T&C thruster 5’11 by Glenn Pang for pro Matt “Archy” Archbold (2001) | All original

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5’11 T&C double wing thruster shaped by Glenn Pang for professional surfer, Matt “Archy” Archbold in 2001. All original, in great condition with cool swirl airbrush on deck.

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Matt “Archy” Archbold: The adage, live fast; die young, is Archy all the way, only he’s still going. Matthew Richard Archbold was born in Fontana, California. Just after he learned to walk, he found himself living two blocks from the San Clemente Pier, a venue that would shape his life. He was bodyboarding T Street at an early age, and a week after paddling out on his first board, he was pulling radical skate-influenced maneuvers.

In the early ’80s, San Clemente witnessed the extreme surfing of Martin Potter first-hand, and it profoundly influenced an entire generation. As the preteen Archbold entered the conformist National Scholastic Surfing Association at age 13, his mind was already heading in another direction. “I didn’t like the whole National Team,” remembers Archy. “They tried to tell you what to do.” Potter’s freesurfing was electrifying while his contest performances were spotty, and Archy followed a similar track.

In the ninth grade, Archbold dropped out of school and turned pro. Within a few years, he had earned a reputation as one of the fastest and most radical surfers in the world. Unfortunately, he was also a binge drinker, leading to missed heats and no-shows for sponsor promos. Gotcha/MCD Team Manager Mike Cruikshank was in charge of keeping tabs on Archy, and he remembers the downfall. “His so-called friends were the factor,” Cruikshank recalls. “He’d go on binges for weeks, and I was like a private investigator tracking him for days.”

He was outsurfing most of the Top 16, but his contest act was hit or miss. One constant in his life developed around this time, a relationship with shaper Timmy Patterson that still exists. Archbold rose to 34th in the world in 1987, narrowly missing a top 30 seed. Domestically, he had more success, winning a few Professional Surfing Association of America events and ranking near the top of the U.S. tour. His ability was even keel with Kelly Slater going into Slater’s first world title, but in typical fashion, Archy didn’t seem to care.

Unfortunately, his lifestyle was catching up with him. He married and had a son, Ford, in 1991, but domesticity did not follow. Multiple drunk driving arrests nearly landed him in jail, but he managed to get into a work release program. Archy relocated to the North Shore in 1994, where local heavy Brian Surratt saw that he stayed out of trouble. Any time Backdoor or Off the Wall was working, he would roll up in his classic restored car and his subtle tuberiding and aggressive moves separated him from the pack. Through the mid-’90s, he was without peer at the popular Off the Wall proving ground. “I got away from everything and focused on surfing,” he reflects fondly. MCD released the video Addiction: The Archy Story, chronicling the first 30 years of his life.

When trouble finally followed Archy to the North Shore, he returned to Southern California, where he now resides in Costa Mesa. Twice divorced with two children and a survivor of a lengthy battle with alcohol, he is hardly ready to downshift away from the scene. Adjustments to the judging criteria to reward progressive surfing would have better served him a decade ago, but it’s not too late for him to reap the rewards. “If they’re gonna do that,” he says of the evolving system, “I’m gonna try to qualify.” — Jason Borte, November 2000 (Surfer’s Journal) 

Read the full article here: http://www.surfline.com/surfing-a-to-z/matt-archbold-biography-and-photos_747/

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