Flecky, Dan


Quiet, mustachioed regularfooter from Newport Beach, California; one of the state's few international-caliber surfers in the early and mid-'70s. Flecky was born (1952) in Newport, began surfing in 1965, was California's top-rated amateur in 1974, and competed sporadically on the pro tour in the late '70s and early '80s, often riding board shaped by older brother Pat Flecky.

One noteworthy competition result came in late 1973, when Flecky took 3rd in the hotly-contested amateur division of the Smirnoff Pro-Am, in Hawai, behind winner Michael Ho and runner-up Mark Richards.

A rangy (6' 1", 185 pounds) regularfooter with huge feet (size 12), always active on his board, by turns smooth and explosive, Flecky's approach was the most "Australian" among his California peers—Nat Young and Michael Peterson were both style influences. At a time when nearly all West Coast surfers were using plain white boards and black wetsuits, Flecky cut against the grain in that respect as well. "Dan's quiet and simple manner on land," Surfing said of Flecky in 1977, "contrasts sharply with his flashy-colored boards and wetsuits." In the mid-'70s, Infinity Surfboards in Huntington Beach released a Dan Flecky Model board.

In 1991, Flecky cofounded the Black Flys sunglasses company, which soon earned a reputation for its lurid marketing campaigns, including parties of Caligula-like decadence, a promo video called Rat F@#ed, and an ad blitz featuring large-breasted strippers wearing nothing but strategically placed Black Flys stickers. In 1996, the company did $10 million in sales.

Flecky died from a stroke, in 2022, at age 69.