Back in 2004 at the Fiji Pro, a surfer from Satellite Beach, Florida set the highest two-wave grand final score in pro surfing by scoring 19.9 out of 20.
Damien Hobgood would go on to hold the highest score in this competition … for about a year, when Kelly Slater would set a perfect score of 20 at Teahupo’o in 2005.
Although Hobgood’s career on the professional surf tour have come to a close, the Floridian hasn’t stopped surfing. Sure, he’s enjoying the retired life. But he’s still chasing waves in unique places, often with his family in tow.
We recently caught up with the Sunshine State surfing legend to learn what he’s been up to since he left the limelight, and what kind of work he’s been doing with a new safety product/treatment designed for surfers called BLDG Active.
So what have you been up to since your retirement from the WSL?
I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and have had the opportunity to surf some of the places and waves I’ve always wanted to. Highlights would definitely be Jaws and Mavericks, the waves in these spots are truly on another level. I’ve also been enjoying time with my three kids and my wife. My daughter Savanna is really getting into surfing, so we spend a lot of time in the water together.
Do you still try to get out and surf or participate in WSL competitions in some way? How so?
Yeah, I do as much as I can on the BWT [Big Wave Tour], but not the WT [World Tour]. I’ve been participating in a variety of specialty events like the Florida Pro Sebastian Inlet and supporting Waves for Water.
I know you’re from Satellite Beach originally, but where are you living at these days?
I live in San Diego with my wife and three kids.
Have you been to the Jacksonville area recently?
I haven’t been back to the Jacksonville area/Northeast Florida lately, but I hope to in the near future — I saw some pretty sick coverage from winter storm Riley!
Tell me a little about your involvement with BLDG Active, what is it? What made you decide to align yourself with the company and support it?
I had seen the product at a surf shop in San Diego and I knew the World Surf League docs were using it regularly on surfers coming out of the water with some major reef cuts and fin gafs.
We picked some up and I actually used it first on my daughter Savanna, she had some nics coming out of the water. It doesn’t sting at all, so she didn’t mind it, and it really worked well. I reached out to the BLDG Active guys to get some more product, and it went from there.
Where can people find it and why do you recommend it over competitors?
That’s the thing, I haven’t found anything in all my years of surfing that kills bacteria and speeds healing like Active Skin Repair does.
Staph is a major risk that we’re all trying to avoid, and this product kills 99 percent of all bacteria, including MRSA and Staph. It also speeds the healing process too, which is important in terms of warding off infection and getting me back out there.
When I come out of the water, rinsing off and using BLDG Active Skin Repair on sunburns, bug bites, nics, cuts and any big wounds is a part of the everyday routine now.
The product is sold at surf specialty coast to coast and in Hawaii. Locally there [in the Jacksonville area], people can pick up Active Skin Repair at Surf Culture, The Pit, Surf Station, Aqua East, Sunrise and Black Creek.