Star surfer Fletcher Sharp made a name for himself as a member of the legendary Surfboards Hawaii team, winning nearly every event that he entered in the Junior division. When the majority of his teammates signed with the equally legendary Hobie team, Sharp, along with his brother, Che, and their dad, Charlie, opted to stay with Surfboards Hawaii and open their own surf shop, which made a name for itself selling high-performance equipment during the 1960s shortboard revolution.
The shortboard revolution meant opportunity for Sharp, and he was able to quickly climb the ranks of Surfboard Hawaii to become the team’s leading talent. His premier standing required frequent travel, and he split his time between Florida, California, and Hawaii, where he became a standout at Sunset Beach on the Oahu’s famed North Shore. Sharp brought a unique approach to the sport: his unmistakable panache, combined with the cutting-edge equipment he regularly sported, left a lasting impression on spectators and fellow surfers alike.
Sharp’s interest in competing eventually waned, and he shifted his attention to honing and sharing his signature style. With eclectic gear from his travels in tow, Sharp frequented the new jetty at Florida’s Sebastian Inlet State Park. He was known for experimenting with novel equipment and riding techniques, and he inspired the local crew of surfers to push their own boundaries and explore new approaches to the sport.
Sharp ultimately left the world of professional surfing and pursued a career in Kuwait, where he lived with his family for more than 15 years. He passed his passion for the sport on to his daughter, and together they regularly ride the waves in Costa Rica, where the family owns property overlooking the famous Flamingo Bay on the country’s Pacific Coast.
Photos by M.E. Gruber, Larry Pope, Roger Scruggs, and courtesy Fletcher Sharpe