Justin Ternes, began surfing in the rolling peaks of Sunset Cliffs, SD. While deepening his knowledge of wave dynamics refracting off surfboard design, he became intrigued how subtle refinements could influence drive, speed and alter turn radius. On the fringes of San Diego, Justin found a welcoming like minded community in the punk rock scene while playing bass guitar for a series of bands. Contemplating a future career while rejecting the occupational pressures one faces as a late teen, he decided to pursue surfing in all capacities. 

Eighteen years old and in search of a meaningful job, Justin scoured the yellow pages searching for a career in something he loved. Promptly connecting with Fiberglass works in 1998, he was admitted into the dynamic world of shaping and glassing. The son of a master carpenter, Justin refined his craft in the white dust of PU blanks and worn-out planers. 

Shaving stringers, and double checking templates, Justin carefully watched his mentors while mirroring their movements. Imagination gave rise to reality as a short stubby swallow-tail fish began to take form. His first board, scrupulously crafted for the long San Diego summer lulls, was completed and served as the precursor for his nascent career. Acquainting himself with industry-leading brands, Justin learned the intersections of how shaping operated on both sides of the shaping bay and in the business sector. Gaining an appreciation for the team of craftsmen behind every board Justin also gathered understanding from the glassers and sanders who each played an equally important role in crafting a magic board.

 Through a case of good fortune, Justin had the opportunity to work alongside legends Stu Kenson, Hank Warner, and Chris Christenson. But even more valuable, learning from Dan Mann established the environment conducive to the in-the-dust learning that served as the knowledge basis for JT Surfboards in 2001. 

Dan Mann, after years of working with Justin at FireWire, heard that a new startup was underway. Funneling his customers to JT Surfboards, Dan sent Kyle Knox and Sterling Spencer to sample Justin’s offerings. They loved the new boards. Kyle, nicknaming his first shape “black gold” , has continued surfing the exact same board for over 7 years and still uses it in competitions. Sterling took the boards to Florida in hopes of enriching the mundane waist-high beach breaks and found them to enrich even the sub-par days.

JT Surfboards focuses on providing a personalized experience through incorporating extensive rider feedback and refining prototype shapes to a zenith prior to releasing them on the market. The result is an extensive and diverse range of shapes, allowing you to choose how you want to surf without confinement. 

Appearing in STAB’s 2021 E.A.S.T. Mason and Coco Ho both sampled the JT “Coffin”, and once again in 2023 with Shuan Manners riding the “Mind Virus” have found JT Surfboards to push the boundaries of quad-fin design. 

JT Surfboards continues to innovate and experiment with progressive surfboard shapes. The “Dad Bod”, has become a favorite across the California coast due to its adaptability in holding through the steepest walls to skipping across flat sand-bar sections.” Covering a full spectrum of performance, the most seasoned surfers and frothing groms alike will find JT Surfboards to offer their next go-to favorite surfboard.