OCEANSIDE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 – The California Surf Museum in Oceanside, Calif., is now showcasing its newest retrospective exhibit “Hobie Surfboards –Shaping A Culture” in honor of surf icon Hobart “Hobie” Alter. The Exhibit will be showcased through March, 2013.
Immediately upon entering the museum stands a replica Hobie Surf Shop displaying Hobie surfboards, products, archive memorabilia, historical timeline and photos spanning over seven decades. There’s even an authentic Hobie Catamaran on the museum roof.
The exhibit is a celebration of Hobie’s myriad achievements as a seminal Renaissance man in the surf culture. A genius at simple but unforgettable imagery, Hobie’s shapes, stores, team, clothing line and artistic style were benchmarks in the boom of the fifties and sixties modern surf era and continue to thrive today.
Alter is a founding pioneer in the surfboard shaping industry, creator of the Hobie Cat, and founder of the Hobie Company. A successful surf entrepreneur, Alter is world renowned as the man behind the development of the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard. His label remains one of the top-selling surfboard brands of all time.
During the early 1960s, Hobie repeated his visionary thinking by developing skateboarding, joining with a nationally known citrus juice brand, Vita Pakt, to create the Hobie Super Surfer skateboard—and a promotional skateboarding team that spread the word to landlocked towns and cities across the country. “Sidewalk surfing” as it was known, was on its way to becoming a national phenomenon.
By the late 1960s Hobie was at it again, this time designing, engineering and producing the Hobie Catamaran, a small and relatively inexpensive sailboat that revolutionized — indeed democratized—the rather staid and sometimes elitist world of yachting. Anyone with $999 at the time could become a sailor, and launch a Hobie Cat — “the people’s boat” — without a yacht club membership, marina slip fees, or even access to a ramp. He is also the creator of the Hobie 33 ultralight-displacement sailboat and a mass-produced radio-controlled glider, the Hobie Hawk.
Alter made a name for himself in the water as well, winning the second Brooks Street contest in Laguna in 1954 and placed third and fourth at the Makaha International Surfing Championships in 1958 and 1959. As a tandem surfer, he took second in the event at Makaha in 1962. In 1964 he had his name added to the Guinness Book of World Records, surfing the wake of a motorboat 26 miles from Long Beach to Catalina Island.
Last year, Alter was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame located on the historic waterfront of Annapolis, Maryland. He was among the first class of inductees alongside Dennis Conner, Ted Turner and others recognized October 23, 2011, in ceremonies held at the San Diego Yacht Club in California.
“Over more than seventy years this man has had an influence on the way surfers and beach aficionado’s experienced their lives. Hobie is a giant of the surf world – a man who truly helped to shape an entire culture,” says California Surf Museum President Jim Kempton.
Hobie’s iconic and historical journey is captured and will be shared by Paul Holmes, author of the biography, “Hobie: Wizard of Wind and Waves” to be released late 2013 by Croul Publications.
About California Surf Museum:
Founded in 1986, the California Surf Museum (CSM) is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054. Phone (760) 721-6876. CSM’s goal is to preserve the sport and heritage of surfing for the education and enjoyment of future generations. With rotating exhibits, extensive surf culture and artifacts, wonderful events, and a Museum store filled with local and unique items, there is something for everyone, surfer and non-surfer alike. Open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours Thursdays to 8 p.m. Closed major holidays. Admission is free to members, $3 for adults, $1 for students, seniors and military, free for kids under 12 and free on Tuesdays. Please contact Museum directly regarding donations and volunteer opportunities. surfmuseum.org
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