Is Shredzgiving the worst portmanteau in the history of the English language? Quite possibly. Am I going to roll with it anyway? You know it. This year I am thankful for the following: tasty waves, vintage sticks, family, friends and the bro-deal of a lifetime, in which a generous soul gave me a few decades’ worth of Surfer Magazine for free. Sagas of Shred came about when I would read old issues of Surfer Magazine and stumble across some amazing old advertisements that were able to capture surf history in a unique manner. Moreover, I was taken aback by the fact that not a whole lot of effort had been made to preserve the content in these ads. Some companies, like Clark Foam, have simply ceased to exist. A few companies, like Harbour Surfboards, have great archives, but for the most part, the only way to view old surf ads is to hoard a collection of magazines large enough to guarantee marital strife. Today’s Sagas of Shred post features a Herbie Fletcher Astrodeck ad from a 1979 issue of Surfer Magazine.
Astrodeck was founded in 1976, which means the ad above is from the brand’s earlier days. You’ll note that the ad pre-dates Astrodeck’s now-famous logo. There are a few other details that stand out. First, during the height of Astrodeck’s popularity, it boasted a team roster stocked to the gills with standout pros. The Astrodeck ad above features team riders Jimmy Spring and Mark Tomb, neither of whom I had heard of before.
Second, the Astrodeck ad doubles as a promotion for Herbie Fletcher Surfboards. It also mentions Mike Perry as a shaper on the Herbie Fletcher Surfboards roster. I had written an earlier Sagas of Shred post featuring longtime Campbell Brothers associate Russ Short which mentioned how Short had begun riding Mike Perry’s shapes. I can only assume the Mike Perry in the Astrodeck ad is the same one who made boards for Russ Short. For some later Astrodeck ads, check out some earlier posts I wrote. I think the 80s Herbie Fletcher Astrodeck ads are more representative of what we tend to associate with the legendary traction brand.
Last but not least, I am especially thankful for my readers. I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciate the fact people have taken the time to read this humble little blog. It has been an incredible amount of fun to research vintage surfboards and surf history and to write about it. As always, I love nothing more than hearing from readers, so feel free to reach out at any time. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and stay tuned for bigger and better things from your friends at Shred Sledz!