Hobie Team Rider Rachael Tilly wins big at East Coast Champs

27. August 2012

Hobie Surf Team phenom Rachael Tilly added to her trophy collection this past weekend by winning the women's amatuer longboard title at the 2012 East Coast Surfing Championships in Virgina Beach. Not happy with the amatuer title, Rachael took aim at the pros and finished 3rd. 

Categories: Surfboards |

Hobie Polarized Launches 30th Anniversary “Show Your Hobie Soul” Contest!

19. July 2012

Hobies unite! In honor of its 30th Anniversary, Hobie® Polarized launched the “Show Your Hobie Soul” Contest. The exciting 30 day contest, which is running on Hobie® Polarized’s Facebook page until August 2nd, allows people to share their life adventures with family, friends, and the Hobie® Polarized community.

Hobie® Polarized’s Facebook fans are invited to share experiences that include Hobie® Polarized sunglasses by uploading photo and video entries onto the contest page. To assist in gaining more votes for the chance to win, fans are encouraged to promote each entry within their respective Facebook communities.

One lucky grand prize winner (and a guest) will receive a 3 day/2 night trip in Laguna Beach, CA with exclusive accommodations through Hobie® Polarized’s partner – the Pacific Edge Hotel. The Pacific Edge Hotel is helping to bring the winners an exciting experience by offering private use of an indoor/outdoor cabana and rental of the hotel’s Hobie® Stand Up Paddleboards. Winners will also receive a ‘day in the life’ experience with a Hobie® athlete, two swim outfits from Hobie® Swim, and a $250 Hobie® gear shopping spree to use at a Hobie® Surf shop.

For more information on the Hobie® Polarized 30th Anniversary “Show Your Hobie® Soul” contest, head to



Hobie 10'2 River Stand Up Paddleboard on the Aniene River

18. June 2012

Italian team rider Giordano Capparella rides the10'2 River on a recent recent test paddle using stand up paddle boards on the white water kayak course on the River Aniene. 

Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

Big Hobie Stand Up Paddle Team Weekend

11. June 2012

The Hobie Stand Up Paddle team had a hugely successful couple of days the past weekend, not just here in the US but also in France!!!

 To kick it off, Brandi Baksic (1st place women's 12'6) and Byron Kurt (1st place men's 14')  led the charge at the Santa Monica Paddleboard Race both winning the overall men’s and women’s SUP titles.  Byron and Brandi were both riding the newly released RACE RAW boards that were debuted by Hobie’s SUP skunk works the previous week at the Hobie/Hennessey’s US Championships.


Further down the coast at the Carlsbad Beachfest, ISA World SUP Surf Champion Emmy Merrill once again showed that she is a force to be
reckoned with in the surf, winning the 1st event of the Surf Race to Victory SUP Cross event.
Across the Atlantic, Greg Closier capped the big weekend off winning the Summer SUP Challenge French Championships  in Bandol France.


Great way to kick off the summer!!!

2012 Hobie-Hennessey’s WPA US Championships

6. June 2012


Dana Point California, June 2nd 2012 – The Hobie/Hennessey’s  United States Paddleboard Championships, historically hosted in Redondo Beach for the past 17 years, moved its venue south for 2012 to Doheny State Beach. The multi lap race format challenged racer’s physical stamina, mental tenacity, and board riding skills while also giving the beach a chance to cheer on their favorite paddlers.
The seemingly simple multi lap triangle course was competition packed and spectator intense. Mother Nature added a little south wind for extra flavor and bump. In all creating the perfect triad for some action packed paddle racing
 The event format consisted of a 4 mile Fun race, and a 6,8, or 9 mile Pro course that had some of the best paddlers vying for a piece of the  prize purse as well as “A Ticket to Cabo” bonus incentive for the money class elite winners  toward  the Hennessey’s WPA World Championships in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico being held November 3-4 .
 The tale of the tape tells the final story, but many of the classes saw head to head battles between paddlers separated by inches for most of the race, only to be decided in the final moments.
  • Ryan Helm - 1st Place 14’ SUP – 7.5 Miles
  • Brandi Baksic – 1st Place Women’s Stock SUP – 6 Miles
  • Fernando Stalla – 1st Place Stock SUP – 6 Miles
  • Brand Baksic – 1st Place Women’s Stock SUP – 6 Miles
  • Jack Bark – 1st Place Stock Paddleboard – 9 Miles
  • George Plsek– 1st Place Unlimited Paddleboard – 9 Miles
  • Jared Vargas - 1st Place Unlimited SUP - 9 Miles
Keeping true to Hennessey’s race style, the racing quickly shifted up the street to Hennessey's Tavern Dana Point for post-race awards and festivities. Racers were welcomed to a huge outdoor BBQ and a monster raffle with prizes from race sponsors.
Race Information and Results:


Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

Hobie Surf Shop - The Terry Martin Legacy -"Shaping Life"

5. June 2012

This is all you really need to know… a film Donny made of Terry over a year of Fridays. All the life lessons are here.


“T. Martin lived a life deserving of honor. From an early age he realized what he was gifted with and kept things simple. His focused perspective on what really mattered never changed as his impact on this world and in our hearts and lives was felt beyond measure of the some 80,000 surfboards he is said to have made.
I was honored to know Terry well and gained so much from his companionship, inspiration, tutelage and now continue to draw from the legacy that he created. God was the main ingredient in his life and he followed his ways and served Him with out abandon. At age 74, after passing away from a struggle with cancer, he did not lose his soul in the process of trying to gain the world.
This film came about by wanting to remember as much as I could of his focus and priorities. In the process, I gleaned from pearls of wisdom I knew would be freely shared. God had a great way of showing up every Friday morning when we got together for a period over a year, talking story and making things.
This film is dedicated to the Martin family and all those who knew Terry and are suffering in the void of his loss. Prayers go out toward Candy and the loss of her lover, our leader and forever everyone’s legend.” -Donny Brink


Hobie Surfboards - Rest in Peace Terry Martin

13. May 2012

Just after midnight on Saturday morning May 12 our friend and mentor Terry Martin left his shell on earth and blasted into heaven. Terry passed peacefully in the wee hours of the morning, a time he often rose and headed to his shaping room to pursue his craft, he is now in his eternal home with his Lord. There will be a memorial service for Terry on Friday, May 18th at 6:30 PM at Capo Beach Calvary in Capistrano Beach, please join us to say goodbye to our beloved Terry. Your prayers for Candy, David, Josh and Johanna are greatly appreciated at this time.

On Sunday, May 20th from 5-9 PM at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point we will celebrate Terry’s life and his legacy at The Terry Martin Project event,” A Body of Work From Wood to Foam”. This event is a LIVE and silent auction fundraiser hosted by the Sport of Kings Foundation that will provide support to the Martin Family.

Today is a great day to go surfing.



Hobie History: Inside Innovations of Hobie at Surfing Heritage

3. May 2012

Dick Metz and Hobie Alter

Saturday night we had the privilege to be at the opening night of the “Innovations of Hobie” exhibit at the Surfing Heritage Foundation. The collective minds of all who attended were sufficiently blown.

The very first board Hobie ever made.. it used to be 10', but the kid who it went to decided to chop it down and make it smaller. Dang kids!!!

No matter where you looked, genius was on display. From the Hobie CAT outside on the lawn, to board No.0000001, to the skateboards, snowboards, cross-sight golf, Hobie Hawks, to the walls lined with every advance in design throughout a 62 year history of handshaped boards.. oh, and that was before you walked into a room full of the greatest shapers in the world who turned out for the man named Hobie.

Some of the most legendary shapers the world has ever known sitting shoulder to shoulder.

Even one of the most reserved surfers and shapers came out… Phil Edwards. We were lucky enough to get a quick word and photo with the elusive Mr Edwards and asked him what he thought.. “very nice.” . We’ll take it.

Phil Edwards. Enough said.

Big booms of laughter and the phrase “Do you remember….” rang all night long. Here is a slideshow that will give you a taste of what we saw… Enjoy!!

The Innovations of Hobie will be open to the public April 29 to July 15, 2012 everyday from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

-Tracey Engelking - Hobie Surf Shops

Categories: Surfboards | History |

Hobie History: Innovations of Hobie at Surfing Heritage Foundation

27. April 2012

Hobie Alter... Craftsman, Waterman, Genius, Legend.

I really wanted the blog today to just be that photo and the words “Hobie Alter: Enough Said”…. but.. maybe that would have only meant something to me, so I’ll explain a little.

Take a wander around our offices in San Juan, you will see lots of typical stuff you would imagine would be going on in the warehouse of a surf company. Boards being shipped, merchandise coming in in huge boxes ready to be tagged and sent off to the shops, phones ringing, team riders looking for their next board.. ect. Look a little more closely in our warehouse, and you start to see it… our history. Pull out a box on a high shelf that you thought was full of catalogs, and find it full of Hobie Super Surfer Skateboard wheels from the 60′s. Move some papers and find a miniature model of a Hobie Cat. Go in for a meeting with Jeff Alter and see a photo of Hobie with a boat motor bolted to the back of a surfboard goofing around in the water. Open a drawer of laments and find that it is full of every sick logo you have seen on a board since forever. It goes on and on and on… from the first removable fin box and fin sitting in Mark Johnson’s office, to the knee board in the corner of Jake Schwaner’s, look in the rafters and there is a Hobie waterski… I know, right? Waterskis… who knew?? All this, and that doesn’t even take into account the boards…

Hobie Alter will always be cooler than us. Always.

Hobie’s heritage is present in every nook, cranny, and dusty box in our offices. It never gets old, and you never stop being in awe of it. Sadly, unless you come to work for us, you will never get to experience it the way we do. However, over the next few months, The Surfing Heritage Foundation will at least give you a taste of Hobie with their exhibition: Innovations of Hobie as curated by Barry Haun.

Innovations of Hobie: Details

To kick-off its new rotating exhibition series, Surfing Heritage Foundation is excited to announce the opening of the exhibition The Innovations of Hobie. The beach lifestyle apparel industry in Orange County-arguably the epicenter of the industry-has largely built itself from the early innovations of Hobie Alter. This exhibition focusing on the hallmarks of Hobie’s innovations includes surfboards, skateboards, clothing, catamarans, sunglasses, and gliders, augmented with historical photographs and ephemera. The exhibition will feature several prototypes for these remarkable innovations.

Some of Hobie’s Innovations

In 1954 Hobie opened the first “surf shop” that specifically manufactured and sold surfboards. Four years later, in 1958, Hobie and Gordon Clark began experimenting with foam and Fiberglass, creating boards that were quicker and more responsive than the wood boards available at the time. Demand for the new production Hobie boards were great and Gordon Clark launched Clark Foam, which became the industry standard for decades.

Teaming up with Vita-Pakt juice company in 1964 Hobie created Hobie Skateboards, the first production skateboard to be placed on the market. The Hobie Super Surfer Skateboard Team helped to quickly popularize skateboarding by giving a demonstration at a San Diego Chargers/Buffalo Bills football game that was aired on television on Thanksgiving day in 1964.

In the late 1960s, Hobie developed a prototype for a lightweight, fast, and fun catamaran, which ultimately lead to the Hobie Cats 14′s, 16′s, 17′s, 18′s and 20′s–the catamarans holding the distinction of being the world’s best selling sail boats.

Other Hobie innovations have followed over the years and include important work done on gliders, sunglasses, and other accessories.

One of hundreds of retro logos...

The Hobie Exhibition: When and Where

The Innovations of Hobie, organized by Surfing Heritage Foundation and curated by Barry Haun, is the inaugural exhibition launching Surfing Heritage Foundation’s new rotating exhibition program. The Innovations of Hobie will be open to the public April 29 to July 15, 2012 everyday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

An exhibition on the history of surfboards from the early 20th century to the present day will be on view in the adjacent permanent collection galleries, placing The Innovations of Hobie exhibition into context.

The special members’ only reception is Saturday, April 28. You can become a member of Surfing Heritage Foundation, and be invited to this special reception, online through its website at

The exhibition is being made possible by major support from Gordon Clark, the founder of Clark Foam. Surfing Heritage Foundation is located at 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, CA 92672. The website is, and the telephone number is 949-388-0313.

-Tracey Engelking -


Hobie Surf Shop - Shaping Room Conversations: Gary Larson

20. April 2012

It is 4:45 am, not even close to dawn. The air is crisp and cold dew covers every outdoor surface. Gary Larson is awake, drinking coffee… lots of cream, lots of sugar. Before the sky shows it’s first shades of purple, he is staring down at the solitary black line at the bottom of a pool. Four mornings a week, like clock work, Gary is in the water at Saddleback College. Anyone who swims knows, mentally, it is only you against yourself. The loudest roar of a crowd can’t be heard over the sound of your own strokes. The discipline and self motivation required to get into an outdoor pool that early says much about Gary’s character. It also serves a a glimpse into his heart as a shaper.

I treat shaping as a hobby not a job.

At 15, after sweeping the floors in Steve Boehne’s shaping room for a while, he crafted his first board. “The first board.. it took about 5 hours. I finished it, signed it, picked it up, put it back down and broke it in half, and put it in the dumpster. Not because I was angry… I knew I could do better; I didn’t want anyone to see it.” His dissatisfaction with his first effort, and his desire to live up to his self imposed expectations, served him well. He went on to become a full time production shaper for Infinity. 4 boards a day 9:30-6. Working alongside Larry Cobb, Ryan Engle, Steve Boehne and his son Dan Boehne. At that time, it was Steve and Dan who had the greatest influence on Gary’s work. “Seeing Dan shape, watching him make these contemporary shortboards… then being able to see Steve as an incredible longboard shaper, a throwback.. having that dichotomy, it is what makes me shape today.. it was that influence.”

There is not a board that I don’t like to make.

Working at Infinity, he would volunteer to shape anything and everything. Shortboards, longboards, prone paddleboards, balsa… whatever was on the order card, he would learn to make it. Always self motivating to do better, even though his name rarely appears in a swirling signature down the stringer. He never wanted to get bored in the shaping room. He didn’t want to be considered someone who could only make one kind of board. Where as, most of us want to find our comfort zone and stay in it, Gary is the opposite, he likes to stretch his limits. To this day his curiosity and desire is present “I love seeing other shapers boards… especially the ones my friends call magic.. how the edges are tucked under, fin placement, rocker flow… minor nuances that only someone who looks at boards everyday would see.”

The day after Clark Foam closed I went out and bought 3 big blocks of EPS foam to shape 3 prone paddleboards. I wanted to keep shaping, so I made prone to keep going.

The shaping room…

Looking into Gary’s shaping room today, you see a man peacefully going about his work. Barefooted and wearing headphones, the only noise in the room is the sound of tools on foam. Streaming into his ears isn’t what you would think… not music.. always something that catches his curiosity. A favorite is This American Life, but any debate across the spectrum; economic, scientific or political will do, but never music. As a rule, Gary’s shaping room door is closed. If he could lock it, he would. He is in his world when he shapes. It isn’t that he doesn’t want to talk to you, he will talk to you all day about subjects like clouds and the weather, and he would tell you that, yes, in fact, tides can be explained. But in the room, he likes to go about his business uninterrupted. You can’t blame him for not wanting to stop and chat throughout the day, shapers are paid by the board, not by the hour.

A lifelong love of learning lead Gary to a Masters degree. “I really loved grad school. The idea of presenting ideas and thoughts and having them so highly critiqued appealed to me. The misconception of school is ‘what did your degree get you?’ it is not about how much money my degree gets me, but am I getting everything out of it that I should. Am I interacting enough with like minded people...?”

Our conversation meanders through Gary’s life, interesting tid bits of information pop up… like his brief month long stint as a valet right after the closure of Clark Foam. A certain multi-time World Tour Champion needed his car parked, after getting it down to the garage, Gary and an unnamed friend removed all the boards from the car, laid them all out in the garage and meticulously inspected each one. Always learning, even when the surfing business was at a halt, and his future was uncertain.

We bring the conversation back to the making of a stock board. How do you start a board for a yet unnamed rider? “I start by looking at the destination.. if it is an Uncle Buck headed for Dana Point, I start thinking it is going to be surfed at SanO. Then I think of the wave and how the average surfer in the water would ride it… when I started surfing, I just wanted to surf and get waves…. when I make a stock board, I don’t think of surfers like Bucky Barry or Tyler Warren… I think about the average guy or girl in the water and make it for them.” When you think back to that first off the rack board that you loved, it was in fact designed just for you. The stock shapers already saw you riding the wave, they already knew what break you were going to surf at… they knew it was for you before you ever walked into the shop.

If I only could make one board, I would make a 3 stringer traditional longboard with 50 50 rails, no hard edge, all curves... pleasing to the eye.

Coming to work for Hobie in 2005 (the year Clark Foam closed) was a huge moment for Gary. “Just working with Terry Martin.. because I look up to him… I was so nervous to shape right next to him, literally, right next to him… I said as few words as possible to him. Part of it was being nervous, I didn’t want to come off the wrong way; more of it was, I saw him and still see him as the greatest surfboard shaper ever.” Hobie itself is overwhelming for some of us that come to work here in any capacity. Truly, when you go in for your interview, you walk by not only the iconic board from the Endless Summer, but under some of Hobie Alter’s most masterful creations. “The history of the label, you don’t want to let anyone down… you are so focused on doing the best, while you are thinking of all the names that have come before you… not many labels are like Hobie, there is a tradition of hand shaping surfboards, plenty of labels have been around forever, but there is something about it… globally; sailboats, kayaks, all of it, it humbles you.” As it should.

A surfboard is a piece of plastic. That is all it is. We provide the soul. Always have. Whether you make it or just ride it. -Sam George

“If I see a board that I shaped and it is yellow, dinged up and ridden into the ground… it makes me happy. I don’t shape things to sit, they are supposed to be in the water, it is why shapers do what they do.” Gary Larson.

-Tracey Engelking

Categories: Surfboards |