Kerry and Wade Tokoro

by Aaron Schmidt

If you haven’t heard of the Tokoros¿you need only to watch Brucey or Braden and you’ll see one of their boards in the tube or in the air. TransWorld SURF thought it was high time to have some words with two shaping legends from the real surf capital of the world, the North Shore of O’ahu.

TWS: How long have you guys been shaping?

Wade: Since ’85, so that’s about fourteen years.

How did you get into it?

Wade: I did it because I really didn’t have too much money to buy boards from the shop. Actually, Kerry made the first board in a garage.

Kerry: We started making our own boards because we couldn’t afford to buy them.

So you guys are pretty much down with the D.I.Y. do it yourself ethic?

Wade: Yeah. I’ve been getting boards made from some shapers here on the North Shore for a while, and I’d come down and watch them shape. I’d it look at it the shaping process, and go, “That looks pretty fun.” From then on, we picked up tips here and there.

Who influenced you guys early on in your shaping career?

Kerry: For me, it would be Chuck Andrus and Gabe Garduque. Those are the two guys who let me in their shaping room to “take a peek.” They were my influences. They taught me some little shaping tricks.

Did you have to pay your dues first, like sweeping out the shaping bay?

Kerry: Yeah, actually. Chuck brought me into HIC and they didn’t need a shaper¿they needed a laminator. I started laminating boards for a while, and slowly, I got orders. I shaped full-time after that.

What was your job before shaping boards?

Kerry: Nothing.

Wade: I worked at a gas station for a while.

I used to work at an Exxon gas station. It was right about the same time they spilled all that shit off the coast of Alaska. People would drive by and give me bad looks. Anyway, what’s your take on the future of the surfboard?

Wade: Materials might be something that’ll make a major change. Like lighter boards, but still super strong. The boards will be a lot more responsive with new-age materials. Boards could be filled with helium for when you’re doing aerials laughter.

Who rides for you guys?

Wade: Right now I’m making boards for Kalani Robb, Bruce Irons, Sunny Garcia, Occy, and whole bunch of guys.

Kerry: Braden Dias, Joel Centeio, Peter and Mike Miller, Rainos Hayes, and a bunch of other guys.

Do you guys cater to the traveling pros who come into town, or do they ride your boards all the time?

Wade: Some do all the time, but a lot of them are just traveling pros. We’re slammed right now.

What do you guys want to be doing in five years with your company? Do want to blow it up huge and become a Rusty laughter all around?

Both: We wanna surf more and work less!