Herbie Fletcher Double Dip

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is just a quick hit from the archives featuring two unusual Herbie Fletcher surfboards. The photos of both boards were sent to me by a pair of generous Shredderz. Shout out to Russell and JD for passing these along — and I’d like to also issue a friendly reminder that my Instagram DMs are always open for some vintage surfboard heat! Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff:

First we have a classic Herbie Fletcher longboard, which Russell was kind enough to send along. Check out Russell on Instagram here. Apparently this board is mega thick — Russell tells me it’s close to 3″. I’m guessing it’s likely a noseriding machine, but I have yet to see this thing in person.

As you can see, the board is in pretty phenomenal condition. I can’t see any pressure dings on the surface anywhere, and it has been polished to a nice sheen. The Herbie Fletcher longboard has all the details you would want out of an older surfboard. I dig the slight bit of gradient in the tail of the Herbie Fletcher arrow logo, and the Clark Foam laminate is always a welcome sight. I’m not sure when this thing might have been shaped. If you held a gun to my head I would say the Seventies or Eighties, but that’s a wide range.

The second board is a unique Herbie Fletcher sting, which was likely shaped sometime in the Seventies. Gracias JD for sending over these pics! You can check him out on Instagram here. I mainly wanted to share this one because it’s so unusual. I have seen a good number of Herbie Fletcher single fins, but none with a sting outline, in an obvious nod to Ben Aipa’s groundbreaking design. I love the colors on this board too — there’s just something very mellow about the yellow logo and the sea green. Unfortunately some repairs were made on the bottom, as you can clearly see in the white areas, but the rest of the board looks remarkably well preserved.

Finally, if you’re in the market for a Herbie Fletcher single fin to call your own, the board featured above is still up for grabs on eBay. You can find a link to the orange Herbie board here. The price has dropped from $1100 to $850, although I’ll be curious to see if that does the trick.

Thanks again Russell and JD for the photos of these beautiful Herbie Fletcher shapes!

Grab Bag: Seventies Single Fin Selections

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of the Grab Bag, where I’ll happily point you in the direction of some really rad boards that are currently on sale. There are currently some great Seventies single fin surfboards floating around various corners of the internet, and here at Shred Sledz we see it as our duty to keep all you fine folks informed. Keep reading below for more…

Seventies Herbie Fletcher Single Fin (eBay)

Herbie Fletcher Dana Point Logo .jpg

I actually featured this board on my Instagram a few days back. First of all, I dig the swallow tail single fin combo. Actually, let me rewind: first of all, Herbie Fletcher is a legend, and for whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to shape boards that often these days. This Seventies Herbie shape looks to be in pretty good condition. It’s listed at $1,100, which I think is a bit on the steep side, but that’s not for me to decide.

Seventies Nectar Single Fin (Craigslist — Malibu)

Click the photos to enlarge. This Nectar Surfboards single fin looks like it could have been leaning against the wall of a house from “Boogie Nights.” The Seventies aesthetic is an easy punching bag for design snobs, but who cares?!. The painstaking spray job is truly a sight to behold, and there’s a bonus in the form of a lovely original Rainbow fin, too. The seller has listed this at $900. (I also happened to feature another Nectar board on Instagram today, too.)

Bing Seventies Single Fin (Craigslist — Santa Cruz)

Here’s a rad Bing surfboard with a very cool matching fin as well. This board is only $200, which I think is a great deal when you consider the fin is included. The Bing Seventies single fin has seen better days, for sure, but I think this is a great pickup.

Infinity Seventies Single Fin (Craigslist — North Carolina)

Infinity Seventies Single Fin.jpg

I wrote up a different Infinity surfboard last week, and it looks like that one is still for sale. Anyway, the one above is yet another swallow tail single fin, and it’s got an awesome spray job. Original fin is included, too. No price is listed on the ad but it’s definitely a lovely example of a vintage Infinity Surfboards stick.

Price Checks: Herbie Fletcher Egg

Greetings, Shredderz! By now some of you know that Herbie Fletcher is something of a Shred Sledz legend. Of course, Herbie is a legend, period, but more to the point, I have written about his boards many times before, and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. I’m also interested in surfboard prices, and a recent Herbie Fletcher egg popped up that gave a bit of insight into how much his boards sell for.

The board posted above is currently listed for sale on Craigslist, and you can find the listing here. All pics are via the listing.

The Herbie Fletcher egg is being listed at $600, and the price has been reduced a few times in the past few weeks. Initial asking price was $1,200. The same board was actually listed on Craigslist in November 2017 for $700, and it looks like it has changed hands since then. I would guess the board was shaped during the 80s and maybe the early 90s. The Herbie Fletcher thruster measures in at a solid 6’9″.

In my opinion $600 is pretty good for a Herbie Fletcher board, especially one in good condition, like the example shown here. And you know I’m a sucker for fins with logos on them!

Herbie Fletcher Egg 1

What I have seen, though, is that Herbie’s boards can command a wide variety of prices. A Herbie Fletcher single fin recently sold on eBay for $100, but the board wasn’t in great condition, and it was also shaped by Dee Miller. On the flip side, there was a Herbie Fletcher double winged single fin that sold on eBay for $259, despite being in pretty bad condition, including a missing fin box. I’m honestly shocked the double winged single fin sold for as much as it did, given the amount of repairs required to get it water tight again, much less looking good. But I take the $259 price as an indication that there’s a healthy market for some of Herbie’s boards. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are two other Herbie Fletcher 70s single fins for sale on eBay. However, I think both are priced way too high: one is being listed for $3,200, and the other for $2,450.

One other thing that stands out is the fact that I don’t know who shaped the board. We know that Herbie employed some other shapers under his label, both from the Dee Miller board mentioned earlier here, as well as this previous post. But I can’t say either way with the egg thruster featured in this post.

So, how come the Herbie Fletcher egg above hasn’t sold yet? I honestly don’t know. If I had to guess, I would say that Herbie’s longboards and 70s single fins are his most collectible models. It appears the board is still for sale, so if you’re keen on snagging it, check out the Craigslist post here.

Astrodeck Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! As promised, we have another episode of Sagas of Shred, which features various bits of surf history from over the years. We have written about old Astrodeck ads before, but hey, you gotta keep drawing from the well until it’s dry! Today’s installment is an Astrodeck ad from the 1980s that features another murderer’s row of surfers. Pictured left to right: Willy Morris, Rabbit Bartholomew, Larry Bertlemann, Wes Laine, Gary Elkerton, and Chappy Jennings. The second picture has Hawaiian fixtures Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Rory Russell…because the All Star team assembled in the first one simply wasn’t enough! A lot has changed in surfing over the years, but Herbie Fletcher’s unparalleled ability to gather big name pros has not. Hope you enjoyed this post and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

The Infamous Square Nose Herbie Fletcher Surfboard!

Greetings, Shredderz! First, let’s ignore the fact that I spend my Friday nights combing through Craigslist in search of great vintage surfboards. Instead, I’d like to focus on the positives. Tonight’s silver lining is nothing other than a great example of a vintage Herbie Fletcher surfboard that is currently being listed for sale.

Pictured above is a Herbie Fletcher surfboard with a squared off-nose. This board is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find a link to the listing here. The board measures in at 8’6″ and it is being offered for $1,000. I don’t have any historical prices on Fletcher surfboards. With that said, it’s difficult to find Herbie’s shapes for sale online. I was able to find two other Herbie Fletcher surfboards that are currently for sale. First is what looks like an old 1970s single fin for sale on eBay, which is listed at $2,450. Second is another 1970s single fin, this one with a winged swallow tail setup, which is listed on Craigslist for $3,200. I don’t view any of these prices as definitive, but I figured it’s helpful to have comparisons. I’d also like to point out that both of the single fins for sale have been up for grabs for a while now, which indicates that these prices are probably on the higher side.

Square Nose Herbie Fletcher Surfboard Noserider.jpg
The original Wave Warrior himself holding one of his squared off longboard designs. Note this board has a swallow tail, whereas the Craigslist board above has a squash tail. Pic via SIMA

I’m not sure when the yellow Craigslist board was made. In the Art Brewer image at the top of the post, which Herbie also shared to his Instagram, Herbie describes the board as a 7’11” shape that was made in 1976. Unfortunately, that doesn’t give much insight as to when the yellow board was shaped.

As you can see, I embedded a few posts from both Herbie and Dibi Fletcher’s Instagram accounts. I highly recommend giving both a follow. Herbie was also recently honored by the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association, and I recommend reading his wife Dibi’s tribute to him here.

Finally, here’s the link to the Herbie Fletcher surfboard for sale on Craigslist, which you can find here.

1980s Astrodeck Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of Sagas of Shred, where I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of surf culture from years past. Pictured above is an Astrodeck ad that appeared in the August 1985 issue of Surfer Magazine (Volume 26, No. 8). The ad features none other than the following surfers: Rabbit Bartholomew, Larry Bertlemann, Greg Day, Gary Elkerton, Herbie Fletcher, Marvin Foster, Hans Hedemann, Michael Ho, Marty Hoffman, Jim Hogan, Vince Klyn, Buzzy Kerbox, Wes Laine, Buddy Lomas, Gerry Lopez, Barton Lynch, Tony Moniz, Willy Morris, Paul Peterson, Martin Potter, Joe Roper, and Rory Russell (whew!). That kind of list is only fitting for a product considered to be the “ultimate in competitive traction.” Bonus points if you can match the names to all the faces!

Astrodeck: A Fletcher Family Production

Surfing is a sport with more than its fair share of characters. And even by this standard, the combined Hoffman / Fletcher clan stands out for its per capita density of colorful personalities.

As a quick aside, while previous posts have covered various members of the extended Fletcher family, none have made mention of Dibi Fletcher (nee Hoffman). Dibi is Herbie‘s wife, and in addition to being the mother of Christian and Nathan Fletcher, both of whom are renowned pro surfers, Dibi plays a large role in running the day-to-day business of Astrodeck. Like Herbie, Dibi is descended from veritable surf royalty: her father, Walter Hoffman, was an early big wave surfer and surfwear industry pioneer, and sister Joyce was an early female pro, as well. See below for an incredible old ad Joyce Hoffman did for Triumph, of all brands.

RVCA, which has a history of collaborating with the Fletcher family, trained the latest episode of its “Inspired by…” video series on Herbie and the story behind the famed Astrodeck brand. The video coincides with the release of a new RVCA x Astrodeck collaboration. You can find more detail on the collaboration here.

And while the new RVCA project is focused on Astrodeck, the surfboard traction company that Herbie and family built into one of the original surf accessories brands, given that this is a vintage surfboard blog, we can’t let this entry go without highlighting some of Herbie’s shapes!

There’s currently a Herbie Fletcher-shaped single fin for sale on Craigslist in New Jersey, and you can find pictures of it below. Link to the Craigslist post for the board can be found here.

There are some open dings on the board that will need a bit of work to get it water tight. Click through to the listing for more details. Even though the board needs work the spray job has been beautifully preserved. I’m intrigued by the combination of a single wing pintail along with the twin fin setup, which feels unusual to me. There’s no signature on the board anywhere that I can see, but I don’t know that Herbie ever signed most of his boards.

According to Stoked-n-Board, some of Fletcher’s boards were subcontracted out to other shapes. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing whether this one was shaped by Herbie himself.

There’s an Instagram user who found an old Herbie board in Baja at a surf shop near K38. He has some clear pictures of the board, and even some footage of him surfing it! It looks like a rad 70s single fin.

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#SwamisLove @nolanpowerphotography

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You would think that there would be more information available online about Herbie’s boards, but sadly, it takes a bit of digging. If any of you eagle-eyed readers have more examples of Fletcher’s handshapes, I would love to see them!

Finally, if you want to check out the board featured above, the seller is asking $525, and you can check out the board on Craigslist here.

The Original Wave Warrior: Herbie Fletcher

Photo by Jeff Divine; Courtesy of Surfline.com

For most of us mortals, December signifies the arrival of the holidays. It’s time to spend time with family, watch “Home Alone” again, drink egg nog, or maybe just use the time as an excuse to do some otherwise unjustifiable amounts of online shopping.

For the surf industry, though, December is a month of pilgrimage. Surfers from around the world descend upon the North Shore of Oahu, turning the sleepy island town of Haleiwa into the pulsing center of the surf world for a few intense weeks.

One of the best known rituals of the North Shore is the annual Wave Warriors photo shoot. The Wave Warriors shoot gathers some of the best surfers in the world. The original shoot was done back in 1983, to coincide with the release of the surf movie of the same name. After a long lull, the Wave Warriors shoot was restarted again a few years ago, with the same premise of gathering the world’s best surfers for a group photo.

The Wave Warriors maestro is none other than surfing legend Herbie Fletcher. Legend can be an overused term, and I have to admit, as I write this I am getting flashes of panic thinking about times I have used this word to describe others whose impact on surfing has been a fraction of Herbie’s. Among other things, Fletcher is an artist, the creator of surf traction original Astrodeck, and father to sons Christian and Nathan, both of whom are long-time pros. (Christian’s signature boards are particularly prized at Shred Sledz HQ).

Herbie Fletcher enjoying a coconut on the North Shore of Oahu in 1969. Photo by Art Brewer; Courtesy of Encyclopedia of Surfing

Herbie is also a surfboard shaper. As the 2016 edition of the Wave Warriors shoot is wrapping up – stay tuned for pics – I figured it would be as good a time as any to explore some of the boards that Herbie has made.

First, there is a Herbie Fletcher gun currently for sale on eBay. The board is being sold out of Japan, which explains the insane price (upwards of $3,000). Nonetheless, it’s an excellent example of a real deal Herbie Fletcher shaped board.

You can see the distinctive arrow logo, as well as the clear “Herbie Fletcher” logo in the center. I’m guessing the narrow swallowtail is likely from sometime in the 70s. You can see the original listing here as well. The listing advertises this as a “Sunset Gun”, meaning the board was designed for the big open ocean peaks of Sunset Beach, one of the North Shore’s most demanding waves. I can’t find anything that supports this, but given Fletcher’s history and the board’s design, including the unusually thick stringer, this all sounds very plausible.

I’ve seen examples of Herbie’s boards that have his name inscribed in the arrow logo, and those that are blank. First, here’s a clearer example of another Herbie Board with his name on the logo:

Apparently the board is for sale for $350 (!) and it is from 1974. The website looks like it might not have been updated in some time, but if that’s a real price then that board might be my very thoughtful gift to Mrs Shred Sledz (a la the time Homer Simpson bought Marge a bowling ball for her birthday).

Island Trader Surf posted a primo example on their blog a little while back. I’ve reproduced the picture below, and you can see there’s even a “Dana Point” visible as part of the logo, signifying the board’s place of origin:

Here’s a shot of Herbie surfing one of his own creations, and you can see his name is noticeably missing form the arrow logo:

Photo by A-Frame; courtesy of Surfline.com

I hope this was a helpful rundown of Herbie Fletcher’s various board designs. As always, feel free to leave me any feedback, and happy shredding!

Christian Fletcher and Randy Sleigh

Little known fact: The Shred Sledz Editorial Team is contractually obligated to post about any Christian Fletcher Signature Model surfboards that hit the market. Luckily for all of us, the board pictured here is currently up for sale on eBay, which you can find here.

There are no measurements listed, but let’s face it: this is the kind of purchase fueled by aesthetics, and not hydrodynamics. I love the detail on the rails. Usually, I hate seeing perfectly good vintage boards ruined by the existence of traction pads. In this case, though, it’s only fitting that a Christian Fletcher signature model would be coated in Astrodeck, the original traction pad that was invented by Herbie Fletcher, all-around surf legend and Christian’s father! In the last photo you can see Herbie, Christian, and the board posting together, which is such an awesome picture.

You can also clearly see an “R Sleigh” signature on this board. R Sleigh refers to the late Randy Sleigh, who shaped in Capistrano Beach and on the North Shore of Oahu (shout out to Stoked-n-Board for the info). Sleigh, among others, was an early shaping mentor to Matt “Mayhem” Biolos of …lost Surfboards fame.

What’s interesting to me is that the Christian Fletcher signature model seemed to have been spread across multiple brands and shapers. When I first encountered the Fletcher signature model I assumed it was specific to T&C Surfboards, but that’s not the case. Here’s an earlier Shred Sledz post about a T&C / Fletcher board that was shaped by Peter Benjamin. Here’s another Fletcher signature model, which was shaped by Chris McElroy, who apparently made boards for the 90s San Clemente guys (Matt Archbold & Fletcher), but who apparently lives in Mexico now.

You can check out the eBay listing here.