False Start – The Hobgoods

The Hobgoods by Peter King
or The Hobgroms

What’s up with Florida? How do surfers get so good down there? It’s the world’s biggest understatement to say that the waves are bad there. If you think that’s harsh, then ask yourself why nobody goes on surfari to the Sunshine State! You’ll never see Braden Dias, Sunny Garcia, and Bruce Irons on a mag photo trip to Cocoa Beach! The only reason to go there would be for a trade show, Disney World, or as a stopover to some good location. I suppose you could go there to interview some of the world’s best surfers, but they’re probably not home … they’re somewhere it’s good.
[IMAGE 1] What’s up with the Hobgroms by the way? How did they get so good? I think they tricked everyone: One of ‘em would surf a heat, then send the other out in the next round to conserve energy¿things like that. I mean, you can barely tell them apart. I wonder if they ever had those weird twin things happen to ‘em, like Damien would be pulling into a macker in Tahiti on the WQS then get spit out, and C.J., sitting on the beach at the same time during a WCT in Huntington Beach, California, would feel the spray on his back … hmmmm.
Now I know these kids pretty well, and I won’t even try to guess which one I’m talking to unless they’re wearing nametags. The only differences I’m able to spot is that Damien has more of a slow hick drawl in his speech. “Heeeeyyyyyy, hooowww’sss it ggooooiinn’, yaa’lll?”, and C.J. puffs his chest out just a little bit further when they’re next to each other¿I suppose it’s because he made it on to the WCT first.
Look at this layout; we have no idea who’s who in each photo. One can easily identify a Hobgrom by the logos, since they both have the same sponsors, but every mag ultimately has to guess as to which one it is in each shot. I don’t think the twins even know! What we do know is that it was definitely a Hobgood almost pulling this rodeo flip and not a Slater! At least the Slaters have different syles and approaches to riding waves … hey, so do Gulf Coast Team Captains the Lopezes.
[IMAGE 3] Anyway, back to this rodeo-flip thingy¿it’s only natural that something so freakish would come birthed out of the most unnatural surfing epicenter on the planet. Kelly got it going in front of everyone’s eyes at Pipe this winter and leave it up to some other Florida jock to try and outdo him.
So this is what it’s come to, Damien and C.J. have to pull snowboarding-type airs in order to be able to differentiate among themselves in the mags. But rest assured that whoever makes it first, the other will follow, and quickly. If brothers are competitive, how much more so identical twins?
I wonder if they make exactly the same amount of money? I wonder if they believe the exact same things? I wonder if they both wish they didn’t split that gene back at square one and have to share half of their mojo with the other? I don’t think the world could handle one super Hobgood. If they hadn’t been so nice to each other and share that gene, we could be looking at a seven-foot ten-inch well-chiseled super Hobgrom that could pull rodeo 540s on every wave and spank Slater at every turn.
No, no … that’d be too scary.
We’ll just settle for our cute, cuddly little five-foot eight-inch, hard-charging, ripping twin set of Hobgroms and watch them blow everyone away at a slightly gentler pace. [IMAGE 2]