Surfing Heritage Foundation founder and Hobie retail pioneer Dick Metz tells the Hobie story, from the beginning
By Denny Michael
Special to the San Clemente Times
The Surfing Heritage Foundation and the Hobie companies came together on the evening of February 25 for a historical walk down memory lane courtesy of Hobie retail pioneer and Surfing Heritage Foundation Founder, Dick Metz.
At the beginning of the launch of Hobie surfboards Metz was instrumentally involved in shaping the retail course of the Hobie brand.
Together with Hobie Alter, the brand’s namesake, Metz and Alter forged the first major push into what is now known as a “lifestyle brand.”
In fact, the very first combination of a surf retail storefront with a factory was pioneered here in Dana Point on Pacific Coast Highway where the Taco Surf restaurant now stands.
The evening held at the Surfing Heritage Foundation iMuseum n San Clemente was presented in a slide show format curated by Metz from the Foundation’s archives and his many years of leading the Hobie program.
Gathered at the event were many of Hobie’s current and past employees.
Mark Christie, Hobie company president, let the employees off early to attend the program so they could get a better sense of the history and beginnings of the company.
During the presentation Metz reminisced about the many Hobie stores he managed both on the mainland, east coast and in Hawaii.
Metz and Alter both shared the dream of building a business where you would never need to own hard-soled shoes, wear a tie or have to work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway.
It was this simple idea and their love of the beach that guided many of their original business choices.
Prior to his involvement with Alter, Metz was traveling around the world when he came upon the fledgling South African surf scene. It was this discovery that led him to suggest to Bruce Brown that he should film there for his next movie. That movie became the iconic surf film, The Endless Summer.
At the end of the evening Metz shared his goal of preserving surfing’s history and culture and the importance of the Hobie legacy as part of that history.
To learn more about this story and countless others, see the Surfing Heritage Foundation’s collection or to find out how to become a member, log on to www.surfingheritage.org, call 949.388.0313 ext. 0 or visit the museum at 110 Calle Iglesia in San Clemente.