Coming to see Heavy Water next week?
After London we take it to the provincial towns. The list of screenings sounds a bit like the lyrics to The Smiths Panic… ‘Dublin, Dundee, Humberside’
When you emerge from the cinema, tiny mind blown, you’ll surely know more about Nathan than ever. But how much do you know now?
Sure, you know that Nathan Fletcher is younger bro to early aerial core lord Christian. Uncle to skate ledge Greyson Thunder, son to Herbie, the man behind tailpads and jetskis in the lineup (er thanks, Herb), grandson to Walter Hoffman, early North Shore big wave pioneer.
Sure, sure. You know that he previously featured in bio films with cool quirky names like Quik’s ‘These Colors Taste Like Music’ and Analog’s ‘Lavese Los Manos’.
But. Did you know….?
- He lived in a van in California in the 2000’s at the height of the surf biz boom. Like many a Brit surf legend before him (Carwyn, Reubyn… probably others) Nate decided that a van was the best way to shred and entertain himself. Sure, SoCal doesn’t quite have the laisser faire attitude towards freecamping that the French forest does, but Nathan didn’t care. Meanwhile his surfing continued to innovate.
- His grandad Walter Hoffman (along with great-uncle Flippy) brought the Hawaiian print to the mainstream when they introduced island inspired designs into their father’s textiles business Hoffman Fabrics, and started selling to fledging surf shops in the 50’s. The Aloha shirt worn by Magnum P.I in the 80’s? Hoffman Fabrics. Now we know what you’re thinking, being woke Millennials and all, but cultural appropriation wasn’t a thing then.
- He caught his first legit Waimea wave at 11. While big wave surfing, especially Hawaiian big wave riding has a history of young starts (Hakman, John John), 11 is pretty young for taking on The Bay. The other unusual part of course is having a board for it, in his case, a Lopez gun.
- Nathan Fletcher was ahead of the curve in terms of not wearing your sponsor’s gear, instead customising his look with a ‘model’s own’ vibe. While Dane Reynolds liked to wear thrift store togs instead of Quik stuff circa 2010, NF was all over that look a decade earlier. At the Quik Cup in Anglet in 2001, I remember seeing Nathan wearing pyjamas and those white hotel slippers you get around town the whole time. A true pioneer.
- Skate legends Christian Hosoi and Jay Adams used to babysit a young Nathan. Both would go on to have well-publicised substance issues, both went to jail for spells, so mightn’t pass CRB background checks today, but in terms of legendary elders, they don’t much more inspirational in the pursuit of rad. Hosoi’s acid drop and vert prowess, and Adams’ (RIP) overall skate/surf crossover legend would in no small part inspire Nathan to achieve what he has in waveriding today.