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Hobie Alter Honored with Paddle-Out

April 21, 2014 2 min read

Hobie Alter paddle-out
PC: Bruce Chambers(OC Register)
Hundreds of watermen and waterwomen paddled out into the water off Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Friday to pay tribute to surf legend Hobie Alter.  People in surfboards and sailboats gathered to participate in a traditional Hawaiian paddle-out ceremony: the way Alter wanted it.  After a battle with cancer, Alter passed away on March 29th at 80 years old in his Palm Desert home.
According to the OC Register, Alter's family released bowls with Hawaiian soil, ocean water and sand from Waikiki Beach into the water.  They also released rock salt into the waves, which symbolized "the purification of one's soul, body and life," "Kahu" Hawaiian priest Eric Keawe told the OC Register.
Alter was renowned for shaping Southern California's surf industry, and is responsible for the switch to the foam core surfboard: a staple in the surfing world.  He began shaping balsa wood boards in Laguna Beach in the 1950s, but after joining up with Gordon Clark, Alter replaced the balsa core with polyurethane foam.  This revolutionized the sport, as more people were interested in buying the lighter, cheaper foam core surfboards.
Alter also dabbled in sailboats, and designed a catamaran called the Hobie Cat.  According to the OC Register, at an affordable price of $999, the boat was known as "the people's boat".
"He was a great friend and certainly a good business partner," Surfing Heritage Foundation founder Dick Metz told the OC Register. ¬†Metz was one of Alter's earliest employees, and he quit his bartending job to help Alter eventually open 20 stores. ¬†"‚ÄúHe invented toys the public could have fun with at a reasonable price, and they all worked better than anything else. He made better toys,‚ÄĚ he said.
Although the man may be gone, Hobie Alter's spirit will be in every surfer's foam core board and every sailer's Hobie Cat.  Rest in peace, Hobie.

Sarah Webb
Sarah Webb



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Not sold on it

I had really high hopes. I have been able to use the Bula on a couple good days. I'm liking my old board better so far. But will try it a couple more times before I return it just to be sure. I have none of the below issues with my Enjoy planer, and thinking of going back.
1. The dam thing is not secure on my hand. No mater how tight I make it. It litterally pops off my hand while on a wave. Its getting really anoying having to constantly pay attention to it.
2. I switch my hand depending on the wave direction. It's tough for me to get a grip on the nose, pull it off then pull tightly on other hand in time. I've missed a couple good ones because of this.
3. The pad that goes accross the top of my hand doesnt cover my whole hand and the seam starts to rub on my hand and is uncomfortable.
4. Not a huge deal but wasnt happy that there were some small cosmetc defects on the board. Eslescially for the price
5. The board bag is kind of ridiculous. Its huge and picture on website isnt to scale, but I probably just wont use it. It was basically free.

I think the only thing I can say positive is I think it has good control... after getting used to the angle I need, and may be a bit more bouyant to pull me out of water for speed. But i need to try it a few times more and figure out how to keep the dam thing on!

I am giving these to my grandsons at the end of the month. I am sure they will love them.

Hand slyde

The leash works amazing i won't go out without my leash on....

Bula hand board

This handboard is exactly what I was looking for. The size and craftsmanship is fantastic! I have gotten some great rides with this board. Super fun.

Ready for the Senior Tour

I received my Slyde Phish just before 2 weeks of gloomy weather. Now that I’ve had a chance to road test it, I can’t wait to get back in the water.

Growing up in Long Island NY, body surfing was my first wave gliding experience. Typically we would drive straight to shore so surfing the diagonal has been a learning curve.

I look forward to many great sets this summer.

Matthew Papish (59)
Laguna Beach