Honoring the founders that shaped the San Diego Lifestyle
Here we pay homage to the innovators and disrupters whose vision shaped the lifestyle that's now synonymous with San Diego. Without their vision and grit, an organization like ours wouldn't be possible. Sustainable businesses and great communities are built on passion and those we honor below, are living proof of just that.
A Legendary San Diego company and an absolute creative force of market disruption! Founded by Eli Callaway in 1983, this science based Company took on the challenge of golf for every day golfers with the commitment to use technology to make play more accessible and fun. Callaway’s famous “Big Bertha” was the ultimate disruptor, replacing the prevailing small wooden club heads with larger cast metal woods. The ensuing iteration called the “Great Big Bertha” was named the “Greatest Golf Club of all Time” By Golf Digest. The net effect of these break-through clubs was dramatic. Eli’s promise to make golf more fun for more people came true and the company accelerated into the leadership of the global golf business.
Today Callaway Golf consists of 5 powerful brands — Callaway, Odyssey, Toulon Design, OGIO and TravisMathew – that together offer golfers all over the world everything they need – clubs, balls, bags, apparel, footwear, bags, accessories – to play better and enjoy the game more. Callaway still maintains the “Number 1 Driver in Golf” and is played by a wide array of the top golfers in the world including Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk, Annika Sorenstam, and Michelle Wie.
What could be more San Diego than the classic beach cruiser? And what could be more authentically San Diego than an original beach cruiser brand available in classic pedal style or new E-bikes? Meet Electra, Encinitas’ home bike brand.
In a few short years Electra Bicycle Company has become the leading lifestyle bicycle brand in the U.S., with more than 200 designs for those ready to outrun boring. Electra is exporting the San Diego Lifestyle around the world with the most comfortable and beautiful bicycles on the market today, fueling their growth throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Their signature collections – Townie®, Loft™, Amsterdam®, Cruiser, Kids’ and Go! E-bikes – come in a variety of color palettes and playful personalities. While Electra is serious about making bikes, they aren’t so serious about riding them, making them the official bike of nothing official. But you can’t be a “local” without one!
If you could characterize the San Diego lifestyle in just a few words, you would have to pick, ocean, swim, surf, paddle…just for starters. Ironically, Hobie Alter, back in 1950, had a similar point of view. Hobie convinced his dad to move the family Buick out of the garage, replaced by a pile of balsa, soon to be surfboards; Whay ensuefd was the birth of an industry as Hobie and his buddy Grubby Clarke went on to invent foam surfboards.
By the mid-1960s, while the Beach Boys were making records, the legendary Hobie Surf Team was setting them. Hobie’s lineup was a veritable Who’s Who of surfing greats. Phil Edwards, Joey Cabell, Corky Carroll, Micky Munoz, Joyce Hoffman, and Herbie Fletcher are just a few of the champions who supported the distinctive Hobie diamond logo over the years. The vision expanded and included Hobie Cats, r/c Gliders, skate boards, yachts, the best Kayaks ever.
It seems incredible that one man’s vision could provide so much fun for watermen and women the world over, but in that department, Hobie Alter stood alone. He didn’t just create toys, he created a way of life, a new way of looking at our watery world. The dream born on the beach in 1950 has become reality not just for Hobie but for new generations of dreamers, all of whom continue to spell fun in the sun, the surf and the sand with a flying capital H.
San Diego is proud to see Hobie going strong in Oceanside, nearly 70 years after Hobie whittled out that first balsa board.
Did you know that Wakeboarding was invited in San Diego?
From climbing to yoga for those who live well and travel well.
Surfing on land? We owe it to Sector 9
It all started with the hitaway…
Can you think of San Diego without thinking of the beach? Can you think of the beach without thinking of a flip flop? Can you think of a flip flop without thinking of Reef, one of the most iconic beach brands in the world today!
”REEF was founded in 1984 by two brothers from Argentina, Fernando and Santiago Aguerre, who wanted to share their love for surf travel and beach culture with the world. So, they created a high-quality sandal that could keep up with their active (ahem, party) lifestyle. They moved to San Diego to manage the REEF brand and produce the iconic sandal that made REEF what it is today.
Now 35 years later, Reef still at it, encouraging people around the world to embrace the fun, freedom and spirit of the beach while living life by one simple rule: Beach Freely. Whether you’re surfing, bar-b-queing, metal detecting, sand castle building, day drinking, guitar playing, or just hanging at the beach...beach any way you want. Reef products are designed to make you feel comfortable, relaxed and free in any environment, whether you’re at the beach or not.
When founder Ralph Rubio and a few friends from San Diego State University were on spring break in San Felipe, Baja California they encountered their first fish taco experience at a local stand. Wondering why something so simply delicious wasn't available back home, Ralph was inspired to open a restaurant. The first official Rubio's was opened in 1983 as a small taco stand with a patio in Pacific Beach. Fast forward 35 years and fish tacos are a standard in every day coastal living. Now known as Rubio's Coastal Grill, the company now has 200 stores and over 4000 employees, and the original location on Mission Bay Drive is still in operation today.
Clothing the San Diego lifestyle.
Surf Cup Sports
What started as a soccer club or San Diego’s best youth soccer players, Surf Soccer Club is now an internationally recognized player development program and Surf Cup Sports is globally respected for the Surf Cup and event management that is responsible for 185 Million worth of economic impact on San Diego. Surf Cup Sports reaches 200,000 participants annually and each year, more than 490,000 people attend Surf Cup Sports organized events in San Diego, generating 125,000 booked hotel rooms, more than the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and second only to Comic-Con.
For yoga for life.