The 1960s Hobie Alter Skateboard
In 1964, surf legend Hobie Alter teamed up with the Vita-Pakt Juice company to create Hobie Skateboards and their first skateboard the 'Hobie Super Surfer'.
I received one of these beauties for a gift in 1964. I still own this skateboard, and it still works even after forty-eight years, although the center post scrapes the ground a bit due to the wheels being worn down past their useful life by miles of use.
The Super Surfer had clay wheels, whose movable, adjustable, mounting trucks with wheels were removed from Chicago Skate Company skates, and screwed directly onto laminated and shaped wooden skateboard decks.
The center anchor screw, on each wheel truck assembly, could be loosened by using a large blade-style screwdriver, and the turning radius, meaning the turn-diameter could be reduced so that low-speed, sharper turns could be facilitated. For long fast hills, you would tighten this screw down snug, to avoid losing control by loose 'wobbily-steering' on a fast downhill run.
The Hobie could do what no other skateboard could do, could carve big turns and do things never thought possible on a skateboard.
Hobie continues to sell skateboards to this day,and still produce a version of the Super Surfer skateboard.
My 1964 Hobie Super Surfer has been modified. (See the photo detail below).
My Super Surfer 'skate-wheels' have 'Chicago Skate Company" stamped in gold color on the outer layer of the two-piece clay wheels. The outer layer was a red-colored, 'harder clay material' for turning, and the inner clay material was a different formula, perhaps a bit softer for gripping wooden floors in skate rinks.
As you can see by the photos of my Super Surfer, the outline of the skate truck mounting base to the skateboard deck has the form and shape of the Chicago Skate Company 'boot-soles' they were removed from!
I added some masking-tape to the highly slippery nitro-cellulose finish, to get more grip on the rear deck when 'trick-swinging, or 'tail-dragging' to stop.
In order to permit 'tail-dragging' and 'trick-swinging', the rear truck and wheels was moved forward in two separate attempts. The first attempt did not permit enough leverage to enable the deck to reach the ground, and the second movement was just right.
Now a new method of controlling the skatebord was possible, of raising the front wheels off of the ground, by moving your rear foot to the extreme tail-end of the board deck, and using the tail of the board deck as a friction-brake, literally dragging it on the ground to control your speed down a long fast hill. As you will note in the photos below, the rear deck of the Super Surfer has been severely 'sanded-down' by the tail-dragging technique.
An additional 'trick-swinging' method was facilitated by moving the rear set of trucks with wheels forward. You could stand with both feet on the board deck, and raise the front wheels as above, and swing the front of the board rapidly to the left and right, and forward motion would be established for as long as you continued to swing the front of the board to the left and to the right.
More by this Author
The 21-inch Schwinn Unicycle - Circa 1983 This is my 21-inch Schwinn Unicycle. I purchased it new in 1983, after selling the original 20-inch model I received as a gift at the tender age of twelve years old. ...
My 1983 Hondo Chiquita Travel Guitar This Hondo Chiquita Model, travel guitar was purchased new in 1983. I saw it hanging on the wall at the Hollywood, California Guitar Center store, and I remembered seeing ZZ Top...
Here is an interesting guitar from my collection. Casio made these guitars to try and capture some of the sales of electric guitars, coupled with MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface functionality built-in. ...