Review: Terry Martin Legacy 11'0"

Terry Marting Legacy, a glider

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Hey All-

This is about my Terry Martin Legacy model which is similar to the Hobie Legacy model but this was done directly through Terry and was custom designed with my input but most important was Terry’s infinite wisdom about the fine-tuning. This board was made in late spring of 2011 and was more than a bit different than the stock model made at the time and quite a bit different that the current model shaped largely by Gary Larson. Sadly, melanoma would take Terry from us a year after I got this board in May of 2012.

First, the specs:

11’0 x 17.5” x 24” x 16.5” x 3 3/8”

11’2” US Blanks Terry Martin custom classic weight blank, with triple red cedar stringers, 5/8” outboard, 3/8” center. Whomever glued up this blank must've been in a good mood, because he found some amazing sticks of cedar; some of the grain of the wood runs the full length of the board on all three. Just gorgeous.
Volan 8oz glass (2x top, 1x bottom) with fin box patch and full box reinforcement courtesy of top flight glassing at Basham’s Glassing in OC. Thanks again Brad.
Board weight: 31 lbs. Gloss in “yelorange”. Highway 1 lam created by JBer Smokey, aka Jamie Kelly and endless thanks for making my idea come to light.


First, a bit of background. Terry had arguably the most prolific and respected shaping career in the history of surfing. I doubt any well-known shaper would defy that notion. He was there from the beginning, bridging the gap from planks and kookboxes to balsa, then to foam and straight through to today. His design influence is still everywhere in our sport. Terry created this design as his literal 'legacy', the design he wanted to be remembered for. It obviously has its roots in the Phil Edwards Model which Terry shaped for Phil (and for Hobie) for decades, but Terry decided to go with the elegant pintail on the Legacy. Now, why am I claiming this to be a custom? Well, the standard specs for an 11 footer were for a narrower midpoint and tail (23” and 14.5-15”, respectively) with wide-side-of-the-egg, round, 50/50 rails. I asked Terry for quite a bit wider tail than usual and for as much additional tail kick as could be sculpted out of the blank; he said he could get another 1/2” if we went from my initial hope for an 11’1” to an 11’0. We went 11’0”. I also asked for more foiled, pinched rails throughout (think Cooperfish but not as knifey). and that's exactly what Terry delivered. Every dim was hit exactly.

I was very fortunate to have multiple. long conversations with Terry when I decided to go forward with ordering this board and he was very generous with his time and his aforementioned surf design genius. What amazed me was--after fifty years of shaping--his obvious stoke when we were talking about this board. I could literally hear him smiling when we were talking about where I wanted to ride this and what the goal was.

Picked it up from Brad at Basham's the first week of May 2011. He actually opened the shop early when he found me milling about outside, rang me up and got me on the road down to Cardiff for my first session. I met up with my friend, former pro longboarder Rob Farrow at the north end of the Cardiff lot, did a quick wax job and paddled out. Paddled, not surprisingly, like a dream. Fast and buoyant but not corky due to the volan glassing. Conditions were stupidly perfect, belly-to-shoulder high glass on a random, midweek day. The only other folks out besides Rob and I were Dale Dobson, Ryan Burch and some local lady.

The board, unsurprisingly, got into waves easily but what made me fall in love so quickly was the glide and the way it naturally settled into the wave. I found it to be more responsive than I figured a 30 pound log would and it seemed like it would find the best trim spot on it's own. I felt comfortable going left or right (I'm a natural goofy, but from inspiration from the likes of Oliver Parker, CJ Nelson and legends like Butch and Jock Sutherland, I learned to ride regular as well) and the board was easy to put in the right place. The foiled rails allow me to hold a high line when desired. The wide tail makes for great, flowing turns and the somewhat pulled in nose is comfortable in bigger surf. The rocker is pretty slack throughout, save for the extra tail kick, which also aids in the turn department. The flat rocker obviously keeps one's speed up which I love. My favorite position on the board is about 3 feet from the tip: the trim on a lined up wave is just like nothing else I'd experienced before. Step on the nose for gas, back foot to stall or just "go" if I was in the right place. It's simply a joyous surfboard.

I've used everything from very raked, low area fins (Tudor V Flex, Dorsal "Pintail") to full size D fins (thanks to Dingpatch for that one!) and lots in between. Over many, many sessions all over SoCal, I've come to prefer the lower area fins in this board. I've used in waves from knee high to well overhead and I've never felt like it was the wrong board for the occasion. Everyone who's ridden it has not wanted to give it back, which is about the highest compliment a board can get.

Terry's son Josh makes his version of the Legacy and will custom tune it however you like and I highly recommend you contact him if you are interested in taking the plunge. He's on IG as 'martinshapes' and will get back if you DM him. Hobie does the stock Legacy version but rarely seems to have ones longer than 10'0", though one can probably be customized if you want to have the Hobie lam.

Thanks for reading,


PS: see the Gallery tab for photos of the board.


This is the beginning of a new Reviews section of JB and we look forward to everyone's input. We'd like to make this a resource for you to find the board you want from the shaper who makes it best.

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