Hobie Surfboards

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Hobie Surfboards
Hobie surfboards logo.png
Founded 1954
Location San Juan Capistrano, California
Shaper Hobie Alter, Glen Martin (present), Jeffrey Smith (present), Gary Larson (present)
Category Longboards, Shortboards
Website http://www.hobie.com/surfboards/

The history of Hobie surfboards really begins in 1950 when Hobart Alter, whose nickname was Hobie, used his dad’s garage to build a few 9-foot balsawood boards for friends. This started a career in surfboard shaping that would lead Hobies to become one of the bestselling brands of all time.

A few years later he opened a shop, and in 1958 he partnered with his friend Gordon Clark, founder of Clark Foam, to create the first surfboards from foam and fiberglass.

Alter became one of the most recognizable names in surfing, thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit, and the father of the foam surfboard. Foam boards were lighter and responded better in the water than wood, and are widely believed to have changed the face and shape of surfing.

Hobie surfboards also showed innovations in shaping, besides their unique materials, and soon everyone wanted a Hobie. Soon enough Alter was shaping 250 surfboards a week up until the movie “Gidget” came out and surfing became a much more popular sport, causing the demand to rise.

Hobart Alter was a skill surfer, winning some championships and even landing in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1964 for a 26-mile speedboat wake surf. The surfing team put together by Hobie surfboards regularly won competitions and events, and became the top surfers to beat in any match up.

Today, the Hobie team is still full of winners, and their stand-up paddleboard team is known for a long serious of winning paddleboard competitions around the world.

History of Hobie Surfboards

Hobie Alter started shaping his first surfboard back in 1950. His initial surfboard designs were made from balsa wood, where he created beautiful wooden surfboards for his friends.

In 1954, he opens up the first surf shop at Dana Point, CA … which will soon become one of the popular places to go surfing. He partnered up with shaper Gordon Clark, where they experimented with fiber glass and foam material in shaping new surfboards.

The late 1950s and early 1960s was when surfing was picking up in interest. With the advancements in shaping surfboards to be lighter and faster, the Hobie Surfboards business took off. The surfboards would later be surfed by the best surfers at the time including: Joey Cabell, Corky Carroll, and Yancy Spencer.

In later decades, Hobie would add-on other parts of the action sports industry to his lineup including skateboards, snowboards, wakeboards, and gliders. To the present day, Hobie Surfboards has defined optimum creativity and quality in its surfboards.

Who Shapes For Hobie Today?

Hobie surfboards are still being made today, and many of the older boards still in existence are valuable to collectors and those who enjoy surfing nostalgia. The value of these old Hobies depends on if the shaper’s identity can be discovered and who it was.

Hobie employed some of the finest surfboard shapers at the time, and still employs the finest craftsmen to make their surfboards today.

Glen Terry Martin

Glen Terry Martin of Hobie SurfboardsGlen Terry Martin is a veteran in the surfboard shaping business with more than 50 years of experience. He has been shaping Hobie surfboards for more than 40 years.

Jeffery Smith

Jeffery Smith of Hobie SurfboardsThere is also professional shaper Jeffery Smith, known as “Midget”. Jeffery started off his work as a shop hand for Hobie at 17 years old and has emerged into a progressive shaper.

He has now been shaping Hobie boards for over 36 years.

Gary Larson

Gary Larson of Hobie SurfboardsOne of the newest shapers to join the Hobie shaping team is Gary Larson. Being born in 1980, Gary is much younger than his fellow mentor Terry and has only been shaping surfboards for just over 10 years.

However Gary adds a new flavour to the shaping team while maintaining the characteristics that have always been true to Hobie.

What Types Of Surfboards Do Hobie Surfboards Have To Offer You?

A Hobie surfboard is a great board for both beginners and experienced surfers. They’re lightweight and come in so many different styles that everyone is sure to find the right board among their collection.

When browsing through the current Hobie surfboards you will see that there is a surfboard for beginners, intermediate surfers, or those skilled at riding the waves.

They also offer a very extensive and popular line of stand up paddleboards including the CP Stingers, ATRs and Racing boards.

Hobie also produces kayaks, sailboats, clothing and sunglasses, but the name will forever be associated with surfboards. You can order a custom board or you can choose one of their stock boards. Beginners are encouraged to choose a Hobie surfboard suggested for new surfers.

Overview of Hobie Surfboards

With a large selection of boards (over 40 types to choose from), Hobie Surfboards is grouped into the following:


  • Hobie Alter 3 (Limited Edition)
  • Endless Summer Model
  • Hobie Classic
  • Legacy
  • Vintage
  • Fusion
  • 57 Balsa
  • Retro Classic
  • Performance Noserider
  • Fusion Pro
  • Black Bird
  • Henry Ford
  • Peter Pan Slug
  • Wahine
  • Beaker
  • Hobie Standard Competitor
  • TW Model
  • Uncle Buck
  • Auntie Mo
  • Spitfire
  • Colin California Classic
  • Colin Noserider
  • Colin Pro
  • One Fin Pin
  • Malibu Chip
  • Rachel Tilly Model


  • Slug Comp
  • Retro Egg
  • The Mini Bird
  • Deadly Flying Glove


  • Slug Fish
  • Circa 71 Twin
  • Zipper
  • C-4
  • PD1
  • HSP
  • Soap Bar
  • Dono Tri
  • Dono ST
  • Dono Single
  • Dono Twin

Specialty Boards

  • Donovan Frankenreiter
  • Colin McPhillips
  • Tyler Warren

See also