This is an all original balsa wood surfboard made by Hobie Alter in the early 1950s. Very few of these early edition surfboards were made, even fewer of them have survived and almost none of them are currently for sale.
During the late 1940s-early 1950s there were no surfboard manufacturers producing modern technology surfboards. If you wanted a balsa / fiberglass board (cutting edge for the time) you had to go to one of a handful of individuals to have one made! On the mainland the list was short: Joe Qigg, Matte Kivlin, Bob Simmons and Pete Peterson in Santa Monica. Dale Velzy in Manhattan Beach or Whitey Harrison in Capistrano Beach. Hobie Alter was still at school but between 1950-1953 he produced 20 + boards each summer and more during the winter months. Sometime during this period he started rubber stamping his boards and in 1954 trademarked his Hobie logo. Prior to this boards were unmarked.
Hobie signed this board authenticating it as a pre-logo early 1950s surfboard. Provenance is everything and the makers signature is everything plus! Made of solid balsa wood with fiberglass and resin wrapped to make it hard and give it shape.
Hobie was one of the earliest Southern California based surfboard manufacturers - one of his other many innovations was the catamaran, also known as the Hobie-Cat. Hobart 'Hobie' Alter, the original owner and designer of the 'Hobie Surfboards' company, was a major force in the surfboard evolution. A native of Southern California, Alter began surfing as a young boy and constructed the first Hobie Surfboards in his family's Laguna Beach garage (of which this board is one).
Hobie made his first trip to Hawaii in the winter of 1953 where he built a few large Hawaiian elephant guns for his buddies, most notably big wave Pioneer Buzzy Trent, to surf the very large waves of Makaha and the North Shore of Oahu. In 1954, shortly after his return from Hawaii, The Hobie Surfboards shop opened in Dana Point, CA. It was here that the first boards to carry the Hobie brand name were produced. Hobie Surfboards continued to grow, probably easily out-producing most other companies of the day. From 1961-1965 Hobie surfboards won most of the major surf contests across the U.S. and Hawaii.
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