Monday, December 6th, 2010
Herbie Fletcher's "Wrecktangle" at the Waikiki Edition Hotel
Herbie will be in Oahu this week to promote his “Wrecktangle” board sculpture that’s being featured in the lobby of The Waikiki Edition.
Coming from the mastermind of Ian Schrager, The Waikiki Edition is a new type of hotel - kind of like an entity of its own - that’s being introduced by the Marriott International. In collaboration with interior designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg and landscape designer Deborah Nevins, the Waikiki Edition resides as its own sanctuary on the sand; smack dab near the beaches and Marina shopping districts in a coastal urban sprawl. Truly, a visiting surfer’s paradise.
When you walk into the lobby, the first thing that captures your eye is the wall-to-wall “Wrecktangle” pieced together by Surfer/Artist Herbie Fletcher. Emphasizing the impact of just how powerful Hawaii’s Pipeline is, Herbie collected over 100 surfboards that have been ridden (and broken) at this notorious spot by some of the surfing world’s mighty elite: Kelly Slater, Bruce Irons, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Christian Fletcher, Nathan Fletcher, and the late Andy Irons to name just a few.
Many never think to realize the impact and sheer bravado it takes to ride waves such as the Banzai Pipeline, and for those visitors to the North Shore who are lucky enough to stay at The Waikiki Edition, the “Wrecktangle” will perhaps give them a small idea of how intense that ride was.
Friday, September 10th, 2010
Hi, this is Herbie Fletcher, inventor of the EVA Tail Pad, Kick Tail, Arch Bar, and Multi-Gridlock tread design that I named Astrodeck in the late ’70s. I created and promoted my products in magazines and surf movies, including the Wave Warriors series presented by the Astroboys, which, at the time, was the film division of my parent company Astrodeck. The origins, history, vision, and inventions coming from myself and Astrodeck has been a 30+ year experience.
I’ve had the good fortune to work with the greatest surfers from all over the globe in perfecting the Astrodeck tail pads, and I’m stoked to be known and respected as the Godfather of Traction.
To know that some impostor has stolen - not only my brand name - but my history and all the artwork from my ads to promote his inferior line of traction, is not only insulting, but I can’t imagine that the international surf community and all the great Brazilian surfers would condone such a blatant case of misrepresentation and fraud.
We’ve had the heaviest team photo shoot in the history of surfing; right on the beach in front of the Pipeline House that I owned with Gerry Lopez. This young kook stealing my name would not have been allowed on the beach (had he been born), neither would have been his predecessor; the guy who originally stole my Astrodeck name.
Thanks to all of you who know and continue to support the real Astrodeck - the originator, not the imitator!
San Clemente, CA
Click on the photos to see enlarged images.
Yeah, you tell us if they didn't steal from Astrodeck...down to the Potter point and snarl.
Herbie Fletcher created the Astroboys Wave Warriors Series. And what does the Brazilian imposter create? Nothing. He doesn't create. He steals.
Herbie actually surfs. This just looks like the guy has his foot pushed down on a board in a swimming pool.
Damn, even our old Astro Wax wasn't spared from their blatant plagiarism.
Lack of moral fiber and credibility.
Friday, August 27th, 2010
When the first Brazilian in the ’80s started using OUR company name, Astrodeck, Herb contacted him and tried to negotiate a deal to buy back our Astrodeck name that he had registered in Brazil. The guy was very uncooperative and did not want to sell it to us-which was very unethical-but, unfortunately, not illegal. Herb contacted a lawyer here in the states about options and he was advised that he could probably win the case but it could exhaust all company assets. Herb had a young, growing family, limited resources, and so he made the decision to move forward by creating films and products that he was proud of, hoping that he could revisit the Brazilian infringement at a later date.
Time marched on and the business had periods of expansion and contractions, with many people jumping into the traction market that Herb created through his invention of the surfboard tail pad. With many players in the market for the pad (Which, by the way, is the smallest segment of surf-related sales.) being dependent on the purchase of a new board, it was difficult to keep our small family-owned company afloat. There was much money spent with attorneys getting trademark protection in many foreign countries, but most never produced the revenue that made the expense worth while.
We had heard nothing out of Brazil for quite some time until we ran into our friend, the shaper, Pat Rawson, at the tradeshow last year and he said that he wanted us to meet a young Brazilian who had bought “Astrodeck” from the previous Brazilian who had trademarked it. Pat said that the young guy really wanted to make it right and work with us. We were thrilled! After the initial introduction, I started to correspond with him through emails as I was always the one who handled all the international business. It was almost immediately apparent that the only way to work together would be a licensing deal due to the exchange rate, import duties, etc. I called him to discuss going forward and he became extremely reluctant to put together any specifics after he said that he was making many items with the Astrodeck name on them, and I said that I felt he would rightly owe me a royalty on anything with the Astrodeck name. He then said that he would have to talk to his people at Astrodeck. That pissed me off and I tried to politely explain to him that he WAS talking to Astrodeck. That’s when he decided to hang up, and that’s the last any of us have heard from him.
That is, until he popped up on Facebook with an Astrodeck profile and account. He is now also in the process of launching a website known as Astrodeck.com.br., where he has even stolen my Astrodeck logo and insignia that was personally created by Shawn Stussy for Herbie.
My attorney said yesterday that I have a very good case. But it could cost me north of $80,000.00. And at this point, with a still-small family-owned business (practically one of the only ones still surviving in this surf industry), that kind of money could completely destroy what we’ve spent our whole lives trying to achieve.
What he’s done may be lawful…but it’s immoral, unethical, and fuckin’ stinks!!!
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Herbie, Dibi, and Nathan currently have some of their artistic creations displayed in the “Swell” exhibition in various galleries throughout New York. Check out a little review that the New York Times recently did about the showing. Pretty cool.
Copy and paste this link if you’re unable to clickity-click it:
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Photos from the USMC Fox Company Graduation where Dibi Fletcher was a guest of honor and presented a plaque for the recognition of all her contributions and support through her non-profit organization Z-Ryder. She does what she can for these guys because they do everything for us. Hope you all had an epic 4th of July!
Dibi Fletcher & Z-Ryder recognized for their contributions to the USMC.
USMC Fox Company Graduation
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
Herbie went on a boat trip to the Mentawai Islands this past fall. It was all-time. With a crew that consisted of Nathan Fletcher, Bruce Irons, John John Florence and Danny Fuller, how could it not be?
Herbie Fletcher: Photo by Art Brewer
When Herbie came back to San Clemente, he came back in typical form: with lots of great tales of near-perfect surf and good times. He also took a bunch of photos for definitive proof of all of this. Always stoked, always amped. So Herbie.
Here Herbie takes us back to last October and how it all went down. Read it through and check out the pics while you’re at it. To say the least, Herbie and the guys were going mental at the Mentawai Islands! This is Part 1 in the series, with more to follow in upcoming blogs.
I was sitting at my desk at Astrodeck, working on some new traction pads when Nathan called me and asked if I would like to go on a boat trip that he was putting together. I hesitated for a moment because I wanted to go, but knew that something like this was going to be a big commitment. I was thinking about all those waves I had seen from photos and about being on a boat for two weeks. If the waves were going to be good, it would be such a great trip.
Nathan told me that Archy (Matt Archbold), Bruce Irons, Danny Fuller, and John John Florence were the surfers he had picked to go, with Art Brewer taking photos and Joel Guy as the videographer. Such a core group of guys. Hard to pass up.
It was a perfect time of the year for surf and the winds…well, it’s an island, you know? No matter what the wind does, somewhere it’s offshore. At work, things were slow. Business usually is during Mid-Fall. And at the islands during this same time, there are hardly any boats because the season is coming to an end. So that also means no crowds. Not that that really matters, I guess, because I always get my quota. So, keep in mind, all these things factored into my head real quick about whether or not I should go. Then when Nathan said that it would only be the six of us on that boat, I was so stoked. Just us at that break. And I couldn’t think of a better group to go with.
I mean, I’ve known these guys since they were groms. Archy, Nathan and I used to surf all the time together. California, Hawaii, Mexico, etc. Archy would come by just before sunrise and get the coffee going. It was a trip to see him now with a fat ass gun, laughing and joking. “Fuck Herb!” he’d yell. And Nathan would be right there chomping at the bit, so excited to surf with Arch, knowing that he was going to have a good day.
To watch Arch surf was the best because Archy is the man. Archy surfed fucking great. Always doing new and innovating things. His surfing has always been radical and he put himself in critical positions, and pulled it off, frontside and backside. There are only a few great surfers that push the limit every five years. Kids have always been coming up, changing and pushing the old guys, and Archy was one of those kids.
Bruce Irons is another one of those surfers who has always been gnarly. He’s been blowing minds from a young age. Bruce and Andy would come by Astrodeck first thing in the summer on their way to the NSSA Nationals at Trestles. They’d stock up on Astrodeck for the contests so they’d have more control with their boards and be able to push the limits in the air and on edge. As they grew-up, they’d stop by my house at Pipeline on the North Shore. Bruce and Andy would hang out with the best surfers of the time. This was the Wave Warriors house that I owned with Gerry Lopez. The Pipe house. We’d lock the gate to keep the posers out. To get through the gate was a big deal, and I knew that Bruce and Andy were going to be part of surf history somewhere down the line. Coming from a big surf family based out of Haina, Kauai, they just had the “It” factor, and I got to watch them develop their talent. Lucky me.
Danny Fuller also came from Kauai and surfed the North Shore ripping Pipeline. He’s so casual and smooth, with lots of style. He’s part of the current gang dominating the Pipeline line-up. He’s very versatile; from hot-dogging small waves to tow-in’s at Teahupo’o. He’s also one of the most friendly and happy-go-along guys I’ve ever known. Always smiling and laughing.
John John. The tow-headed North Shore grom. I’ve watched John John surf since he was eight-years-old and now he’s suddenly turned into “da man” at places like Pipe and Backdoor. Here he was on this trip, still only 16-years-old, but hanging with all the older guys. But the kid surfs like you can’t even imagine. He’s the future. Being raised on the North Shore among surfing’s powerful elite, and learning from them, watching them, surfing with the best of the best, has all contributed in allowing John John to take it to the next level. His surfing is what the other kids are going to try to live up to. He tows-in when big wave riders won’t even paddle out. He walks right by them and says, “See you out there!”
Matt Archbold, Danny Fuller, Nathan Fletcher, John John Florence.
Nathan has always surfed…since he could hold on to a boogie board. I think even before he could walk! I’d play with him, float around with him in the water. He always rode the big waves. In Hawaii, I would have to pull him up from under water by his leash. Nathan is a true daredevil. From motorcycles to snowboarding to skateboarding to big wave surfing. He’s a master of it all and with respect. When he was younger, Nathan always had to keep up with Christian and the other older guys, and so that would just push him. And then some. Everyone has always loved Nathan because of his talent and his mellow vibe. He just does what he does, hanging out and loving it. Surfing, traveling, making movies, doing magazine articles, designing and shaping surfboards, painting, taking photos, etc. He’s a real artist-in-motion.
Art Brewer. I’ve known Art since I was seventeen. He’s always had a camera around his neck. I really got to know him when he and Spider Wells moved in next door to me in ‘69 at Pipeline. It’s been a long road. He’s been on the cutting edge of surf photography for over forty years and still has the stoke to go on surf trips. He’s paid his dues and got his rewards. Art taught me how to work a manual camera back in the mid-seventies, and he’s still teaching me.
So this was our little group. No tourists allowed. This was a trip that only Nathan could put together. No maggazine or clothing company could come up with something like this, with these group of guys. From 16 to 60. And what an adventure it was.
It began when we flew into Singapore and found out that there had been an earthquake in Padang. Padang is where the rest of us were to meet up with Bruce and John John at the boat. There was no chance of us getting a flight into Padang after the quake. So we hung in Singapore for awhile, some of us just prowling through the city of lights, some of just trying to get some rest while we had to wait around.
Finally, after about two days, we were able to head for Padang, where we met up immediately with Bruce and John John at the boat. And right off the bat, we went to Lance’s Right for sunrise services. It was head high and overhead for a few days. The goofy-footers wanted to go to Macaronis.
Herbie Fletcher going mental at the Mentawai
Check out our blog on Part 2 as the journey continues…
Monday, March 8th, 2010
Volcom is doing a special Pipeline/Pipe House series, mainly featuring Herbie and Gerry Lopez. This is Part II in a series and shows some crazy Herbie antics. Typical of Herbie but outrageous to the rest of us. Their next series will feature some cool Old School footage of Christian and Nathan back when they were groms, so stay tuned!
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Herbie Fletcher presented by Brucennial 2010: Miseducation
It’s probably a conservative assumption to say that you probably know a little somethin’ somethin’ about Herbie Fletcher.
Legendary surfer, superior waterman, raging jet skier, surf traction pad mogul, crafty shaper, Wave Warriors film magnate, husband to the fiercely creative and independent Dibi (Hoffman) Fletcher, father to flying alchemists Christian and Nathan Fletcher. Blah, blah, blah, the list goes on. And on and on. Seriously, if it involves innovation, water, and surf, it probably has Herbie’s scent on it. And it would take an extra two days to even slightly dwell on his past involvements with the wakeboarding world, the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, modeling with Versace, and his friendship with Julian Schnabel, Bruce Weber and Ingrid Sischy of Interview Magazine. Just to name a few of Herbie’s list of accomplishments and contacts, mind you. But, no. No, no, no. We’re not going to get into all of that.
Because whether you may have known a lot about all of this or only a little bit of some of this, what most of you probably didn’t acknowledge or realize is that Herbie Fletcher is also a talented and gifted artist. What started as a faint teenage hobby has grown into a gradual and passionate adult persuasion. (More about Herbie and Julian Schnabel and the Blind Girl Surf series artboards in another blog.)
Whether it’s on surfboards or on canvas - whatever type of medium and style - the ever-expressive Herbie splashes it. And let’s not kid ourselves, he always makes a big splash. So much so that now Herbie and his artwork will be featured at the Whitney Museum under the direction and presentation of Vito Schnabel (Julian’s son).
Brucennial 2010: Miseducation will have it’s gala opening on Thursday, February 25th. The event will premiere at 6 PM and is expected to last until 2 AM. Obviously, those New York art types know how to party until the wee hours of the morning. This first night is open to the public and will run until April 4th, 2010.
Herbie is one of a few select artists who will present his lauded pieces up for viewing and purchase. So if you’re in the New York area, take a go at it. And if you see Herbie, say “hi”. We hear it’s going to be snowing big-time while Herb’s in NY; we hope he puts on a little more than just a pair of Astrodeck sandals.
Below is the official press release. Have yourself a gander and then check it out in person.
PRESS RELEASE FOR BRUCENNIAL 2010: MISEDUCATION
I think the Brucennial is like—in the life of the people—it’s like an anniversary in the life of people. The people, they need moments to celebrate themselves and that’s what a Brucennial is. The Brucennial happens every two years, or really, you know, whenever we feel like it, and it’s a moment of celebration of the history of the people—of the reason why the people exist, of the nature of the people. Again, it’s like a person. If not there would be a flux of time without an interruption and I think that as people, people are live entities and they need to have some moments where they recognize this liveliness of their existence.
- Francesco Bonami
SoHo: The Bruce High Quality Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of The BRUCENNIAL 2010: Miseducation on February 25th at 6pm.
Since its founding, the BRUCENNIAL has evolved into The Bruce High Quality Foundation’s signature public program, as well as the most important survey of contemporary art in the world ever. Following the triumphant successes of BRUCENNIAL08: Doing it Again (Bushwick) and BRUCENNIAL09: Smithumenta (Carol Gardens), BRUCENNIAL2010: Miseducation brings together 420 artists from 911 countries working in 666 discrete disciplines to reclaim education as part of an artist’s ongoing practice beyond the principals of any one institution or experience.
The BRUCENNIAL will be housed at 350 West Broadway. Additionally, BHQFU projects will be on view at RECESS at 41 Grand Street.
The BRUCENNIAL is presented by The Bruce High Quality Foundation in collaboration with Vito Schnabel. 350 West Broadway is provided courtesy of Aby Rosen.
Monday, February 1st, 2010
Check out this little blurb of Christian talking about why Astrodeck sandals are the best in the business.