By Andrea Swayne
Age: 14, San Clemente High School
Kaimana Takayama’s strong beliefs about protecting the environment and speaking his mind were apparent last month when he went to San Diego for the 241 Toll Road extension hearing.
“I went for the experience and to help save Trestles until the TCA tries taking it again. And, I realize there is strength in numbers,” Kaimana said.
He credits competing in SSS contests for the Bernice Ayer Middle School team with significantly improving his longboarding skills over the past season and is looking forward to trying out for the San Clemente High team.
“Guys like Gus Day, Jacob Atwood, River Covey and Jack Benjamin all made me step up my game. Surfing against them pushed me to do better,” he said.
Nephew to the late Donald Takayama, Kaimana says surfing is in his blood but something it took a few years to embrace.
“At 6 I took a spill at Oceanside Harbor and sucked in some water. I got really freaked out and didn’t try again until I was 13. That’s when fell in love with it,” Kaimana said. “Now I think it is the greatest thing in the world for me. On bad days it makes me feel better and on good days it stokes me out even more. I’m not looking to be the Kelly Slater of longboarding or anything, but I’d like to travel around the world with it and enjoy it for the rest of my life. If I have kids one day, I will pass it on to them too.”