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Hobie Alter Recieves Special Recognition Award at 25th Waterman's Ball

17. August 2014

Hobie Alter received a special recognition award at the 25th Annual SIMA Waterman's Ball for his lifetime contributions to surfing and surf retail.  In 1954 he opened the Hobie Surfboards shop in Dana Point, Calif. It was the first surf shop defined by a retail professionalism. Previous surf shops were guerrilla operations. Jeff Alter received the award for his late father who passed away March of this year. He shared the stage with this years award recipients Rusty Preisendorfer, Ted Danson, and Tom Carroll.

Over the past 24 years, the SIMA Environmental Fund has raised more than $6.5 million for organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving our oceans, beaches and surf breaks. The Waterman’s Ball includes both a silent and live auction, as well as a time of recognition to the 2014 Waterman’s Weekend honorees – individuals who have made a lasting impact on the surf industry and are dedicated to protecting our ocean environment. All funds raised during the Waterman’s Ball are given to the 19 SIMA Environmental Fund beneficiaries – ocean-related environmental organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving our oceans.

 

 

Categories: Surfboards | History |

Hobie Surf :: Hot Curl Nation

1. May 2014

Martin Shapes Hot Curls

My dad introduced the hot curl surfboard to me. I remember being so proud every time I walked into the original Hobie store in Dana Point as a young boy. I’d look up at the vintage surfboard collection lined up around the walls. One of the boards in the most prominent spot was my dads. This particular board was one of the first boards he made. The board was a varnished (no fiberglass and resin) 10 foot Balsa and Redwood finless hot curl. The last board he made is a replica of these first hot curls. It is on display for all to see and appreciate at the current Hobie store in Dana Point.

When my dad started surfing there were no surf shops in San Diego. Very few surfboards existed. Most of the boards being ridden were called ‘planks”. The outline was very straight and they had little if anything for a fin. They were anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds. Very difficult to simply carry to the water let alone ride a wave with. Pretty much the only other boards around were “prone style” hollow wooden paddleboards. Neither of these designs were acceptable boards to my dad when it came to his idea of what you might best surf on. He set out to make his own conception of a surfboard. He told me he’d seen a picture of what they called a Hawaiian board at the time. The look of the Hawaiian board made sense to him. This is what he based his first board on. Made out of lightweight Balsawood his first one finished out at around 20 pounds, had a pulled in tail, belly in the bottom contour, tucking into a vee bottomed tail section. No fin was attached, although he told me they did experiment with some small keel type fins on some of the hot curls he made. In the end the design remained finless.

Foam-Hot-Curl-300x300

His favorite place to surf was down the street from his parent’s house on Point Loma. A spot the other surfers called “Terry’s Slide”. The wave works best at low tide and had quite a bit of kelp in the lineup. As surfing became more popular board designs evolved. Fins were becoming a common fixture on surfboards. Terry’s Slide was generally discarded as a potential surf spot due to kelp interfering with your fin while surfing and hungry rocks ate lost surfboards on the inside. Leashes were not used at this time. The finless hot curl slid right over the kelp and due to its reduced weight was easier to hang onto in the event you fell. My dad and his brother (liked to ride a hot curl as well) had this great wave to themselves. This break is called “Osprey” today.

I spent quite a bit of time in and around my dad’s shaping room starting at a young age. My first real job was as the clean up kid at the old Hobie factory in Capistrano Beach. I graduated from pushing a broom around to cutting out and foiling fins. Foiling fins was to me like simply shaping a surfboard on a small scale. I had to make more than one at a time and they needed to be accurately duplicated. I didn’t get paid hourly but by the piece. I was anxious to reduce time spent at work. Priority was pursuing “more important things” like diving, surfing, fishing and such. I sought input from my dad as to how I might develop a method of accurately and quickly duplicating fins. He was great at creating systems for making any task easier, quicker, and most importantly produce a consistent high quality result. Needless to say I got better and quicker at fin foiling.

 

In the late 80′s I began shaping full time at Just add Water Surfboards in Laguna Canyon. Soon after I started I was presented with an opportunity to shape several hundred identical boards for display in JC Penny’s. I was to be paid half of what I’d make for shaping any other board at the time but I chose to accept the offer. I ended up rather annoyed as the quantity of boards requested doubled shortly after I agreed to the initial order. There were no computer shaping programs or CNC shaping machines at this point. The boards were to be hand shaped. I remember my dad telling me this was a great chance to hone my production skills. I look back today and think to myself what a privilege to have had that opportunity. Systems and methods developed back then are second nature muscle memory today.

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Not to many people make a living at simply shaping surfboards. It is not an overly lucrative trade and generally does not come with standard employee benefits like health insurance, sick pay, etc.. My mom needed a medical procedure at one point. My dad didn’t have the cash to pay for it so he took a quick inventory of items he might sell to pay for the operation. The hot curl in Hobies came to mind. A quick call to good friend and surfboard collector Flippy Hoffman and it was a done deal. Operation paid for and Flippy had my dad’s unique hot curl added to his collection. Years passed and I’d occasionally think of that board. About 15 years ago I began asking my dad about that hot curl. Why no fin? How many did he make? Did other guys ride them? What kind of waves did they ride? What kind of maneuvers were they able to perform? Did he ever make one out of foam? Many good stories were told.

One day my dad surprised me with a gift. A beautiful 10′ Balsa/Mahogany hot curl replica, like the ones he first made. This board hangs in my living room. He signed it with an inscription that reads “PASSING YOUTHFULL MEMORIES OF THE EARLY 50’s TO MY SON IS A JOY TO MY HEART – LOVE DAD”. I remember really debating whether or not to ride it. The fact that it is 70 pounds and if lost on a wave will go straight to the beach due to lack of a fin (possibly decapitating a couple people on the way) led me to request a “rider” model. We ordered a 12’3″ Clark Foam blank. Made with classic foam and 3 nice thick Basswood stringers. We were looking for some weight. The hot curl design my father utilized needs weight to perform as intended. 30 to 40 pounds was our target weight. I spent a day with him shaping it. Learning from him how the wave would “cradle” the curves and contours we put into the board. Glassed with a double layer of Volan top and bottom the board made its target weight. It is easier to surf than I imagined. Based on this board I am currently making hot curls out of both foam and traditional Balsawood. US Blanks recently did a fabulous job of building a custom “hot curl” rockered 10’8Y blank in “tow” weight for me. This made for a beautiful 10 foot 35 pound rider. Their 11’3D blank works quite well too, again with the custom rocker.

There are a few hurdles (mostly in my mind) I find I need to overcome in riding my hot curl. The tail does not “lift” when catching a wave, giving me the impression I have not caught the wave. The board does initially want to broach a bit until the wave has “caught” it. White water is not your friend. The air in the white water causes cavitation. The wave “lets go” of the board and control is lost. I don’t argue with this fact but find it funny that there is really only about 6 inches of “sweet spot” in which to stand on a 10 foot board. You cannot tail turn a hot curl. Nose riding is not much of an option. If the board has the correct shape and weight the wave interacts with the board in such a natural way. The board seems to just “find” natural trim. The wave “cradles” the board. You are surfing “in” the wave, not on it. The kind of surf I like to ride mine in is a lined up feathering wall. My dad always said the bigger and better the wave the better the hot curl works. I find that they are quite fun in small surf too but it’s best to have long wall to trim on. They feel very nimble in the water for the length and weight. I like to describe the hot curl ride as if you are allowed to play the roll of passenger but you must behave. If you do, you will be rewarded with a unique rich glide into a wonderful corner of the surfing experience.

-Josh Martin

 

Editors Note :: Inspired by Jeff Quam’s soulful surfing style, 6 of us from Hobie Surf Shop asked to meet him at Doheny to try his mythical finless ‘Hot Curl’ surfboards. It was a trip!!  There was a LOT of falling and a LOT of laughing as we all gave them our best go…. the boards worked the best when you stopped trying to ride them, and instead, let the board take you where it wanted to go. Thank you to Terry Martin, Josh Martin, Jeff Quam, Andy Cowell, and the lovely waters of Doheny for making this a session to remember. Enjoy!!

Categories: Surfboards | History |

Hobie Memorial - Share your Hobie Day, Where ever you are

16. April 2014

The global response to Hobie’s passing has been monumental; astronomical would be a more accurate description. Over the past few weeks, the effect that Hobie Alter had on people’s lives has been shared across every medium imaginable. We have received heart felt letters, pictures, mementos, and countless stories of how a Hobie invention created a lifetime memory or contributed to a way of life. It has lit up social media with a plethora of tweets, posts, threads, and creative hash tagging. It even made the nightly news.

 We recently posted information about upcoming memorials and paddle outs, and once again the response was nothing less than amazing! For those who can make one of the events, we welcome you and look forward to remembering an amazing man who created toys so that we all could have a little more fun.
 
Unfortunately, due to the vastness of this large blue marble that we all share, not everyone can make it.  
 
If you can’t make either of the memorial events, we understand, but don’t let it stop you from “HAVING A HOBIE DAY.”
 
Even better, SHARE with us how you spent “YOUR HOBIE DAY”,
 
Paddle out or sail out we want to see it!!!
 
Post to social media and use 
 
#haveahobieday
 
Or submit your photos and video to
 
 
"Ride em if you have em"
It’s what Hobie would of wanted you to do!!!
 
 

Hobie Alter Paddle Out Information - Official

16. April 2014

Hobie Alter Memorial Information - Official

3. April 2014

Rest in Peace Hobie Alter - The Passing of a Legend

30. March 2014

 

San Juan Capistrano, CA - March 30, 2014
Hobart “Hobie” Alter, who started out shaping surfboards, and ended up shaping a culture, passed away peacefully at his Palm Desert home on March 29 surrounded by his loving family. Born on October 31, 1933 in Ontario, California, he was 80 at the time of his passing.
 
The recently published biography “Hobie: Master of Water, Wind and Waves”reveals the story of this true Renaissance man. The son of a second-generation orange farmer, Hobie flourished spending time at his family’s Laguna Beach summer home. And it was here in the family’s garage back in 1950 where he began his somewhat accidental career by combining his two loves, wood shop and water, crafting handmade 9 foot balsawood surfboards for his friends. Business was good, and his father had grown tired of the sawdust, so in 1954 Hobie would open the area’s first surf shop in Dana Point. But as demand continued to grow, balsawood was becoming scarce, and even with Hobie’s creative assembly line, the wooden board building process was cumbersome. This is where Hobie’s extraordinary gift for self-taught, “outside the box” engineering rose to the challenge. Through a top-secret trial and error process, and along with friend and employee Gordon “Grubby” Clark, Hobie pioneered the development of the foam surfboard. With the lighter and more responsive boards, and his gift for design and commitment to uncompromising quality, Hobie quickly became the number one surfboard brand in the world. The list of legendary surfers and shapers that worked or rode for Hobie is a virtual Hall of Fame and his success is seen as the launch point for California’s iconic surf industry. Hobie himself was a top surfing competitor.
 
Having success with surfing, Hobie turned his attention to his other water-based passion, and after another series of tireless design testing, Hobie unveiled his namesake “Hobie Cat” which is credited with bringing high-performance sailing from the yacht club to the masses. “The Cat that Can Fly” could be launched off any beach and soon became one of the world’s top selling sailboats. But his curious mind and constant tinkering didn’t stop there. A few of his other inventions include creating the “Hobie Hawk” a high-performance remote controlled glider (another of his lifetime passions). He also designed the hugely successful Hobie Super Surfer skateboard, sculpted a revolutionary 33-foot mono-hull sailboat, pioneered a “Float Cat” for fly-fishing and built the “Katie Sue” (named for his mother Katie and his wife Susan), an awe-inspiring 60-foot power catamaran from scratch.
 
As the result of this serial innovation, the name Hobie has come to mean a great deal to the world. But it is the integrity of the person behind the name that has meant so much more to family and friends. A humble man of incomparable character, he made it clear that the one thing of which he was most proud, was his family. His sister recently recalled that their father taught Hobie early on to always tell the truth, no matter the consequence, and that any deal worth doing could be done with a handshake. It was a lesson that Hobie incorporated into every aspect of his personal and professional life, and one that he passed on to his own children as well as those that interacted with him in his various enterprises. He was incredibly giving of his love, his time, his resources and his expertise. Always the first to do whatever was necessary to help those in need. Yet he never wanted any accolades or recognition. His kindness, sage counsel and generosity literally transformed countless lives. But as he was quick to say, “A lot of people helped me along the way, I’m just trying to return the favor”.
 
In discussing the future with friends as a young man Hobie declared that he wanted to make a living without having to wear hard-soled shoes or work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway. By “Making people a toy and giving them a game to play with it” he was able to realize this dream. And in the process, he introduced the world to an outdoor lifestyle and collection of products that made things just a bit more fun for all of us. Hobie’s passing will leave an incredible void in the world of surfing, sailing and watersports. But as with any great author, actor or artist, the legacy of his work, and the strong wake of his innovations will live on forever. And for his family and friends, the lessons he taught, the quiet, moral and ethical example he set and the lingering warmth of his abiding love will comfort them as long as they live.
 
With his loving wife Susan at his side, Hobie lived life as an adventure spending years on the lakes and ski slopes of McCall, Idaho, navigating the Katie Sue through the channels near their home in Orcas Island, Washington and hitting the links at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California. In addition to Susan, he is survived by his sisters Carolyn and Lillian, his daughter Paula and her partner Ian, son Hobie Jr. and his wife Stephanie, son Jeff and his wife Laurie, grandchildren Cortnie and husband Dylan, Brittany, Scotty, Cody, Ashlyn, Tyler, Noelle and Justin, great-granddaughter Serena, and many close friends that were always made to feel like they were immediate family.
 
Hobie received the Waterman Achievement award from the Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association in 1993, was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1997 and admitted as an inaugural member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011 alongside Dennis Connor and Ted Turner.
 
Details of Memorial Services are pending, and in keeping with the tradition of the Waterman, there will also be a surfer’s “Paddle Out” in front of the family’s Oak Street home in Laguna Beach, where it all began. Date/time TBD.
 
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to either:
 
Sport of Kings Foundation – in Memory of Hobie Alter
PO Box 2499 Capistrano Beach, CA 92624
 
Surfing Heritage Culture Center – Hobie Alter Scholarship Fund
 
Orcas Island Community Foundation – Deer Harbor Volunteer Fire Department– in Memory of Hobie Alter
www.oicf.us

 

Hobie Surf :: Hobie Surfboards & Fender Guitar - An All American Tradition

3. December 2013

For The Person on Your List Who Has Everything... Hobie X Fender.

For The Person on Your List Who Has Everything… Hobie X Fender.

Custom Fender Jaguar Guitar & Hobie Replica Vintage Surfboard

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This one-of-a-kind guitar / surfboard combination will only be available through this charity auction. Classic 1960s surfing takes shape in the most iconic Surf Rock instrument, the Fender Jaguar. Of only three Hobie X Fender guitars in the world, this is the only one made available to the public. The Fender comes with the matching Hobie classic longboard, completing your Surf Rock collection.

 
Hobie surfboards has always stood for quality, innovation and craftsmanship. Hobie has always led the way when it comes to innovation in surfboard design. The finest shapers, designers and board builders in the world have left their mark in the shaping bays of Hobie Surfboards. To this day, Hobie Surfboards are still made in the same factory in Capistrano Beach, California – turning out some of the most sought after modern masterpieces of foam and fiberglass in the world!
  • Length: 9’0″ “Replica” early sixties Vintage Model.
  • Finish: Gloss & Polish
  • Fin: Classic glass on laminated wood “D” fin.
  • Color: Hobie “Surf Green” with white comp stripe

Also included in this package is the Classic Player Jaguar®Special guitar. This guitar updates the time-honored Jaguar model with several thoroughly modern improvements, including hotter pickups, cut switch, Adjusto-Matic™ bridge, 9.5″ fingerboard radius and neck pocket with increased back-angle for improved stability and sustain.

  • Limited edition, one of three, in the custom color “Hobie Surf Green.”

Bid early and Bid often by clicking HERE! There is ONLY one to go around!!

-Tracey Engelking

Categories: Surfboards | History |

Hobie History :: June 1973 Interview with Phil Edwards & Mickey Munoz as Copied Word for Word from Surfer Magazine

3. December 2013

The following interview has been taken word for word from a June 1973 article in Surfer Magazine. Read it before it becomes lost to time…

Hobie-surf-shop-phil-edwards-mickey-munoz-cta-hawaii-sunset-surfing-surfer-interview-1973

INTERVIEW :: Assorted Sea Stories and a Hobie Cat Adventure

by: Phil Edwards and Mickey Munoz

We open with Phil and Mickey looking at shots of themselves riding Sunset Beach on a Hobie Catamara. They haven’t seen them before and are quite interested to see how large the waves look. Phil, looking at the largest wave shot of he and Mickey riding Sunset, opens with the comment: “That’s the largest wave I’ve ever seen break at Doheny.”

Phil : Where’s my pictures; I have some pictures of big waves. (Phil pulls out a stack of photos taken by Bud Browne in the late 50′s of giant Makaha surf, looking like 25 to 30 feet)

Munoz : I don’t know, Phil, you keep looking at those.

Phil : Hey that’s Cabell. That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone go on a surfboard. That thing was unreal. It looked like it was shifting gears or something. I had a picture of a big wave with Pat Curren on it – there it is. Besides that shot of Greg Noll at outside Banzai, I think this is the largest wave ever ridden.

Pezman : What about Makaha back in ’59? Wasn’t there some 35 foot happening back then with Downing and those guys?

Phil : Oh, yeah, Downing came up bleeding from the ears and spitting blood. He got driven so deep; I wasn’t there, but Bill Drako was there. He came up bleeding from the ears, and you know all those guys can all dive 50 feet.

Munoz : Well, Buzzy’s hit bottom in 65 feet of water there.

Phil : And to that add whatever the wave was above that figure for the full round trip (chuckle). Like if it was 20 or 30 foot wave and it drives you down 70 feet, you’re going a hundred feet straight down, just like that.

Phil : We’ve just got to ride a bigger wave. A wave that’s cresting right on top of the peak of the mast.

Pezman : Why?

Phil : Just to do it. You’re better off in a boat than you are on a surfboard, especially with those new shortboards.

Pezman : The boats faster?

Phil : Oh, gee, you have so much more authority with a boat. We were pushing over the backs; we had a better wind on that small day that we went out. We could go right up over the back and catch the wave.

Munoz : We could just pass the wave out.

Phil : You could let a wave go by you and then just catch up to it, start to catch it from behind.

Pezman : So the danger would be if you lost your speed after you’d gone down the face?

Phil : Well, no, this day was more of an offshore, so we were completely helpless at certain times during the takeoffs. There’s one interesting thing that we did that we’ve never talked about. Like when you first start out to do something like this, you’ve got all these grandiose plans on how you’re going to do all this elaborate stuff, but when you get out there, mother nature just doesn’t put up with it. When it came right down to it, we couldn’t even put the jib up. You know, because you can’t pull all those lines and hang onto the boat. You just can’t run it; you get lost in the logistics of the whole thing. I mean just getting it through the shorebreak is a big, uptight, major deal, and then just getting the thing out in one piece.

photo Hobie-surf-shop-phil-edwards-mickey-munoz-cta-hawaii-sunset-surfing-surfer-interview-1973.2

Pezman : It really sounds like a stunt, rather than an everyday thing.

Phil : So usually one guy steers and sheets because like it’s a coordinated thing. But Mickey and I, we’ve been sailing together a lot, and so we get out there and it’s just rougher than hell, and we’re kind of uptight. I don’t even want to hold the sheet because I want to hold the boat. We’re just bounding all over. So Mickey sheets and I’m steering. It’s like trying to drive a car in rush hour with somebody else working the pedals, only we’ve sailed together enough where we’ve gotten used to it, and it’s very comfortable. But, guy, you go over a wave and it’s just a big gust lifting the whole boat out of the water, and you don’t know if the other guy senses it. Whereas, if you’re steering, you feel like you’re sensing more of it.

(Girl interjects) Phil said Mickey was yelling left and right; and Phil was yelling in and out.

Phil : The guy that’s working the sail is worrying about the steering, and the guy that’s working the rudder is worrying about working sail.

Munoz : That’s right; that’s right.

Phil : We’ve never talked about that.

Munoz : That’s right.

Phil : It was great.

Munoz : That’s right, exactly. Never thought of it quite like that. Very good, very good.

Phil : Even though we have sailed together a lot, you still don’t have a perfect feel for it, because the other guy is very suggestible. Like I go pretty much where he told me to steer, and he’d he’d do pretty much with sail what I said to do, because I don’t really think you realize what the other guy is doing, first of all. I mean, we do better than anybody else.

Munoz : I thought it went very smoothly myself. As far as the whole deal wen, I thought we rode and did everything we could under those conditions. It was a matter of luck, of being positioned. It was big enough that it would sometimes be breraking on the point and sometimes over at the bowl and sometimes in the channel. It was just a matter of luck being in the proper lineup, because all the surfing lineups were different than they would be for us. We’re so far out in the ocean that we can’t use the regular surfing lineups. So we had to charge around, back and forth; a couple times we found ourselves really far over on the point.

Pezman : Don’t you think the surf was coming up while you were doing all of that?

Munoz : Oh, yeah.

Pezman : What were the waves like?

Phil : Just a little bit too blown out for surfing.

Munoz : Stormy, bumpy.

Pezman : How big did they look to you out there?

Phil : You know when we came in and looked out at the waves, outside Banzai was going down. Did that happen while we were out there or was it just coming up while we were doing it?

photo Hobie-surf-shop-phil-edwards-mickey-munoz-cta-hawaii-sunset-surfing-surfer-interview-1973.3

Munoz : It was just coming up.

Phil : Because I don’t think outside Banzai was coming down while we were out there. That would’ve really scared me, if I had seen it go down. When outside Banzai starts coming down, it’s time to get out of there.

Munoz : It was pretty good size out there, and it was getting a lot cleaner too; the bump was moving out of it.

Pezman : What were you looking for in the waves; what kind of waves did you need?

Phil : My vision was just size, but then we went out on a real small day before the second time just to see how the boat felt and get used to it; and we got so excited with it just riding the waves that I can’t help but think that surfing a boat all the way to Hawaii in those big ocean swells would be the same kick. I mean it was really fun.

Munoz : It was fantastic. You know we had so much control in smaller waves that suddenly the big waves seemed very possible.

Pezman : How did the added element of the wind affect the surfing nature of the thing?

Munoz : Wind? It adds to the control.

Phil : That’s a good question. Like a guy that’s never ridden a boat before, but had surfed a lot, wouldn’t dig the outside power. They’d like the sole source of power to be the wave, but it isn’t offensive. It’s groovy. It’s just another wave you’re riding. It’s like you’ve got two waves that you’re playing against each other.

Munoz : Plus, there’s the control from having the added speed you don’t get on a surfboard. The ability to cross a big flat area and get into another peak. It would’ve been interesting, you know, if we’d had more time to get into doing this. We might get further and further over and pretty soon be getting into some really radical positions, super radical. Like coming across from the point and making that bowl would be an incredible thing on a good sized wave.

Pezman : Like riding Sunset for the first time on a Hobie Cat was probably comparable to riding Sunset for the first time on a surfboard.

Munoz : Right, right. Although we did catch waves outside that were certainly as radical as the inside waves. We caught waves way outside in the ocean where probably not too many guys have taken off on surfboards.

Pezman : How much further out were you than surfers normally ride?

Phil : You know those big ones that cap out in the channel on a big day? They back off and screw around and shift. Well, we were playing around out there and they didn’t even film it because we were so far out, but it was really a lot of fun. All we could talk about that evening was sailing to Hawaii with a big storm coming up and just surfing for like 24 hours like that, night and day.  It would be really exciting in the middle of the night to be in 20-foot surf.

photo Hobie-surf-shop-phil-edwards-mickey-munoz-cta-hawaii-sunset-surfing-surfer-interview-1973.4

Munoz : Like our boat speed was probably awfully fast in some of those waves.

Phil : Oh, yeah, because those waves are not in shallow water. They’re going like hell. Those were fast moving waves. They were capping, I keep thinking about that Hawaii deal. Ocean swells are supposed to be moving at about 22mph.

Phil : I was out one day at Lanikai and there were 30 foot swells in the ocean, and I later found out that Waimea Bay broke that day at about 25 plus. And so the same waves that are breaking  at like Sunset and Waimea are out in the ocean and, in fact, probably bigger and moving faster. They wouldn’t break top to bottom, but they would be so thick that a surfer could never ride the, but if we ever got in that kind of conditions, we could ride one wave for 24 hours maybe.

Munoz : The waves work in a deal where the last wave in the train in mid-ocean, now, moves faster than the front waves, and ends up becoming a front wave, while the front waves are kind of diminishing.

Phil : I didn’t know that.

Munoz : That’s what Ricky (Grigg) told me anyway.

Phil : Rochlen has a fabulous story. Have you ever heard Rochlen’s story? About the first time he ever sailed a catamaran to Hawaii. He takes about two hours to tell it, and he’s pretty prolific, you know, the way he’s… he’s good at it. He’s told this story a lot of time. But anyway, like the first catamaran they ever built somewhere around 1948 or so, was so successful, they built another one immediately to come up here and sail down with transpac, and it happened to be a real windy year. Everytime there’s a big swell in Hawaii, those swells have traveled clear across the ocean at that size. Like if you see a 30 foot wave in the Islands, that wave’s been alive for three or four days getting there, right? And it’s been 30 feet the whole way.

Munoz : Yeah, well, maybe bigger.

Phil : Because I’ve seen big swells in the ocean. Like I saw bigger swells off Lanikai that day than I’ve ever seen break, except maybe Kaena Point. So, Anyway, Rochlen’s telling this story… the boat’s got this tiny little dog house and just one guy steers it. He’s standing up in the back and he kinda leans against the tiller bar. One guy’s got the whole deal, and you take these drops and you can’t take them straight because, just like a surfboard, you’d pearl straight to the bottom. And he tells about a guy standing out there with four other guys, their lives depending on how he takes the drop. You know, these are breaking waves; in fact, well; I’ve never seen a top-to-bottom breaking wave in the ocean, but Rochlen claims that they were top to bottom. (Both Munoz and Edwards laugh nervously.) Or, you know, with enough of the top furring off that it’s the same problem as breaking top to bottom. And, so Rochlen said that the roughest night they had was when he’d just gotten on the tiller at about four o’clock in the morning,; the other guy had burned out. Rich Muirhead, he’s dead now, he was really a good sailor; anyway he handled it all night long, and finally about four in the morning, he crashed. And so Rochlen is on the helm and they’re just going by feel, and everytime the stern started sucking up in the air, they just put the thing over and started angling so they wouldn’t pearl. And all night long, everytime the stern comes up, he’s just shoving it down, and all of a sudden dawn breaks about 5:30 or 5, whatever it is, and you can start to see, and he said he could see that the whole swell was starting to line up in front of him and bowl.

Munoz : Wow!

Phil : And he said he actually had to make a decision during that morning of whether to try and straighten out and run with it, or pull over the top. I mean, he was talking just like a guy would talk after riding a big day on the North Shore.

Munoz : Well, you know, I’ve seen it like that.

Phil : So Mickey and I sailing on those outside waves, probably got a little taste of what sailing a little catamaran out in the open ocean would be like. Because like I remember we stayed up long hours at night talking about sailing Mickey’s boat over to Hawaii after that, but I can see from a surfer’s standpoint that the best looking wave is the shorebreak. You know, like that stuff outside, even if we had pictures of it, wouldn’t be impressive, but it’s really thrilling if you’re there.

Munoz : Yeah, out on a boat. (Munoz, veiwing one of the photos of he and Phil on a Sunset wave comments) Well, there’s the shorebreak. (Phil laughs.)

Phil : Munoz bailed on Carter Pyle and I about ten years ago, and we never let him forget it.

Munoz : So I wasn’t about to bail on this one. (This time Phil had jumped when they were in dangerous looking shorebreak.)

Phil : You had no choice. Mickey had the death seat. He couldn’t bail. I told him that as we were going out, just when we hit the water, I said, Mickey you’re in the death seat. I had it all figured out for months before we went out, I laid it on him.

Munoz : I couldn’t believe you told me that, ’cause there’s only one way to bail, and that’s off the back; and that means I have to go over Phil.

Phil : He’d have to climb over me, and he isn’t above doing that.

Munoz : Well, you know we talked about how we were gonna bail out and everything. (Looking at the photos) Notice I’m fully in command of the situation; I still have the main sheet in my hand. But I dove off the back too when we got in the shorebreak, and the boat just kind of settled upon the sand. I did sort of scurry off the back end on that one.

 Phil : Hey, this was a funny deal. You know like when we went to do this thing, they went, “Oh, yes, you’ve got two boats over here waiting for you;” and I keep telling them, hey, we’re gonna lose the boats; just forget the boats. And they’ve already got a guy that’s handled the boat, you know, it’s his boat now. You know, he’s got that super racing stuff all over it; it’s all fixed up. It was really an uptight deal to take the guy’s boat out at Sunset Beach. Really it was supposed to be our boat, but the guy had done a whole bunch of work on it.

Munoz : Yeah, it was very nice.

Pezman : Would they have given him another boat?

Phil : Yeah, but, he’d done a lot of work himself. He had carpeting on the sidebars for non-slip surface, stuff like that.

Munoz : It was nicely done. The boat was really well rigged.

Phil : It was rough out there. Everything is so much more violent out there.

Munoz : The boat was pitching, plowing, and yawing from side to side.

Phil : Everything is so much more violent out there.

Pezman : Because you’ve got so much more surface in the wave, more surface to control?

Munoz : You’ve got so much more power out there.

Phil : Sometimes it’s scarier just handling the wind than it was the waves.

Munoz : It was probably blowing stronger than an average trade. Probably around 25 knots.

Pezman : Did the boat seem like it was a good surfing boat?

Munoz : I can’t think of any other boat I’d rather do it in, personally.

Pezman : Hey, what other spots do you think you could ride?

Phil : Well, Flippy (Hoffman) touted… have you ever been around Flippy very much? Well nothing’s ever right. He’s always got a topper; there’s always a better way of doing it. He’s saying the whole time, you’re shooting from the wrong spot; you’re riding the wrong wave; the sun’s wrong and everything was wrong. So, I said, okay Flippy, what do you want us to do? So he puts us in a car and drives us down to Avalanche, and God, you think it was hard to line up at Sunset; how would you like to try and line up at Avalanche?

Munoz : Yeah, well, maybe.

Pezman : What about breaks in Waikiki, the big summer breaks?

Phil : I’ve ridden Rice Bowl on a pretty big day, an 8 foot day. I saw a guy catch a 12 foot wave at Rice Bowl.

Munoz : See, on the South Shore they ride pretty big 10-12 foot waves.

Phil :  But those waves are a lot different than North Shore waves. They’re just slow, little… they’re like here (California.)

Munoz : Hey, now Rice Bowl’s a pretty juicy wave.

Phil : Yeah, Rice Bowl. It’s pretty respectable; it lets down kinda hard. Like Ala Moana let’s down, but it’s still a very slow wave compared to Sunset. I mean like it might curl fast, but the wave rolling toward the shore speed is like half the speed of Sunset.

Pezman : It’s shallower further out?

Munoz : Yeah, it’s more like the coast, more like it is here. I think we could ride any of the outside breaks.

Phil : The thing is, anything more than what we were out in that day, I can’t swim in. Like outside Banzai would be groovy, but who the hell wants to swim in?

Munoz : We couldn’t go left; we’d have to go right.

Phil : Next time we’re gonna get out own photographer and airbrush in the crest ten feet higher. I had a dream of the crest over the mast.

photo Hobie-surf-shop-phil-edwards-mickey-munoz-cta-hawaii-sunset-surfing-surfer-interview-1973.5

Munoz : The only place might be point surf at Makaha, which would be very tricky. Oh man, you’d get a big wave there that’s as big a slopping thing of water that you could ride.

Pezman : You could catch it way outside and be to the bottom of the bowl by the time it bowled, and by then you’d be through it.

Munoz : That would be a hell of a spot, plus you’d have Buffalo right there with his boat.

Phil : Yeah, I hear Buffalo wants to get a Hobie Cat. That would be great, huh? Hey, he’ll try anything.

Munoz : Yeah, you could go out and ride Klausmeyers. You could ride a lot of spots out there. Hey, listen, there;s gonna be guys riding waves all over. I talked to two guys on the South Shore that are in Hobie cats just wailing, and they’ve got their boats just really super tuned and rigged.

Pezman : How do the remote control gliders that you fly fit into the total picture of what you like to do?

Phil : Well, it’s all the same, the surfing and the sailing, and the gliding. They’re all nature’s free ride.

Pezman : How about skiing?

Phil : Not skiing because the hill isn’t moving. Like soaring, the similarity with surfing is amazing. The terminologies are the same; they have waves; waves soaring is a big deal. They go up to fantastic altitudes wave soaring. Waves are set up by mountain ridges. I think they’ve gone up to about 43,000 feet. The guy couldn’t go any higher, ’cause they need a pressure suit after that  -a full on space suit. They’d have to have lubrication in the joints so they wouldn’t freeze; they’d have to have oxygen. And guys have gotten into big waves up there. These waves have tremendous velocities. They’re just rising air. Instead of the curl, they call it the rotor; and if they get on the back of this rotor; it’s a super down-wash. But the thing I have against skiing, I’m not a skier, as far as including it in Nature’s free riding group, is that it doesn’t have the same thing as surfing, sailing , and soaring do. There’s a stationary object involved, whereas the other ones all have two things moving. I don’t know because I’m not a skier, but I know that in surfing, both the vehicle and the propellant are moving. Sailing’s the same, and soaring is more like that than the other two. Soaring is entirely based upon the driving force moving. When you have a wave or moving air in soaring, or a thermal in soaring, then you have moving air that’s rising faster than the glider is falling, and you can gain ground. Like I’ve been out on a day when you can release from your tow at 3,000 feet, and in a short length of time, you’ll reach 12,000 feet. Like if skiing offered a ride back to the top of the hill, I’d dig that. That was one thing I always liked about Makaha. You know the argument is that you have to paddle back out surfing, you have to pay for that ride. That’s what used to be so neat about Makaha, you know, the shorebreak would give you a ride back out, a free rope tow. You know the Island’s really neat. If you have the time, you can just kind of throw your board in the water and let the wind blow you out. That’s the thing about those free ride sports; if you kind of get your wits in harmony with the forces involved, you get a free ride for a short time. And to do so, you’re always placing yourself in a position where you can get swatted. You know, like surfing’s a good example. In surfing, it’s a swim to the beach, but soaring is a little more penalizing.

-END-

** Editors Note :: Thank you to Surfer Magazine for printing this 40 years ago. I re-typed this  directly from an original dog eared copy of the magazine that is owned by Hobie shaper, Mark Johnson.  In retrospect… as a hunter and pecker of the highest order, I should have scanned it in. ;)

When I was reading along while copying, I couldn’t even wrap my brain around the unbelievable pair of cojones that Mickey and Phil had. To take a boat (A BOAT!!!) surfing in waves that size…?? Wildly insane! Pioneering, yes. But, out of their heads nuts. Mickey describing that if he wanted to bail, he had to physically jump over Phil to make it off… unreal. My favorite part, though, is Phil describing ‘Nature’s free rides’, reading it was like learning to truly appreciate the art of just riding the wave. No fancy tricks, no hard turns, just flowing down the provided lines of the wave. We are so lucky to be surfers.

-Tracey Engelking

Categories: History | Hobie Cat |

Hobie Jumps in on the 2013 Doheny Surf Fest in Dana Point

25. June 2013

In the backyard of where Hobie Alter opened his first surf shop back in the Fifties, the company he founded in Dana Point returns to it’s roots by sponsoring the 2013 Doheny Surf Fest.

One special beach event on Sunday afternoon will be the Hobie Alter Tandem Invitational highlighting one of the original competitive disciplines from the Sixties of which Hobie himself was a champion. It will be preceded on Sunday morning by the “Sixties Longboard Contest” hosted by the Doheny Longboard Association

The second annual Doheny Surf Fest will feature two days of fun in the sun with surfing exhibitions including on Saturday the Legends of the Longboard Era, the Tyler Warren Invite of the “New School” of Traditional Longboarding and the Terry Martin ‘Sport of Kings” Concours d Elegance.

Also there is the Surf Fest Village with nearly 100 vendor booths with everything from surf gear, arts and crafts and collectibles and a “Free” concert in the park Saturday afternoon with Common Sense with opening acts Trevor Green and Aloha Radio.

You can grab a beer too in the Kona Brewing beer garden with it’s un-plugged Stillwater stage and the also some great eats in the “Food Court”.

It’s going to a weekend of soaking up Southern California beach culture.

For More Information:
activempire@aol.com

http://www.dohenysurffest.com/

Categories: Surfboards | History |

Hobie featured in new book - A Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965

1. April 2013
The Hobie Story has once again found its way into a great new book that was just released - “A Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965,” a new book edited by Bobbye Tigerman, associate curator of decorative arts and design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The book features the Hobie story as well as about 140 of his peers as it tells the story of designers, artisans and design entrepreneurs working in California during the mid-20th century.

 

Categories: History |