita. Ash rises from the sand and again reiterates his pleas.
Now in a boat out at sea, Meowth watches the group through his binoculars and hones in on Pikachu. Jessie orders James to fire a rocket-propelled net, which quickly snares Pikachu. He attempts to shock them, but the net is electric proof. Brawly demands to know who they are, but instead of reciting their motto once again, the Rocket trio speeds off. Brawly calls on his Makuhita's assistance, and it paddle-boards right up to Team Rocket’s boat before striking it. The collision sends Pikachu into the water, and Ash soon frees him from the net. The Rocket trio attempt to plug the holes in their boat with their hands. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt on them and they blast off. Brawly finally agrees to battle Ash, after seeing his stellar performance against Team Rocket.
The group follows Brawly back to the Dewford Gym. Ash is particularly pumped, taking the moment to stretch. May wonders what his strategy is, but Max and Brock don't think he has one. They warn Ash, but he says with Taillow he can win against a surfer dude. Ash sends out Taillow as his first Pokémon, and Brawly counters with Machop. May checks her Pokédex, and is startled to learn of Machop's strength. Ash tells Taillow to use Wing Attack, hitting Machop. Ash has Taillow use several Wing Attack, all of them hitting Machop. Ash wonders how Machop can still look so strong after getting hit so many times. Brock says that Machop is absorbing the blows so Ash has Taillow use Quick Attack. Brawly finally orders a move, Cross Chop, hitting Taillow square on and knocking it out. Brock realizes that surfing must have given advantage to Brawly's Pokémon and tells Ash to stop using power attacks. Ash says that if they keep using power attacks then Brawly's Pokémon will wear down eventually and says that he is sticking with his strategy.
Ash sends out Treecko. He tells Treecko to use Pound continuously, but none of the attacks land as Machop continues to roll to evade. Machop stumbles forward and is beginning to show sign of exhaustion, so Ash orders a Quick Attack. While Machop evades the attack, Treccko follows up with a Pound, and the attack from behind knocks Machop out. Ash declares that now it’s a one-on-one match, and Brawly admits that things are starting to get interesting. May and Max believe that Ash is now making a comeback, but Brock admits that fatigue is what led to Machop’s defeat. He reminds them that Treecko is now exhausted, declaring that Ash is unlikely to fair as well in the next round.
Brawly sends Makuhita out next. Ash has Treecko start things off with a Pound attack, but Makuhita rolls to evade. Treecko continues to use Pound, though they all fail to hit their mark. Ash is becoming increasingly frustrated, and Treecko suddenly collapses to its knees as it attempts yet another Pound attack. It catches it breath for a moment before launching into a Quick Attack. Makuhita counters with Vital Throw, slamming Treecko to the ground. He then has Makuhita use Arm Thrust and everybody thinks Treecko is done when it gets back up, barely. Ash then orders Pound again and Makuhita counters with Seismic Toss. Treecko manages to stumble to its feet when Makuhita evolves into Hariyama. Brock tells Ash that Treecko has reached its limits and Brawly agrees, but Ash refuses to forfeit. Ash has Treecko use Pound again, but Hariyama blocks it and uses Knock Off, slamming Treecko into the wall and knocking it out. The referee officially calls the match, announcing that Brawly is the victor. Brawly commends Ash on his effort before recommending that he get Treecko to a Pokémon Center.
At the Center, Treecko lies bruised and exhausted in a recovery bed. Nurse Joy informs Ash that Treecko will be physically okay after some rest, however she suggests he not force a Pokémon to overextend itself in future battles. Brock and the others share Nurse Joy's sentiments. Ash gets mad at them, admitting that he was so close to winning but they lost to a leader who would rather be surfing then training. Brock tells him to knock it off, but Ash tells him to shut up and runs out of the room. Pikachu rushes after Ash, and the pair take a moment to clear their heads during an evening beach stroll. Ash admits to Pikachu that he shouldn't have exhausted Treecko like he did. The pair stumble across Brawly surfing with Hariyama, helping it get used to its larger form. He tells Hariyama that if Ash had battled with a level head, things might have been different so they need to keep training. As Brawly and Hariyama walk ashore, Ash approaches them. Brawly asks about Treecko and Ash tells him that Treecko will be fine. Ash then apologizes for thinking surfing was worthless. Brawly tells him that playing in nature becomes training. Brock and the others walk over to Ash, and he apologizes to them. He declares that he would like to stay of Dewford Island for further training towards a rematch, and the others are more than happy to support him.