Ground has been broken for the construction of the Hobie Memorial.
In September, we told you about the plans to celebrate company namesake Hobie Alter, inventor of the modern foam-core surfboard and a watersports pioneer, with a life-size bronze statue of Hobie piloting his iconic cat.
Since then the city of Dana Point, California has pledged up to $200,000 for the installation to be located on Pacific Coast Highway where it neighbors Doheny State Beach – the gateway to the city and only a mile away from Hobie’s original surf shop.
The sides of the sculpture will show Hobie following his passions and innovating new ways to have fun in the water: surfing, with a skateboard and shaping a surfboard.
Foundation leader Robbie Roberson told the city council that the city should embrace its surf heritage. “He put us on the map starting with mass-producing surfboards and later developing urethane wheels for skateboards. Having the sculpture at the city’s entrance is like having the Spirit of St. Louis in your front yard,” he said.
“There is a picture at Hobie Designs of Hobie in his wetsuit and he’s on a 14. The 14 and that picture of Hobie, the excitement that that breeds for people who knew him at that time in his life, that’s what we’re trying to capture in the memorial. Cause Hobie is really a historical figure at Dana Point. We talk about why Henry Dana. Well, why not Hobie? Hobie played a bigger role we think. Why Hobie? Hang on ‘cause you’re in for a wild ride” Roberson said.
“The artist Lance Jost had the concept. He came to me with a sketch on a napkin. Later we went down to the beach and did it on the sand like Hobie did,” Roberson added.
“I get it as close as I can so that this will be a life size representation just as you see it. The sails will be made out of bronze mesh. This piece will be here long after everything else has been washed away,” Jost said.
“Hobie first built the Hobie Cats in Dana Point. This is where they built them. The cat is going to be right here. People will see it right as they come into Dana Point. We’re very excited about it,” said Dana Point mayor Debra Lewis.
“Hobie taught us a lot. We taught Hobie a lot too,” Roberson added.