Surfers’ Hall of Fame Welcomes Herbie Fletcher
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame welcomes Herbie Fletcher on Friday, Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport. Further information is available at https://hsssurf.com/shof/.
Leader of the Fletcher surfing dynasty, Herbie Fletcher built Astrodeck into the sport’s most popular surf accessory, produced the storied Wave Warriors video series and led the tow-in movement on Oahu’s North Shore. Herbie joins Ben Aipa, the legendary Hawaiian surfer and shaper, founder of founded Aipa surfboards in 1970 and Brett Simpson, the first back-to-back winner of the prestigious U.S. Open of Surfing and winner of “Rookie of the Year” honors at the Triple Crown of Surfing as this year’s class of inductees.
“We’re stoked and excited to induct Herbie Fletcher into the 2018 Surfers’ Hall of Fame,” said founder Aaron Pai. “Herbie has deep roots in Orange County and Hawaii; from surfer and shaper to a business leader. His impact on the surf industry and youth culture was felt worldwide and continues today. He is a true inspiration to us all.”
Born in Pasadena in 1948, Herbie Fletcher began surfing at age nine. An alumnus of Huntington Beach High School, he was a semifinalist in the 1966 World Surfing Championships. By the end of the 1970s, Herbie had purchased Astrodeck (a maker of non-slip coatings for surfboards), founded Herbie Fletcher Surfboards in Dana Point and was among the leaders of the longboard resurgence. His creation of a peel-and-stick version of Astrodeck turned the brand into the sport’s best known accessory utilized by nearly all of the world’s top surfers.
In the mid 1980’s Herbie Fletcher ventured into surf videos, releasing Wave Warriors, a series of promotional videos for Astrodeck followed by the Adrenaline Surf series. In the winter of ’85, Herbie gathered together surfers and surf photographers in front of his house at the Banzai Pipeline for the first of what has become a three decade long tradition to promote his latest film. The images have become an iconic collection chronicling surf’s unique history.
Herbie was on the vanguard of the tow-in surfing movement, riding 25-foot waves at Waimea Bay on his Kawasaki Jet Ski. When he started launching his modified Jet Ski in front of his house at Pipeline, it would prove to be a game changer.
Fletcher had been towing son Christian into waves on the California coast since 1976, but flying over mountains of water at Second Reef Pipe and speeding down the line at Maaleaa opened a new frontier, giving surfers access to monster waves that had been considered unridable before. In 1987, years before Laird Hamilton popularized the technique, he towed in Martin Potter, Tom Carroll and Michael Ho into 12-foot waves at Pipeline.
Leader of the Fletcher surf dynasty, Herbie’s wife Dibi is daughter of surf industry icon Walter Hoffman and sister to two-time World Champion Joyce Hoffman. “As a husband and soul mate, I knew the moment I met him on the beach at Makaha when I was thirteen, he had the greatest imagination,” she stated. “It hasn’t been easy livin’ a life going against the grain, it’s been fantastic!”
Herbie encouraged his oldest son Christian to take his skateboarding maneuvers into the surf, when all others scoffed at the idea, and expose the world to aerial surfing. While Fetcher’s fearless approach to big wave exploration infected son Nathan with an enduring passion to push the limits in surfing, skateboarding, motocross and snowboarding. Both were shamelessly promoted in their father’s videos.
As a grandfather, Herbie’s love for skateboarding and his surfer’s approach to conquering concrete terrain was naturally engrained in grandson, Greyson, while his enthusiasm for surfing and art is already influencing grandsons, Lazer and Jetson, as they start to discover their own paths to adventure and fun.
The nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame celebrated its first induction in 1997 inside of specialty retailer Huntington Surf & Sport where several slabs remain. Four years later with the blessing of the City Council and a stunning bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of PCH and Main, less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing. Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Gerry Lopez, George Downing, Shane Dorian, Greg Noll, Corky Carroll, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Sumo Sato, Timmy Turner, Shawn Stussy, Rabbit Kekai and many more, who are already immortalized in cement.
This year’s induction ceremony features the inductees, family, friends, pro surfers and industry titans, and is open to the public, free-of-charge.