A Moving Portrait Of Nathan Fletcher - Stab Mag

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Nathan Fletcher presents his case for reef-appropriate footwear.

A Moving Portrait Of Nathan Fletcher

Your daily intake of escapism.

elsewhere // Feb 21, 2024
Words by Pedro Ramos
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It appears there’s an impulsive desire among skateboarders to self-document their lives and surroundings in an artful manner. A point made stronger by glaring examples such as Ryan McGinley, Ed Templeton, Patrick O’Dell, and North Shore-based Finn Arto Saari.

The composition and framing techniques honed by years of pressing shutters have seamlessly translated into Arto’s vignette of fellow multidisciplinarian Nathan Fletcher. Shot in Indonesia in the distant year of 2019 — when the tour was uncircumcised, and we weren’t scared to go outside lest we catch a sniffle — Arto’s short film hits you with disarming simplicity, and reminds us that good surfing is just that, regardless of when and how.

The Super 8 footage had been gathering dust at Arto’s North Shore residence when Nolan Hall of Possum Zine found out about its existence and was offered to make something with it.

On celluloid, Nathan Fletcher threads through Desert Point orbs, occasionally carving down its steep faces and stomping his bootie-clad feet to burn off quad-generated speed. Though this leads to a slight tangent, it raises an important question: Can anyone else wear reef booties and not look silly?


In a recent conversation, a friend was praising and reminiscing about his time spent at Desert Point, yet lamenting the shredding of his bare feet from walking across the jagged reef. So far, he has staunchly refused to wear reef booties, fearing the disapproving glares of surfing’s stiff-necked fashion police.

Can Nathan Fletcher do for booties what he’s done for helmets, elevating them from a culturally unacceptable sartorial decision to functional and essential attire in warm water surf?

For more on Arto and his work, take a look here and here.


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