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Aloha & E Komo Mai,

I have been blessed to grow up as a member of Ohana Takayama. This is a heritage that I know is special, and to which I feel a great sense of honor and responsibility. In addition to my parents, Raymond and Mae Takayama, my Uncle Donald has been a defining influence in my life.

Raised and taught by legends, with skills honed by years of competition and countless hours in the shaping bay, I’m proud to present my own new line of high performance longboards and fun shapes. We combine advanced designs with advanced materials and proprietary technology to create surfboards that move ahead of existing standards. If you try one of our boards, I think you will agree that we have harnessed all the advantages (and fun!) that these materials can offer.

As we continue to press forward with advanced materials, designs, and performance, we will continue to look with pride and respect to the heritage of Ohana Takayama and honor its legends past and future.

Mahalo!

-Guy Takayama

Ohana Takayama – The Heritage

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Guy Takayama with daughter Mikaela

Takayama. Few families in the surfing world resonate with the same depth of history and tradition, as does Guy’s family, Ohana Takayama. Rooted in post WWII Oahu, theTakayama brothers learned to surf the breaks of Waikiki, Ala Moana, and Makaha on balsa boards twice their own weight. These beaches became their learning grounds as the boys commonly skipped their formal school settings for “Nature’s Classroom,” receiving lessons on how to surf each break and, at early ages, how to shape boards that performed in those waves.

Stories of Guy’s father Raymond and his uncle, their childhood adventures in Hawaii surfing among other legends of surfing are well known by those acquainted with this sport’s history. 

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Peter "PT" Townend, David Nuuhiwa, Jericho Poppler, Guy Takayama, LJ Richards  Photo: Charles Grauke

Growing up with Raymond Takayama as his dad, and growing up among legends of the sport, young Guy Takayama’s path was set early in life. Immersed in the surfing lifestyle from birth, Guy spent his earliest days running between the legs of giants. Many that our surfing world acknowledge as true legends, living and passed, were everyday visitors and members of the extended Ohana Takayama. David Nuuhiwa, Ben Aipa, Mickey Munoz, Dale Velzy, Rell Sunn, Paul Strauch, Dale Dobson, Linda Benson, LJ Richards, Skip Frye, Nat Young, and many more. All helped shape the early perspective of young Guy, and gave him a sense of his future and responsibility to his family, his sport, and its culture.

Gifted with natural athletic ability, and nurtured by his dad and family, Guy’s surfing proficiency accelerated well beyond his years, and he was soon surfing at a very high level. Guy began surfing competitively at age twelve, and enjoyed success both with shortboards and longboards, developing skills in both disciplines. Ultimately settling on the longboard as his competitive weapon of choice, Guy’s shortboard experience led him to develop his own progressive style of surfing. With this style, Guy combined traditional longboard maneuvers such as noseriding with aggressive turns, cutbacks, floaters, and other off the lip shortboard maneuvers….all on the same wave. Guy was one of the first surfers to combine traditional and performance moves, a style that came to be known as Performance Longboard surfing.

By the time Guy was in his teens, he was began shaping and began surfing as a team rider. As Guy’s surfing and shaping skills continued to develop to higher and higher levels, so too did his understanding of the significant impact that can result from seemingly minor changes to board design. Guy soon began applying his knowledge, adapting traditional designs to align with his high performance style. Yes, he needed to retain the design characteristics that traditional maneuvers required, but rail, rocker, and planform needed to be modernized to allow for much faster turns, agility, and speed – a very delicate balance that led Guy down his own design path for years to come. Indeed, this called for “Looking Back, while Moving Forward.” Honoring history and custom, while continuing to advance and improve. This has been Guy’s mantra for decades.

Guy followed his own path of personal and product development. And the results are impressive. U.S. West Coast Amateur Longboard Champion; US West Coast Amateur Paddleboard Champion; 1989 Japan International Longboard Champion; 1995 US National Longboard Championships, 2nd place; International Tandem Surfing Champion 2002 in Biarritz, France, 2006 World Noseriding Championships and ASP Men’s Longboard Open Championships at Boca Barranca, Costa Rica, plus winner of scores of other competitions in the US and around the world. 2003 recipient of the coveted Leroy Grannis Waterman Award, for the surfer who has made the most significant contribution to surfing and the surfing culture.  Other recipients include luminaries such as Rell Sunn, LJ Richards, Greg Knoll, Skip Frye, Rabbit Kekai, and Leroy Grannis, to name a few.

Along the way, Guy founded Guy Takayama Surf Designs and crafted beautiful performance oriented longboards for many talented surfers. Guy’s practical understanding of physics and understanding of impact of design on performance also led to the development of numerous unique fin designs that bear his name. And, as an event organizer, Guy has provided oversight and direction to the Oceanside Longboard Surf Festival and Contest for many years, 2014 marking the 30th running of the event, the longest continuous running contest in California. Alongside the Oceanside contest, Guy has sponsored his Guy Takayama Noseriding and Open Pro Longboard Contests for the past 13 years, offering some of the highest purses in longboard surfing, and attracting some of the sport’s top competitors every year.

Today, Guy is moving forward with innovative new designs, advanced materials, and elevating performance to truly new levels. Guy Takayama is leading the way for the next generation of performance longboards, Looking Back, but definitely Moving Forward.

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