Many years ago, Christian Fletcher was a rebel with a very noble cause. In a day and age when neon was normalcy, change was somehow never met with open arms. If you wanted to be a professional surfer, you had to cut back, float, 360 (on the face, of course) and then cut back once more. All other tricks were voodoo and airs were flagrant witchcraft. But Christian couldn’t be bothered with any of that. He paved a path of his own, tearing down Bud Tour shrubs along the way. He borrowed from the tricky bank of skateboarding and invested it all into doing shit nobody had ever seen on a surfboard before. His efforts were noted. Who is this maniac wearing studded wetsuits and trying to ollie over people at Lowers? Tom Curren, conventional and humble, was so much easier to love. Fletcher was just too wild to relate.
It took years, or even a decade, but people eventually starting getting on board with Christian Fletcher. Airs became more and more common and guys began to tread on his path. Fast forward to modern times and 12-year-olds are landing stalefish air reverses without even glancing in at the beach to make sure Mom was filming. And praise be to Christian, the godfather.
But now, closing in on his 43rd birthday, we see Christian borrow from the bank of Alpine skiing. Your knee jerk reaction might be to ask why. On a wave that most of us would sacrifice a great deal of things to surf, why is Christian Fletcher riding parallel stance? Is he crazy? Confused? Bored? Well, according to Christian “You get going way faster that way.”
Is this a foolish stunt or is this sly dog ahead of the curve yet again? Only 10 years will tell. –Brendan Buckley