SURFER's Complete Guide To Your Next Board

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Terry Martin, Gary Larson, Mark Johnson - Head Shapers of Hobie Surfboards

Head Shapers:

Terry Martin, Gary Larson, Mark Johnson

Behind the Brand: The Hobie Surfboard factory, established in 1962 in Capistrano Beach, California, was the first surfboard factory built specifically for surfboard production. In the surfing heydays of the late 1960s, no other shop turned out more high quality surfboards than the Hobie Surfboard Factory. They produced up to 1,000 boards a week with a 24/7 production schedule. The finest craftsmen in the world created master pieces in the shaping room and glassing rooms of the legendary shop. That tradition continues today with the shapers and glassers at the Hobie Surfboard Factory turing out the highest quality surfboard on the market. Hobie master shapers Terry Martin, Gary Larson, and Mark Johnson create some of the most innovative designs in surfing and stand up paddle boards on the market today. Also, in the hallowed rooms of the Hobie Surfboard Factory are laminating and color extraordinaire James McKinnie, gloss, air brush and pin line master Tom Sutherland and sander and polisher perfectionist Cesar Ostos. Today and in every decade since the balsa era of the 1950s Hobie has made the finest surfboards in the world pushing the envelope of design and quality.

About their Most Popular Models: Hobie's classic noseriders remain a huge hit among longboard enthusiasts, which is why their Uncle Buck and Auntie Mo models are always great sellers. "But we've been selling a lot the Spitfire, too," says Sean Haggar, who heads up sales. "That's our new big guy performance longboard."

Taking the Pulse:"We've been hard at work developing our Stand Up Paddle designs. Our test pilot is "Battle of the Paddle" winner Chuck Patterson who charges 20-foot Puerto Escondido on his 10'6" Hobie SUP gun. He also grinds the competition into submission racing his 12'6" CR-1 carbon fiber race board."

Shop Talk

What new technologies are you getting good results from? "There's always a lot of excitement in boards, but fins are a whole other area. Our Zipper model—which is our fish—comes in three different fin setups: 101 Bamboo tri glass-ons, three-fin Bonzer with the long bamboo side-runners and the long center box, and Lokbox removables with the 101 Bamboo fins. If you haven't tried the glass-on Bamboo fins that 101 Fin Co. is making, you don't know what you're missing. They have an incredible flex pattern with great spring."

What's the most important thing for customers to understand when they order a board? "Try to avoid over-thinking it. It's easy to get lost in the moment. Try to explain what you are looking to get out of your new board and make sure to give some of your personal likes and dislikes of you past boards. It also helps to let us know where you like to surf."