VIDEO: Space Coast Hall of Fame’s CJ Hobgood Wins ASP GoPro Challenge
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // July 9, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: CJ Hobgood wins the ASP GoPro Challenge surfing the ever majestic Cloudbreak wave in Fiji and takes home $10K for this sick sunlit barrel. (GoPro Video)
ABOVE VIDEO: The Hobgood brothers, goofy-footers from Satellite Beach, began swapping first and second places at East Coast surf contests since they were 12, setting a trend in the ESA championships and repeating it at the NSSA Boys, Juniors and Men’s Division, plus at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) East Junior Pro in 1996.
C.J. & DAMIEN HOBGOOD – 2014 INDUCTEES
Satellite Beach Pro Suring Twin Hobgood Brothers Are A Dynamic ‘Team of Two’
Among the general population, there is a three in 100 chance of having twins. The chance of having twins who both excel in surfing is considerably higher, but C.J. and Damien’s Hobgood’s mom achieved that rare feat in 1979.
The Hobgoods missed being born on the Fourth of July by two days, but they are nevertheless All-American boys who have never lost their genial nature to the arrogance that sometimes arrives with success competing at top-tier professional athletic events.
They walk alike, they talk alike and it’s hard to tell the one from the other, particularly when they are surfing.
These goofy-footers from Satellite Beach began swapping first and second places at East Coast surf contests since they were 12, setting a trend in the ESA championships and repeating it at the NSSA Boys, Juniors and Men’s Division, plus at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) East Junior Pro in 1996.
One would win first and the other second at one contest, only to reverse the position at the next competition.
By the time they graduated from Satellite Beach High School in 1997 (with A averages, no less), the brothers were already quite the world travelers, chasing waves around the globe.
Professional surfers, unlike most other athletes, take off from high school to compete around the world without a coach for guidance. As twins, the brothers looked out for each other.
In 2001, Clifton James, or C.J., won the world championship, marking the first distinct difference between the surfing twins. A series of injuries threatened his career, but C.J. rebounded to emerge – victorious – at four more World Championship Tour (WCT) events in the next few years.
Damien kept up with C.J. with an equal number of WCT contests, but exceeded him in injuries. Part of the Surfrider Pro Team sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation, Damien won Rookie of the Year at the ASP Championships in 2000.
He once held the highest two-wave grand final score in pro-surfing by scoring 19.9 out of 20 at the Quiksilver Pro Fiji in 2004, defeating world champion Andy Irons. It took another Brevard boy, a fellow by the name of Kelly Slater, to eclipse Damien’s record in the final with a perfect 20 the following year.
A shoulder injury in 2005 didn’t stop him from winning the Globe WCT Fiji in 2006. He joined the Fox Racing and Sun Diego Boardshops surf teams in 2011.
Brother C.J. was selected in 1998 as the model for the new National Scholastic Surfing Association logo. In 1999, C.J. was the Association of Surfer Professionals Rookie of the Year and winner of the ASP World Championship.
He won the 2007 U.S. Open in Surfing, and in 2008 surfed away with the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, part of the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing Competition in Hawaii.
Both Hobgoods are fearless, fiercely competitive guys, but they do look out for each other so each performs at his best. As they settle to family life in their ‘30s, it’s still not easy to tell them apart.
After all, they are a team of two.