California skaters Patti McGee
and Russell “Russ” Howell
. became the first public faces of skateboarding, and their influence spread across the globe. As skate ambassadors and skating’s first true professionals, they traveled widely, and their public and media appearances helped contribute to skating’s growth as a popular sport. Of course, the growth of skating would not have been possible without the work of equipment pioneers like Hobart “Hobie” Alter
, the founder and industry trailblazer behind the Hobie brand. During the 1960s, Hobie became world famous for his surfboards, skateboards, and his line of Hobie Cat catamaran sailboats. Alter’s influence on skateboarding, especially during the 1960s and 1970s, is immeasurable.