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Hobie vs Velzy vs the IRS

Hobie Surfboards, 1954
Hobie Alter, 1952
Hobie Alter, right, Makaha, 1954
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Hobie ink label, early '50s

Surfing's boom period was well and truly underway. While plenty of the sport's trendsetters scavenged and hustled their way through the 1950s, the fast-growing majority in what was already being identified as America’s fastest-growing sport consisted of teenagers on generous weekly allowances, with decent-paying summer jobs, whose middle-class parents were themselves enjoying an unprecedented amount of discretionary income. Surfers were quickly becoming a market. They wanted to look good on t...

Hobie Alter, unlike fellow boardmaker Dale Velzy, was earnest and respectable, and his shop was as clean as Alter himself was clean-cut.