Hobie vs Velzy vs the IRS

Hobie Surfboards, 1954
Hobie Alter, 1952
Hobie Alter, right, Makaha, 1954
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.