Hobie Alter, Creater of Hobie Cat, Dies at 80

Hobie Alter

Hobart Alter, sailing and surfing icon, died this weekend and left a legacy that brought thousands to watersports and sailing. This innovator and surfer had his start carving wooden surfboards in California in the 1950's. He later created surfboards out of polyurethane, an invention that revolutionized surfing. In the 60's he focussed on sailing and designed a lightweight sailboat inspired by the twin-hulled Polynesian catamaran. The cheaper, easier to launch and sailed by one person, the iconic Hobie Cat is credited with bringing high performance sailing to the masses. This 16 ft catamaran helped launched a love of sailing worldwide. He was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011 for his contriburion to the sport. Hobie not only created water toys, he created a whole culture. He will be missed.

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