Industry Mourns Loss of Hobie Founder


Industry pioneer and entrepreneur Hobart “Hobie” Alter passed away March 29, after a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind a truly inspiring legacy.

The shaper of surfboards, inventor of the “Hobie Cat” catamaran, and founder of the Hobie Company was 80 years old.

Born October 31, 1933 in Ontario, California, Alter would grow up to live quite the adventurous life: Creating the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard, becoming a successful surfing competitor, and bringing high-performance sailing to the masses.

Alter received the Waterman Achievement Award from the Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association in 1993, was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1997, and admitted as an inaugural member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011, alongside Dennis Connor and Ted Turner.

Alter is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter Paula; sons Hobie Jr. and Jeff; sisters Carolyn and Lillian; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Photo courtesy of the Alter family

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