Hobie Alter (dude’s actual name is Hobie, how terrific is that?) brought his dream to life in the 1950s and transformed a ‘fun’ endeavor into one of the most respected board businesses in the United States. Hobie SUPs are much-sought after items and below, we take a look at the company’s wide range of boards.
He did an interview with Surfermag which you can find here. It’s a pretty interesting read if you’re at all interested in that sort of thing.
|Hobie Tour Inflatable SUP||All-Around||12'6"||Inflatable||$$$|
|Tower Xplorer 14'||All-Around||14'||Inflatable||$$|
This could well be one of the toughest iSUPs on the planet. The guys over at distressedmullet.com have tested the Hobie Tour Inflatable in the Indian Himalayas for weeks only to find it refused to break down and continued to perform to a high standard. We’ve found it is possible to inflate and deflate the board several times a day without it ever deteriorating. It’s ridiculously durable.
The package costs around $1,400 which seems more than a bit steep for an inflatable board. After all, you could get a good quality hard SUP for that but the sheer portability of the Tour Inflatable makes it an unbeatable choice if you plan on travelling. The entire package includes a 12’6” inflatable SUP, a pump, a 3-piece adjustable paddle and a spacious gear bag which easily holds all of the above.
It weighs just 28 pounds and is 32 inches wide when fully inflated. Obviously, this is a recreational SUP and is not going to be used in competition. With that in mind, the Tour Inflatable from Hobie is actually good value for money even at the price. Its construction means it doubles as an inflatable mattress which comes in useful if you plan on camping.
This SUP is very stable on flat water and is a great tool for teaching beginners. It is even good for use in moderate whitewater because it is immensely stable. It has the ability to withstand a tremendous amount of wear and tear so consider it if you’re in the market for an inflatable SUP.
This SUP is part of the Hobie Race RAW series; its CLK construction uses ESF Technology and is produced with fiber similar to Kevlar. The result is an extraordinarily strong and durable board because the aforementioned material happens to be 8 times stronger than steel and triple the strength of nylon, polyester or fiberglass!
Once you take a close look at this board, it’s clear that an inordinate amount of detail has gone into its construction. It has a single fin center box, an EVA traction pad for comfort and stability and a H3 handle. There are multiple plugs for handles so you can smash through the surf with someone else on board and they can cling onto the handles for dear life!
Since the Apex is custom, you can look for a wider board if you are a large surfer or a narrower board if you are small and/or light. Hobie has designed this SUP for easy transportation so it’s easy to carry and put on/take off your car. Experienced surfers have tried the Hobie 12’6” Apex for the first time in competition and have been delighted with the results. At around $2,700, it isn’t cheap but it’s an exceptional board for those operating at a high level.
This is part of the ‘Recreational’ Hobie range and is basically an extension of its CM Raw Surf Series. This Hobie SUP is designed for larger individuals looking for extra stability. It contains contours similar to what one would find on a Hobie RAW Series board and it also has rails for a fuller outline. You can actually purchase this board in 9’, 9’8” and 10’6”, whatever tickles your fancy really.
Hobie has really pulled out all the stops when it comes to endorsements as the legendary Colin McPhillips has put his name on this longboard SUP. The 9’ board is VERY light and is just 30 inches wide. It includes a deck plug, hand hold, leash plug, vent plug and deck pad.
The board is a sandwich of bamboo and epoxy so you know it will last for a long time. There is a convenient crossbar on the handle which means you can easily fasten it to the top of your car. The deep concave in the front of the CMLB planes extremely well and ensures performing fast moves is a breeze.
There is a small downside to this high performance; stability is a little bit compromised so if you’re looking for something more secure, it is probably best to look elsewhere. However, if you’re seeking high performance and aggressive snaps off the top, the Hobie 9’ CMLB is a worthy purchase at around $1,399.
Like all boards in the Elite range, this SUP has been developed and tested by world class water athletes. Hobie has really made an effort when it comes to this board because it is the product of an immense amount of testing; it has also been developed through the use of computer aided technology.
One of the aforementioned athletes involved in the testing of the Elite Flatwater is none other than Byron Kurt. It is extremely fast in all conditions and is stable even in choppy waters. It is marketed as being one of the most well-rounded touring and racing boards on the SUP market and it is hard to argue.
What is surprising about this 28 inch wide board is its ability to be so fast yet so stable at the same time. It glides very well and since it offers such superb stability, you can easily put more power into your strokes and not worry too much about balance. After a little bit of testing, you should find your ‘sweet spot’ on this SUP and begin to focus on riding bumps. For a board of this quality, $1,900 doesn’t seem like such a bad deal at all.
When it comes to SUPs, it seems as if Hobie has not lost its touch. Whether you want a recreational, inflatable or professional standard board, you should find what you need at Hobie.