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I caught up with Jeff Alter, son of surf pioneer Hobie Alter, and President of Hobie Designs Inc. at Outdoor Retailer to chat briefly about the Hobie by Hurley line.
In May, Hurley signed its first licensing agreement with Hobie to create a line that targets the underserved men’s apparel market in action sports.
The folks at Hurley approached Jeff about a year ago, and since the Alter and Hurley families have been friends for years, the partnership was a natural fit for both brands.
Images from the promotional launch box for the new Hobie by Hurley line
Jeff was at Outdoor Retailer mostly to show Hobie’s extensive SUP line that they design in-house. He said their SUP line has been doubling, now tripling in sales every year. The Hobie area also had boats, kayaks, sunglasses and a few skateboards, but the boats are part of a different business.
Jeff sounded excited about the Hobie by Hurley line. While he didn’t have a line of samples, he grabbed the brand’s first Hobie by Hurley promo item -- a boxed T-shirt set that teases the release date for the collection on the cover and comes with a limited edition shirt with Hobie Alter’s original business card design screened on the front.
“We’re really stoked,” said Jeff about the partnership. “We’re not some big corporate company so it’s been really cool because I deal directly with Bob (Hurley), their designers and will deal directly with their marketing people as well,” he said.
The promotional T showing the business card from the first Hobie store
Jeff is used to dealing with different licensees. While all standup paddleboards, surfboards and even skateboards are designed in-house, the Alter family has also been selling and making other Hobie items like signature catamarans, boats and kayaks via licensing agreements for years.
They’ve also had specific licensees for their own apparel that they have made off and on. During the economic downturn, their last apparel licensee went under.
See Page 2 for more from our interview with Jeff Alter