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Hobie Alter
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    (October 31, 1933-March 29, 2014)
    Born in Ontario, California
    Birth name was Hobart Alter, Jr.
    Surfer, designer and surf shop owner
    With Gordon Clark, designed the foam and fiberglass surfboard (1958)
    Introduced a line of Hobie skateboards (1964)
    Designed the ultra-lightweight Hobie Cat catamaran (1965)
    Inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame (1997) and the National Sailing Hall of Fame (2011)
    He started making surfboards in the family garage.
    After the yard became littered with balsa wood shavings and other detrius, his father spent $1500 to get him his own shop.
    His early foam boards were painted bright colors to hide discolored spots and other flaws.
    His tendency to get obsessed with his work contributed to his being married five times and divorced four times.
    He was called 'the Henry Ford of surfing' for pioneering mass production of boards.
    He and Clark had the good timing of perfecting the foam surfboard just before the movie 'Gidget' kicked off the early 60s surf craze.
    He made the Guinness Book of Records by surfing 26 miles on the wake of a motorboat (1964).
    He said, 'I'm making money producing things that give me pleasure, doing exactly what I want to do. I guess I'm really lucky that way.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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