Happy Father's Day!

To all the dads out there who plan to share surfing and boardbuilding with their kids, and to all those who owe their passion for surfing and boardbuilding to their father. May this cycle continue for eternity. I would not be shaping boards if it werent for my father and his love for tools and carpentry. He got that from his father, who carved birds and built cabinets. Half the hand planes I use have belonged to both of them.

Happy Father’s Day!

Thank you Rachel. Daughters like you are one of the, if not the best gifts a father could have. Any good dad would tell you the same by knowing exactly what I mean. :slight_smile:

My father glassed my first board we built in Pearl City, Hawaii, after that I let my grades go to hell, he hated my involvement with everything surfing, but…once he saw I was really driven to pursue this passion, he got behind me 100%, he became very proud of me.
My brother followed his footsteps in taking over Dad’s architerural woodworking business, but at my mother and father’s memorial service recently, my niece’s husband told me my father confided in him that Jim was the real craftsman.
After all those years as a F-up, I made the old man proud of me
Thanks Dad, Grandpa and Great grandpa

Right on for pops!! Thanks for everything! Thanks for overlooking all the resin drips on your garage floor, the wax stuck on your car, and the many times I was not where I was supposed to be, when you knew all the time where we were. Much Aloha to all the Dads out there.


I think part of becoming an adult is to find your parents are proud of how you turned out.

Today?? i havent heard anything about it. I mean, we're a little behind the times here in oz, but not that far surely?!! hahah.

      Howzit Jim, My Dad was the same way when it came to me and surfing and used to tell people about his surf bum son. But in the days before he died when I was taking care of him he told me the real reason was he was jealous of my lifestyle. When he was in the Phillipens (spell) in WW 2 he really fell in love with the tropics and being a body surfer he wanted to stay. But he had to come home to my mom and older brother and become a breadwinner and let his dreams slip away. He also told me he was sorry for telling people I was a surf bum since I was the only one in the family who ever could start successful businesses and then sell them for even more money. Amazing how he held all that in for so many years, but at least he told me the truth finally, Gosh I miss him. Happy Fathers day Dad, Aloha,Kokua

Rachel, not to change the subject (but I will, anyway) I believe congratulations are in order in light of your recent graduation from that school in Kingston?

I’ll be is the middle of a shape and Dan Fogelberg’s “Cabinet Makers Son” will start up on the radio, I have to set down my planer, take a seat and think of the old man, nothing will ever fix those years of 13-18 when we knew so much more than them.

     Howzit Jim, I know what you mean, we thought we knew it all at those ages but mine actually went tilI I was almost 40 with my Dad. I think that he was one of the main reasons I moved out of the house the night I graduated from HS and never went back,then moved to Hawaii to get even further away. But in the end we made up and all was good and I was at his bedside when he finally passed away. My brother was really mad at the fact my dad gave me the power of attorney and I am the younger brother but dad knew I had the business brains and not my older brother. It all works out in the end. Aloha,Kokua 

My younger brother was a fantastic cabinet and furniture craftsman, but from the time we were late teens, I had a bad feeling he would never see old age, smoked 2 packs a day, lots of herb, drank hard liquor and beer all day long.

In the late 70’s, early 80’s, banged speed balls with his “pals”, they all dropped dead from some mystery virus, somehow God let him dodge that bullet, but in the end, the candle couldn’t keep burning from both ends.

He couldn’t keep the business that Dad and him started running anymore, health was catching up on him and there was no turning back time. There is no time in a bottle, alcoholism runs rampant on my fathers side of the family

JimtheG, Losing a brother was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. Thought He’d be there lifelong. 

The more time you spend with the bottle the less time you have for other things.

My Great grandfather was a shoe maker and opium addict, he died when his kids were still young.

My grandfather, father, brother and I were fortunate to attend the Kamehameha Schools, and take advantage of the wonderful trades and crafts classes. My grandfather was a master wood worker. He built musical instruments, boats, and furniture that we still have today with basic hand tools. Dad was also very good with wood, but he was a journeyman machinist. Dad had so many tools and taught me all about them, but there are tool boxes filled with special machinists tools that I’ll never use, or know how to use. 

He had a special relationship with some of his tools, and the way he used them. Those were tools passed on from my grandfather, and he took extra care with those. We have a fine cut saw that belonged to my grandfather, and it was only used for certain kinds of cutting. Every now and then, after we were done working and he’d been using that saw, he’d sit down with a small hammer and make music with that saw. It was so funny to see him smiling and bending that saw and making it sing. My sister and I would laugh so much when he did that. I guess my grandfather taught him that because it was something special.

Dad loved his father so much. Grandpa died when dad was only 36. I was lucky because I was 48 when Dad passed away. The last couple of years of his life, I started making surfboards again. Something I hadn’t done since about 1979. He came outside a couple of times and watched me shape a couple of boards. We’d talk about things in between the noise and I think he was proud that I had a pretty good knack with the tools. He had shaped me a board back in the mid 60’s. It would have been a really nice board, but he didn’t know that laminating resin stayed tacky and he got mad that it “didn’t dry properly”. The board never got a sanding coat, just sat in the corner for years collecting dust, until it wasn’t tacky anymore. I think it would have been a mind blower, it looked like something that Brewer came out with a few years later. 

Till this day, I still use hand tools of the unplugged variety, the stuff that he showed me how to use. I am grateful that my dad showed me how to use tools, but more importantly, I am grateful that he taught me how to love, to love one another, and love this place we call home, Hawaii. His love of the ocean was passed on from his father to my brother and I. One of dad’s uncles was an old time surfer from the days of the original beach boys Chick Daniels, Turkey Love, Panama Dave. I asked George Downing if he remembered him and he said yes. 

I hope my daughters take after the other surfer girl/shaper-builders. So far they’ve just barely taken to the surfing part. But my daughter told me that she wants to surf every weekend while she’s home from college. How can I say no?

Thanks Rachel!