Surfboards by JT
Justin Ternes, the mastermind behind Dark Arts Surf began his glassing career as an eighteen-year-old kid, flipping through the yellow pages in search of a job in the space he loved most. Surfing had become an essential part of life. In the peripheral, he was a punk-rock bassist in the rural environs of Jamul, a country suburb on the outskirts of San Diego. In 1998, he walked into Fiber Glass Works, a glassing shop near Old Town, with grit and a hungry heart. Before long Justin’s natural ingenuity brought his hands in contact with every part of the surfboard making process. He worked with industry-leading brands like Rusty and Channel Islands. He dove deeper into the surf-board-making-world, rubbing shoulders and resin-stained skin with crafting greats, Stu Kenson, Hank Warner, and Chris Christenson. The overflow of new knowledge, ability, and a desire to offer the surfing world a missing puzzle piece, birthed JT Shapes in 2001.
While continuing in production and shaping, FireWire recognized Justin’s skill in 2006 upon opening their new factory in San Diego. They hired him as their production manager. Justin’s eyes grew wider, and his expertise twofold as they explored alternative and creative ways of making a surfboard. After a few years, to cut costs, FireWire moved manufacturing to Thailand. This change led Justin into a rabbit hole of attempts to solve surfboard production and shaping problems and improve on industry offerings.
Justin built a 600 square foot functioning factory on his land in Jamul. Here he put his nose to the grindstone further still and perfected the Carbon vacuum EPS surfboard.
“I’d glassed a lot of surfboards, but it wasn’t until I made a full vacuum bagged carbon board that I was satisfied over its quality from build to finish.”
Meanwhile, shapers and riders sought out Justin’s talents as respect for the durability, lightness, and high-performance of his boards that grew in Southern California and out into the World Surf League. In 2018 Dark Arts Surf rose for the masses from a journey seeded in questioning tradition and utilizing technology to create a carbon fiber surfboard able to outlast and outperform any board on any day.