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The 1960s Hobie Alter Skateboard

Updated on October 23, 2008

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.

Chicago Skate Wheels with 'movable truck'. Note in the photo of my Super Surfer below, the skate-boot outline of the sole, this was removed from an actual pair of 'pre-manufactured' Chicago Skate Company skates!!
Chicago Skate Wheels with 'movable truck'. Note in the photo of my Super Surfer below, the skate-boot outline of the sole, this was removed from an actual pair of 'pre-manufactured' Chicago Skate Company skates!!
The side view of a Chicago Skate Wheel with 'drop-in' ball bearings
The side view of a Chicago Skate Wheel with 'drop-in' ball bearings
Extreme wear on my Hobie Super Surfer lower rear deck, and modified truck mounting position(s). Note the color-change on my Super Surfer. The outer wheel is a red color, and the inner wheel is a beige color.
Extreme wear on my Hobie Super Surfer lower rear deck, and modified truck mounting position(s). Note the color-change on my Super Surfer. The outer wheel is a red color, and the inner wheel is a beige color.
Side view of my Super Surfer, look at those worn-down wheels, thin as 1/4-inch now from years of use and miles of fun!
Side view of my Super Surfer, look at those worn-down wheels, thin as 1/4-inch now from years of use and miles of fun!


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    • profile image

      cristian 4 years ago

      yo tengo uno que me regalaron hace siete años lo estoy remodelando la pintura es una hermosura este patin

    • profile image

      Eric Shannon 5 years ago

      My brothers and I lived in Carlsbad Calif in the early sixties and were part of a skateboard gang til '67. We used to skate around our elementary school. Anyone out there that might have skated with us?

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      detramp 5 years ago

      My father Ollie Trampe had a license from Vita- Pakt

      to manufacture the boards and assemble the trucks in

      Southern Calif. back in the mid sixty's.

      He had stock-piled his inventory and then the market bottom-out.

      I the (Son) still have 3 of the brand new boards.

      Great memories as I helped in the manufacturing process

      during my high school days at Inglewood High.

      Hobie Super Surfer Skate Board 25"

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      JD Kruger 6 years ago

      I have an 1964 original super surfer with wheel wrench. It has a little wear on the wheels,but the gold writing is still there.What might it be worth?

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      Lynne 6 years ago

      I am Andy Goodman's younger sister and the daughter of the inventor Robert J. Goodman and I can't tell you how exciting it is to read all of the comments posted! Made me smile from ear to ear forgetting that Andy and I spent our hours after school hand packing those ball bearings while other kids were outside playing.

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      steven 6 years ago

      Skateboarding has changed so much sinc then and now. im only fifteen and i would like to become pro. i always approach my days like its my last in skating. for all "them" skaters out there and to be skaters keep skatin and remember. if u feel like u want to stop skating. most people say its because its becoming boring to them. well than start doing bigger and better stunts to give u an adrenaline rush. im not quiting ever because first ive spent thousands of dollars in my skate carrer and i didn't waste all my time that i put in to skating just to quit. [sk8 4 life]

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      Andy Goodman 6 years ago

      Hi dannybearershobie I am the son of prolific inventor Robert J. Goodman mention in my original comment above. If you want to reach me, send me a note to andy"at" happy to chat about old memories.

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      Kathy Hazlett 6 years ago

      I can't wait to post footage of me and my brother skateboarding in 1964 in our backyard as well as at Pier ave Jr High in Hermosa Beach. I believe that the first skateboarding contest was held there. Shortly thereafter was the Wide world of sports skateboard contest in Orange County.

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      Dennis Allgeier 6 years ago

      I still have my original 64 Mahogany Hobie Super Surfer with the white Super Surfer Wheels. I got this one for my 13th Birthday from my parents. We were not well off and I know my parents sacrificed something for me to get this deck.Like Norman mentioned above-I was the envy of every kid in the neighborhood. I loved that deck. And the sound the wheels made when they hit the seams in the sidewalks and the sound of the ball bearings spinning. Those were great times and I loved that deck. I had it refinished last year for my 59th Birthday by a guy named Gordy who lives in Las Vegas and was a former pro team skater back in the day. Mine was the 25" model-I wish I had a 30" one as well.

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      Norman Gaines 6 years ago

      I ordered an SS from Hobie when I lived in Harrisburg PA., and I know I was the only kid for 100's of miles to have one. I also had a Val Surf fiberglass one that was a jewel. When we moved from PA my Dad junked all my stuff - including my skateboards. They are the only things I had back then that I wish I had today..

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      colin clifford 6 years ago

      me and my pals lived in woodland hills calif. [the valley] we had a school parking lot by my house called lockhurst drive elemetary the parking lot was called[BANZAI] in the mid to late 60,s on summer nites there would be 20 to 30 boys all dropping in the the bowl we rode supersurfers sears own model we would put chicago wheels on our hobie trucks as they gripped better we rode the banzai like it was a wave so as for all the dogtowners we had u beat by 10 yrs does anyone recall banzai??

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      Dweighn Secrist 6 years ago

      I have a mint condition, "Slim Surfer" made by Skee-skate in Culver city, Ca. 29x6. Oah with clay wheels!

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      Phil 6 years ago

      I still have my skateboard that I bought back in 1969. Amazing the board and wheels are still in good shape. I didn't remember who made it until I did a little research. The pics here were helpful. Looks like a Hobie

      Super Surfer. It has Super Surfer on the side of the beige colored wheels, and has the same trucks as pictured here, with the rubber insert. I remember adjusting that screw with a screwdriver,and it shows, for adjustments depending on where we rode. The board seems to be a hardwood, maple maybe. I still remember getting this. The first one I saw without the steel wheels. I had to have it. I think I paid $8 or $9 for it, a lot at that time, cutting yards money. All my friends still had skateboards with the steel wheels. Till they saw and rode mine. Thanks

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      scott 7 years ago

      little wear at all .... NOT rear....!!! lol

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      Scott 7 years ago

      I have a 60s laminated super surfer that i found at an estate sale .

      Bought it for five bucks. and is in pretty nice condition! Got the label , original wheels with the writing on them and they spin as free as if they were assembled yesterday, with

      little rear at all and very few marks on the board.. can someone tell me ,what.. if anything , The Value...?



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      dannybearershobie 7 years ago

      hello world...this is chuck

      i own danny bearer's hobie he used to win the first world championship on... in 1965.

      he wrote on the bottom all this info and signed it.

      first.....who is this andy goodman up above the first commenter?..i tried but can't get to leave him a question. is he realted to albert goodman? of the goodman theater in chicago?

      and second.....who knows how i can get a super surfer decal to put it on danny's old hobie that has come off.

      any help will be appreciated...

      and lastly..what should i do with danny's historical board???

      thx...he was longtime friend of mine.

      R.i.P Danny...R.i.P...old stick.

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      Nicholas Chase 8 years ago

      Hey Storm,

      I was also 12 years old in 1964, lived in South Pasadena, CA and spent a few hours in Hobie' shop as my brother and I were also surfers.

      We built our first skateboards out of metal skate wheels and screwed them to a 1/2-inch piece of rectangular plywood, then stained and varnished the top to look cool.

      Thanks for your comments, that board still hangs in my garage!

      Nicholas - 'super-surfer' Chase

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      Storm 8 years ago

      I have an original Hobie Super Surfer. We lived in Anaheim at the time (1964) and I was twelve. Mine is all original but is missing the decal (worn off I assume) and my name is written on the bottom.

      Everyone envied that board. Up until then, we had made our own from old roller skates and plywood. My skateboard was laminated. Hobie Alter had a shop at the beach back then that we used to haunt. This stuff is rerally coming out of the archives!

      I believe I was stoked!

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      Slingz 8 years ago

      What a vintage board. For some reason, I can't imagine what the skateboarding scene was like in the 60's. But not matter how it looks, think about the quality as it is still functioning over 40 years later.

      ~ Tasha

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      LazarDRod 8 years ago

      That's a really cool board. I can't believe people used to skate on clay wheels! Thank You for sharing.

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      Leslie Chapman 8 years ago

      I have a board I bought at Goodwill or some such abt 25 years ago, but the deck is a single piece of wood, not laminated. The wheels have a few chips out of the corners, but not a lot of wear otherwise. One bearing set is missing and the opposite wheel has rusty balls but the other truck still rolls free.

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      Andy Goodman 8 years ago

      Actually the Super Sufer was licensed from RideMaster before Vita-Pakt bought the license from them. Hobie worked Robert Goodman of RideMaster originally using the chicago wheels and trucks and later patenting the contained bering wheels and triple cushion trucks. RideMaster also made a private lable line for Sears, Wards and a few others. In the late 60's when Dad's patents came up for renewal, my mom uttered the now famous line, "those damb skateboards will never come back save the 350 dollars for something worthwhile" Before the SuperSufer dad also developed the SuperSkate which was the first major change in roller skates in 68 years, he removed the straps, clamps and need for a skate key