Hobie Alter. He started out shaping
he ended up shaping a culture.
this is the story of one man's great imagination, to fully
grasp the story of Hobie you need to start by using your imagination.
Imagine it is summer vacation 1950 and young Hobart "Hobie"
Alter hits on an idea to bring together his two loves, woodshop
and water. He asks his dad to pull the Desoto out of the
family's Laguna Beach, California garage, and the history
of surfing was about to enter a new era.
began by building beautiful 9-foot balsawood icons for his
friends. They worked well! Hobie's hobby had become a business
and his dream of never owning hard-soled shoes or having to
work east of California's Pacific Coast Highway was becoming
a reality. A couple of years and 40 tons of sawdust later,
Hobie opened up Southern California's first surf shop in Dana
Point, California. Then in 1958 Hobie and his buddy
Gordon "Grubby" Clark (as in Clark Foam) began experiments
making surfboards out of foam and fiberglass. The new boards
were lighter, faster and more responsive than anything else
in the water. Demand skyrocketed, production cranked up, and
everyone wanted to be on a Hobie surfboard. While the Beach
Boys were making records, the legendary Hobie Surf Team was
setting them. Hobie's lineup virtually comprises the surfing
hall of fame; Joey Cabell, Phil Edwards, Corky Carroll, Gary
Propper, Peter Pan, Mickey Munoz, Joyce Hoffman and Yancy
Spencer among many, many others. The shaping innovations and
meticulous attention to detailed perfection are still Hobie
trademarks and the Hobie Surf Team still strikes fear among