A third-generation Japanese-American, Eric was born in 1960 to Albert and Jacalyn Arakawa in Honolulu, Hawaii. At 10 years of age, he was taught to surf by his father at “Walls” in Waikiki on a 7’0 round-tailed Barry Kanaiaupuni mini-gun. By 1974, at the age of 14, he’d shaped his first board: a 5’8 round pin, out of his family’s Pearl City home.
Shaping boards remained a hobby until 1977 when he began shaping professionally for the up and coming Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC). After graduating from Pearl City High School and spending two years studying bsiness at Leeward Community College, Eric decided to find a place for himself in the surfing industry and formed Island Classics Surfboards in 1982. Shortly thereafter, he invented the Nose Guard and helped to establish SurfCo Hawaii, Inc., which evolved into wholesale marketing company with worldwide distribution of surfboards and surf accessories.
Two years after taking Island Classics back to being an independently owned company, in 1995 Eric joined forces with HIC, now significantly established globally in the surf industry. He would shapeexclusively for HIC, who in return purchased Island Classics and its licensees, thus freeing Eric to concentrate not only on design and shaping techniques, but also to spend more quality time with his young family.
Today Eric resides on the North Shore of Oahu with his wife Sue and three children – Kelliann, Sean and Mariko, as well as a pet dog and two cats. He is still as passionate as ever about creating theperfect board for not only the top pros, but for anyone looking to improve the quality of their equipment for whatever the conditions or their abilities may be.
With over 30 years of experience and having shaped surfboards for over ten World Champions, Eric Arakawa is considered by many to be one of the finest shapers in the world. Used regularly by both local and touring pros, his boards have been ridden to countless victories in the Triple Crowns as well as WCT and WQS events worldwide. In demand throughout the globe, Eric has traveled to Australia, the U.S. Mainland, Brazil, Europe, Japan, Israel, Puerto Rico and the South Pacific to shape and design boards.
Because of the uncompromising quality of his work, he has been honored by the surfing media for his achievements. Australia’s Surfing Life Magazine has rated him amongst the top ten shapers in the world, as well asbeing named as Surfing Magazine’s Shaper of the Year in 2003.With close to 50,000 boards under his belt, he has added the distinction of becoming an industry leader in incorporating the now universally accepted CAD technology to improve not only his own designs, but also those of many of his peers. In addition, with advent of new materials, he has been tapped as a consultant for sports industry giant Salomon Inc. as well as a designer for U.S. Blanks, a surfboard blank manufacturer.