The New Classics: Ford Archbold

A new version of a revered classic. In this case, the son of air pioneer, Matt Archbold.

Our mark today is Ford Archbold, the son of California's radical star of the '80s and '90s, Matt Archbold. Ford's life, thus far at least, has been as a fringe dweller on both the pro surfing game and on the normality of a middle-class existence.

He was born in 1991 to a 22-year-old Matt Archbold and his new wife. Two years later, marriage turned to divorce, and baby Ford was delivered to Matt's Hawaiian house by North Shore elder Bryan Suratt who happend to be in California when the decision was made for Ford to move in with his Dad. Matt would raise him on the sand!
So while Matt owned Off the Wall, Ford would scratch around among the trees and the coral, tenderly watched by that rarely-mentioned characteristic of North Shore life -- the remarkable affection for family.

"We'd cruise around in my black Chevy, listen to music, cruise. It was really easy," says Matt. "Everyone knew him and I never had to worry about him. Hawaii's real tight like that, it's real family oriented."

Matt was big back in the mid-90s and Ford would take a seat next to his Dad on promo tours to Japan where sponsors showered the kid with gifts.

By age five, Ford returned to his mom's in California to start school. Later, he'd enroll in high school for a time in Hawaii, but would lose interest as school would become a casualty of his obsession with surfing. "I needed something…more…something…different," says Ford.

He would return to California, and when he did he'd set up a tent in his pal Andrew Doheney's backyard ("It was a nice tent, a big tent," says Ford), and later, home would be an industrial warehouse without a bathroom. Ford's been on his own trip for a long time and the one thing his biological parents agreed on was to give the kid his own space. The result is a remarakably lucid, easy-to-talk-to, gentle sorta character who may not be the second coming of Matt Archbold, but who, with his music, his innate style, and his anything-but-confined way of riding waves, has enough to occupy a small tile in the mosaic of modern surfing.

"I'm pretty realistic," says Ford. "So many people hide who they are and it pisses me off. It's common in this world. Maybe I'm just confused."