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.