Kuga, Takao

Hard-charging Japanese regularfoot surfer from Taito, on the island of Chiba; five-time Japanese Professional Surfing Association champion (1982, 1984–87), and Japan's first international big-wave rider. Kuga was born (1964) in Taito, the son of a taxi driver, began surfing in 1974, was the national boys' division champion in 1978 and juniors division winner in 1979.

Well-sponsored throughout his career, Kuga was able to travel far and wide. During his annual visits to the North Shore of Oah...