Herbie Fletcher twin-fin shortboard (early 1980’s)
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Rare Herbie Fletcher 5’10 twin-fin shaped in the early 1980’s. All original condition.
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History of Herbie Fletcher surfboards
Known for being an exceptional surfer and shaper, contributor to the longboard renaissance, inventor of the surfboard traction pad (Astrodeck), and a talented artist. Herbie Fletcher was born in 1949, in California. He began his surfing adventure at 10 years old and has been mastering his skills ever since. Herbie “The Kid” Fletcher grew up in Huntington Beach, California but left his family house by the age of 16 to experience the charms of Oahu’s North Shore. Always seeking a thrill and new adventure has paid off in his surfing career as well as in business. When his dream of moving to Hawaii came true, he followed in the footsteps of the greatest, especially David Nuuhiwa.
In 1966, still just 17, he took part in the World Surfing Championships and won seventh place. Being a semifinalist in an important competition at such a young age was a big success for Herbie. He had done a couple of small jobs and earned enough money to have a place to sleep and something to eat as he enjoyed a life in paradise. Making money as a surfer was beyond his wildest expectations. However, Herbie’s skill at riding big waves caught the attention of Hobie Alter and Bruce Brown. They decided to pay him to surf and make appearances at local malls talking to the youth of the day about the thrills of surfing. One day Herbie received an offer from Greg MacGillivray to star in his new surfing movie titled “Free and Easy”. In the following years, he became a co-owner of the famous beach front “Pipe house” with Gerry Lopez, located front and center at Banzai Pipeline. He would set up his camera with the lens pointed right down the barrel, to ensure a powerfully dynamic vision. With that idea, he became a producer of the “Wave Warrior” video series. Recently, Fletcher released a series of edits based on his archived footage. Herbie Fletcher’s name is etched in history as one of the pioneers of the modern surf video.
Fletcher was also a very talented shaper with skills and designs that played a major part in the introduction of shortboards. He had the opportunity to acquire knowledge from the legendary Phil Edwards, who became his mentor. Many design elements that we know today- such as down rails, are part of his merits. Herbie Fletcher’s most famous surfboard design was his square nose noserider. He has been shaping this model, as well as riding it for years. In 1976, he founded his own surfboard label, Herbie Fletcher surfboards. When everyone was going crazy over shortboards, he kept his style, promoting noseriding and longboards. Interestingly, Herbie Fletcher’s famous pointed arrow logo displayed on the majority of his boards has a strong connection to his name. The surname “Fletcher” means “maker of arrows” coming from the French word “la flèche”. On his website he explains - “I’ve used the arrow to propel my self through the vortex of life”. Allegedly, his mother has Native American roots however, she was adopted by a pious Nazarene preacher and there’s not much information about her natural heritage. The roots were always important to Herbie. He is father to Christian and Nathan Fletcher- both legends of the surfing world in their own right. From July – August 2019, there was an exhibition in New York city on Madison Avenue- “Fletcher Family: A Lifetime in Surf”, to celebrate Herbie as an artist.