CHRIS­TIAN FLETCHER BY OZZIE WRIGHT

Tracks - - Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants -

I've been in­flu­enced by hun­dreds of shred­ders over the years from my dad to all the lu­natics in the Long Reef Boardriders. The Long Reef guys were an ex­tremely tal­ented group who loved to party and dress up and took me on surf trips up and down the coast be­fore I could drive. But if I had to nom­i­nate just one guy it’d have to be Chris­tian Fletcher – just be­cause aeri­als have been such a big part of my surf­ing. Chris­tian vir­tu­ally in­vented aeri­als and changed ev­ery­thing. He was so fu­tur­is­tic and ahead of his time. I know other guys were do­ing airs. I loved Archy in the WaveWar­rior movies... They were su­per cre­ative with all this new stuff that I guess they saw in skate­board­ing. Nearly ev­ery­one in Aus­tralia wrote Chris­tian off as a kook at first be­cause he had a wide, bow-legged stance but I loved it. I thought his stance looked real – no phony, knock-kneed Curren im­per­son­ation like a lot of other peo­ple. The first time I saw him in real life was at an air comp in Cal­i­for­nia. He was com­ing at me down the line su­per-fast on a left and he just came straight at me and ol­lied right over me – like di­rectly over my back! He fully cleared me and kept on cruis­ing down the line. I never tried to imi­tate him as I was al­ready to­tally into airs by then. I'd seen Dave Neil­son do­ing them and I was ob­sessed. But Chris­tian was wild. The pe­riod where he was rock­ing bright pink wet­suits with long hair was the best. His surf­ing has so much at­ti­tude it’s ridicu­lous. He’d al­ways say the cra­zi­est stuff in in­ter­views and make me laugh out loud. I’ve hung out with him a bit. He's def­i­nitely an in­di­vid­ual, an orig­i­nal guy. A while back the Goons of Doom were play­ing in Costa Mesa and we had this crazy garage out the back of the Vol­com skate house. It looked like a crack den. Chris­tian came back af­ter a show and didn't leave for about three days. He just stayed awake and told su­per gnarly jokes, one af­ter the other, for three days. Ev­ery night at mid­night he'd try and get me to go surf the Wedge with him in the dark. I’m stoked he's still rip­ping and get­ting air. I feel like the Fletch­ers are made of steel. Like Nathan – how the hell is he in one piece? And then if you see Chris­tian's son, Greyson, skate it’s amaz­ing. An­other freak.

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