Hobie History: In the Back of the Hobie Closet

Google “Hobie”, look through the images and you will find thousands of photos of surfboards long, short, and everything in between. You’ll see Cats, kayaks, stores through the years, skateboards, shoes, luggage and even planes. (You didn’t know there were planes??? Look up the Hobie Hawk) All owned by different people but all the products sporting the amazing Big H. Pouring over page after page, I noticed something else crammed in amongst the pristine photos of toys and good times. I noticed that we have made some truly… um… in fashion then/cringe worthy now style choices. Let’s take a little stroll into, what will become a regular feature of this blog, the technicolor vault that is “The Hobie Closet”.

If we are jumping in, we have to start with the 80’s era ultra short Magnum P.I. boardies.

I know what you are thinking, “but those are sick, I wish you still made them.” Sick as they look in the photo, let’s remember that they are white, rest about an inch above the belly button, and came with enough sand catching inner lining to reproduce a beach on the ground when you took them off.

Like every one, we went through a tribal phase. We had lots of really good tribal stuff too, but we did have one stand out in the “OMG what in the world??” category.

Ok, so again, it’s not really that bad. Until you realize, that is a mock turtle neck you are looking at. Technically, I think it was called a “high tight neck” fit, but it for sure rings of turtle to me.

Oh 1977, you shiny shiny year; polyester and nylon were king and we couldn’t get enough of them.

This jersey is INSANE, I’d jump over a shark tank on a tricycle to have one. But we have to call it out. Nothing says breezy easy skateboarding quite like long sleeve, mock turtle neck (apparently we reallllly liked the mock), skin tight nylon. Side note: it came with the most baller pair of sneakers ever…

They were so good and all together bad at the same time; Nike made an homage to them.

I saved my personal favorite for last. It’s not awful, it’s just, well I don’t know what it is… but, there has to be a great story that goes along with it. Hopefully someone out in internetville will know it and share it here!

If you have a sweet photo of you and the “Hobie” logo, please send it to us with your story so we can share it with our readers. The “Closet” will feature posts about boards, clothes, people, places, anything related to our heritage. It won’t always be a humorous look back, but, let’s be honest, some of the throwback styles featured today were too priceless not to be shared in a goofy way. We’ll close the vault for today, but I’ll leave you with a teaser of the next inside “The Hobie Closet” I have heard a rumor that Volkswagen made a Hobie Cat themed van!


-Tracey Engelking

Hobie Surf Shop


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