Damien Hobgood is a 14-year World Championship Tour (WCT) veteran, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2000 Rookie of the Year, and winner of numerous WCT events. The dynamic goofyfooter was ranked 4th in the world at the height of his career in 2005.
Damien and twin brother CJ were raised in Satellite Beach, Florida, where they began bodyboarding at age five and stand-up surfing at six. The brothers came to the attention of the surf world in 1991, when they took the top two slots in the Menehune division of the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Championships. They were top-rated amateurs over the next several years, with Damien placing second in the Boy’s division of the 1994 U.S. Championships, winning the 1995 East Coast National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Junior’s division, and placing third in the Junior’s division of the 1996 World Surfing Games.
Not surprisingly, the Hobgoods developed similar wave riding styles, each utilizing a low, spread-out stance with an emphasis on airs and tube riding in thick, high-risk waves like Fiji’s Cloudbreak and Tahiti’s Teahupo’o. Damien placed 5th in the 1999 World Qualifying Series of the Pro Tour, and the following year he was ranked 25th in the world and named Rookie of the Year. In 2000, the Hobgoods became the first brothers to simultaneously place in the WCT top 10. By the mid-2000s, Damien had established himself as a serious competitive threat in powerful, left-breaking reef passes, winning in Fiji twice (Quiksilver Pro, 2004; Globe WCT Fiji 2006) and in Tahiti at the Billabong Pro at Teahupo’o in 2007.
Damien has appeared in more than 20 surf videos, including Under the Same Sun (1994), Triple C (1996), Momentum: Under the Influence (2001), Campaign (2003), Somewhere, Anywhere, Everywhere (2004), Secret Machine (2006), New Emissions of Light and Sound (2008), Year Zero (2011), and #NoFilter (2012). In 2019, And Two If by Sea featured the story of the Hobgood brothers rise to surf stardom.
Damien was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2020.
Photos by Brian Bielmann, Tom Dugan, Dick “Mez” Meseroll, Ryan Miller, Zak Noyle, Tom Servais, D.J. Struntz, and courtesy Hobgood Family