#3 Hobie Alter

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Another man on the fiberglass-and-foam surfboard building forefront is Hobie Alter, our #3 on the list of most well-known and influential surfboard shapers. Hobie was born and raised in Ontario, California and like others at the time, started shaping balsa wood surfboards in the early 1950’s. Once his parents grew tired of their front yard being a scrap yard for Hobie’s surfboard projects they bought him a place near Dana Point where he soon opened his shop, Hobie Surfboards. After hiring a hand full of shapers for the shop, such as Phil Edwards and Reynolds Yater, the business took off in 1958 after discovering the “the right skin hardness for shapeability with the right core density for strength.” Shortly after the film Gidget was released, Hobie was the man supplying the boards that were in high demand during the peak of the surfing era in the 60s. These boards were called the Speedo Sponges and Flexi-Fliers that were being mass produced out of a separate foam-blowing shop run by Gordon Clark (Clark Foam) that Hobie had set up. To say that Hobie is an just an entrepreneur is a huge understatement, without his business dreams and ability to ignore the norm the boom of the surfing era would have not exploded as it did, for Hobie provided the surfboards. You will now see both Hobie surfboards and SUP boards all over the world being ridden.

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