By Jake Howard
As the development and evolution of Dana Point continues, a new monument dedicated to the storied surf history of the area is planned to be unveiled.
A bronze ode to the luminaries that paved the way for the development of the sport of surfing as we know it today, the centerpiece will feature Hobie Alter atop his iconic Hobie Cat 14.
Responsible for launching one of the most successful surf brands in history in the 1950s, Alter started his career as a surfboard builder, working with balsa wood–the preferred material of the era. Barreling into the ’60s, alongside Gordon “Grubby” Clark, he was largely responsible for ushering in the use of molded foam surfboard blanks that are still widely used today. Constantly inventing and creating, he soon branched out into sailboat design, eventually putting his name to the Hobie Cat.
Artists Bill Limebrook and Lance Jost have been commissioned to create not only the “Hobie Riding the Wave of Success” statue but a slew of others that will celebrate the rich surf history of the Dana Point area. Works are also planned for the likes of John Severson, Phil Edwards, Bruce Brown, Mickey Munoz, Walter and Flippy Hoffman, Lorin Harrison and others.
To help raise funds and offset costs for the project, the Hobie Memorial Foundation is working with the local surfboard building community to make 50 limited-edition Hobie Phil Edwards Model boards. Made from balsa, the wood has been sourced from Papua New Guinea and is among the clearest, most fine-grained in the world. With a price tag of $5,000, some of the boards have already been sold, but others remain available. More information is available at www.hobiememorial.com.
The sculptures will be unveiled at a date not yet set. The sculpture installation is on Pacific Coast Highway and Del Obispo St., across from Doheny State Park.
On Oct. 27, a huge Hobie Cat regatta is planned with more than 50 boats from around the world expected to launch in Dana Point Harbor.
Article updated to correct unveiling dates for the sculptures.