Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Skateboarding [Print without images]

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Updated: May 18, 1:45 PM ET
Greyson Fletcher grinds for Flip


Greyson Fletcher
Greyson Smith grinds the over-vert clam shell at the West Linn skatepark in the suburbs of Portland, Ore.

Skateboarding is a baby compared to surfing. While we're celebrating the Z-Boys of the 70s and the Bones Brigade of the 80s as our pioneers, surfing was already huge in America for three or four decades by that point (I'm not even going to get into how it dates all the way back to the 1700s). When Alex Olson turned pro in 2008, becoming the first son of a pro skater to turn pro, surfing had already had generation after generation of pro lineage. Flip Skateboards' newest am, Greyson Fletcher, belongs to such a lineage. His great grandfather, Walter Hoffman, was a big wave pioneer in the 50s, his aunt Joyce a women's champion surfer in the 60s. His grandpa Herbie Fletcher, dad Christian Fletcher and uncle Nathan Fletcher are household names in the surf world. So how the hell did Greyson Fletcher, heir to a surf empire, become a sponsored skater instead of surfer? He lived inland.

ESPN: How did you get hooked up with Flip?
Greyson: I was skating at the Vans Skatepark at the Block in Orange County and they started kicking everyone out for a private session with Curren Caples and his friends for his birthday. I was like, "I know Curren, I'm staying." Jeremy Fox was there from Flip with Lance Mountain and Geoff Rowley and they saw me skating the mini ramp and that's when they got interested a little. After that I started skating with Arto Saari at some backyard pools and stuff and meeting up with him in LA every weekend and skating his pool. Flip seemed stoked and I started getting some boards from them. Right before the Pro-Tec Pool Party Andrew [Shusterman] from Flip asked me if I wanted to ride for them and I was like, "Hell yeah, I'm interested. Sounds really fun!" That's when they put me on the team.

Greyson Fletcher
Greyson Fletcher snaps an ollie one-foot over a hip at West Linn skatepark

Weren't you getting flow from Anti-Hero before?
Yeah, I was getting flow from them for a little bit but they never really did anything with me. Then the Flip guys hit me up and I was like, "Oh, Sick!" They all seem really cool. I'm stoked to ride for them.

Is your family bummed that you're pursuing skateboarding instead of surfing?
Not really, they're stoked that I'm going the skating route. My dad thinks it's really cool. My uncle is stokedeverybody is pretty stoked and I still go surf with them. It worked out perfect.

Is that your form of rebellion against the family? To skate instead of surf?
Ha, I guess a little bit. I'm basically the black sheep in my family for skating instead of surfing.

Let's talk about your family. You come from a long line of surfers. Didn't your great grandfather basically invent the ocean?
Ha! I don't know about that but he invented Hoffman Fabrics which a lot of surf companies used for their clothes, like aloha prints and stuff like that. He was also a big wave surfer and did a bunch of stuff for the ocean. I'm not really sure exactly what each member has done because they've all done a lot. My dad, my uncle, my grandpa are all pro surfers. My Aunt Joyce was women's world champion surfer.

Are you trying to pursue both? You trying to be a pro surfer as well as skater?
I just started getting into surfing a year ago. I never surfed.

How old are you?
I'm 21.

Greyson Fletcher
Greyson Fletcher 12 o'clock kickstands his dad Christian at the Lake Cunningham skatepark in San Jose, Calif.

You're 21 years old and Christian Fletcher's kid and you never surfed?
I surfed a little bit but not much. I lived inland in Anaheim so I always skated a lot. My dad got me into skating when I was real young.

Your dad is buddies with Jason Jesse. Any good stories?
We went on a skate trip for Stance socks a year ago. It was me, my dad, Jason Jessee, Duane Peters, Lizard King, Tom Remillard and Brandon Perelson. It was a funny trip. We were in this parking garage in a big van with a low overhang and my dad thought he was gonna hit the roof and Tom smacked the roof of the van and my dad thought he ran into something with the Stance van. After that my dad was like, "I'm gonna get you back, Tom". Then we went camping and Tom and Lizard King were in their tent and Jason Jessee had a bunch of fireworks with him and he lit them off right next to their tent. My dad kicked them and they went into Tom's tent and they started blowing up inside the tent. It was pretty funny.

You said you worked in the warehouse with your dad? Where?
It's Astrodeck. It's my grandpa and grandma's company. Me and my dad do the shipping and receiving in the warehouse. They make surf pads and sandals. So if you get an order, we're the ones packing it and shipping it out to you. I show up at 10'ish and get off at 3 or 4 because UPS stops picking up and I can go skating then.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Hopefully a few really fun contests for skating with my friends and then maybe a surf trip if I'm lucky.

Greyson Fletcher
Greyson carries on the Fletcher legacy