Dynamic goofyfoot pro surfer from Satellite Beach, Florida; world-ranked #4 in 2005; identical twin brother to 2001 world champion CJ Hobgood. Damien was born (1979) in Melbourne Beach, Florida, raised in Satellite Beach, began bodyboarding at age five and stand-up surfing at six.
Damien and CJ both came to the attention of the surf world in 1991 by taking the top two slots in the menehune division of the Eastern Surfing Association Championships (CJ beat Damien). Both were top-rated amateurs over the next several years, with Damien placing second in the boys' division of the 1994 U.S. Championships, winning the 1995 East Coast National Scholastic Surfing Association juniors division ratings, and placing third in the juniors of the 1996 World Surfing Games.
Not surprisingly, the Hobgoods developed similar wave-riding styles, each utilizing a low, spread-out stance, while making a study of all facets of the sport, with an emphasis on aerials, as well as tuberiding in thick, high-risk surf. Both were gently mocked by the surf press for being fans of country-western music, and for their languid, vaguely southern accents.
Damien Hobgood placed fifth in the 1999 World Qualifying Series of the pro tour; the following year he was world-ranked 25th, named rookie of the year, and described by surf journalist Jason Borte as one of five "replacement killers" who might fill in for then-retired six-time world champion Kelly Slater, also of Florida. In 2000, the Hobgoods became the first brothers to place simultaneously in the world tour top 10. Though CJ was the more competitively polished, the Hobgoods' style was as identical as their looks, and until CJ started adding yellow rails to all his surfboards, it was nearly impossible to tell the two apart in the surf.
By the mid-'00s, Damien had established himself as a serious competitive threat in powerful, left-breaking reef passes, winning at Tavarua twice (Quiksilver Pro, 2004; Globe WCT Fiji 2006) and at the Billabong Pro at Teahupoo in 2007 (CJ won Teahupoo in 2004).
Hobgood has appeared in over 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).