Q&A w/ Hobie Surfboard Manager: Kris Carlow

Hobie Surf Boards Manager Kris Carlow
photo credit: Malia Kho

We sat down with surfboard expert Kris Carlow to get to know him and his trade. Here is an inside scoop on the man himself!

Q: How long have you been with Hobie & what is your role in the company?

A: I’m going on 9 years of gainful employment, with Hobie Surf Shops, in just a few months. My current title is “Hobie Surfboards Manager.” Essentially, I manage and maintain the license to manufacture/distribute Hobie Surfboards. This role includes elements like marketing, quality control, and R&D. All that good stuff!

Q: What do you love most about the Hobie lifestyle?

A: There are two elements that I love about the Hobie lifestyle; family-like vibes and freedom. Each employee has their own passion for an outdoor activity. These activities not only include surf and skate, but other activities such as camping, hiking, rock climbing, and golf. Our company promotes each individual and this translates to the friendly staff that we have today.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: Our customers are the best, so I love putting our customers on the perfect surfing board. The Hobie catalogue is soooo deep and a little direction is required to find the right shape. A close second would be the R&D and input that I gather from our distinguished shapers: Gary Larson, Michael Arenal, and Adam Davenport. I mention these two details as they go hand-in-hand. We wouldn’t be able to offer such a quality product without our shapers and our company wouldn’t exist without the support of our customers.

Kris Carlow photo credit: @muirman

Q: How does golf fit into this lifestyle, and how do two very different sports such as surfing and golf come together? 

A: Golf and Surf are more applicable than ever, especially, in our post-COVID world. Both are pastimes that bring out the best and worst in the individual. The performance of the participant is in his or her hands; whether the surfer gets that perfect ride or crashes and burns… the same could be said for the golfer’s success on the golf course. We’re all looking for that perfect swing or wave. The cravings are identical and they keep us coming back for more on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis!

Lastly, both activities are models for determination and experience. If you put in the effort, the desired results are achievable. In what other sports will you encounter major champions at 39, Kelly Slater, and 50, Phil Mickelson, years of age?

Q: What is your favorite local surf break and golf course?

A: My favorite surf break is Church. It’s the logger’s dream. Hands down! For sentimental reasons, there’s no other course that hits closer to home than the San Clemente Municipal. The MUNI lives up to its moniker as the “Pride of The Pacific.” 

Q: What are your favorite products we carry?

A: My fav lines are Hobie and Fragile Ocean. The Straight Down “Crusher” pullovers via Fragile Ocean are the absolute JAM! The “Crusher” is perfect for June Gloom mornings and evenings. The silky polyester material is easily packable and fits nicely in a lightweight carry golf bag or backpack.

Kris Carlow @ The Ranch, Laguna Beach

Q: Dream hobie board, surf break, and golf spot? 

A: My current “Hobie-Related” dream board is a Phil Edwards Honolulu. Currently, our shaping staff has a little something-something in the works and it will do the trick for the modern logger. It would be insane to own and ride an original Phil Honolulu. Everyone knows that Phil is the MAN and the Honolulu’s are prime examples of his 60s craftsmanship!

My dream surf spot is Scorpion Bay, Baja. The wave is insane for potential logging. I’m almost just as excited about the camping in the area. Surf trips are best enjoyed with your crew and nothing beats a desert point with the homies.

There are soooo many legendary golf tracks. If I were to pick inside of the United States, I would roll with Pine Valley. PV, consistently, tops the best tracks in America. It had input from some of the best Golden-Age architects, Thomas and Tillinghast. There’s just something about the pines, native areas, and the natural bunkering. For an international location, nothing beats the “Old Course” at St. Andrews. It’s the home of golf and a bucket list trip as St. Andrews is open to the public!


Cate’s Stoke: Mother’s Day Picks

Happy Friday, everyone!! How crazy is it that it’s officially May and we’re almost halfway through 2020?! I hope you all are doing your best to stay healthy and positive during the difficult time and staying busy. Just a reminder that the Hobie website is open 24/7, and even though we can’t see you in person, we continuously thank you for your constant support! Since mother’s day is coming up (May 10th), I thought I’d put together a gift list to make your shopping a little bit easier.

1. PJ Salvage Lounge Set

Linked top here and shorts here.

This is the softest and most comfy lounge set that is perfect for lazy days at home. PJ Salvage is a staple at Hobie, and their sets are the cutest! It comes in the gorgeous grey that will pretty much go with everything and is perfect for layering on colder days as well. They are super well-made and last forever even after many washes! This is the best gift for the most amazing mom!

2. Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Jacket linked here.

A Patagonia jacket is a wardrobe staple and is perfect for Southern California’s climate and is designed to trap heat and block the wind. The jacket is made from recycled polyester and is the ideal addition to winter layers. It, also, zips into its inside pocket, which makes it perfect for the traveling mom on the go!

3. Kopari Coconut Scrub

Scrub linked here.

This is polishing and hydrating, that is the perfect gift! The coconut crush scrub is made of brown sugar and infused with small pieces of Tahitian coconut shell to get rid of dry skin. This scrub is an Allure best of beauty winner. It is also cruelty-free, non-allergenic, and silicone-free.

4. Ki-ele Hoop Earrings

Earrings linked here.

This pair of earrings is 14K vermeil-stye, which means they are sterling silver dipped in gold. The pair of hoops measures to about 2 1/16” and is the perfect basic to elevate any look. They are the simplest, easy to wear, hoop that won’t weigh down your ears. They are also carried in silver!

5. Pirette Perfume Oil

Pirette linked here.

This is a long-lasting scent that is inspired by coconuts, surf wax, sunscreen, and a day at the beach. It is in an oil roller form because that is the strongest and longest-lasting form of perfume. As you wear Pirette throughout the day, it reacts with your body heat and continues to emit the scent throughout the day. Hobie, also, carries the candle and dry body oil, so you can create the perfect Mother’s day gift set!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Introducing…. The THAGOMIZER!!!

The Thagomizer, so termed by the great Far Side creator, Garry Larson. This model checks every box an eye-catching noserider should have. Prominent parallel rails running equidistant from your choice of stringer configurations. The rails featured are 50/50, round and forgiving, like a tennis ball; at the tail they are up-turned in an arc-tail shape, for that all important lift. Terry Martin’s influence on surfboard design is unrivaled anywhere, especially here at Hobie. We used T. Martin rocker in a green weight U.S. Blank, relaxed the nose, and accentuated the tail rocker in the last 30 inches; more lift doubles hang time. Up front, under the nose, reveals an expanded, canyon-esque concave, almost rail-to-rail, extending a third of the way down the bottom. The idea behind Larson’s Thagomizer is speed and hang-time. None of this is theory. The design has been tested and proven by our team. You want to nose ride and have your sandwich too, get on a Thagomizer.

Cate’s Stoke: E-Commerce Favorites

Part 1

Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well and staying positive! I wanted to start April with a new series to showcase my favorite items from Hobie. Currently, Patagonia, Hobie, and Fragile Ocean are 30% off, so click this link. Scroll to see my top 5 things from the shop:

1. Billabong x Sincerley Jules Hard to Tell Top and Hard to Tell Short

This is one of my all-time favorite outfits from Billabong! The rainbow pattern is so springy and perfect for the summer when it gets warmer. Billabong did such a fantastic job with this collection with all their bright patterns and colors. I linked the shorts here and the top here.

2. Outerknown S.E.A Suit

This is perfect for quarantine because it’s super simple and easy to wear, but makes you feel incredibly stylish. It’s easy to dress up and down. Also, this jumpsuit is perfect for spring trips to the store or work from home days. This jumpsuit is made of organic cotton and linen and is garment-dyed for a worn-in look. Linked this jumpsuit here.

3. L-Space Pointelle Rib Lee Lee Bikini Top and Pointelle Rib Frenchi Bikini Bottom

This is one of my favorite swimsuits of all time! L Space makes the highest quality suits that last forever. I have this top in a different color, and it’s so flattering and cute on! I’m always a fan of a good high rise bottom, and L Space often has the most flattering style. This set is an overall win for me!

4. Billabong x SJ Match Maker Sweater and Short

Okay, you can probably tell by now, but my all-time favorite collaboration this year has been Billabong x Sincerely Jules. Given the current circumstances, this loungewear set is a must. Most of the collection is super bright with tons of colors, but I love this super simple white set, so cute! It’s been on my wishlist for some time, and I may have to pull the trigger! It’s literally the softest material and makes you feel and look put together for a day at home. Top is linked here. The shorts aren’t sold at Hobie, so I linked them on the Billabong website for ya!

5. Brixton San Jose Bandeau and Doyle Short

My final pick is this super cute set from Brixton Women’s. It’s perfect for a Southern California summer and is super easy to throw on and style effortlessly. I love a paper bag short and feel like they put together a perfect summer look. They’re timeless and incredibly flattering, so with the matching top, this is the ultimate summer look. Just throw on a Brixton or Lack of Colour wide-brim fedora, and you’re set! Top is linked here and bottoms are here.

Hope you enjoyed some of my favorite Hobie E-Comm items and remember to support your local businesses!!!


Cate’s Stoke: Employee Picks Cont…

Part 3: Mason Klink

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is doing their best to stay healthy and think positive during this hard time. At Hobie, our hearts go out to those affected and are keeping them in our thoughts. Currently, all shops are closed until further notice and will keep you guys in the loop on our social media channels. Please continue to practice social distancing, and remember we’re all in this together!

On a lighter note, we have new employee picks, from Mason Klink of San Clemente! Mason is an ambassador at Hobie as well and enjoys surfing at SanO in his spare time! Here are his shop picks:

1) Legacy Surfboard

This board is Mason’s favorite because it’s not just for nose-riding. He feels that “…this board can help any surfer learn to approach waves in a more natural manner.” This board quickly generates speed and keeps its momentum all the way down the line. “Terry Martin designed this Hobie to be the legacy of his shaping experience, and board design talents should motivate any surfer to want to try this board.” Mason recommends this board for people trying to make their surfing smoother and take an organic approach to traditional longboarding.

2) Authentic Wave by Tatsuo Tekai

This book means a lot to Mason because it encompasses the era of traditional longboarding that inspired him at a young age. Now longboarding has become extremely popular, but in the mid-’90s to early 2000’s it was about pushing the boundaries of performance longboarding. This book was shot during this time, so you can get inside this community of surfers. “Having this retrospect and photo evidence of the surfers who challenged the move to more performance longboarding is nearly priceless, in my opinion.”

3) Patagonia R2 Wetsuit

This is Mason’s all-time favorite suit! “Where do I start…I grew up wearing hand me down wetsuits and whatever I could find that didn’t break my dad’s wallet. The first session I had in my Patagonia blew my expectations out of the water, “‘no pun intended.”’ According to Mason, the suit drys extremely fast, and its crazy warm. “You get what you pay for with this Patagonia product, just like their other offerings.”

4) Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth

Mason says that he has one of these bottles with him at all times. “It helps me monitor my water intake and decreases my use of plastics.” At Hobie, we aim to be sustainable whenever we can and have so many amazing products like this bottle, which can help everyone be sustainable.

5) Patagonia Baggies

These are Mason’s favorite shorts all the time. “They are great for surfing, hiking, and everyday use.” These shorts are made of 100% recycled nylon and also dry quickly, just like the wetsuits. Mason has tried a bunch of different swim and walk short brands, but he loves the Patagonia Products the most.

Thank you guys so much for reading this post and remember to stay inside!!