RIP Terry Martin

Such a bummer.  My thoughts are with his family. What a gift to the shaping world…

Terry was one of the most talented and humble persons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I am deeply saddened by not having his wisdom around to hear and  guide me anymore.  Terry definitely knows the Lord, and is in a better place.  I’ll miss his wit and his humor; yeah Terry was a super-human shaping machine, and its hard to sum up a man’s lifetime, and his work, and what he meant to so many people, in just a few words.  Terry made people happy, and was happy to do what he did for so long with so much passion; laboring in sweat, full of love, covered by a thin veil of foam.  


Lots of people act like their the real deal, and for the most part, they just fake it, but Terry Martin really was the real deal, and he never acted like it.

In 1965 I shaped next to him in the ''Pit'' at Hobie's.     His production technique was something to behold.     Using a worm drive Skil Saw on outlines, and a sander on flats.    I'd never seen that done before.      Sad loss to the surfing community.   Simply put, he was a really nice guy.

I haven’t seen Terry in years and never again will in this life.  LIke Thrailkill, I met Terry when I worked at Hobie’s also.  He was always understated and humble.  Quite different then the overhyped personalities typical of the surfing world.  He was almost like a ghost drifting in, powering out his 15 boards a day and then gone.  

We’ll meet up again one day Terry…

back in 1974 i bought a stringerless, 5-8 d.n. surfcrafts  fish shaped by martin.

rode it at the bu for several sessions.

people still to this day remember my rides back then.

thanks for the memories terry.



RIP Terry Martin.




Loved the whole post but this part was stingingly so spot the f on. RIP Terry Martin

And the voice,every body in heaven has heard it,

boomed out over the waves breaking on the point…


every spirit in attendence was nodding together

like they were at the same concert and feelin’it…

""And there is only one guy that can shape a board good enough…‘’

 the eyes closed in the material world

and reopened  in the shaping room on the point 

looking out the window past the spirit 

in the deck chair looking out at a real good set

as it hit the peak to crack  and curl,


''Please Terry,

Make it to ride a set just like that"

said the great spirit,


… ambrose…


I lost my bother Terry 3 years ago fronm cancer, he was a craftsman also, so to the Terry’s in my life, here’s to you, I hope you approve

This thread speaks volumes about the state of Swaylocks, and wanna be shapers, these days…and it’s a shame because it shows how blatantly ignorant all the neuveau “shapers” are about how we got to where we are. Just 9 responses in over 24 hours since the news broke? (It’s interesting who has posted - because it’s obvious who knows their sh*t) It’s almost like, “Who’s Terry Martin?” This place is about design, shaping and building - this guy was the real deal…It just pisses me off that “kids” who think they have a clue - really have no clue - or appreciation - how we got to where we are today.

Terry Martin shaped thousands of boards for decades before it was cool for shapers to sign thier boards, let alone initial them - hell, Hobie probably wouldn’t ever allow it because it was his name on the lam. It was Terry and a few other shapers who helped make Hobie one of the richest men in Dana Point… Anyone who learned to surf in the early 60’s and beyond has probably had a Hobie at some point in their life - and it might very well have been shaped by Terry…longboard, transition era, shortboard, no matter…right till the last few months…

That’s pretty cool stuff to contemplate - think about how many boards the man shaped through the decades - all the while cruising under the radar because, and I may not have the quote just right, but,he said something to the effect, " I just want people to have fun going surfing."

Terry Martin shaped surfboards - tens, hundreds, of thousands of them - didn’t need no fu*kin’ logo posted on the web after 1 or 2 boards shaped.

No ego - just Stoke…

Something to aspire to…

Maybe I’m over reacting but, Swaylocks has traditionally been very responsive and supportive when we’ve lost an important figure in our tribe - and Terry certainly was that…


I never met the the man but he was a true icon that I looked up to. When I heard he was sick and needed help with his medical bills I donated one of my refurbished Skils for the auction with hopes it could ease the family’s burden just a little. Mark Johnson from Hobie called me to say thank you and I asked how Terry was and he said that Terry didn’t understand why so many people are coming forward to help him, I said because he gave so much to the surfing world it’s time to give back to him, besides he is Terry Martin, I never met him but I love him.

You will be truly missed


I’m 44.  Spent most of my life landlocked. When I was around 15 a friend gave me a Dora poster and the way he looked on the board just captivated me.  From there I chased that on a skateboard but I always knew that my heart was in the water. In 96’ I was stationed in San Antonio, Texas and I met a great guy, Chuck Blaikie from San Diego. We surfed in Texas some but he always told me that if I ever made it to San Diego I would need to go to the Longboard Grotto. By some devine intervention I ended up there in 05’. On my second day there I went to the LBG and bought a Terry Martin shaped Hobie, 9-6, 50/50 rails, retro/vintage, glassed by Moonlight.  The boards always had a 3x5 flash card with something inspiring/funny taped to it with the price.  Mine said “Get busy living, or Get busy dying” $1250.00. I bought it with my moving expenses money I didn’t have yet and drove up to Teramar, waxed it and took it out.  With about 20 minutes of sunlight left I caught one of those perfect knee high, glassy rights that just unfold in front of you and for me it was a new beginning to a truly meaningful life.  

I started shaping in 09’, you could say that was when I got busy living.

Thanks Terry

I’m in a quoting state of mind. Pete, Pete and Repete that statement. Terry was the man behind the label just not the name (everyone wanted) on the label.  A huge sequoia has fallen. 

Seemed what Terry embodied is what surfing was about but got lost along the way in neon and chest thumping claiming. He was just what should be cherished about surfing as a total experience. He didn’t hustle. He didn’t cheat.  He gave his best and it was damn good.  He hung his single on the door and knew what it was we wanted. Our community is not as well off today as it was a day ago. 

The note on the Hobie FB page was very well crafted and poignant: “It is with deep love that we share the passing of one of the most wonderful people in the world, our dear friend Terry Martin. In the days to come we will have more words, but for now we ask that you go to the water. Go be happy in the water… go surf, go laugh, go smile… be joyous with your friends, share stories, trade boards, sit by the bonfire, laugh, smile… go be happy in the water.

Just think, God’s custom is off to glassing this week.

(something I mentioned to a true close friend of Terry Martin’s in an email over the past few days)



Surfore…Sequoia, good analogy

Quote on Hobie’s site, even more fitting

Ambrose, always love your words (even though I do struggle with them at times, but here, not at all)

Hat’s off to Terry Martin.

I never met Terry but this feels like an old friend has passed on. He touched more lives then those people that knew him or had boards made by him. Terry was just woven into the fabric of Stoke he was the embodyment of living a life with joy and happiness. He may have gone to work everyday but from what I have heard and read he never worked a day in his life. A fitting tribute to this legand and all around good guy would be to have fun. Ditch work one day and go surfing cut class and do the same. Maybe strat that dream board you have had on the back burner for years. get a hold of an old friend talk story and laugh.

Go to the beach watch the sunset see the waves in motion feel the wind and smell that smell of salt and life. Now thank all the Terry Martins that have passed on. Thank them for their joy and showing us that true joy and happiness is here, we just have to find that inner stoke. It's not hard, Terry has already shown us the path.

I was hesitant to post on here because i almost felt unworthy of such a man. Than i remembered the quote in the resin tints and patterns thread “its not about being worthy, just following your passion.”


Although i have never met terry, i am so grateful and in awe of all that he has done. If i ever have the chance someday a hand shake will do just to say thank you. RIP Terry.

I am 63 and a lot of our generation are passing. I never met Terry Martin but did talk to him on the phone one time. He was a very nice person. God speed Terry and Family. I started reading the Facebook page about the auction for Terry’s family and was amazed at what people had donated.

Being up in NorCal, never knew Terry, only knew of him and his master status  shaping rep.  Watching his '40 min surfboard" video was witnessing a Zen Master showcasing perfection as minimalism.

Now, thanks to the those in the tribe who did know Terry giving voice, we understand the fine man Terry was as well.

An ancient philosopher said, ‘once you accept the inevitability of your own death, no decision in life should scare you, so follow your hearts path and take the journey which will bring you the most joy.’

It would certainly seem Terry followed his heart and took the joyous journey.



A few months ago when i decided to start shaping boards his 40 minute video was the first one I watched. Everyone knows the Hobie name but until a few months ago I did not know that there was a master of craftsman behind it. I wish I would have found the stoke much earlier in my life so I could have gotten to know more about him. Tip of the hat to all of you who have had the stoke for longer and were influenced by him and who knew him.


Peteharwood: some of us just found the stoke and have not learned who he was.