We’ve teamed up with Jeep, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, to shine a spotlight on some of the ultimate renegades from the world of action sports – past, present and future. Christian Fletcher is one of the most out there examples in surfing. In the late 80s and early 90s he shook the professional scene to its core with his punk rock attitude and attention-grabbing aerials. Having battled through well-publicised drug and alcohol problems he’s still a fixture on the scene, and still playing by his own rules.
“I like speed. All kinds. I just refrain from doing some kinds of it now.” Christian Fletcher confronts the camera sunglasses on, cigarette in hand, with the flicker of a smile playing across his face. He’s reined in some of his more self-destructive habits these days, he tells the interviewer, but the footage on screen shows him screaming through tight-packed traffic on his motorbike, weaving in and out of the cars like a testosterone-fuelled teenager. He might be nearing his 50th birthday, but it’s clear that the legendary hell-raiser has no real intention of slowing down any time soon.
In fairness, it’s hardly surprising that Christian Fletcher isn’t your average forty-something-year-old. Christian Fletcher has never been your average anything. In the space of a few short, explosive seasons in the late 80s and early 90s this brash, young upstart shook up the world of professional surfing in such a way that his influence is still felt today.
Born in Hawaii in 1970, Fletcher moved to California with his family at the age of four and started surfing young. The sport was in his blood. His father, Herbie Fletcher, was a legendary longboarder who had met his mother surfing. Her father Walter Hoffman, also a surfer, was the man who made Hawaiian shirts famous after one of his designs cropped up in Magnum P.I. Fletcher’s aunt was the two-time world champion Joyce Hoffman.