Hobie Alter Positive Force IV model twin-fin, serial # “5732” (early 1970s)


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Hobie Alter Positive Force IV model twin-fin. This board was shaped in the early 1970’s and has the serial # “5732”. The board has it’s original glass job and original boxes/fins.

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Hobie Alter will be remembered for creating the process of the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard & his subsequent creation of the Hobie Cat catamaran sailing boat line. His label, Hobie, remains one of the top-selling surfboard brands of all time. He is also the creator of the Hobie 33 ultralight-displacement sailboat and a mass-produced radio-controlled glider, the Hobie Hawk.

During summer vacation 1950 “Hobie” hit on an idea . “”Hobie began by building 9-foot balsawood sufboards for his friends.After experimenting with foam for a couple of years, Hobie made a breakthrough in 1958, finally achieving the right skin hardness for shapeability with the right core density for strength. He decided to set up a separate foam-blowing operation in nearby Laguna Canyon and recruited one of his glassers, Gordon “Grubby” Clark, to make polyurethane surfboard blanks. Almost immediately, Gidget was released, and surfing (and the demand for surfboards) boomed. “If that movie had come out in the balsa era,” said Alter, “no one could have supplied them.”

The new foam boards were called Speedo Sponges and Flexi-Fliers, and Hobie was soon manufacturing 250 a week. Clark eventually took over the foam operation, renaming it Clark Foam, and he serviced the lion’s share of the world’s surfboard blank market until abruptly shutting down the company in 2005.

Alter was a surfing competitor in his younger days. He won the second Brooks Street contest in Laguna in 1954 and placed third and fourth at the Makaha International Surfing Championships in 1958 and 1959. He achieved success as a tandem surfer, placing second in the event at Makaha in 1962. Alter added to his personal notoriety by making the Guinness Book of World Records in 1964, surfing the wake of a motorboat 26 miles from Long Beach to Catalina Island.

Read the full article @ Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart_Alter

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