We sat down with Hodaddy creator and 60s surf culture savant and custodian, Andrew Crockett, to learn more about the golden age of surfing, his brand, and how he is breathing new life into 1960’s surf media.
Andrew, in a few sentences could you introduce yourself?
AC: I am in my late 30s and been working on alternative surfing media for over 15 years now, as the author of the ‘SwitchFoot Trilogy’ of surfing books and sometimes writer for The Surfers Journal and Surfing World magazine. I grew up near Byron Bay, Australia and still live here today.
Hodaddy: what is it, and what does the word mean to you?
AC: I have asked a few of the older guys what ‘hodaddy’ means to them, it was a word used in 1960s surf culture, mostly in California. I asked George Greenough the other day ‘whats a hodaddy’? Wish I recorded his answer. People will work it out, but for now it (hodaddy.com.au) is the home of 1960s surfing culture, as presented in the ‘SwitchFoot’ books and it is evolving like a late 60s surfboard experiment. We just brought it in, added some stiffness to the fin and softened the rails in the tail, about to paddle out and see the results. The image below is our homepage from 1999, it has always been about surfing, music and art.
You seem to be a bit of a renaissance man, and Hodaddy seems to be a perfect counterpart to your eclectic ocean inspired endeavors. What products and projects keep you and the Hodaddy team busy?
AC: I never really understood what ‘renaissance man’ means, particularly in the modern world, but I will take it as a compliment Charles. Thanks! (You can talk, by the way – that stuff you are doing with the environment is inspiring, keep going)
I feel like I have been on the fringe of surfing … making books, interviewing older crew, helping produce albums, movies and designing ‘things’ that are inspired by the 1960s surfing culture. I can’t see any of that changing. Most recently we sourced some really nice Australian Made tee shirts and have loaded them up with 60s inspired surfing designs, via my good friend and noted artist/surfer Jamie Kasdaglis. When I was a kid, Jamie was the guy who surfed Kirra + Burleigh as good an anyone, he probably still does. The shirts are organic cotton and the whole thing feels ethical and a giant step in the right direction, ecologically. You know what I mean? It isn’t that we are trying to be good hippies and make a small carbon footprint, it is that we all have a choice between cheap shit and realistically priced quality made in our own country… we are going the latter and I hope people support that, especially when you think our shirts are selling for the same price as some toxic made in China shirts, sold by many other surfing related brands.
It’s clear that 1960s surf culture is a keystone of Hodaddy; what about this era inspires you?
AC: The sense of fun… People not taking life too seriously. Everything was new and exciting, especially with surfing and surfboards. The music was incredible and we all still listen to it. The cars were made of metal. Society was busting out of its skin with a youth culture, previously unseen. Great minds and artists pushing neo-expressionism … no legropes and very few cameras … and less than half the world population there is today. I could go on, so I will. Surfing has come from a very beautiful place, it wasn’t a place of sport and ego and I feel compelled to nourish where it has come from, that beautiful place of aloha, trim, respect for the elders, respect for the wave, nature and hui. The fact that the 1960s culture, beyond surfing, is also super attractive to me, in a magnetic way, well that all just adds to the vibe and my passion for what we are doing at Hodaddy.
So, you’ve got a book coming out soon. Can you tell us a bit about the impetus for making the book and what we can expect to find when we crack it open?
Again, there is a tonne of imagery. The first book was 210 pages, book two was 365 and book three is 260 pages. So collectively that is what 500? 700 pages of stoke from that era. I am just stoked mate, I mean this time around I basically have asked questions to the elders of surfing about the 60s, design, peak experience, and the real characters that built what we have today. Trying to keep the names and images alive in our culture. It is littered with some of the finest surfing imagery of that era. It is all pre 1976 and I was just a cog in the wheel, bringing it together … I feel honoured to be in such a position. It almost feels like I just made a book about blues music and interviewed Muddy Waters, Son House and John Lee Hooker … I mean, many of the legendary surfers are still alive, it was a huge learning curve and will always be a stoke for my memory bank.
There is also a Hodaddy magazine. Can you tell us where we can find the latest issue and what types of stories you’re passionate about sharing through this publication?
The magazine has been running since 1999 as a newsletter, subscribers only. Recently, with the technology around these days we bumped it up a bit, added loads more images and content to make issue 1, it is online. I guess it is similar to the switchfoot books, the content we are keen on; keeping the history alive with discussions, imagery but – the difference between the online magazine and the books is we really try and spread the love on modern content; artists, surfers and musicians who are creating nice things, NOW. We are not cool. We are the opposite of cool. If you write to us, we write back. There is nothing cool about us, we are just a bunch of kooks, hodads, wailing couch surfers mooching around pretending to be surfers, but boy do we pull the chicks!
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Interview by, Charles Post @ KorduroyTV