Matt Archbold is more than a legend. He is a surfing god. He sits atop our Mount Olympus somewhere near Greg Noll and Mickey Dora and Duke Kahanamoku and peers down on demigods like Dane Reynolds and mere mortals like Adam Melling. Matt Archbold is worshipped. He is worshipped because he is unique. His personal style and tattoos and hard-livin’ history. He is worshipped because of his cutbacks. No one does them finer.
Archy has always done it himself, his way, and now he is starting a surf shop in California’s Laguna Canyon. “I just want to take it all back to my style,” he says. “Regular pants and shirts. Everything today is so tight. Boys are trying to dress like girls. The shop is going to be for real men. It’s going to have a greaser feel. There will be artwork and surfboards. We’ll have the history of surfing. We’ll screen print shirts right there in the showroom and have barbecues. And I’d love to have cars and motorcycles in the shop, too. Make it like it was in the 1960s. Bring the soul back.”
Matt Archbold’s shop will be a shrine to the masculine. And, as mortals, we will go and gaze upon the grease underneath his fingernails and the pictures of cutbacks on the walls. We will eat barbecued meats. We will decry our tight jeans and effeminate style and buy proper working denim. We will worship this particular surfing god properly — with saltwater, grease and barbecue sauce. —Chas Smith