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Kawahara, Tak (1940 – )

Surfboard shaper and entrepreneur from Santa Monica, California; often described as the Father of Japanese Surfing. Kawahara was born (1940) in Los Angeles, the son of an American-born gardener, raised in Santa Monica, and began surfing at age 17. He attended University High School in West Los Angeles, where his classmates included future celebrities James Brolin and Nancy Sinatra, as well as surf world icons Kemp Aaberg and Kathy "Gidget" Kohner.

As a teenager, Kawahara got a job as ding re...