Renowned Southern California based shaper Donald Takayama passed away on Monday October 22nd, 2012 from a reported surgery complications. The 68 year old shaper Waikiki native moved to California at the ripe age of 12 years old to start shaping boards under Dave Velzy. Eventually he would go on to create his own surfboard label Hawaiian Designs, famous for shaping longboards and such epic shapes as “The Scorpion” (a shortened version of a longboard).
Takayama was well respected and loved in the surfing community, which now faces the collective mourning at the loss of another legend. Many famous surfers such as Joel Tudor, Mikey Detemple, Steve Pezman and even the late NFL star Junior Seau called him their friend. On Monday evening Joel Tudor posted on Facebook, “my heart is broken!!!–surfing has lost a major piece of its foundation today!!!!-RIP UNCLE DONALD TAKAYAMA!!–i love you so much!!!!”
Professional Surfer Cori Schumacher posted on Facebook as well, “I’ve lost a part of my heart today. A really, really, really big part. Donald Takayama meant more to me than surfboards, surfing, smiles, or even laughs. He was someone who knew me before I knew myself… and taught me how to keep living when I had forgotten why living was important. I am going to miss you so so so much, Donald.”
A statement put up on Hawaiian Pro Designs website says, “Donald’s family and team of board builders at Hawaiian Pro Designs would like to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of love and support,” and “We also kindly ask that emails and calls to Hawaiian Pro Designs concerning Donald be extremely limited for now in order to focus on organizing a memorial service to celebrate this great man’s incredible life.”