Christian Fletcher, Off The Wall, Hawaii
Another lay day at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Another day left wondering who will be this year’s world champion. Another day watching swell forecasts, speculating. And, as far removed as one could be from all that, is Christian Fletcher. While wrapping a portrait session at Off The Wall, photog Trevor Moran heard a motorcycle burning […]
Another lay day at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Another day left wondering who will be this year’s world champion. Another day watching swell forecasts, speculating. And, as far removed as one could be from all that, is Christian Fletcher.
While wrapping a portrait session at Off The Wall, photog Trevor Moran heard a motorcycle burning towards the beach. “The chopper cruised to a stop,” says Trev. “Homemade surf racks on the right side supporting a fluorescent green board covered in carbon fibre mesh. Without seeing the rider’s face, the scraggly neck tattoos and black under shave with specks of grey gave it away immediately.”
Like most children of the mid 80s who were attracted to the dark side, Trev grew up watching Christian. Tweak Freaks on high rotation before and after surfs, an introduction to death metal, self-ripped jeans, homemade skateboards and, as Trev puts it, “thriving on the street cred gained by snapping a board while attempting an air in the shorebreak.” And, then there was the undercut.
While Christian and his skate-style were outcast from pro surfing at the time, he’s now, oddly, an authoritative voice on it. “His stubby board with double Astrodeck, complimented by his heavy-footed, squatty stance brought video flashbacks from my 80s youth to mind,” says Trev after watching Christian’s session at Off The Wall. “I then watched a grom land a stock frontside reverse by stomping on the nose of his Dumpster Diver, and thought perhaps the flashbacks were actually still foreshadowing future progressive surfing. Similarly, while listening to Christian’s commentary at this years Lowers Pro concerning the state of aerial surfing, I wondered: how its possible that someone nearly 25 years removed from his lone professional contest victory can have the most relevant and rational insight into modern competitive surfing?” A real good question, and a kinda unanswerable one. “The day-glo board colouring, carbon fibre inlays, ripped black jeans, highly stylised hair, and ‘I don’t give a fuck about surfing’ attitude are all trademarks of Fletcher, both today and since I was born,” observes Trev. “But, look to this generation’s most “progressive” surfers and you’ll find exactly the same things. Is Christian no longer ahead of his time or is this new breed paying homage to the man they grew up watching?”
Ironically, we have here a photograph of Christian doing a top turn. Dig?
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