Tropical Blends - History

How’s it…I noticed back in the archives there were questions about boards made by Tropical Blends, a Honolulu shop dating back to the late '70’s. Someone was kind enough to respond and provide a little history on the shop. I’d be happy to elaborate if anyone out there is interested or has an old Tropical Blends board they would like to know more about. We took pictures of many of the boards as they went out the door and I still have most of them.

Aloha,Jim

Great. How about when did tropical blends start and where was it located? What happened that it went out of buisness? Just some basic history of the shop. BTW my first surfboard was a tropical blends…5’8" i think…round pin twin fin with a gull wing shaped double concave running out the tail. Dark blue rail tint with light blue center. Worked well for me at that time.

I had a Tropical Blends shaped by the late Dan Nakasone, a 6’4" round pin. Great board. I saw some new boards being marketed on ebay under the TB label lately and saw one (a hybrid) at the beach a few weeks ago. Guess someone is trying to revive the label. Did’nt Jon Damm ride them too?

Basic history…….Tropical Blends was the brain child of Jim Hayes and Steve Wilson. Jim had a painting company and was working in Steve’s neighborhood when the two hooked up. Steve made a couple of boards for Jim and discussions led to opening a shop. Steve was to handle the manufacturing and Jim the retail. The original corporate documents were signed in Sept. 0f 1978. The shop was located on Kapiolani Blvd. just across the street from the Ala Moana shopping mall with the factory out in Wahiawa.

Why Tropical Blends closed its doors………let’s just say we were young and leave it there. Who shaped your 5’8” do you remember?

Dan made some really nice boards! He was by far the most popular shaper we had. I rode several of his boards back in the days and wish I still had a few of them. I’ve got a Dick Delong mini tank from 1980 that used to hang in the shop. Still would work well today but it’s retired to my living room wall.

Yea the eBay site is mine. Nothing serious just working with a few of the original guys and putting a few boards out there. Lots of local Tropical Blends riders out my way so building a few for some of them as well.

What I remember at the moment is that Jon’s boards were very unique and he spent a lot of time and effort on their design. I can’t remember whether they carried our logo or not. I’ll have to ask him. He still surfs great by the way.

aloha C Cap,

I had a Dan 8’0" Sunset gun shaped about 10 years ago – really nice guy who invited me to his home up Pupukea to discuss board design. I remember surfing with him a few times after that, at Sunset. I am sorry to hear that he passed on – when did this happen?

Thanks also for posting the photos – I love the single fin swallows.

Kit

I dont remember who shaped my 5’8" it was my first board.

Quote:

aloha C Cap,

I had a Dan 8’0" Sunset gun shaped about 10 years ago – really nice guy who invited me to his home up Pupukea to discuss board design. I remember surfing with him a few times after that, at Sunset. I am sorry to hear that he passed on – when did this happen?

Thanks also for posting the photos – I love the single fin swallows.

Kit

Unfortunately Dan took his own life. Heard a few variations on why he did this…something about he messed his hand up and woulnt be able to shape anymore…not real sure though.

I honestly don’t know the details surrounding Dan’s suicide.