Hobie Shop:: Team Member Profile: Michael Arenal

At Hobie there is no question that our people are our biggest asset. Each Team member  brings to the table with them a uniqueness that enhances everything that we are, and everything that we do. With that in mind, we thought it would be nice, from time to time, to bring you a profile of one of our Hobie Surf Shop Retail Team Members. First up is Hobie Dana Point floor associate, and owner/shaper of SALT Surfcraft, Michael Arenal.

Michael Arenal... Handcrafted SALT Quiver.

Michael Arenal… Handcrafted SALT Quiver.

Hobie Surf Shop::  Where are you from, where did you go to school, ect..

Michael:: I grew up in Laguna Hills and went to St. Anne’s School. After, I attended the Laguna College of Art and Design.

Hobie Surf Shop:: Since you grew up in “Hobie Country”, what is your very first Hobie memory??

Michael:: Being little, I remember The Waterhawks. You had to have a Waterhawk… everyone had one. Mine was blue.

Hobie Surf Shop:: Can you give me a list of some of your favorite things to do in the water??

Michael:: log/longboard, handplane, shortboard, Alaia… the first board I ever shaped was an Alaia, Piapo, Spearfish…. really, anything.

Hobie Surf Shop:: We know you as an up and coming surfboard shaper… what inspired you to start?

Michael::  When I saw Alaia’s, I thought they looked really cool, and that they might be simple to make. I made my first one, and I went from there. The next board was using foam. I made a templet based off a Simmons, and made a 5’4” X 22 1/2” Bar of Soap style board….



Hobie Surf Shop:: Did it work….

Michael::  I had no idea if it would, but it turned out really fun. It’s fast, and it floats. I could stand on it… haha. I still ride it.

Hobie Surf Shop::  Does it help you that Hobie master shaper, Gary Larson’s, shaping room is in the shop?

Michael::  Yeah, for sure. When I’m at work, if I get a chance, I can poke my head in or watch at the window in the surfboard room, and get a couple seconds of knowledge. Seeing him, or Tyler (Warren) create in there, makes me want to shape more.

Hobie Surf Shop::  Who are a few of your favorite shapers…

Michael:: Donny Brink. He has given me so much help, and he is a big influence in my designs. Terry Martin, Tyler, Gary… all the Hobie guys. Tyler Hatzikian… so many others.



Hobie Surf Shop::  What is your favorite board to make?

Michael::  It’s too tough to say. They are all so different. Asymmetricals are really fun. I just made an 11’… it was crazy, you are walking so far back and forth to make it. haha. I think right now, I like making anything. I like to use fabric inlays, too, but, yeah.. I’ll make anything.

Hobie Surf Shop:: What is your favorite break to surf? 

Michael::  SanO (San Onofre) for the vibe, then Middles and Churches.

Hobie Surf Shop::  What is your favorite part of working for Hobie??

Michael::  Everyone I get to work with, they are all good people. It’s a great place to be, all the history in here. It is cool to be part of that.

Hobie Surf Shop::  What is your favorite thing in the shop to help our clients with?

Michael:: Easy… boards.

SALT Surfcraft.

SALT Surfcraft.

Hobie Surf Shop::   So we heard that you are going to be making some handplanes for the shops, is that true?

Michael::   Yes! They will be all wood. I like using wood for it’s sustainability. It is long lasting and wood gets better as it ages.

To contact Michael Arenal about ordering a SALT Surfcraft, you can either come into the Dana Point Hobie Surf Shop and see him, or email him at mgarenal@gmail.com He will work with you to build you anything you can imagine under your feet or on your hand.

-Tracey Engelking


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