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Photos by: Sinuhe Xavier

The Fletcher Family, a multi-generational group of pioneers, has been a staple in the surf and skate cultures for decades, with an influence that has pushed into fashion, music, streetwear and art. To pay tribute to the Fletcher family legacy, Gagosian New York’s exhibit (on view through August 30, 2019) chronicles “surfings first family” with a series of photos, surf boards and artwork that coincides with a new Rizzoli book, ‘Fletcher: A Lifetime in Surf’, which is filled with essays written by Dibi Fletcher and anecdotes from friends, such as the surfing legend Gerry Lopez, Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, artist Julian Schnabel and 11-time world champion pro surfer Kelly Slater, to name a few. 

So on the heals of the Gagosian exhibit and the book release, we headed west to chat with Herbie at the family’s San Clemente Studio. Some photos were taken and a few questions asked, but not likely the questions you might have expected….

How do you see the world?
Filled with possibilities.

What is your idea of happiness?
Being in harmony with nature.

What is your greatest fear?
The lack of peaceful resolution to conflict that seems to be happening globally.

Which historical figure would you most like to meet, living or dead?
I would like to sit under the bodhi tree with Siddhartha Gautama.

Who do you most admire?
I admire my wife, Dibi.

What about yourself do you most dislike?
My inability to communicate more clearly.

What trait in others do you most dislike?
I don’t like it when people become argumentative about subjects that are far from their expertise.

What virtue do you most admire?

What has been your biggest achievement?
My family.

What has been your biggest failure?
I don’t relate to failure; I just look at bumps in the road as the opportunity to change directions.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I wish I had more time to read.

What is your most prized possession?
My surfboard quiver.

Your most common luxury?
My wetsuit.

What’s one thing you find the most overrated? 
Social media.

Your favorite word or phrase?
Surf’s UP.

What do you regret most?
The serious injuries I’ve had over the years. They taught me a lot, but they left me with some residual pain.

What do you most value in your friends?

Which talent do you most envy?
I wish I could play a musical instrument.

How would you like to live?
Exactly how I am, otherwise, I’d make the necessary changes to live the life I love.

What is your motto?
The Thrill is Back.

How would you like to die?

There are only a few more days to see the Gagosian exhibit in New York. Visit Gagosian’s website HERE for all the details and to see some of the exhibit. You may also purchase the Rizzoli book, ‘Fletcher: A Lifetime in Surf’ HERE.

Cover photos by Art Brewer, courtesy of Fletcher Family Archive