Donald Takayama Paddle Out

Legendary shaper remembered by friends and family in Oceanside

| posted on November 15, 2012

Joel Tudor speaks to the crowd about his beloved friend and mentor, Donald Takayama. Photo: Glaser

On November 10, friends, family, and the North County surf community gathered at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater in Oceanside to remember one of surfing’s greats. The day included music by the Takayama family, as well as a host of speakers who reflected on the life of Donald and the warmth that he brought to the lives of his friends and the surf world at large. Speakers included some of the most legendary surfers and shapers of our time, such as Paul Strauch, Nat Young, Skip Frye, and Joel Tudor. After speeches were made, the crowd went to the shoreline just south of the Oceanside Pier for the memorial paddle out in his honor.

Skip Frye addressing the crowd in Oceanside. Photo: Glaser

The paddle out in memory of Donald Takayama. Photo: Glaser

Nat Young paying his respects. Photo: Glaser

Donald Takayama had a profound effect on the lives of many North County surfers. Photo: Glaser

  • Nathan

    Bummed I missed this. Great pics.

  • Loui

    I used to clean your shop in the sixties, goin miss yu but now yur home. I kalaninui…..a hui hou uncle D.

  • Kaipo Goodness

    Surfed Doheney with you couple times!

  • Tony Carlson

    I remember Donald Takayama and Dewey Weber having nose riding contests, shooting through the Manhattan Beach pier on 5′ waves and whoever hung 10 would win.. those two would at least hang 5 toes on the nose at least..meanwhile we watched from under the pier as a cheerleading section of groms, circa 1956…Donald would always beat Dewey, but Dewey mostly got longer nose lead to us all learning new moves on our balsa boards, trying to copy those 2 guys, who were our heroes…RIP Donald and Dewey What great times those were!

  • dante rondo

    I remember surfing around Donald when i was a young grimmie in Hermosa Beach 1962-1966 ! And he was at Hap Jacob’s shop back then also. I remember he and David Nuiwveia surfing with Dru Harrison and, at times , Mike Purpose, up and down the breaks there from Manhattan Beach Pier on down to Redondo Breakwater.Those were special times in the surfing history of S. California ! On Pacific Coast Highway you had Dewey Weber’ s Shop to the north end in Manhattan , then Greg Knoll’s shop, in Hermosa. Oh yeah, there was also the “Bing Shop” north of Greg Knoll on PCH. Then Rick Surfboards, and at the south end, Jacob’s Surfboards ! Phil Becker was glassing and Shaping for Rick Surfboards back then. Donald and David where older then us younger surfers by 5-6 years. We always looked to them when surfing nearby, as style masters who inspired us to do better turns and nose riding !
    I am grateful i formed as a young surfer in that time, with Donald as a young man gracing the waves nearby !!


    Legend RIP

  • Peter “Pope” Kahapea

    We’ll, I’ll remember Donald from small kid time … where Barry Kanai’aupuni grew up, across the street from the Waikiki Dairy Queen and “Queens”, the wonderful right hand surf break, with Donald fading right, waiting , the crest, lapping at his ankles, then a quick reposition, weight, moves backwards, a mushing stalling, the curl moving forward, building, cresting … what a wave… walking, stalling…waiting…one, two…three / four… Five over…Ten… “Donald doing… ” The Donald” … Braddah…always had ….style!
    Aloha noooo, Donald
    Aloha Noooo, My Friend …

  • char

    Much respect for the surf community the power of saying farewell, it reminded me of the back yard POWWOW in 1999 saying farewell to my son. your friend the love of the surf and mine the love of being Native America. thank you for sharing a farewell to a family of many. char

  • Ray Casias

    I worked for HPD in the early 1980’s and Donald was classic, cooking meat at every lunch time with special Takayama shoyu & Da Kine too! I got to polish some of the most legendary boards and work with all Da Hui from HPD. It was a privilege to work there and I even tried surfing the river jetty’s with Donald and Dale Dobson one morning. I say “try” because those guys didn’t even let me get one outside wave! After that morning, I knew that instead of trying to compete with the caliber of watermen that those guys are, I better just stay in da shore breaks, at least until they had their fill! Donald was throwing 8′ of his 9’6” nose rider out of the back of the wave. Dale did a nose ride that was longer than I had ever seen someone pull off, all the way to 1’’ of water. Donald later came by the polish room and said “You ok wit dat” I said “Brah, I learned something valuable today, tanks eh”. Aloha my Bruddah 00/.

  • Lance Doerr

    Surfer and master craftsman! I watched him shape my swallow gun for my first run at the north shore in the early 70’s. Larry Bertelman was ripping on Donald’s progressive shapes as well at the time. Still riding his fine creations! Aloha!