Monday, November 21st, 2011
Gavin Beschen, Shane Beschen, Reef McIntosh, Makua Rothman, Matt “Archy” Archbold, Christian Fletcher, Nathan Fletcher, Kalani Chapman, Jamie Sterling, Danny Fuller, Timmy Reyes. Look at this roster. Team Astrodeck (or as some may call them, Team Terror) will be dominating much of the North Shore this Winter Season. No waves will be spared. No spot unridden. Other surfers will divert eye contact and question their manhood. Grown men will run out of the water, screaming and crying, wailing to God, “Why, Lord? Why can’t I surf like the rugged, brave hellion of Team Astrodeck?!”
Let’s face it. They’re the Wave Warriors. You couldn’t ignore them even if you tried.
Monday, October 24th, 2011
Well, well, well… it’s been awhile, stranger. What’s new with you? Yeah? Really? You don’t say! That’s great. Anyway, back to me…
As is always the case, Astrodeck’s been on another trek of progression and everyone has been going at it nonstop. It’s hard to catch one’s breath and be able to just sit back when the revolving door of projects and cast of characters come passing through here on a daily basis. There’s never a dull moment. I swear, one of these days I’ll come into the office and find Oprah Winfrey sitting on a box of traction pads, fingers entwined over each other, begging Greyson to show her how to do a mean ole stalefish over at the San Clemente skate park. Don’t scoff. Seriously, these kinds of casual encounters happen here at the ‘deck.
Anyway, it’s been kinda like that lately. So excuse us if you feel like you’ve been neglected lately. It wasn’t intentional. It was life.
But we’re making it up to you now. We’re not ones to leave you in the dark when it comes to all the latest happenings. We appreciate the fact that you guys come back to check up on us, and we dig it even more when you write and verbally abuse us to post up more content. Ah, you volatile gluttons. You’re lucky we aim to please.
So where did we last leave off? Or better question, where do we even start?
Oh, I know. How about with Nathan?
Don’t play dumb. You’ve all seen and heard about Nathan’s two waves at Teahupo’o by now. In fact, the words “Nathan”, “Teahupo’o”, “insane”, “gnarliest barrel” and “balls the size of an abnormally large elephant with even bigger hints of gigantism” are now part of every day American lexicon. Five, count ‘em, FIVE covers (so far) of that Teahupo’o she-devil with Nathan trying to tame the bitch. Nathan is also being recognized for his remarkable feat with multiple nominations (for the “Monster Tube” and “Ride of the Year”) for the Billabong XXL Awards. Every time I see yet another photo of Nathan’s ride, I scream, pull out tufts of my hair, and run out of the room. It’s so intense. So surreal. Damn, Nathan, thanks for making the rest of us feel so human, and thanks for making me have bald spots on my head now.
(Nathan Fletcher covers. All photos were taken at Teahupo’o except for the bottom right Wavelength Cover - that front shot was taken at Cloudbreak, Fiji this past summer.)
In other Fletcher news, look for an upcoming pictorial blog by Herbie. Herb, Christian and Greyson spent a good portion of their Summer in France and Spain, traveling with Julian Schnabel, checking out the art scene, soaking in some Basque culture, skating the local parks. Christian and Greyson even scored some near-perfect days surfing Hossegor. Christian reported that the weather was warm and the swell was up. Even Julian found himself paddling out. More of this to follow at www.herbiefletcher.com
Dibi Fletcher is back with The D-Side. Back by popular demand! Her D-Side collection of interviews has taken us into the candid, poignant minds of people such as surf industry pioneers Grubby Clark and Walter Hoffman to Andy Irons (in one of his last interviews). There have also been anecdotes with the quirky, wild, vivid characters such as NFL great Kyle Turley, John John Florence, Bruce Irons, Eddie Rothman and a slew of others. So it’s only proper that Dibi include Jason Jessee into this mix of people. Jason is a complete classic. Check out his D-Side interview that’ll be posted up on Christian’s website within the next few days. www.christianfletchersurf.com
(The D-Side with Jason Jessee)
Kolohe Andino recently won the 2011 ASP SuperSurf International in Brazil. This was a coveted 6-Star event and Kolohe just killed it! He beat out fellow San Clementian Tanner Gudauskas. Looks like the SC boys were dominating the field. Kolohe pocketed $20,000 and jumped with 3,500 points in ranking. The kid is only 17! If he were in school, taking the SAT test, his score would be, like… well, we don’t know what the actual high score would be for the SAT, but you get the idea. He’d be valedictorian and nerd clinger for life! We’re so stoked that Kolohe is on the Astrodeck honor society.
Keep checking back here, within the next few weeks, Astrodeck will have a whole new inventory; with more stocked products and more NEW products. Traction pads, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Just in time for Christmas! We’ve got some new Wave Warriors t-shirts featuring Nathan, and those will surely sell-out as soon as we get ‘em in. You guys can be so demanding! And we’re gonna also have a new line of Christian Fletcher t-shirts. Just wait ’til you guys see these new designs and graphics. You’re gonna go nutballs. We’ll keep you posted on when we have all our new stuff online.
Winter Season on the North Shore is coming up. We can’t wait. We’re looking forward to seeing the rest of the Astrodeck team dominating the scene. Just like they always do. Danny Fuller, Makua Rothman, Reef Macintosh, Archy, Kalani Chapman, Jamie Sterling, Gavin and Shane Beschen, Timmy Reyes, Nathan, and Christian, etc. The boys are gonna represent. Oh, it’s gonna be such an epic winter. I can feel it. Can you?
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
We’ll be posting up a little Summer update on Nathan next week. But, for now, here’s a little somethin’ somethin’ that should tide you over:
Nathan Fletcher getting a nice one at Pipe.
(If you can’t directly click on the link to view the video, just copy and paste. Simple as that.)
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Happy Father's Day from the Astrodeck Family
Astrodeck has been family owned and operated since 1976. So we know a little bit about longevity, loyalty and the drive to keep it all together.
And through all the years of spectacular highs and dismal lows, the one thing that we’ve always been consistent and proud of is that Astrodeck has always kept it Fletcher. We’ve always held that bond; from Herbie to his own sons Christian and Nathan, to Christian’s boy Greyson, there’s a strong patriarchal influence and kinship that’s thicker than water.
This Father’s Day, we just want to give a shout-out to all of our friends, riders, fans, supporters and even the occasional passerby… because we know there’s a father in that mix somewhere. And whether your own childhood was memorable (or scarred) because you had the kind of dad who yelled at you about forgetting to turn the light off, or you had the kind of dad who got on your nerves and embarrassed you in front of your friends, or you had the kind of dad who gave you a break even after you messed up the umpteenth time, we just want to take this time to acknowledge all the dads out there. We know that they’re not perfect men but we hope that they at least tried.
And one last thing… if you were lucky enough to be that kid who hung out with your family at the beach, especially with your dad, make sure you let him know how grateful you are because of it. And if he was the kind of dad who pushed you into your first wave, give the guy a hug. Come on, don’t you think he deserves at least that?
Happy Father’s Day!
Friday, April 29th, 2011
(Astrodeck Team Rider Shane Beschen)
It was a pleasant surprise yesterday when Shane Beschen came by the Astrodeck office with his little grom, Noah.
Shane and brother Gavin have been long-time Astrodeck team riders. Their loyalty, support and belief in knowing that we produce the best traction pads has now transcended to the new generation - their own offspring of mini-rippers.
Noah is 10-years-old and is going the way of his dad and uncle. In other words, the kid rips in the water and apparently he’s no hack with a skateboard either. Greyson’s had a few sessions with him at the local skatepark and both “sons of” had a pretty good time landing a few.
(Noah Beschen with the Astrodeck Black & Green Crossroads traction pad.)
Check out the 113 Shane Beschen Traction Pad. Not only do we have this in solid back, but there’s also a camo version as well.
113 Shane Beschen Black
113 Shane Beschen Camo
And it wouldn’t be nice of us if we didn’t include and produce some pads by Shane’s little brother, Gavin, right? So here they are. Another one of our more popular models. Solid and sick.
148 Gavin Beschen Black
148 Gavin Beschen Camo
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
We’re really stoked here at Astrodeck that we actually have a relationship and rapport with all of our team riders. In fact, we consider them friends first and foremost. How many companies can claim that their riders come to their offices to just hang out and get caught up and shoot the breeze? Not a whole lot.
As is often the case, we’ll get weekly visitors. You’ll never know who will pop up. We’ll have Reef Macintosh come over and get some sandals for his size 13 feet. Or Nathan will drop by with best buddies Mr. Buzz and Bruce Irons, or maybe Shane Beschen might bring his little groms and chat skate with Greyson. It’s like a constant who’s who of popular surf culture at Astrodeck.
In fact, Danny Fuller just swung by yesterday. He picked up some of our sandals; his favorites are the MG1 and the ML3, as well as some of his traction pads, the 405 Danny Fuller pads, both in black and white and black and green. He talked some art with Herbie and also told the A-deck crew about SUP guys doing tow-ins at Puerto Escondido. Haha, what a trip that is!
Danny likes the MG1 Sandal.
He also picked up some ML3s.
The 405 Danny Fuller Pad in Black & White
The 405 Danny Fuller Pad in Green & Black
Anyway, it was great seeing Danny - one of the nicest guys ever, and one of our favorite surfers of all time.
Danny Fuller gettin' some.
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!
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
So anyone who knows a lick of surf history knows that before it became the notorious Volcom Pipe House, it was Gerry Lopez’s and Herbie Fletcher’s pad first. And it’s safe to say that all throughout the 80s, anyone who was anyone in the surf world walked through the doors of that house. People from Johnny Boy-Gomes to Dane Kealoha, Martin Potter and Kelly Slater. So many notable, talented riders and characters. Much of the Wave Warriors grew into infamy from the sands in front of Pipeline and Backdoor; it was the best of times with debauchery run amok on land and sheer, unfiltered bravado in the water.
Fast forward a couple of decades. Time flies but good times never die down. Some faces have faded but as is always the case, that only means new ones emerge. Many of Astrodeck’s team riders haunt the Pipe House compound and still dominate with their presence. And no one has forgotten that Herbie and the Pipe House go hand-in-hand, rich in a timeline of history.
Volcom’s own Bruce Irons recently went on a trip to the Mentawaii’s with Herbie. And after coming back home from that epic journey, Bruce called Herbie up and personally invited him to join the Volcom Pipeline Pro that’s taking place now. Because, come on…how can you do an event like that and not involve Herbie Fletcher? That’s just wrong.
So this five-star WQS event started today and the conditions are…eh. The winds aren’t a big factor today, they’re kinda light. And the waves are looking choppy, junky with sand on the reef and double-ups. Not ideal. Guys who are regulars out there are getting scored 1.6 and 2.3’s. Anyway, been getting all this coverage by watching the live webcast (www.volcompipelinepro.com). Herb was invited to do some commentary, an opportunity to give a rich detailed history of having been one of the first people to surf Pipeline back in the day, and also talk about the good ole Pipe House during its heyday of yesteryear. Herb’s also going to be surfing the event right before the finals. That’s always cool. And, you know, he’s still the only guy his age who’s not afraid to charge Pipe…on a longboard!
Yeah, Herbie! Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back.
Below is a piece that was writen by Volcom about the Pipeline House:
On Thursday February 8, 2007 Volcom purchased one of the most famous houses in surfing history. The three-story home is situated directly in front of Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore. It was once home to legendary surfers Gerry Lopez and Herbie Fletcher and has been an icon in the surfing world for close to three decades. It will now serve as Volcom’s second residence in front of the world renowned surf break.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our team riders, coaches, product developers, and the entire marketing program,” said Richard Woolcott, Volcom’s president and chief executive officer. “It’s also a great honor to carry on the legacy of the house that Gerry Lopez and Herbie Fletcher made so famous.”
The new home will be headquarters for Volcom team rider Bruce Irons and other top Volcom surfing professionals during the winter months while they train for the Triple Crown of Surfing and maximize their exposure during the north shore season. In addition, the house will be used as an R&D center for product design, testing and retailer roundtables. The original Volcom House will continue to accommodate the majority of Volcom’s domestic and international up-and-coming team riders.
“I can’t believe that we even had the opportunity to purchase this historic house,” said Volcom’s vice president of marketing, Troy Eckert. “Just thinking about the legends that used to call The Pipe House home is amazing. I can’t wait for our team, and especially Bruce, to enjoy the house. It’s a dream come true.”
“We are all so lucky to have both places and ensure our presence at Pipeline. We wanted to give Bruce and the team the best place to live in the winter,” said Volcom’s surf brand manager Brad Dougherty. “This is a very exciting step for our surfing program.”
Volcom team rider Bruce Irons said, “Growing up as a kid we saw this place in all the videos and we could only dream about what it was like. That dream has become reality and we now get to live it for the rest of our lives!”
Volcom Hawaii sales rep, Clint Moncata said, “From the ghettos of V-land to the beachfront at Pipe, never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted we would be part of one of the most famous houses in the surfing world. The new Volcom Pipe House is a reward to our Volcom Hawaii surf team for always believing in the brand!”
“The community up-roared when we bought the first house and we proved that we fit in. We all hung out at this house when we were kids and this was the only place we knew. Now we are back and in full effect. Check mate… bring it on!” said Volcom Hawaii ambassador Kai Garcia.
“This place and this house are full of Hawaiian surfing history. I’m proud and humbled to be a part of it. Volcom will continue the history from this incredible site,” said Volcom Hawaii team coach Dave Riddle.