Alright, Shredderz: 2018 is a serious year, and we’re not holding back. Yeah, that’s right: first Sagas of Shred entry in the new year means a full-page advertisement for perhaps the single greatest cult surfboard brand of the 1980s: Christian Fletcher Surfboards.
Christian Fletcher is still revered as one of the most influential surfers of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Along with brother Nathan Fletcher, Christian was tabbed as a scion of surfing’s first family, the infamous Hoffman-Fletcher clan. Fletcher, however, ran from the cheerful conformity of the Orange County pro surfing scene, thanks to the surf establishment’s open hostility towards Fletcher’s aerial-heavy surfing. Sadly, Fletcher’s rebellious nature didn’t stop just at pro surfing contests, and he has openly struggled with substance abuse throughout his career. Then again, we don’t require rebels to be perfect — we simply ask that they be interesting, and Christian Fletcher is nothing if not a fascinating figure. As always, Matt Warshaw and the peerless Encyclopedia of Surfing have summed up Fletcher’s career far better than I ever could, and I urge you to subscribe to EoS if you haven’t yet. One interesting thing to note is Warshaw mentions that Christian Fletcher Surfboards was founded in 1991. However, the Christian Fletcher Surfboards ad pictured above was definitely taken from a 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine. I’m not sure how long the Christian Fletcher Surfboards brand lasted, but these boards are extremely coveted today.
It’s also interesting to note that Fletcher had high-profile sponsorships with other surfboard brands; most notably Town & Country / T&C Surf Designs. I’ve never understood how Fletcher managed to start his own brand while simultaneously riding for T&C. He also rode for a couple of other famous Orange County shapers, such as Randy Sleigh, Chris McElroy and Steve Boysen, though I’m not sure if they were considered proper sponsors.
At the end of the day, though, much of the enduring appeal of Christian Fletcher Surfboards has to do with the man himself and that incredible logo. You’ll often see the Christian Fletcher Surfboards logo in full color, but I happen to love the starkness of the black and white version here. The graphic is a perfect summary of Fletcher as a person and a surfer — radical and impossible to ignore.
As always, tune in next Thursday for another installment of Sagas of Shred!
A quick overview of some recent sales of Christian Fletcher Surfboards
Greetings, Shredderz! A few Christian Fletcher Surfboards were listed for sale on eBay recently, which can only mean one thing: time for another Shred Sledz post!
The first board, which can be seen directly above, mysteriously had the auction pulled. This means there’s no price data to be shared. You can see the board has classic Town & Country Surfboards laminates, but it was actually shaped by Steve Boysen. To be honest, I never understood why T&C sponsored Fletcher, only to let him simultaneously advertise Christian Fletcher Surfboards in addition to non-T&C shapers, like Boysen and Nev Hyman. Regarding the board above, it’s not in great condition, but it’s far from beat up, either. It’s a shame the original owner went with Gorilla Grip instead of Astrodeck!
The second example of a Christian Fletcher Surfboards model is still for sale on eBay. Pics above are via the listing, which you can find here. This board actually sold on eBay about a week ago. The original listing can be found here. The closing price the first time around was $650, including free shipping. My guess is the original buyer backed out, as the re-listed board has the same seller. The current price is $425, with a little over a day left in the auction. I have omitted the pictures that show where repairs have been made. In addition, there’s a considerable amount of fading on the logo on the bottom of the board. The fact a board in this kind of condition can still command $650 on eBay speaks to the collectibility of Christian Fletcher Surfboards. The board above does not have a T&C logo, and I imagine collectors prefer the classic T&C laminates of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The third and final board is a departure in the sense that it has what I believe is a more recent Christian Fletcher logo. Pic above via the listing, which you can find here. Why did they get rid of the original logo?! I hate to be the grouchy old guy reminiscing about the good old days, but to me it’s clear that the updated version is vastly inferior to the neon chaos of the classic Christian Fletcher design. Anyway, this seems to be reflected in the price: the board pictured above sold for $371 (however, it’s worth noting that shipping was $200 for the board.)
Photo credit at top of the page: photographer unknown, pic via RVCA
Greetings, Shredderz! Hope you are all having fantastic weekends. Without any further ado, here’s a selection of social media posts that have recently caught my eye.
Christian Fletcher’s signature model is the coolest. Raddest. Most-shredding-est. Choose whatever superlative you prefer; I just can’t get enough of these things.
Hit the “Continue Reading” link below for some more vintage surfboard goodness…
Continue reading “Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (April 30)”