When people keep taking your stuff, it can mean one of two things: (1) they wanna mess with you, or (2) you’ve got something they want.
Such was the problem Herbie Fletcher faced this winter on the North Shore — people kept stealing his sandals. “Every time I’d take them off around the Pipeline or anybody’s house, they’d get stolen by one of the hot surfers that was sponsored by one of those big shoe companies that makes sandals,” he says. “They didn’t want to give them up.”
The coveted sandals were ones Fletcher made by hand for his trip to Hawai’i. They had leather straps with a footbed featuring Astrodeck’s signature multigridlock traction. Not even Fletcher’s stink eye could deter the thieves.
It got Fletcher thinking. “They begged for them and wanted them,” he says. “So I go, ‘Damn, these guys, they don’t give a shit about anything — shoes or sandals. And they’re hitting me up. That must mean something.'”
When Fletcher returned to the mainland at the end of January he began drafting plans for Astrodeck’s newest product line: sandals. Astrodeck, which has been around since 1975, has a history of delving into other avenues of the board-sports world, such as its run with Bad Ass wakeboard bindings and its current effort with Think Fast knee and elbow pads for skating. This is Astrodeck’s first venture into the footwear market.
Fletcher says the sandals will only be distributed to surf shops — there will be no “beach store” distribution, he says. The sandals wholesale for fifteen dollars and will retail for 30, which is considerably more expensive than typical thongs.
“Well, they’re a great sandal,” Fletcher explains. “They’re compared to a Rainbow-type sandal. They’re not like other sandals. The ink doesn’t come off on your foot, it’s real leather on the straps, and they don’t slip or slide on your foot.”
For now, the sandals are available in two sizes: medium/large and large/extra large. And Fletcher has tapped into the Henry Ford school of thought when it comes to colorways: people can have Astrodeck sandals in any color — so long as it’s camo.
The sandals, which are manufactured in the same Shanghai, China factory where Astrodeck makes its traction pads, are available for at-once delivery. And Fletcher says they’re already selling out in surf shops. “I think it’s hit a nerve,” he says. “People are really stoked and they’re really receptive to it.”