Nathan was invited to surf in this season’s Eddie Aikau Invitational. Not everyone can just register their name and expect to participate in this contest. To be included in the Eddie is like some rite of passage for big wave riders. It is no easy feat, and is actually quite a big deal. So we’re more than proud and stoked to announce Nathan’s invite, and want to congratulate him as well as the other elite invitees who have the honor to surf and compete in such a prestigious event. Go guys, go! Eddie would have wanted it that way!
Well, by now you’ve all heard that Nathan killed it during the Billabong XXL Awards. The event took place at the Grove in Anaheim this past May 4th, and all eyes were on shy, unassuming Nathan.
Nathan was nominated for three categories: “Ride of the Year”, ”Men’s Performance” and “Monster Tube Champion”, and true to Nathan’s fashion, when Dave Grohl and his fellow bandmates (of Chevy Metal fame) announced the “Monster Tube Champion” as none other than Nathan Fletcher, homeboy was nowhere to be found.
Heads were turning, eyes straining, the attending spectators both hooting and whispering in hushed tones; everyone wondering where the (unofficial) Surfer of the Year was. For a second there, we at Astrodeck even thought that maybe Nathan ducked out of the whole scene and just decided to go back home to hang with his dogs Mr. Buzz and Boopers. Sometimes it seems like surfing death-defying beastly waves comes easier for Nate rather than being publically acknowledged by his friends, peers and fans.
As Chevy Metal heckled Nathan for missing out on receiving the award - funny and awkward - and Herbie got up on stage as a last-ditch effort to buy some time (”Where are you, Nathan?”), the audience erupted into cheers as Nathan finally made his way through the congratulatory crowd and all their pats on the back.
Up on deck, in front of the masses, as he hugged his proud pops, Nathan was at a loss for words, but still in his typical humble mode as he rattled off his genuine gratefulness to those who mattered.
And thus kicked-off the Billabong XXL Awards…
A big round of applause to everyone who was nominated and to everyone who won. And, of course, we’re especially proud of Nathan. Way to go, Nate!!!
SONY XPERIA “RIDE OF THE YEAR”
WINNER: NATHAN FLETCHER/$50,000 (San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. Video by Simon Saffigna/$5,000)
SECOND PLACE: RYAN HIPWOOD/$5,000 (Gold Coast, Australia) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011.
THIRD PLACE: GREG LONG/$1,500 (San Clemente, CA, USA) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on May 19, 2011.
FOURTH PLACE: JEFF ROWLEY/$1,500 (Torquay, Victoria, Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 30, 2012.
FIFTH PLACE: GARRETT MCNAMARA/$1,500 (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011.
On Wednesday, June 29th, 21 new banners will be hung along the light poles of South El Camino Real. The series, titled “Surfer’s Row” is a tribute to San Clemente’s surfing heritage. The honorees will have their images and names placed on the six foot tall banners between the freeway crossing and Cristianitos. Obviously there were hundreds of worthy candidates from the city’s deep and historically-rich surf community, and not just surfers, but surf-writers, surf-artists, surf-photographers, surf-filmmakers, shapers, retailers and industry leaders.
The project is sponsored by San Clemente Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Clemente. The names we’re selected from an on-line poll the Chamber posted at surfersrow.com. Helping advise with the project was Jim Kempton, Steve Pezman and Ross Garrett from Surfer’s Journal, Barry Huan and Steve Wilkins from the Surfing Heritage Foundation, Fred Swegles from the Sun Post News, and Grant Ross from Surfer magazine.
OC Tavern from 5:00 - to 7:00 on the evening of the 29th, where Surfer’s Journal publisher Steve Pezmen will announce the honorees and Mayor Lori Donchak will present a plaque of the replicated banners to the San Clemente’s Surfing Heritage Foundation. The event is open to the public.
The 2011 Honorees are (Alphabetically):
- Dino & Kolohe Andino
- Matt Archbold
- Josh Baxter
- Shane & Gavin Beschen
- Corky Carroll
- Rich Chew
- Mary Lou Drummy
- Phil Edwards
- Herbie, Christian & Nathan Fletcher
- Dane, Patrick & Tanner Gudauskas
- Joyce Hoffman
- Jimmy Hogan
- Colin McPhillips
- Greg & Rusty Long
- The Paskowitz Family
- Mike Parsons