Hobie 10’0 longboard shaped by Phil Edwards in the late 1970’s, serial #5274. Featuring beautiful sky blue panels, T-band stringer, and box single fin. All original condition.
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History of Phil Edwards & Hobie
Phil Edwards: “The Guayule Kid”
Phil Edwards, also known as “The Guayule Kid”, is an American surfer. He was born on June 10th, 1938 in Long Beach, California. He is best known for being the first surfer to ride Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline in 1961. Phil was interested in surfing from a young age. First, he was paddling around lagoons but soon learned how to surf, riding lifeguards rescue boards in Oceanside. It took him a few years (he was battling rheumatic fever) but by the age of 13, he was already reshaping his boards and had mastered the basics. Upon meeting Miki Dora at San Onofre he was astonished by the tricks that a man can do while riding a board. Within a year he learned how to do full turns- he was one of the first to be known for doing it. Phil started surfing with Miki Dora and together they created a different level of surfing. In 1959 he started shaping boards for Hobie Alter. Working with Hobie undoubtedly accelerated Phil’s career. He came on board during a huge increase in surfing interest, also orders for new boards were coming in like never before.
At that time California was a perfect place for everyone who wanted to surf and be a part of the vibrant culture and rising industry. However, if you wanted to show off your best skills and gain popularity there was a special place for that - Killer Dana, in Dana Point, CA. The break where you could be remembered by viewers - for good or bad. Phil Edwards was only 15 years old when he started to surf Killer Dana and he quickly made a name for himself surfing there. As it relates to his surfing in Hawaii, Phil recalls in an interview “I never charged Pipeline, I just survived it”. By the end of the 1950s, Phil Edwards was shaping very good surfboards. He set another goal for himself- taking off on a wave at Pipeline. Hawaiian Pipe hadn’t been surfed yet because of unfavorable surfboard shapes and being generally thought of as an impossible wave to surf. But not for Phil. He displayed his great skill and fearless attitude when, in 1961, he took off on a 12-foot face and successfully rode it all the way in. This historic moment had been filmed by Bruce Brown and can be seen in the movie “Surfing Hollow Days”. After Phil had proven it could be ridden many surfers started riding Pipeline, making it one of the most popular waves in Hawaii along with Sunset, Waimea, and Makaha.
After his accomplishment in Hawaii and appearing in various movies, in 1963, he was working for Hobie Alter once again. This time, he was shaping his signature Phil Edwards model. Phil Edwards became an icon of the time- everyone wanted to surf like him, powerful but smooth. He gained many fans winning the inaugural Surfer Poll in 1963. Phil also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. His great fame lasted until the appearance of shortboards. Unlike other surfers, he couldn’t transition to riding them easily and left the spotlight. After an injury, he begin a new life without surfing. He got in touch with his old friend Hobie Alter and worked with him on the Hobie Cat, but didn’t shape a surfboard for 20 years. In the 1980s, when the baby boomer generation came looking for surfing’s roots, his shaping skills were back in interest. He started shaping replicas of his old boards at Hobie’s shop in Dana Point. Recently, Phil has been collaborating with surfwear company Reyn Spooner to release a new line of Aloha shirts. On June 7, 2019, a new bronze sculpture in Dana Point was unveiled. It presents Phil Edwards surfing and it aims to commemorate his contributions to the sport, culture, and lifestyle of surfing. The sculpture sits next to the Hobie Alter sculpture, celebrating one of Phil’s lifelong friends.
Hobie Alter: “The Pioneer”
Hobie is a name that never died. A name that proved that there is always more to dream of, that there is always more to achieve. A name that changed the game repeatedly, each time more remarkable than the last. The legend was born in Ontario, California but spent his summers with his family in Laguna Beach where the magic began. In 1953, his father bought him a lot on Pacific Coast Highway and a year later, ‘Hobie Surfboards’ was set up. Successful from the start, Alter sponsored the Hobie Super Surfer skateboard team and hired board-builders such as Reynolds Yater and Phil Edwards. The infamous foam and fiberglass technology was introduced and a strategy was employed to maintain demand and Joe Quigg was brought over from Hawaii. Other big names that joined include Mickey Munoz, Gary Propper, Don Hansen, Dewey Weber, Billy Hamilton, Herbie Fetcher and the Patterson brothers.
A huge breakthrough was made in 1958. Alter was experimenting and trying out different materials and designs with his friend Gordon “Grubby” Clark. They somehow invented polyurethane surfboards that proved to be the most improved kind of surfboards to exist by then. They were lighter and easier to ride in the water than any other kind of surfboard. Naturally, the demand became sky high. Alter was making 250 of these surfboards named Speedo Sponges and Flexi Fliers, each week. It cannot be denied that his understanding of surfing and his ability to shape perfect surfboards came from his own incredible surfing skills. Hobie was the winner of the second Brooks Street contest in Laguna. He also scored positions in two consecutive Makaha International Surfing Championships. Leaving no stone unturned, he even made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for his immaculate surfing.
Just when everyone thought Hobie had achieved everything he could achieve, he stunned once again when he started taking interest in boats. He launched a prototype for a boat that had features similar in nature to his surfboards. It was swift, lightweight and easy to sail in, modeled after a Polynesian twin-hulled catamaran. He called it the ‘Hobie Cat’. It soon had the same effect and result as his surfboards. Hobie once again introduced a new way to beat the wave, altering and adding another dimension to the business. The Hobie Cat turned out to be the most bought and used boat on the market, more than any other sailboat design of the time. It is even said that it’s difficult to find a body of water in the world where a Hobie racing fleet is not present. Alter came up with many more novel creations in the following years including a 33’ monohull, the Hobie Power Skiff, a 60’ ocean voyaging power boat and a multitude of kayaks. To this day, the Hobie symbol is interpreted as a mark of innovation and quality, hand in hand. His achievements and services for the surfing world are undeniable. Sadly, Hobart “Hobie” Alter passed away on March 29th, 2014 though the Hobie name will live on for generations to come. Mr. Alter did not just shape surfboards, he revolutionized the way we perceive surfing, obliterating all limits. A true pioneer.