Living on Oahu's North Shore, I've searched for ways to stay in shape for big winter surf. In 1988, during the flat summer months, I began prone paddleboarding and entered paddleboard races, as well. I quickly realized that by improving on current paddleboard design, I could achieve better, faster results. In 1990, I spent time building paddleboards on Maui with Gerry Lopez , applying the technology and innovations being utilized in windsurfing board design. The result was three paddleboards, built for Gerry, Gerry's glasser, and myself; each one state of the of the art, in both design and materials. We unveiled our designs at the annual Hui O He'e Nalu Independence Day Paddleboard Race that summer, taking the top three places in the race. I have been designing and building paddleboards ever since.
The rise in popularity of stand up paddling has brought about innovation and change, an essential part of surfing and the surf lifestyle. In 2007, I began building and surfing SUP racing and SUP surf boards. I have found that I'm able to apply my extensive knowledge of surfing , paddleboarding shaping, and surfboard design to all aspects of the sport and have come to value SUP as the best cross training tool for surfing and overall fitness. Some of Hawaii's finest watermen, including Aaron Napoleon, Kamaki Worthington, and Guy Pere have surfed, raced, and won on my shapes.
The bows on both models are designed to break into bumps and allow you to fall in and surf without bow steering. The cockpit deck area on the two models are dished out and flat, lowering the rider into the board and keeping the center of gravity lower, allowing for more stability. The walls of the dished out deck allow the rider to place the sides of his feet against them and push off, for more stability and control.
My passion for surfing took root when at the age of 7, my dad, a Waikiki Beach Boy, began teaching me to surf the gentle waves at Queens and Canoes, in Waikiki. I grew up surfing daily on the Southeast side of Oahu, alongside my neighbors Randy Rarick and Gerry Lopez, developing a taste for competitive surfing. In 1970, at the age of 17, I took the Junior State Champion title and in 1971, became the Men's Hawaii State Champion. During this period, I also started shaping and glassing surfboards.
A time of revolution, the politics, music, and culture that prevailed in the late 60's and early 70's influenced the quick and radical changes taking place in surfing and surfboard design. Longboards and the longboard -style of surfing were out. The goal of our generation was to break new lines in our surfing. We were changing the way we surfed and the boards had to change, too. Dick Brewer's 'mini guns' and Bob McTavish's shortboards were in - because they allowed us to surf the way we wanted to in our minds. Being a teenager with no money to spend, I took a cue from my neighbors, Gerry Lopez and the late Buddy Dumphy ,and began striping the glass from old longboards, reshaping them into mini guns of my own. Gerry and Buddy, along with Ben Apia, taught me the basics of shaping, allowing me to be a part one of the most creative and innovative periods in the surfing history.
While studying at the University of Hawaii for my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology , I landed my first real shaping job with Surfline Hawaii, in 1975. Brewer and Lopez had just left the company to start their own labels but I worked with Buddy Dumphy, who continued to teach me and influence my shaping . In 1977, I left Surfline Hawaii to shape for Local Motion and Lightning Bolt. At Lightning Bolt , I had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from both Tom Parish and Bill Barnfield.
In 1979, I started shaping for Town & Country Surfboards. My 23 years with the company gave me the chance to work with Glenn Minami, Ben Aipa, and Jay Richardson. It was early in my stint with T&C that another revolutionary change took place in surfing. 1981 was the year Simon Anderson introduced his thruster design to the surfing world and transformed the way I looked at surfboard design. Mark Foo and I experimented with this design on our Sunset and Waimea guns and found that that cavitation at high speeds was eliminated, allowing for mid-face turns on huge waves; something that was not possible in the single-fin era. This innovation in surfboard design fed my desire not to just ride big waves, but to surf them. My skill and passion for surfing big waves has allowed me the opportunity to participate in Quiksilver's Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational three times.
Born and raised on the island of Oahu, I have been fortunate to call the North Shore home for over 30 years. My profession has given me the opportunity to travel the world, surfing and shaping in Japan, Peru, Brazil, Australia, and California. After 40 years, I have lost count of the number of boards I have shaped. The numbers don't matter because I believe that the proof is in performance. I have shaped boards for some of surfing legends, including Mark Foo, Michael Tomson, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, Mark Warren, Martin Potter, Dane Kealoha, Larry Bertleman, and Tony Moniz . I have built boards for innovative surfers like Matt Archibald, Jeff Deffenbaugh, Nathan Fletcher, Dean Morrison, Marcus Hickman, Makua Rothman, and Dave 'Rasta' Rastovich. Each one of these surfers has influenced my work, giving me valuable feedback to improve my craft for the next generation of boards. Just as my surfing is multidimensional, so is the scope of my shaping career, which covers a wide range of surfing craft. My goal, whether building a fish, shortboard, gun, longboard, or standup surf or race board is to create the fastest, most maneuverable, state of the art board available.