Hobie Cat Company Announces Acquisition of Hobie Cat Europe

10. September 2012

Oceanside, California,- Effective September 1, 2012, the Hobie Cat Company, based out of Oceanside, California acquired Hobie Cat’s business in Europe. The agreement will give the sailboat and kayak company worldwide trademark rights and make the operation Hobie Cat’s business in Europe directly under the control of Hobie Cat Company.  Together with Hobie Cat Australasia, a subsidiary for the past twelve years, the joining of international forces will unify the brand image, accelerate market expansion, focus the product offerings and enhance Hobie’s strong position in the global sailing, kayaking and fishing markets. The announcement was made by Hobie Cat Company president, Doug Skidmore.

Terms of the purchase are not disclosed, but the agreement is enthusiastically sanctioned by both entities. "It has been a dream of ours for many years to reunite Hobie Cat brands worldwide.  This acquisition creates tremendous opportunities to build on the successes that Hobie Cat Company, Hobie Cat Europe and Hobie Cat Australasia have all achieved individually in their own markets,” stated Doug. “It will take a lot of hard work and late nights to coordinate efforts, but the benefit to the Hobie Cat brand, our company and our loyal customers will be significant and long lasting.”

In 1968, Hobie icon and founder Hobie Alter started the Hobie Cat Company.  In December 1975, the Coleman Company purchased the worldwide company.  In January 1989, the company was divided between U.S. based Hobie Cat Company and Hobie Cat Europe and sold to two separate private ownership groups.  In 1995, Hobie Cat Company was sold to the current private ownership group.  The two companies have operated independently for the past 23 years, cooperating on many projects and events but remaining separate entities.  Still, the situation has been complicated with both companies sharing worldwide distribution rights. The new agreement is designed to unify these rights under one roof and unify the Hobie Cat companies worldwide. 

Besides the economic advantages of reuniting the Hobie family, the acquisition will leverage the momentum that Hobie currently enjoys in the marketplace. The research and development team can now think globally when designing new products and entering new market segments. The sales and marketing departments of each division will be able to share ideas on how best to service their dealer networks and bring a consistent message to Hobie consumers worldwide.  

Existing organizations like the International Hobie Class Association (IHCA) will now have a unified base of support to help organize future events. The talent synergies in the now international organization will position the brand for further growth while respecting the unique needs of each individual country.  

The IHCA is excited with the new outlook and unified approach from the Hobie Cat manufacturers. As the largest one-design catamaran class in the world we look forward to this chapter in the growth of our class. 

Categories: Hobie Cat |

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 -