THE INNOVATIONS OF HOBIE

Photo by Steve Wilkings

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.

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.

THE EXHIBITION

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 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 www.surfingheritage.org, and the telephone number is 949-388-0313.

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