The year was 1994, and I was bodyboarding for the first time at Rocky Point on the North Shore of Oahu.
The conditions were pretty solid. A few of the pros were out the back, and I was having so much fun, stoked to boogie and watch them all.
I was feeling inspired and flying around like I do.
At some point, I lost my board and ended up on the beach. Suddenly, to my surprise, I was greeted by one of my heroes - Hauoli Reeves.
It was a little surreal for me to see this character I had watched repeatedly in all videos and magazines doing so many huge, impossible airs.
Hauoli is a big guy, and in person, he beamed with his confident enthusiasm full of boogie stoke.
He started chatting me up, saying he was watching me ride and complimenting me.
Then, Reeves asked if I was sponsored, to which I said, "No, I'm not."
So he got all excited, saying I should be sponsored and that he was going to get me on the team with him at Morey Boogie.
I will never forget this.
Hauoli wrote down my dorm room phone number in wax on his board and said he would call me the next week and get me sponsored.
Basically, it was any aspiring bodyboarder's dream. I was blown away!
The Missed Call and The Confidence Booster
I did not actually expect him to remember me or my number or call someone on my behalf.
The wax did not seem like a reliable form of note-taking. However, he did make the call - but there was just no room for me at that time.
Nonetheless, the fire was sparked, as I now had the confidence and validation from Hauoli Reeves, the Air King himself.
So with this, I mustered up the courage to call Harry Antipala, who gave me my first sponsor - G&S Surfboards.
I was just happy to have someone believing in me - giving me a chance was all it took.
I always wonder where I would be now without that conversation and confidence gained from the chance to meet with Hauoli on that day at Rocky Point.
I always felt a strong sense of appreciation for that confidence and belief in myself that Hauoli gave to me.
Hopefully, this tale helps explain why I wanted to bring the Hauoli bodyboard model to life with Hubboards.
To be able to work together with Hauoli after so many years is really special.
The result of this cooperation is the Hauoli VF, a limited collectors edition bodyboard model we're proud to launch via Hubboards.
I am sure this special release is something I think many of you will very much enjoy.
An Afterword from Hauoli Reeves
"I'd like to add that I have been blessed to be offered a signature model from nearly every major board manufacturer in the 1980s and 1990s and have declined."
"I've never felt like the quality, craftsmanship, and material were at a level I felt comfortable putting my name on."
"I discussed with Jeff Hubbard what I was looking for, and he nailed it with the first crack."
"A good board is priceless, and I'm extremely grateful to finally have a couple of boards that instill confidence."
"My name and reputation in the sport are synonymous with being the best. I'm stoked to be associated with Jeff and Dave of Hubboards because they are the best."
The Hauoli VF was officially launched on October 11, 2021, on hubboards.com.
Words by Jeff Hubbard | Professional Bodyboarder and Founder of Hubboards