Shapers Spotlight with Adam “Sparrow” Fletcher
The man behind the SUPERbrand Shapers’ Collective on the past, present, future, and how he got that nickname.
Hometown: Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Australia
Years Shaping: 18
Local spot: Duranbah
Go to surfboard model: The Toy for everyday conditions and Unit for smaller days
Who were some of your early surfboard shaping influences?
Adam “Sparrow” Fletcher: I started working for DHD when I was 17-years old. And at the time, JS was under the same roof, so they were definitely my main influences when I first started shaping.
How did the first board you ever shape turn out?
Not too bad! I was using DHD profiles and outlines for the first few I shaped, so they came out pretty well. It took about seven handplane boards to finally get a rocker of my own that worked, though.
If you had to make one board model for the rest of your career, what would it be?
The Toy. I’ve found over the last eight years that I always seem to go back to this model—it has a safe feel and can work in everything from one-foot slop to six-foot foot, pumping waves. A lot of the other models we’ve come up with over the years have stemmed from this model.
Who are some of your favorite surfers to shape for?
Clay Marzo, Ry Craike, and Dion Agius because they’re all goofyfooters! They’re all really easy to work with and super down to earth guys. Aside form the team guys, I find shaping my friends boards most rewarding—especially when you surf with them and see them ripping on ‘em.
How has the surf scene where you come from—the Gold Coast of Australia—influenced your board building?
It’s super competitive as a shaper here on the Gold Coast—there are so many great shapers in the area it’s insane. We also have some of the best surfers in the world here so they make for great test pilots. I guess the main influence would be the focus on high performance surfboards here on the Goldy.
As leader of the SUPERbrand Shapers’ Collective, what do you like about working with other shapers and incorporating their designs into the SUPERbrand surfboard line?
I love the fact that we have amazing regional shapers adding their knowledge and extensive board-building backgrounds into the line. Open discussions, different opinions, and even heated moments are all part of the process of designing incredible boards. Multiple minds are better than one!
If there was one shaper dead or alive who you could add to the SUPERbrand Shapers’ Collective who would it be?
Simon Anderson—he invented the thruster and won Bells on it. The thruster is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of surfing.
Anything new up your sleeve we should know about?
We’re heading into summer here on the Gold Coast, so it’s back to work on an all-around summer board—I’ve been working on some versions of the Toy that will hopefully blow peoples minds. We also have another project we have been working on with Dion Agius that will be released in March, 2016…something really fast and really fun.
Finally, how did you end up with the nickname, “Sparrow”?
When I was in high school, a bunch of older guys used to take our ball at lunch, and I was the one that used to hassle them to give it back. I also used to sit flat-footed, squatting with my hoodie over my knees when it was cold at school. When the older guys finally got a hold of me, they’d say, “I’m going to call you Sparrow!” cause they couldn't catch me, and the way I sat on the cold benches. All the boys heard it and started laughing. It stuck from then, and the older guys ended up looking after me through high school and after that. It’s actually Parko's brother in-law that named me Sparrow!
The World Is Super.