Surfboard, sailboat innovator ‘Hobie’ Alter dies

PALM DESERT, Calif. — Hobart Alter, whose development of the foam surfboard and the “Hobie Cat” sailboat brought masses to the water, has died. He was 80.

A statement on the Hobie sporting goods website says Alter died Saturday at his Southern California home. A cause of death was not disclosed. The Orange County Register reports he had been battling cancer.

Alter had his start in the early 1950s crafting wooden surfboards in his family’s Laguna Beach home. When the balsawood used for the boards became scarce, he collaborated with an employee of his surf shop to create surfboards out of polyurethane foam. The lighter, less expensive boards revolutionized surfing, and Hobie became a top surfboard brand.

Alter’s design of the lightweight, affordable “Hobie Cat” is credited with bringing high-performance sailing to the masses.

More in Local News

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Woman who died in 5-car crash identified

A car driven by Susan E. Sill rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Man convicted of 4 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of embezzlement

He siphoned away more than $50,000 from the U.S. Naval Seat Cadet Corps.

Couple marries where they had their first date: the hospital

The Marysville couple had planned to be married twice before but their plans were waylaid.

Aerospace workers adjust to changing industry

The number of Boeing workers dropped almost 10 percent since last year

Most Read