Herbie Fletcher Longboard from 1975

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a surfboard from a man who has appeared many times on this humble little blog: the one-of-a-kind Herbie Fletcher. Fletcher is a surfer, a shaper, a businessman and an artist, a multi-hyphenate before that kind of thing ever really became cool. Pictured below is a neat example of a Herbie Fletcher longboard that was shaped in 1975, according to the seller.

The Craigslist posting for the board above is no longer up. Pics are via the original listing. It’s got a beautiful nearly opaque glass job in the classic Coke bottle hues. I love the Herbie Fletcher logo located on the deck towards the tail. The Herbie Fletcher longboard pictured above measures in at 8’6″, a bit on the shorter end for a traditional noserider. It’s interesting that the board was shaped during 1975, during a time when longboards had fallen somewhat out of fashion; then again, I get the sense that Herbie is the kind of guy who marches to the beat of his own drum.

Herbie Fletcher Longboard 1975 8'6" 2.jpg

The Herbie Fletcher longboard also comes with a sick vintage Rainbow Fin. You usually don’t see Rainbow Fins with such dark colors, but I dig it overall.

One thing about Herbie’s boards is I have never been able to tell the difference between boards hand shaped by Fletcher and those produced by other shapers working under the label. For example, I posted a old Astrodeck ad that listed Mike Perry as being a shaper for the Herbie Fletcher brand. In addition, there’s actually a Herbie Fletcher single fin that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. The eBay board has a signature from shaper Del Miller, who was a protege of Rich Harbour‘s during the 1970s. In fact, I have yet to see a Herbie Fletcher signature anywhere on a board, and I’m beginning to think that he simply didn’t sign any of his creations. If anyone has more info, I’d love to hear it.

And while I’m a stickler for hand shapes, I think it’s a bit besides the point as to who actually shaped the Herbie Fletcher longboard featured here. It’s a beautiful board from one of the modern legends of the sport, and that’s more than good enough for me.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (Jan 14)

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the inaugural Social Media Roundup of 2018! Keep scrolling for some of my favorite selections from Instagram over the past few months.

Wave tool! @craig__anderson

A post shared by johnrespondek (@johnrespondek) on

Love this picture of Craig Anderson on an old-school Wave Tools / Lance Collins twin fin. Check out Board Collector for a behind-the-scenes look of this photoshoot, which I believe originally ran in Stab Magazine.

It’s coming soon, kids! The California Gold Surf Auction is going to rear its head around these parts pretty soon, and you can always count on those folks bringing out the heat. Pictured above is an Owl Chapman gun alongside a Yater single fin bearing the super rare Yater Hawaii laminate.

I thought the most recent Star Wars flick was just decent, but Herbie Fletcher’s incredible sci fi airbrush above gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from the Shred Sledz editorial staff. Love the look of the board, too: I’ve seen a lot of Herbie’s squared off noseriders, but I haven’t seen nearly as many of his shorter single fins with the same design.

You know how incredible this snap is? Imagine, for a moment, a surfing maneuver so radical and boundary-defining that it even grants the surfer a free pass for wearing the footwear TC’s rocking in that picture. I kid, I kid, because Carroll has heaps of style where it actually counts: in the water and on the most critical parts of the wave. I love that he’s posing with the board in question, which, despite the Byrne laminates, was actually shaped by Pat Rawson. You can see Rawson’s signature on the tail.

Herbie Fletcher Longboard

Greetings, Shredderz! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends. And for you non-Seppo readers, I hope one day you get to enjoy the sheer delight of a holiday predicated around overeating. But I digress. Fresh off last week’s post about a 1980s ad for Astrodeck and Herbie Fletcher Surfboards comes a real-life example of a Herbie Fletcher longboard for sale. I have included pictures of the board below. Pics are via the Craigslist posting (in Boston, of all places).

Based on the color scheme alone, I would guess this bad boy was shaped sometime in the 1980s or the 1990s. The seller claims the measurements are 9’0″ x 24″ x 3″. Stoked-n-Board claims the logo in the second picture, featuring a silhouette of Herbie noseriding, was used between 1976 and 1996. I suspect the noseriding logo was featured more frequently during the 1980s and 1990s, but I can’t say for sure.

One other quick note about the Herbie Fletcher longboard, as illustrated in last week’s post: there’s no signature anywhere on the board, so there’s a good possibility the board was shaped by someone else. Stoked-n-Board lists Rick Rock and Steve Knoll as shapers that made boards under the Herbie Fletcher label, but does not make any mention of Mike Perry.

The Herbie Fletcher longboard pictured above is going for $500. I don’t know whether or not this is a fair price. I think a lot rides on whether or not Herbie shaped the board himself. If I had to guess, I would assume that 1980s and 1990s Herbie Fletcher boards go for cheaper than 70s single fins, but I haven’t seen enough on sale to say for sure.

You can check out the Craigslist posting for the Herbie Fletcher longboard here.

Early Herbie Fletcher Astrodeck Ad: Sagas of Shred (Shredzgiving Edition)

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!

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!