Tommy Tanaka

Tommy Tanaka

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHAPING?

25 Years, started at 15.

WHO HAS BEEN YOUR TEACHER/MENTOR? 

My father ERNIE TANAKA.

WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST SHAPING INFLUENCES?

Ernie Tanaka, Ben Apia, Carl Schaper, Cino, Kashiwai, Glen Pang.

WHO ARE YOUR CURRENT & PAST RIDERS?

John-Paul Kaleopa'a, Genki Kino, Kanai Sharsh,Kama Clark, Kapono Nahina, Nelson Ahina,Dino Miranda

WHAT'S YOUR SHAPING PHILOSOPHY?

Keep lines clean and simple. Everything needs to blend and flow together cleanly. I have continued to stick to my philosophy of listening to my clients and trying to create their image of the board. I feel by using the technology that is available to us now and communicating well with the client, together we can create great boards.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BREAK?

Moke's, Haleiwa, Laniakea.

WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION/INSPIRATION?

I'm inspired by seeing all types of people riding my boards. There are so many good shapers in Hawaii and it's an honor to have my name on people's boards. I'm also very inspired by my family.

BOARD DESIGN INTO THE FUTURE

This year I want to work on smaller, wider, thicker boards. Thats seems to be the interest of our clients. People really want to be able to paddle well but still be able to turn their board aggressively. With more people surfing than ever, and all the stand-ups in the lineups, it's getting harder and harder to catch waves. So short and wide is in, with wider tails look for more 4 and 5 fin set ups. These types of boards are fun to ride and super fun to build, so I'm looking forward to the upcoming year in the shaping room.

I'd like to thank everyone who has ever ridden a Tanaka, it's because of all of you that I get to live this wonderful life. Aloha!