Hailing from Haiku, Maui, Chaz Kinoshita has made a mark in surfing beyond just his talent in the water. While Chaz has been touted as a big wave paddle surfer, charging Jaws and Maui’s outer reefs, the senior in high school has also taken on a craft that is equally challenging. Son of legendary Hawaiian big wave charger / Kazuma master shaper Matt Kinoshita, eighteen-year-old Chaz has been shaping under the Kazuma logo for six years, first as an apprentice and now as a craftsman.
How many years shaping?
Six years. I first started shaping when I was twelve years old.
How many years surfing?
I started surfing when I was eight, so about ten years.
When and why did you begin building boards?
I first started building boards because of my dad. I sort of just grew up in and around the shop.
What was the first board you ever shaped? How did it fare in the water?
The first board I ever shaped for myself was a 7’0 gun that at the time was big for me. I ended up buckling it and actually just fixed it not too long ago.
Favorite type of board to shape?
My favorite type of board to shape is a regular Milkman model.
Who do you typically shape for?
Myself, my dad and friends.
In your opinion, what was the hardest thing you had to learn for this craft?
The hardest thing I had to learn so far would be shaping the rails.
Which aspects of board building come naturally to you?
Shaping a surfboard is what comes naturally to me out of the steps of building a surfboard.
Who has been your mentor?
What motivates you to keep shaping?
Watching people enjoy my creations.
Who is the best surfer out there?
Kelly Slater is the best surfer in the world, hands down.
Who is the best shaper out there and why?
My dad is who I look up to and who teaches me everything I need to know. Every question I ask he is able to answer.
If you could have any surfer ride your boards, who would it be and why?
Dave Rastovich, because of his stoke on riding different shapes.
What’s on the horizon for 2015?
High school graduation!
Any advice for someone interested in shaping?
The more you try, the harder it gets.