Surfing has been my life. It’s all I’ve done. It really doesn’t matter how big or small the waves are. When you are out there surfing you are really competing with yourself. Let’s say you are in a bad mood and you go out surfing, you catch one good wave and it makes your whole day – heck, it makes your whole week.— ”Donald Takayama”, LiguidSalt Magazine, by Glenn Sakamoto 
Takayama Surfboards are still shaped from the classic designs of Donald Moke Takayama. Having won the Master’s division of the United States Surfing Champions in 1971, 1972 and 1973 he knows what it takes to make a great surfboard.
In the Pink is one of the best performance nose riding boards on the planet. It is the easiest of most boards to nose ride. Many of the boards have a pink nose with a stripe so if you are in front of the black stripe then you are “In the Pink” and get counted when judged for riding on the nose.
Donald Moke Takayama was an American professional surfer and surfboard shaper. Hailing from Waikiki but raised in Honolulu, Takayama placed 2nd to Corky Carroll in the 1966 and 1967 U.S. Surfboard Championships and enjoyed other competitive accolades, however, his main contributions to the sport and culture occurred in the boardbuilding realm. Remarkably, the Hawaiian started shaping surfboards not too long after he first started surfing, at only seven years old — making him the sport’s original child prodigy.
By the time he was 12 years old, Takayama bought his own plane ticket to the mainland with money he earned from a paper route. He promptly landed a job in Venice Beach, CA, at Velzy-Jacobs Surfboards, and once the company owners divided the business, Takayama followed Jacobs Surfboards to Hermosa Beach, where he built blades for the likes of Mickey Dora and Lance Carson before debuting his own hugely influential Donald Takayama model in 1965.
Moving on to Bing Surfboards in 1966, Takayama designed the first David Nuuhiwa Noserider before landing work with Weber Surfboards. It was there that, with shaper Harold Iggy, Takayama helped design the buzz-creating Weber Performer.
Takayama was also a hot rod aficionado, and when he wasn’t gutting and rebuilding automobiles or shaping surfboards, he competed in surfing contests. Despite his diminutive physical stature (5’4″, 130 lbs.) and bowlegged posture, the Hawaiian was able to hang with the big boys of competitive surfing. He placed 4th in the 1964 United States Surfing Association’s year-end ratings, 3rd in 1965 and 1966, and 5th in 1967. Takayama’s down-the-line speed, quick-twitch reflexes and infamous “soul arch” pose couldn’t be ignored for long, eventually winning him the Masters division of the U.S. Championships for three consecutive years (1971-73).
By the end of the 1970s, Takayama founded Hawaiian Pro Designs, where he shaped for budding World Tour professional and eventual Pipeline Master Joey Buran. By the mid ’80s, with labels popping up everywhere and boards getting shorter and weirder, Takayama responded by producing longboards almost exclusively, two of the most popular being signature models for David Nuuhiwa and Dale Dobson. A 1985 drug smuggling arrest landed him in federal prison for a little over a year, after which Takayama jumped right back into surfboard manufacturing. His longboards soon became synonymous with young style crusader Joel Tudor’s ascension in the early 1990s.
The now-defunct Longboard Magazine called Takayama’s original model “one of the most functional and aesthetically appealing boards ever made,” while Surfer Magazine named him one of the “25 Surfers Who Changed The Sport,” in 1985. In 1991, Takayama was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame.
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