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Hobie

  Name: Date Entered:  
 Hobie

08/07/2001

Hobie Alter. He started out shaping surfboards,
he ended up shaping a culture.

Considering 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.

Hobie 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 their competitors.

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