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The Current Issue of The Surfer's Journal

One-hundred-and-twenty-six pages of pure editorial. The guts of 23.5 are centered around a sprawling analysis of the Fletcher and Hoffman clan, with characters ranging from Christian to Flippy, Joyce to Dibi, and generational stories that span surfing’s entire modern age. Space is also reserved for a road-and-boat trip through the nether regions of Chile, and a tonally rich portfolio of Indian Ocean photography from wilding shooter Tom Hawkins. Here’s pre-roll at what’s within the folds…

Page 18
Tierra de Patagones | By Joaquin Azulay

Tierra de Patagones

Argentine surf gauchos Julian and Joaquin Azulay left Buenos Aires in a truck loaded with camping gear on a mission to scout an underexplored island off Tierra del Fuego. They remained on the road for six months. In between, they drove more than 3,000 kilometers, boated through the Beagle Channel, and ran across rutting penguins, crotchety sea captains, feral-bull wranglers, and the occasional honing lefthander—experiences more than worth the sacrifice of sleeping in the dirt.

Page 26
Nuclear Family | By Steve Barilotti

Nuclear Family

Families are hard work. Family businesses are even harder. Ask the Murdochs. Or the Borgias. Or Hamlet. Full of factions, feuds, sibling rivalry, and coldblooded power plays. Which makes the Hoffman/Fletcher clan a fascinating look. In a culture that celebrates loners, misfits, and alienated Lost Boys, they’ve somehow managed to translate and transcend each of these labels to create a four-generation surfing powerhouse.

Page 28
Batik with Chili Pepper Crab | By Tim Watts

Batik with Chili Pepper Crab

Walter Hoffman was in early at Malibu and then went farther afield to sample big surf in Makaha and along the North Shore. His efforts helped set the stage for the migration of Californians that began massing westward to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1940s. As the president of Hoffman Fabrics, he also presided over the largest textile supplier in the surf-wear world. But even behind the desk, he never lost his taste for the rougher aspects of oceanic life. Here, occupational associate Tim Watts recounts tales of weaving batik on Bali, eating crab in Kuta, and spearing ulus in the Lombok Straight to chronicle what it’s really like to do business—and recreate—with the big-wave pioneer and fabric magnate.

Page 32
Sui Generis | By Cori Schumacher

Sui Generis

Joyce Hoffman established the image of the archetypal pro surfer. Fiercely competitive and highly photogenic, she won four U.S. Championships in the 1960s and 70s, was the first woman to ride Pipe, and became a mainstream media darling. Then she walked away from surfing and really went for a ride… More than three decades later, we caught up with her at Tar Farm Stables, the horse ranch she now manages in Southern California, to talk gender politics in surfing, the ethos of professional and amateur athletics, and how she rediscovered the joys of simply riding waves later in life.

Page 40
“Shitty But Good”

Shitty But Good

Flippy Hoffman was part surfer, part pirate, part business-hawk, and all character. Along with his younger brother, Walter, his Hawaiian big-wave water time in the late 1940s and early 50s was just the tip of the iceberg in a life well lived. A recounting of his Channel Island diving escapades, Parisian textile-and-gem-hunting sorties, and high seas swashbuckling, told by those who knew him best.

Page 50
There Are No Sharks | By Steve Barilotti

There Are No Sharks

Late-millennial big-wave waterman Marty Hoffman spent much of his youth in the orbit of his father, Flippy, surfing the North Shore, Indo, and deep into Baja in the process. He eventually landed on the U.S. Team alongside Tom Curren in the 1980s, but a career as a competitor was never really in the cards. Steve Barilotti profiles Marty and explores his life as a son, his transition into fatherhood, the pitfalls of only surfing outer reefs, and being raised by the wolf in a very undomesticated pack: “I was an accident—and Flippy was NOT interested in being a dad.”

Page 56
Spearhead | By Lewis Samuels


Academics seek knowledge. Capitalists seek wealth. The Fletchers have chased hedonistic experience. For Herbie Fletcher, this worldview has translated into hanging with the likes of Hynson and Hendrix, ripping hard at Pipe and Maalaea, marrying young and raising hellions, conceiving tow-surfing and the modern surf-vid template, launching Astrodeck and the longboard reintegration, all while beset by critics and mythmakers from the outside. Deconstructing the Fletcher Myth with Herbie, perhaps the most innovative and epicurean member of the clan.

Page 72
Woman In The Workplace | By Dibi Fletcher

Woman In The Workplace

To really understand the inner-workings of a dynasty, it helps to have an insider show you the kingdom. Lady Astrodeck walks us through her marriage to Herb, her life as the daughter of Walter, her role as mother to Christian and Nathan, and other aspects of her version of the Hoffman/Fletcher arc. “We’ve been called ‘shameless self promoters,’” she says. “That makes me laugh. We own our own business, we’ve never had any partners, never taken a dime from anyone, have no debt, and have done it our way. What others think about us is none of our business. It’s been an unbelievable ride.”

Page 76
Dragged Into Daylight | By Matt Warshaw

Dragged Into Daylight

Sometimes, it’s what not said that counts most. With Christian Fletcher that axiom is arguable. During his career as an aerialist, a punk-rock poster boy, a drug-addicted flameout, and an outspoken critic of the surf institution (and any other establishment at large), he’s dropped more than a few pearls of entertainment and…er, wisdom. A collection of quotes ranging from religion, to big airs, to porn—controversy assumed.

Page 86
Sick | By John John Florence


Pro skater Grayson Fletcher is the scion of the Hoffman/Fletcher axis, a distinction wrought with blessings and perhaps more than one curse. Luckily, most of his focus seems to be on cultivating a genetically-hardwired talent for standing on a moving board. Fellow super-freak John John Florence sits down for a conversation with Grayson that covers surf-skate synthesis, session control, tuck-knee steeze, and life plans.

Page 92
Steeped In The Brew | By Christian Beamish

Steeped In The Brew

Nathan Fletcher has spent most of his life in the shadow of his family. In 2011, however, he dropped into one of the heaviest waves in history and crystalized in the foreground of the general conciseness. But behind the scenes, and for those in the know, he’s always used his multifaceted talents to set himself apart. “Christian was good at surfing,” says friend and confidant Joel Tudor. “But Nathan was good at everything.” Christian Beamish goes to Hawaii for a deeper look into the big-wave charger, skater, moto rider, and aerialist who has long been touted as the quiet member of the clan.

Page 104
Portfolio: Tom Hawkins

Portfolio: Tom Hawkins

The son of British Nationals, raised in Bahrain, and now working out of Bali, 24-year-old photographer Tom Hawkins has spent the last five years ranging through island domains, from Sri Lanka, to Indo, to Hawaii, documenting wave riding from the viewpoint of an objective outsider. “I just try to separate myself from the surf aspect of the photography and capture an aesthetically pleasing image,” he says.