Hobie, Hurley announce collaboration

From Hobie Cats and surfboards to kayaks and paddleboards, it's safe to say that when many think of water sports, they think of Hobie.

The iconic brand, which started in 1950 in Hobie Alter's Laguna Beach garage on Oak Street, recently announced a collaboration with another industry name: Hurley.

Costa Mesa-based Hurley has licensed Hobie's name for a men's apparel line called Hobie by Hurley, which will be released in spring 2012. This is the first time Hurley has licensed another name for a line.

"We're known for a bunch of fun toys to play with on the water from surfboards to catamarans and kayaks," said San Juan Capistrano-based Hobie Designs President and the founder's son, Jeff Alter. "This will be an all waterman type brand designed for that guy that participates in those types of sports."

Simon Haskell, senior vice president of Global Business Development at Hurley, thought the collaboration made total sense.

"The Hurley family goes a long way back and the Hobie family goes a long way back," he said. "I think it's really cool the two have come together."

The idea for the collaboration came up in informal conversations between the families over the past year and the recent licensing put the plan in motion.

"We both come from very innovative backgrounds," he said. "I think it just starts with a respect level for the Hobie name. People would argue Hobie Alter invented what the modern day surfboard is and various other things such as skateboards and catamarans."

The collaboration will also give Hurley the chance to reach a new customer because Hurley's demographic is younger and Hobie's tends to be the 30 and older crowd.

Mark Christy — who co-owns five Hobie stores in Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, Dana Point and San Clemente — is stoked.

"You are really merging the best of the old and the new," he said in an e-mail. "To this day, Hobie Alter has a curious mind and wonders how — through design and innovation — things could be made better, whether it is a surfboard, a catamaran, whatever. The Hobie company still tries to live by this philosophy, and so does Hurley."

For more information, visit Hurley.com or Hobie.com.

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