Hobie bi-sect surfboard made for the movie, "The Endless Summer"

Description (Brief)
Fiberglassed, foam core surfboard made by Hobie Alter in 1963 for the movie, "The Endless Summer". This board is designed to fold up and has a bolt in the center which unscrews to let the board fold in half. This feature was designed by Alter to fit the surfboard in the overhead compartments of airplanes in the 1960s. This innovation demonstrated surfing’s global appeal and the use of air travel as the preferred choice for surfers to find that perfect wave much like the surfers in “The Endless Summer”. These were only made for a limited time as the board would bend and flex in big surf and become unstable. Hobie Alter began surfing at an early age and reinvented surfboard manufacturing with the use of polyurethane in the late 1950s. These early foam boards had ‘foam defects’ such as large air bubbles, so an opaque coloring was used to hide those flaws; pastel colors were the predominant color scheme used and would become an iconic feature of the boards of this era. Alter became known as the Henry Ford of surfing and by 1959 nearly all the top surfers had switched to foam boards.
"The Endless Summer" movie was written, produced and directed by Bruce Brown in 1964. Brown also served as the narrator of this surf ‘diary’ following two young surfers for one summer, around the globe, in search of the “perfect wave.” It was in limited release in 1964 and released worldwide in 1966 grossing $5 million domestically and over $20 million worldwide. Its simplicity was part of its enduring appeal and while naïve and corny to today’s audiences it was an integral part of surf history. “The Endless Summer” introduced the world to surfing, a nation of bored teens to the idea of travel and created a popularity of surf culture that endures today.
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
foam (overall material)
fiberglass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 9 ft x 21 1/2 in x 10 in; 2.7432 m x 54.61 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Snow & Surf
Sports & Leisure
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Snow & Surf
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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