There is something about surfing with your blood brother that is truly sacred. When one rides, the other rides with him. Now multiply that by about ten and you might have an idea of what it is like when CJ and Damien Hobgood light up a line-up. Identical twins, damn near identical surfers, mixed with that mysterious, otherworldly bond twins share, from womb to grown-up barrel. Throughout surfing’s history, blasting out of a tube has always been likened to a re-birth, inspiring atavistic memories of our first breath in this world of ours. One wonders what it must be like for these two.
When exiting yet another giant tube, do they see the same thing? Recently Grajagan was big and the Hobgood twins were invited over for a private session. They were given a very rare experience for today’s G-land surfer. The pick of the line-up. The conditions were big and wild, suiting these two brother’s styles perfectly. CJ, 2001 World Champion, a surfer who Shane Dorian considers one of the best tube riders in history. (“That man has the skills to pay the bills!” Dorian once exclaimed after witnessing a particularly long and technical barrel that CJ somehow negotiated his way out of). And Brother Damian, World tour soldier forever, #4 in the world 2005, and now, after his first year, ranked 17th on the Professional Big Wave tour.
In 2000, the Hobgoods became the first brothers to ever place simultaneously in the world tour top 10. Damian has won at Teahupoo once and at Tavarua twice. Brother CJ won at Teahupoo in 2004, Damien nipping at his heels. And let us never forget the time CJ auctioned off his World Title Trophy so that he and brother could get started on their privately funded documentary. Theirs is a proof of love. By listening to accounts of the their session from those who witnessed it, including Surftime Staff photographers WillySouw and Harry Pieters, it was a creative family affair.
Both brothers, courage unquestioned, with room to move on the big, lumbering walls. Both hooting each other on with every set. Of all the sessions taking place that day on the planet, this had to be one of the most unique. Most special. Identical twins, one a world champion, both tour mainstays, ripping to the sounds of two identical hearts beating. A bond in the surf that could only be felt by two souls that have fed from the same breast. A kinship as sacred as anything on earth. A sacred session indeed.