DANA POINT (CBSLA.com) — Thousands grabbed their boards and paddled out past the surf at Doheny State Beach Friday to honor sailing and surfing pioneer Hobie Alter.

Friends and family told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler that Alter, who passed away March 29 at the age of 80, would have loved the traditional Hawaiian send-off.

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“It was unbelievable. It was unbelievable. I knew there’d be quite a few people here, I didn’t think this many, so it’s a great day,” son Hobie Jr. said.

Surfers dropped flowers in the water and raised paddles in the air.

“It was so much fun and such a great send off for Hobie. He’s such a great inspiration for all of us,” former employee Mike Ester said.

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Alter revolutionized the surfboard and designed the Hobie Cat, a small sailing vessel that has become the world’s bestselling and most widely sailed catamaran.

“Hobie changed the surfing world and the sailing world for everybody around the world…everybody owes something to Hobie,” Bella Lagmay-Funk said.


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Sailors, Surfers Gather To Remember Hobie Cat Pioneer Hobie Alter In Laguna Beach