Makani Mcdonald is the shaper/designer for Monstah Glass Hawaii’s MONSTAH! label. When presented with the idea of starting a new surfboard label in a new factory and fresh ideas with the owners/partners of Monstah Glass Hawaii, Makani had no hesitation about partnering up with one of the best glassing/sanding teams in the islands. He and Monstah Glass Hawaii share the same vision of building the best performance surfboards with the latest materials and technology. Makani can shape for every level of surfer from beginner boards, Retro cruisers, high performance longboards and shortboards, fishes and even SUP’s.
Makani shapes boards for some of Hawaii’s best up and coming groms, local standouts and regular everyday surfers. Having surfed all over the world, he understands what works best in a multitude of conditions. If its ten foot heaving bombs or waist to chest high beach break Makani will design you what you need to get the most enjoyment and surf your best.
Growing up on Kauai riding some of the best waves in the world, Makani honed his surfing earning him a few state and other prestigious surfing titles in both longboarding and shortboarding. Makani’s free surfing skills, and competitive knowledge/experience as both a competitor and professional surfing judge put him at the apex of what most surfers expect in high performance surfboards. Surfboard building is literally in his blood, his “pops” is shaping legend and prestigious Hall of Fame boardbuilder Kenny Tilton who has over 55 years of board building experience.
Years Shaping 40 years
Teachers/ Mentors When I first started shaping for T&C in the 80’s, I spent a lot of time in Glenn Minami’s shaping room learning the basics. I was also fortunate enough to have Craig Sugihara help me out by giving me some pointers and advice.
Influences Dick Brewer and Ben Aipa were big influences in my early years of shaping. Both of whom were on top when I first started surfing and shaping.
Current & Past Riders Mikala & Daniel Jones, Dustin Cuizon, Kalani David, Marvin & Kalani Foster, Max Mederios, Jason Shibata, Freddy P, Archy, Pottz, Andy Irons, Tom Whitaker, Taj Burrow, Dan Ross,Roy Powers,Luke Munro, and Luke Stedman just to name a few.
Favorite Break Moke’s, Haleiwa, and Laniakea
Future of Board Design There’s always new designs and materials being developed. more than ever before “flex” is being fine tuned in board development. Whether it’s parabolic stringers, carbon strips and tubes, or even inflatable boards, controlling and changing flex patterns in boards will play a bigger part in surfboard technology.
We’re stoked to be building boards for such a hardcore surfer & accomplished T&C shaper Glenn Pang. To get a shape from Glenn log on to tcsurf.com
Years Shaping 25 years, started at age 15
Shaping Influences Ernie Tanaka, Ben Aipa, Carl Schaper, Cino, J Kashawai, G Pang
Current & Past Riders John-Paul Kaleopa’a, Genki Kino, Kanai Sharah, Kama Clark, Kapono Nahina, Nelson Ahina, Dino Miranda
Philosophy Keep lines clean and simple, everything needs to be blend and flow cleanly. I have continued to stick to my philosophy of listening to my clients to create their image of the board. I feel by using the technology that is available to us now and communicating with my clients well, we can create some great boards.
Favorite Breaks Moke’s, Haleiwa, and Laniakea
Board Design in the Future This year I want to work on smaller, wider, and thicker boards. People want to paddle well but still be able to turn their board aggressively. Short and wide is in and so is wider tails with more 4 and 5 fin set-ups. These types of boards are fun to ride and super fun to build, so I’m really looking forward to this upcoming year in the shaping room.
Working with Tommy Tanaka has been awesome, such a great surfer/shaper. To get one of Tommy’s shapes log on to tcsurf.com
Born and raised in Kaimuki, Oahu, Kekoa’s father “China” Uemura, was a professional surfer back in the 70’s and 80’s, Kekoa’s surfing career started at the age of 5, at a surf spot in Waikiki known as “Baby Queens”.
With the support of local companies, Kekoa was able to travel the world with a goal of becoming the next World Longboard Champion. After 8 years on tour, and a close run in 2004, Kekoa placed 2nd overall in the ASP Longboard World Rankings.
In 2007, Kekoa started working for a friend who had just bought the newest surfboard cutting machine called the APS 3000. After learning the software and incorporating the knowledge that he gained over the last 20 + years of surfing, Kekoa began to design his own boards using the APS software.
Many of Kekoa’s board designs have been influenced by the talented shapers that he’s worked with over his 22 years of surfing. From the early years of working with Keola Rapoza, Jason Kashiwai, and Tommy Tanaka, to his more recent years working with Todd Pinder, Jeff Bushman, and Mitsu Matsushita. Every design Kekoa creates is original and comes from the years of knowledge he’s gained through his own personal experiences. As Kekoa likes to say, “You can know how to work the software good, but if you don’t know how the contours and technical aspects of how a surfboard works, you won’t be able to create a magic board.” Surfer/Shaper Kekoa Uemura is always testing and refining his shapes from grinding North Shore winter barrels to waist high Japanese beach breaks. Kekoa rides it all.
Feel free to contact Kekoa about board quotes and designs.