C.J. Hobgood announced during the Fiji Pro that this season will be his last. In this exclusive interview, the 2001 World Champion sits down with Ronnie Blakey to share his thoughts on leave the Tour after 17 years, achieving his dreams, and what he wants — and doesn’t want — for the future.
He’s spent 17 years on Tour, he won a world title in 2001, and he made a name for himself as one of the hardest charging goofyfoots competitive surfing has ever seen. After all that, C.J. Hobgood announced today that this year will be his last on the World Tour. After his heat at Cloudbreak, C.J. Hobgood hopped off the Jet Ski for an interview and was asked to explain why he was wearing Kelly Slater’s No. 11 jersey out in the lineup.
“I mean, obviously anyone who has ever touched a surfboard or fallen in love with surfing owes Kelly a lot,” said Hobgood. “He’s inspired me as much as he’s inspired anyone else. At Bells, he was joking around on Instagram and had said he was retiring, and I saw him there and I told him, ‘Hey, I really am retiring this year Kelly, and I’d be stoked to wear your jersey.’ He said it’d be rad, so I told him I wanted to wear it in Fiji.”