An inspirational exhibit at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside remembers a surfing legend.
Donald Takayama: Shaping Boards and Lives highlights the accomplishments of a champion surfer and one of the world’s most recognized surfboard shapers.
Looking at the extensive exhibit last weekend, I learned how Donald Takayama at the age of twelve moved from Hawaii to Southern California, having been invited to work at a Venice Beach surf shop, shaping boards. He was paid to wear a company logo on his shirt while surfing. Wikipedia states he may have been the world’s first professional surfer.
Takayama would move to Encinitas and then Oceanside, and continue to gain international fame shaping boards. He also would win many surfing competitions, including three consecutive Masters titles in the US Surfing Championships.
More impressively, he would win the hearts of many in the community. He was beloved by friends and family and surfers all over; he mentored future champions; and he even taught his friend, San Diego Chargers legend Junior Seau–also an Oceanside resident–how to surf.
Surfer Magazine named Donald Takayama one of 25 surfers who changed the sport. He has been inducted into the International Surfboard Builder Hall of Fame.
Visitors to the California Surf Museum will observe how one person changed the world around him in so many positive ways. They will see the enduring achievements of a great man.