CHRISTIAN FLETCHER BY OZZIE WRIGHT
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.