Catching up with Kai Takayama

We were introduced to Kaimana through our good friend Matt ‘The Waxhead’ Chojnacki. Matt told us about a young Cali ripper and his dad heading over to Australia to surf in the Noosa Longboard Festival.

Once we saw Kai surf, we knew he had to be on the team. This dude has style for miles!! 

We recently caught up with him to see what he has been up to.

Kai Takayama | Uppercut Deluxe

What’s good Kai, thanks for your time. Let’s kick it off. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in San Clemente California, and over the past six or seven years, I have been going back and forth between San Clemente and Waikiki, Hawaii. At age 14, I started travelling the world for surfing, and have been ever since. I now co-own my father's surfboard company Michael Surfboards, and I have been dabbling in the craft of shaping surfboards. Pretty stoked with where I'm at right now.

Looks like you’ve just got yourself a fresh cut. Where’s your local?

My local barber is Briant Patterson! He's the man. You can find him down at The Senor Barbers in San Clemente. 

Nice – such a classic shop!! What’s the surf been like lately? What beach do you call home?

The surfs been pretty sweet. San Onofre is my home break in California but in Hawaii its Queens.

And what have you been riding?

My favourite surfboard is the Perplexer model from my dad. The board is a nose-riding machine.

Do you mostly just ride longboards? Ever give the shorter stuff a run?

I normally just stick to the longboard, but different waves call for different equipment. You will probably never see me ride a performance shortboard but I definitely enjoy riding midlength single fins.

You come from a family of Surf Royalty. What was that like growing up?

Growing up surfing was so pushed on me I never actually got into it until I was eleven years old! I was always surrounded by surfing heritage and I just couldn't appreciate it yet because I didn't know what it was. I was just too young. It definitely means a lot to me now.  My Uncle Donald is my idol.

I guess you never looked back. What’s your favourite thing about surfing?

This might sound a little cliche but one of my favourite things about surfing is the fact that you can paddle out and forget about everything stressful and just surf. I've met pretty much all of my friends through surfing. I like the technicality of it a lot too. I feel like I am always moving, reading, and adjusting.

Kai Takayama | Uppercut Deluxe

Pic: @TannerOlthoff

Kai Takayama | Uppercut Deluxe

Pic: @TannerOlthoff

Kai Takayama | Uppercut Deluxe

Pic: @TommyPierucki