By Daniel Ritz
On Sunday, Feb. 25, hundreds of surfers and their surfboards, will gather for a first of its kind event as Hobie Surf Shops, The Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club (VSCC) and the city of Dana Point host the first annual Hobie Vintage Surfboard Festival at La Plaza Park.
Members of the general public are welcome to join the more than 30 members of the VSCC who will be bringing their vintage collections of skate and surfboards. Along with the assuredly eclectic mix of boards on display, to buy and sell, there will also be special “Best of Show Hobie Surfboard” and “Best of Show Hobie Memorabilia” awards given out at approximately 2:30 p.m. Winners of these categories will each win $500 gift cards from Hobie.
Randy Hild from the VSCC said he believed the event held equal opportunity to educate as well as celebrate.
“We not only want to celebrate the past life and work of Hobie Alter; we want to share his passion and contributions with a new generation. There’s a spider web of Hobie throughout the history and culture of surfing in California,” Hild said. “That’s why we’ve partnered with the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and have a display from them in each of our stores.”
Other collaborative partners and sponsors include Crank & Grind, Surfboards and Coffee, Surfers Healing, The Ocean Institute and The Surfrider Foundation.
Hild credited Dana Point City Manager Mark Denny with the idea of the VSCC and Hobie collaboration, saying that Denny approached him after the VSCC swap event at Doheny in late 2017.
“Mark appreciates that Dana Point has made significant contributions to surfing history and culture. After recently losing Dana Point icons like Hobie Alter, Bruce Brown and John Severson, we want to celebrate these origins,” Hild said.
“So much of the history of surfing happened right here,” Denny said. “It’s really cool that we can have events like these and celebrate the culture of this city literally blocks from where legends like Hobie left their legacies.”
Tracey Engelking works in marketing and events at Hobie Surfshops and said that she is excited for the day’s finale when Gary Larson will shape a unique Hobie Surfboard glassed with cloth from iconic Hawaiian shirt producer Reyn Spooner.
She was also excited that the store will be full of experts that can guide and educate on the various surfing artifacts normally hung high in the rafters in Hobie Surf Shops.
“We have an amazing variety of boards and memorabilia here in our Dana Point store and we are excited to bring them down for people to touch and feel while surrounded by a community of experts that can teach them all about them,” Hild said.
The event will begin at 8 a.m. La Plaza Park is located at 34174 Pacific Coast Hwy. For more information, visit www.hobiesurfshop.com or call 949.496.2366.