Hobie Surf Shop - Terry Martin: Life, Boards, and Everything

11. March 2012


It can take so much from a person… sometimes.

For Terry Martin, it hasn’t seemed to take a thing. The bounce in his step is there, the twinkle in his eye is there, his laugh still chimes, his heart is full of kindness, his optimism still overflows all over the place, and his smile is as bright during this fight as it has always been. But cancer has taken the one thing that has been a fixture for Terry for as long as some people can remember…

The beard.

Terry Martin and the mighty beard.

Since 1968 Mr Martin’s face has been covered in a mighty beard. I couldn’t find a photo anywhere of him without one. Truly, it seems the only thing attached to Terry for longer than the beard has been shaping. 80,000+ boards since 1963 have passed through his masterful hands. The same saw that cut his first board for Hobie back all those years ago, is still the same saw that cuts the boards today. The only change is the hands that use it have aged a bit since that first slice, they also show traces of the chemo that still hasn’t entirely left his system.

If your feet are lucky enough to stand on a Terry Martin board, it was cut with this saw.

We stand in the shaping room at the Dana Point Hobie shop looking down at what will become my new longboard, he showed me his nails.. “Would you look at that… yuck… yellow and torn up. I think they are all going to fall off.” He smiles. “I hope for your sake they do, Terry, that’s a funky look.” I said. He laughs, that classic laugh that makes you all fuzzy. He bends his hands to me and shares, “look, see how much they bend again, they were so stiff during treatment… now look at them flex.. I can shape now. I couldn’t wait to get back in here.” You can tell, he paces around the untouched blank with a jig in his step, eyes it.. flips it over, smiles and grabs the saw. Pure joy.

We start the process of making the board.. one that he could easily accomplish alone in 40 minutes. They don’t call him the Machine for nothing. Shaping with Terry is more than just making a board.. it becomes a lesson in living. Not worrying about mistakes “Don’t worry about that, there is another step that will fix that”. Each time you say oops.. he’ll tell you what is great about that oops, and how it will benefit the board in the long run. He shows me how to keep from repeating the same steps over and over. How to streamline your efforts and be able to take the board off the racks and let it go when it’s time. A metaphor for life if there ever was one.

Make a mistake, correct it in the next step... don't let it slow you down... everything is fixable.

In the midst of planers, saws, handmade sanding tools and dust, he tells me about his beginnings with Hobie. Mastering the art of shaping, going from making 2 boards in 10 hours to 10 boards in 10 hours. His desires to be able to have a full time shaping career that earned him enough of a living to support a family. Shaping 7 people deep, side by side in the factory in the early days. Honing his craft alongside Hobie Alter. We talk about the honor you feel when you work for Hobie, how it is being part of something bigger than yourself, something lasting, something true.

Nothing is as critical as you think... take too much out of one rail, just sand it out of the other rail till it matches.

The beard… “My son is 41, he has never seen me without one!” Terry himself isn’t used to it. “I had no idea I had all these lines around my mouth… I look like a shriveled up apple doll.” His laughter floats out, I ask if he is going to grow it back, “Heck yes, I have to cover up all this old stuff on here…” “You know, Terry, I’m almost 40, maybe I should start thinking of letting mine fill in.. give the waxer a break, I wouldn’t mind seeing less of my smile lines.. the world could always use another bearded lady!” Somehow, in the midst of illness, he is more worried about your tears.. more worried about your heart breaking. He keeps you laughing. He is a man of deep faith… his positive attitude and assurances that he knows exactly where he is going (to Heaven,) if this battle doesn’t go his way, smooth everything out.

Even when you get to something technical, like marking out the fins... don't stress, use the tool as a guide, place your marks, and if you mess up the sides, don't freak out... you can always ride it as a single fin.

We take two sessions to finish the board. Number 80,001 and counting. When it comes time to sign the board, my name goes right next to Terry’s. I’ll ride the board till it is either more ding repair kit than board, or even better, till it disintegrates under my feet. The last step, before it comes off the racks and it gets let go into the hands of the glasser, is a quote by Mickey Munoz down the stringer: “Surfing wasn’t the ride; it was the process of getting to the ride”. Terry looked down at it with the trade mark twinkle in his eyes… “Yeah, that’s really it, isn’t it? That’s all you need to know.”

Number 80,001 and counting...

-Tracey Engelking

Please respect Terry’s privacy during this time. For more information on Terry Martin, upcoming auctions and ways you can help in his fight: Please visit

*All photos by Tracey Engelking

Categories: Surfboards | History |

The Peruvian Froth Chronicles by Justin Holland

29. February 2012

Australian Team Rider Justin "The Frotha" Holland gives his recap of the ISA World Stand Up Paddle Paddle and Paddleboard Championship in Peru

As Justin would say ... GET OUT THERE!!!

Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

The Hobie Team Lima Chronicles according to Brandi Baksic - Part 1

22. February 2012

Hola from Peru.
Well, I have been nominated by the other three to give those at home a little Peru ISA world championships update, so here goes.
So we got onto town after a very long day of travel about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. We woke up to bright sunshine in our eyes at about 6 a.m., and headed to the event registration downtown Miraflores.


After registration the event officially opened with the parade of nations, 17 different countries walking around the town with their country's flag. The opening ceremonies ended with the “Sands of the World”, where each representing country pours into a large bowl a cup of sand that was brought from their home country. Colin and I were introduced on stage, and we poured San Clemente beach sand and combined it with the other countries, kinda cool.   


After the opening ceremonies, we all headed to Pampilla Beach for an afternoon of some fun day SUP surfing and sizing up the competition. Day 2, Monday, was basically a free day of surfing, except I had to go to a press conference with a bunch of Peruvian leaders, politicians and Jamie Mitchell. I was a bit awkward, but cool.  I think I impressed them with all my answers in Spanish, or they think I am a complete dufus.
Today, the good stuff began. Colin was the first to surf, in a heat that could have been a final with Jackson Close from Australia, and Fernando Stella from Mexico.  Colin was the first to catch a wave, and fell early, but from then on out he had awesome wave selection and long rights, with lots and lots of maneuvers and eventually we on to win! This would be the theme for the day, as Sean Pointer would also fall on his first wave but finish first in his heat, defeating Australian Hobie team member Justin Holland on his last wave and coming out first. Emmy Merrill would continue team USA 's winning streak with a first place finish over Australian Hobie team rider Shakira Westdorp. Emmy surfed Awesome!!! She scored an 8.5 on her second to last wave, leaving the competition in the dust! Tomorrow, more surfing and Gillian competes in the short course prone race.
Go USA! Oh, ya, and we finally got our race boards out of customs today, Yay!


Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

Hobie Team set to hit ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships

17. February 2012

Hobie Stand up Paddleboards is getting ready to make its presence felt at the inaugural ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships taking place February 19 to 25 in Miraflores, Peru. Over 140 athletes from 17 countries will make the trip to Peru to compete on SUPs and paddleboards. The event will stretch six days and include SUP surfing and racing, and paddleboard races, which will include sprint courses and marathon distances. Each country’s team is made up of 9 paddlers covering both racing and surfing disciplines
Hobie paddlers joining Team USA, Jay Wild (Men’s Elite and Distance races), Colin McPhillips (SUP Surf), Brandi Baksic (Women’s Elite and Distance races), and Emmy Merrill (SUP Surf)
Hobie paddlers joining Team Australia, Justin Holland (SUP Surf), Shakira Westdorp (SUP Surf)
“I am excited and honored to have been selected to represent Team USA, I have participated in the ISA Surfing Games in the past,  and I am excited to once again be a part of the team, especially with the addition of SUP to the mix ” said 3x Longboard World Champion Colin McPhillips. “I am honored for being selected to Team USA and I look forward to competing in an international arena. I think coming from Lake Tahoe really shows the diversity and what is possible within the stand up paddle community” added Jay Wild
Divisions include SUP Surfing, a 4.5 kilometers SUP technical race, 18 kilometers SUP marathon, and a 5.75 kilometers Prone Paddleboard race. The SUP technical race will follow the popular Battle of the Paddle format, which involves several laps of a course paddling in and back out through the surf.
The event begins on Sunday, February 19 with the traditional ISA Opening Ceremony, the Parade of Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony.   The ISA World Stand Up Paddle Championships
Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

New Hobie Sand Bar Opens at John Wayne Airport

27. January 2012


 San Juan Capistrano, CA (Jan 26, 2012) - Hobie Designs is proud to announce the grand opening of the Hobie Sand Bar Restaurant inside John Wayne Airport’s new South terminal wing.

Sporting an unofficial motto of “A nice place to run aground”, The Hobie Sand Bar’s menu and ambiance represents a beach lifestyle that Hobie Alter created over 60 years ago as a youth growing up in Laguna Beach. The restaurant features a full menu of coastal inspired fare that will transport the weary traveler out of the terminal and onto the beach.

Besides the amazing dining experience, every part of the Sand Bar transports the diner through a visual experience of Hobie Alter’s life, from authentic pictures and memorabilia to the furnishings, each piece representing decades of innovation that created the “Have a Hobie Day” lifestyle that has been experienced worldwide.

The creation of the Hobie Sand Bar has been a tight knit collaboration between the restaurants operator, HMS Host, and the entire Hobie family who have been instrumental in creating the authentic Hobie Sand Bar vibe. Hobie’s sons Hobie jr. and Jeff working with Mark Christy (Jeff’s brother in law) in developing the initial concept and Laurie Alter (Jeff’s wife and owner of Tuvalu Home in Laguna Beach) as head designer for the project, were all instrumental in the final project. Hobie Sr. is very proud of this project and the reflection it presents of his life and heritage. 



Justin Holland has some Australian Stand Up Downwind Fun

2. December 2011

Downwind of the Froth........

Australian Team Rider Justin "The Frotha" Holland doesn't skip a beat even if the weather gets crazy. 50K winds and a downwind run from Merimbula Point to Pambula River Mouth on the South Coast of Australia. 

As Justin would say ... GET OUT THERE!!!

Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

Justin Holland - SUP Surfing Australia Heats Up

9. November 2011

Australian Team Rider Justin Holland takes his CM Torque through its paces on the latest summer swell to hit New South Wales.

Categories: Stand Up Paddle |

Hobie-Hurley-Hoffman Fabrics

31. October 2011


When the folks of Hobie, Hurley, and Hoffman Fabrics came together at the Hoffman offices last week, it was not just your everyday meeting.  Stories of yesteryear were being spun off in rapid fire fashion, as the team perused the history strewn walls of the Hoffman offices.  
The team had come together to preview a part of the new Hobie by Hurley clothing line that is to feature original Hoffman prints. The inclusion of Hoffman adds a twist of modern and authentic, blending together the old and new generations.



Stand Up Guy - Shane Perin Video Trailer

25. October 2011

The trailer for the upcoming short documentary "Stand Up Guy", the amazing story of Shane Perrin's 340-mile paddle on a stand up paddleboard (SUP) down the Missouri River from Kansas City, KS to St. Charles, MO. Shane competed in the 6th annual Missouri River 340 ( and became the first person to attempt as well as first to complete the race on an SUP. Shane paddled a 14' Elite BCX+C, provided by St. Louis Sail and Paddle,  and completed the grueling race in 66hrs 39min, finishing 38th out of a field of 105


Hobie Alter inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame

24. October 2011


Hobie Alter’s contributions to the sailing world were recognized last Sunday in San Diego with his induction to the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Hobie was among fourteen other inductees making up the first class of inductees.
Joining Hobie were, Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, the late Capt. Charlie Barr, the late Capt. Nathanael G. Herreshoff, Ted Hood, Gary Jobson, Buddy Melges, the late Emil "Bus" Mosbacher Jr., the late Olin Stephens and the late Harold Vanderbilt. Lowell North, the founder of North Sails, Paul Cayard, Betsy Alison of Newport, R.I., the US Sailing Team paralympic coach and five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year; and the late Joshua Slocum, who sailed alone around the world in the late 1890s. Slocum disappeared at sea in 1908.
Every living inductee attended. The posthumous inductees were represented by descendants
 “A lot of people used our toys,” Hobie said Sunday. “The main reason we made them is so we could use them.”
The National Sailing Hall of Fame is an undertaking to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing, and is central to the mission of the National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame which was formed in 2005 with plans to establish a permanent facility on the historic waterfront of Annapolis, Maryland.