Blog ‘Til It Hurts: Vintage T&C Surf Designs Matt Archbold Ad

Look, no one loves Eighties and Nineties surf culture more than me. Admittedly, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of competition for that dubious distinction, but I want to make this clear before I start poking fun at the T&C Surf Designs ad featured above. And now that the necessary caveats are out of the way…my goodness, is this ad hilarious or what. Matt Archbold rips, but he doesn’t strike me as the most enthusiastic model. The pose in the middle makes me crack up every time I see it. It looks like someone pushed Archy from behind and then captured his confused expression halfway through the fall. I also can’t say the whole “Surf ‘Til It Hurts” tagline resonates with me too much. I’m in my mid-thirties and I work a desk job, the pain is a given any time I paddle out, thank you very much.

But who am I kidding? I genuinely love this stuff, even if I do like to have a little fun with it.For those of us that came of age in the Eighties and Nineties, T&C Surf Designs will always be a brand inextricably linked with radical surfing and edgy designs. (And yes, I would still rock one of those sweatshirts today!) And how rad is that backside air that Archy is boosting towards the right hand side of the frame? I’ve always thought Archy had incredible style, dating back to late Nineties MCD ads that showcased his tattoos and his wicked backhand vertical attack.

Matt Archbold Archy Rob Gilley Surfer Magazine.jpg
Archy at the Salt Creek parking lot, showing off his varied quiver. Photo by Rob Gilley; picture via Surfer Magazine

For those of you who are into the classier side of T&C’s history, check out last week’s Sagas of Shred entry. As for me, I always prefer my surf history with just a splash of neon.

That’s it for this week’s Sagas of Shred entry. As always, tune in next Thursday for another dose of vintage surf culture.

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