This Surf Shop Was Ground Zero For One of The Greatest Advancements in Surfboard History

This article originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

In the 1950’s, when most surfboards were still made out of heavy balsa wood, Hobie Alter and Gordon Clark teamed up to experiment with new shaping materials in Alter’s Dana Point store.

2024 Olympic Surfers Will Face Tahiti’s Massive Teahupo’o Waves

Read article

“Hobie was making the most surfboards at that time,” recalls Kris Carlow, Hobie’s Brand Manager, in our latest episode of Surf Shop Chronicles. “But in ’58, along with Grubbie [Gordon] Clark, they decided to halt surfboard production and just R&D foam. For a full year, Hobie didn’t make surfboards.”

And we all know what happened next. The polyurethane blanks Alter and Clark produced left balsa in the dust, became the industry standard and changed both surfboard performance and surfboard manufacturing forever. They weren’t the first to produce a foam blank, but they did perfect their production and ushered in a new era of surfboards.

Olympic Surfing Explained: Understanding Qualification and What It Means for the Pros

Read article

As impressive as that fact is, it’s only just the beginning of Hobie Surf Shops storied history in Dana Point and beyond. Click play above to learn more about one of the most iconic shops and recognizable brands in surfing history.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!