Hobie, legendary board maker, segues into eyewear

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The identify Hobie has been related to Hawaii for an extended, very long time. Time to get acquainted with the Hobie sun shades or, in trade phrases, “eyewear”. Enter Hobie Eyewear.

However let’s digress. Many years earlier than the board maker expanded into bikinis and shorts, a man named Hobie Alter was shaping boards in his household’s Laguna Seaside summer time residence for pals. Mr. Alter later went into enterprise and arrange store at Dana Level on the Pacific Coast Freeway–two blocks from the place the present Hobie Surf Store stands.


In accordance with his bio on the Hobie web site, Mr. Alter did extra than simply form boards–he ended up “shaping a tradition”.

Hobie Monarch sunglasses protect against UV
Yeah, they give the impression of being fairly cool…and the grey polarized lens works fairly effectively.

Maybe…however let’s not neglect the Seaside Boys!

All kidding apart, Hobie Surfboards did have an all-star following together with Phil Edwards, Joey Cabell, Corky Carroll, Mickey Munoz, Mike Hynson, Dick Brewer, Terry Martin, Herbie Fletcher, and World Champion, Joyce Hoffman, amongst others.

Within the early sixties, Hobie Alter partnered with fellow browsing buddy, Dick Metz, and so they hung up a shingle in Honolulu. The “Honolulu Retailer”, because it was referred to as, turned a well-known watering gap for visiting surfers. (At the moment I observe that Hobie Sports activities has a surf store in Lahaina, however none in Oahu).

Quick ahead to 2023

Hobie is now sells eyewear and being within the eyewear testing enterprise I wished to see what they needed to supply. Heretofore all the eyewear I’ve examined up to now was “firearms compliant” however the Hobie fashions are usually not.

Hobie Eyewear's Monarch
Aesthetically the Monarch seems to be fairly cool. I didn’t look after the “facet shields” (at left) which will be eliminated.

Most likely not a good suggestion to take them to the vary but when you reside within the Aloha State, you completely want dependable UV safety. Given the tropical solar, you’ll want first rate polarization as effectively.  The Monarch has 100% UV Safety and that’s compulsory round right here.

The Hobie Monarch (retailing at $71 on Amazon) mannequin I’ve has labored out effectively. They’re very comfy seated on my nostril and my ears. They wrap comfortably alongside my temples and include a strap, which I really like. In any other case, I’ll lose them!

As a “road-tester”, I preserve them in my Subaru so I put on them on a regular basis.

One different cool attribute…they float “like a butterfly” in accordance with Hobie. A butterfly? Perhaps but it surely does give me a bit extra peace of thoughts once I’m on my pal Rafi’s sailboat. If the glasses make their approach into the drink on a weekend journey…no drawback.  

Hobie Monarch Sunglasses  comes with a strap
People, I really like the strap on the Hobie Monarch

If you happen to’re into extra of a traditional, streamlined look, take into account the Cabo. Simply let the great seems to be idiot you. It additionally has all the Hobie lens know-how. For instance, it offers coloration stability which in accordance with Hobie “permits eyes to transmit clear ‘coloration messages’ to the mind offering the power to see all colours vividly.”

The Hydroclean Plus lens coatings present imaginative and prescient on and off of the water with polarized movie know-how, whereas lowering distracting reflections and glare.

Amongst its options:

  • Polarized Polycarbonate Lenses
  • TR-90 Body
  • HydroClean™ 360° coated
  • 100% UV Safety
  • Precision Flex Hinges
  • Rx Prepared
I’m a fan of the Cabo too. It’s acquired a bit extra an urbane model however remains to be Hobie-rugged. I’ll add my very own strap. In any other case, it might disappear in my upcoming Europe journey.

Battle Examined

In accordance with Hobie “enhanced hydrophobic and anti-reflective coatings” are utilized to every lens below fastidiously managed situations which permits them to sheds water, resist mud and dirt.

Hobie states that their Grilamid TR-90 Frames are a “battle examined nylon-polymer mix that may stand up to the trials of the avid water athlete. These frames are powerful and crack resistant, hypo-allergenic and resilient.”

Whether or not they’re “battle examined” in Afghanistan or Ukraine, I don’t know, however up to now the frames have held up even once I accidently sat on them in my automotive.

Happily I don’t weigh that a lot.

Lens coating on Hobie Monarch Sunglasses %%sitename%% is tough
Hobie lauds their sturdy, lens coatings. I’ll let in the event that they maintain up.

I do just like the traditional model of the glasses. The one factor I didn’t look after was the “facet shields” which appeared to limit peripheral imaginative and prescient. Happily, they’re detachable so no huge deal.

In trying out opinions from prospects on Amazon, the corporate reportedly has distinctive customer support. One buyer stated he admittedly scratched the lenses on his glasses and Hobie despatched him a code for 50% off to buy a brand new pair. Fairly good of them.


Would I like to recommend these?

Thus far so good. Whether or not the hydrophobic and anti-reflective coatings maintain as much as saltwater, and so on. in the long term, I’ll discover out. With different manufacturers I’ve famous the coating on the lenses begins to peel.

Each the Monarch and Cabo fashions comes with their very own little ‘baggage’. Good for journey. (photograph by Rob Kay)

Will my apprise my trustworthy readers, in six months. I plan to take a pair or two on project within the Mediterranean, and see how they maintain up on the ferry between Gibraltar and North Africa.

Within the meantime, I’m trying good and I’m assured they are going to defend my getting old eyes. And naturally if I drop them within the drink, they are going to float like a butterfly or possibly a duck.


A shout out to the Hobie Memorial Basis which is elevating funds to assemble a memorial honoring Hobie Alter’s life and his contributions to the browsing, boating, and skateboarding industries. The Hobie Memorial Basis E-newsletter publishes fascinating historic accounts in each challenge.