Article from Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 March 2005:

Wayne Miyata dead at 63.

Wayne Miyata, one of the surfers who appeared in the film "The Endless Summer" and later known among aficionados for his talent decorating surfboards, has died. He was 63. Miyata was found dead in his bed on Monday after battling esophagus cancer, said Katherine Hatzikian, who owns Tyler Surfboards in El Segundo with her husband, Tyler.

Miyata was one of the first surfers to be filmed doing a successful "tube ride" through a large wave. The footage, taken off Ala Moana in Oahu, Hawaii, in the early 1960s, was included in "The Endless Summer."

The native Hawaiian was known to many Southern Californians for his fine hand-crafted surfboards. He was an expert in the old-style techniques of pinlining and glossing boards — adding color and decoration using resin. Most mass-produced boards use airbrushing for color and designs. Miyata did it by hand.

"Glossing is kind of a lost art," said Tyler Hatzikian. "That's why I brought Wayne into my shop, to educate me on the traditional ways of making boards." Friends remembered Miyata as a tough guy who was a perfectionist when it came to surfboards.

"He was a Hawaiian native and he's very much represented the Hawaiian style. He was laid back but he was a tough guy," Katherine Hatzikian said. 

Wayne Miyata
February 17, 1942 - March 21, 2005

Like Miki Dora, Wayne Miyata was a fascinating individual whose real-life exploits rivaled the myths and legends that his journey through life engendered.

Unlike my first encounter with Miki, however, I'd heard of Wayne long before I ever met him. And from what I'd heard, he was some sort of "wild, hard-ass, shit-kicking karate warrior" who didn't suffer fools gladly ... or otherwise. 

Instead, I got to know a person who was quietly confident, wickedly funny, clever, generous and intensely wise. Wayne also carried himself with a dignity, authority and fluid cat-like grace that gave him a powerful physical presence that belied his slight stature. He was someone you couldn't help but notice. 


Wayne Miyata

Wayne Miyata perched on the nose - photo by Leroy Grannis

Wayne was good friends with a good friend of mine - Kenny McWilliam - and they somehow talked me into attending a karate class with them one night.

The class was being held in a cold, stark studio with hardwood floors somewhere in Venice or Culver City, and we sat on uncomfortable benches along the wall, watching the end of the previous session.

Dressed in their loose fitting karate uniforms, the class stood at the edges of a thick mat on which the instructor and two students about our age were going through some sort of exercise which involved a lot of kicking.


Without warning, one of the them swirled around with a sweeping kick and the other responded with a kick between his legs that literally lifted the poor guy off the ground. 

While the victim was writhing around on the mat in pain, my hands involuntarily went to my own groin to make sure everything was where it should be. I hoped no one had noticed.

On cue, Wayne leaned over with a big smile and punched my shoulder, "Hey Feigel, how about one big plate of scrambled eggs after tonight's session, eh?"

As Kenny and Wayne made their way to the changing room to get ready, I quietly left the studio and made my escape into the night. 

Thanks for the all the laughs, Wayne, and for being who you were. May you journey well ...

Wayne's Tribute © Robert R. Feigel, 2001, 2002 - All rights reserved

A memorial service and paddleout for Wayne was held on the 3rd of April at 2pm at 8th Street in Hermosa Beach.

According to one report: Over 100 surfers joined hands in a circle in the water off of 8th St. in Hermosa Beach Sunday afternoon to say aloha to longtime Hermosa surfboard maker Wayne Miyata. On the beach several hundred more mourners cast flowers into the ocean.

The mourners included former Miyata team riders Tom Witt, John Grannis, Gary Prejeant and Dave Stull; surfboard makers Tyler Hatzikian, and Wayne Rich, who learned their craft under Miyata’s tutelage; and fellow Hawaiian surfing legends Rabbit Kekai and David Nuuhiwa.

Wayne's adopted son, Keoni Boyd bids aloha

A Tribute given at the April 3rd Memorial
- by Layne Novak, Wayne's sister

I found a story written by Robert Feigel of New Zealand – he was at a party where everyone got out-of-hand and just plain drunk.  The police had cordoned off a two-block radius around the party and picked up people when they left.  He heard they gave up any attempt of closing the party down when Wayne Miyata tore off his shirt... raked his fingernails across his chest ... licked the blood off his fingers ... went into one of his wild-eyed Ninja stances started screaming at them in Japanese.

Wayne had that craziness about him that, I’m sure, everyone saw at one point in their life.  But he also had a “softer” side.  He always gave someone a chance, if he felt you deserved one.  He enjoyed mentoring and taking people under his wing.


Wayne was the oldest of four siblings and I was his “baby” sister.  Although he left home when I was very young, I knew he thought about me.  When I was in the 8th grade, he sent me my first of many surfboards, much to the displeasure of my parents.  When my Datsun 240Z was stolen, he wanted to take the first flight out and look for the #%@$%^ people that stole my car.  When I started auto-crossing my Z and Porsche, he was thrilled.  Now, we had more to talk about during the few times we saw each other.  He enjoyed talking about racing – that was his passion in the latter part of his life.

Wayne was an extreme sportsman before the term was coined.  He was extreme about his karate, surfing and racing.  He loved life and spent each day living his life the way he wanted to.

Thank you for taking the time to come to our memorial service for Wayne.  I hope to meet each and every one of you so that we may share a story or two.  Aloha au kou! 


More tributes from old friends around the world:

The first two from big wave riders, Bob Beadle and Paul Strauch:

I'm very sorry to hear about Wayne...

My first trip to the Islands in 1960 was a 14 hour, prop powered 'rubber band flight' to the old airport. No one was going to meet me, I knew. I also knew I had to find a way out to the North Shore to stay with Sammy Buell from Seal Beach, and a couple others. I spotted Wayne and 4 or 5 heavy looking locals slouching on, in and around an old beater with 4 or 5 boards on top, as I walked out of the airport. Not knowing I was supposed to be intimidated (A trip to Hawaii was a trip to the other side of the moon in those days), I went up and asked for a ride if they were going to the North Shore. I had no idea where that was, or where I was, or who they were. I did notice they weren't friendly.

Wayne in classic Hawaiian crouch - in front of the old Del Mar Club in Santa Monica
- photo by Steve Pickard

Suddenly, I recognized Wayne from a Severson photo in his recently published half size format picture book which was to become Surfer Magazine. "Aren't you Wayne Miyata? I saw your photo in Severson's book!" His face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. Then he asked if I knew where I'd be staying on the North Shore? I said, "With Sam Buell, at Haleiwa".

"Sam Buell!?" He seemed impressed. "Come on!", and we pulled out headed West, me He explained they were going "Makaha side", but would take me part way. "Great", I said. I passed Wayne, who was driving, a couple dollars for gas from the middle, back seat slot I was consigned to. They decided, in that non verbal way Hawaiians have of communicating, to take me out to Haleiwa, instead. As we came over the center of the island past Wahiawa through the pineapple fields, we saw what they said was a HUGE day on the North Shore. It was 15' at Haleiwa, my first day on a 9'2" Jacobs potato chip.

I've never seen it that big since. But I have seen Wayne from time to time over the years. It was always like old home week.

Thanks again,

Bob Beadle, Brasil

Hi Whitney,

I'm saddened by the news of Wayne's passing. I have many fond memories of Wayne from small kid days while growing up in Hawaii together in the fifties and sixties. Wayne was a classic surfer with a very recognizable surfing style, having been a martial arts practitioner since his early teens. We surfed together at Waikiki, Makaha and the north shore, but I'll always remember him in the classic "Endless Summer" surfing film of the early 60's as one of the first tube riders at Garbage Hole across from Ala Moana and completely disappearing from site for a second or two. "Aloha Oe, Wayne." Mahalo nui loa for your friendship. I will miss you.

Paul Strauch

From Wayne's daughter, Tava

April 14, 2005 

Aloha Friends & Family, Thank you all for the kind words and stories you have shared in this guestbook, it is really a nice tribute, you all have made me laugh & cry.

I just got back from having my father's memorial services at Waikiki Beach, it was a beautiful day and I hope to put together photo album to share with everyone soon.

I want to share the story I told everyone in Hawaii about the spreading of part of my father's ashes on the North Shore on Friday, April 8th.

I went alone; it seemed like the right thing to do. My first stop was Turtle Bay, the last place my father surfed, at our wedding last year. I stopped at the pool bar and got a beer, walked out to the rocks, threw some plumerias in the water & then the ashes. Gosh darn, they blew all over my legs, Dad was laughing, I just knew it. After sticking my legs in a hole in the rocks & letting a wave wash them off, I headed to Sunset Beach. I was a little smarter at this stop. I could hear my father coaching me in my head, with that familiar tone we all know. Surf was up, so I went into the water this time, some flowers & ash. The flowers returned to the shore. My next stop was Pipeline, same drill, same results, great looking waves, perfect tubes. My final stop was Waimea Bay, where my Dad said he surfed his biggest wave, I thought it was fitting final stop. Today, no waves. I went into the water & took the remainder of the ashes I carried for this day and the remainder of the flowers. This time, everything floated out, a beautiful line of flowers on the top of the water, how amazingly fitting. I watched the flowers float out, for as long as I could see them and said goodbye. A perfect ending, my Dad's final trip to the North Shore.

Mahalo & Aloha, Tava Miyata Stanford (San Francisco, CA )

More tributes:

April 10, 2005

Hey Bra, I spoke to the Hawaiian Surf Club today on your behalf. Man dude, you really have a lot of love in your life. I know you saw us all at the paddle. I remember first meeting you back in the sixties when we were young bucks on the north shore and we came a long way together. I will miss you and will see you when I get there. Aloha Nui Loa Jim Whitsett (Riverside, CA )

April 9, 2005

Aloha Wayne, I cherish the memories of rubbing shoulders with ya at Shoreline Glassing. Watching you make magic doing the pinlines inspired me to be as good as i could be airbrushing boards. Mahalo Wayne, keep cruzin in your Lincoln. I will paint a wave and your spirit will flow through the brush and your memory will live with me forever. My sympothies go out to all your family and friends.

Mark AKA "Harpo" Dixon (carlsbad,, CA )

April 8, 2005


April 8, 2005

hey uncle pressure, did you see the crew that showed up??, man, bunch of misfits, ha.

to all the crew good to see you.

see you at the mermaid next summer.

love kiwi.

chris kiwi third (australia)

April 8, 2005

You've only left the physical plane, yet still continue to inspire and create. We miss you so much.

Your nephew, Davian De Witt (Kailua/Phoenix, HI )

April 7, 2005

Hi Wayner, You lived your life with "gusto" exactly the way you wanted to live it. Now you are at peace. Tava and I miss you but know you are "Riding the Big Ones" in heaven. I will take care of and love our precious Tavy..."Bee" for as long as I live. She is such an amazing daughter!!!!! We are truly blessed.

Your friends have turned out in force to honor you at the paddleout in Hermosa Beach. We are now two days away from your service on the beach and in the water at Waikiki. Your father's cancer is non-existent as of today and we are grateful for that. He, like you, has a fighting spirit. We will take him out in the outrigger to say goodbye to you.

I have many happy memories of our early days in Hawaii. The years past by so swiftly. Your legacy will remain forever.

ILY,  mary miyata (Cape Town South Africa)

April 4, 2005

Wayne you are truly in my thoughts. I was there yesterday at the paddle out and it was nice to see the turnout.

To Tava, his daughter, I worked with Wayne at Dewey Weber Surfboards in 1968-1970. I was a 17 year old kid when I started by cleaning up in the shop and eventually landed in Wayne's gloss room, along with Pat Stephen, helping to clean sand prior to moving into the gloss room and taping boards for pinstriping and color.

Wayne was a tough man, but was also just a very cool guy for me to work with. Wayne always made me feel like I worked WITH him, not for him. Even when he chewed me out.

Over the years I'd run across Wayne in Hermosa from time to time and it would be like old friends. If he saw me frst, I'd hear him yell out my name, "Graaanner!". Thought I haven't seen him much the last few years, I am very empty when I realize he isn't there. I am happy to know he IS there in spirit.

Cowabunga, Tom Graner (Hermosa Beach, CA )

April 4, 2005

Ahh wayne, Sad to be informed of his passing thru the circuitous ways of communication. Having the gift of knowing him for for close to 25 years has brought on a flood of memories and accounts perhaps should remain just that. To those who knew him nearest to him my deepest sympathy. Of the ones with the chance to be in his presence and witness of his humor & personality, thi he has bequeathed. as for the ones to be denied the honor of his aquaintence, you "really" missed it. Behold his memory.

Aloha Wayne, Rudy Saldana  (playa del rey, CA )

April 4, 2005

Today we came together to celebrate & remenisce an old friend.I was so emotionally struck by the number of people for his paddle-out.He touched a number of different lives each in a unique way & one that will always be remembered by each and everyone of us.

ALOHA & MAHALO WAYNE MIYATA dan martinez (hawtorne)

April 3, 2005

You know when a person lives in your heart . Its when you think of them and it brings a smile to your face and a worm feeling you always long for. Its when you can remember the sound of ther voice telling you thay love you and you try not to think about it to much because you begin to cry. I will miss you and love you. See you in the sun and in the waves.

zachary (L.B., CA )

April 3, 2005



ELLSLAGOON@AOL.COM April 3, 2005 Black Lincoln, great will be missed...

Linda La Marx formerly MB/HB, now in Humble, Texas Linda "La" Ward-Marx (MB to Texas, TX )

April 3, 2005

To all of the Miyata & the Stanford family, all the Hawaiian family and friends I have met on countless journeys to Hawaii with Wayne, to all of Wayne's brothers that he grew up working with in Waikiki beach: we suffer a great loss, a loss to many, in many cultures and countries. Wayne and I surfed together at North Shore at Craig & Tava’s wedding, whom I love dearly, and whose loss I feel as if it were my own, it is my own. My insides are sucked out. Wayne and I attended many events together. The Turtle Bay wedding was the last time he would ever surf. He was my babe. I still have the board Wayne, Keone and Dennis made for me. I will be paddling out on it. I will miss him dearly. I see the Hawaii 50 car is off in the sunsets. I will see you surfing and racing in the sky one day. ALOHA! Goodbye for now, you know you are loved. Sunshine Designs will live on.

Love, Jeannie Jeannie Cramer (Hermosa Beach, CA )

April 3, 2005

Wayne, I can still see you pulling up to the shop in your black Lincoln Continental. I always felt a little better when you showed up. You brought the feeling of safety and security that a little child feels when his daddy comes home. Your personality, laughter, stories, work ethic, love and devotion to family will be things I will remember forever. You taught me the importance of being dependable by example. You also taught me how to believe in things and how to stand by the things I believe in. You were real Wayne. A man with charisma and great talents, you said what you felt, and did what you said. Very few of us have the courage you had to be themselves on all occasions. Thank you for all the good times. I miss the talks in the glossing room; the perfectly manicured brushes, the quick and perfect tape offs, the pin stripes, the method and style. All of it---your presence. You will be sorely missed by those of us who considered you our second father, or perhaps our only one. You were one of a kind---Never to be replaced or forgotten. Finally, rest assured boss, we will all look after your pride and joy---Tava, for you.

Much Aloha to you Great One, Thank you for everything.

Rest now, my good & honorable friend, Bill Mons (Manhattan Beach, CA )

April 2, 2005

Tava so sorry to hear about your father, we will miss him, he was one heck of a resin man. See you at the paddle out.

Bob Barnes (Manhattan Beach)

April 2, 2005

To Tava and the Miyata family. I just wanted to extend my deepest thoughts and prayers in this time of sorrow.As for you Wayne (Uncle Pressure) what can I say? Stories Beers, pool games or just good conversations. You were a good man and lived life to its fullest. I respect you immensely you taught me alot about life and boards, Next time Kiwi and I go shoot some pool it won't be the same with out you. Anyone who Knew Wayne knows he was rough and gruff but even under all that he had a heart of gold and would help you out in a pinch.Thats what a true friend is, You will be missed dearly.

Peace and Much Aloha John Vega (Manhattan Beach, CA )

April 2, 2005

To all of the Miyata & the Stanford family, all the hawaiian family and friends i have meet on countless journeys to Hawaii with wayne.Too all of Wayne's brothers that he grew up on the beach working together in waikiki. It is a graet loss to many in many cultures& & countiers. I had the pleasure to surf with him the last time he surfed at Tava & Craigs wedding at Turtle Bay. I will be paddling out on a board that Wayne, Keone And Dennis McGivern made me.I will miss him dearly as i see the Hawaii 50 car is off in the sunsets. I will see you surfing and racing in the sky one day. ALOHA! Goodbye for now, you know you are loved. LOVE JEANNIE< SUNSHINE DESIGNS WILL LIVE ON!

jeannie cramer (hermosa beach, CA )

April 1, 2005

Wayne was just the best. He was such a big influence to me in my early formative years of surboard building after he had already seen it all.

He worked for me and was always there to help me out and guide me along.A few times I had to bring his paycheck to the house and he would make me sit down and listen to some uekelele music ,drink beer,and talk story.

The best was when Higley or Kadowaki would goof up some board down at the glass shop and Wayne would just be busting their balls. It was just so classic. He would nail us if we were doing crappy work but at the same time we were all his little pups in training.

He always showed me love and respect every time I bumped in to him.

Aloha brother Wayne see you in the line up.

pat reardon (manhattan beach, CA )

April 1, 2005

Dear Miyata Family and Friends, My condolences to you at this time. My former husband, John, and I spent many a night talking story with Wayne "back in the day"...he definitely was one of a kind... With Sympathy, Geri Ward-Grannis (Redondo Beach, CA )

March 31, 2005

Dear Tava, Wayne my friend and brother has gone onto a sweeter ride.I can hear is his laughter when i mucked up.I know we had to much fun together,man some of the stories.

and what a story teller he was.

silly old ?":{. :)

to all his friends,grab a beer and cheers,what a legend, but dont tell wayne that.

peace man,love kiwi.

kiwi chris third (goldcoast)

March 30, 2005

To Wayne and Family, Kristi and I enjoyed knowing Wayne and never imagined that he would be a part of our family. When I first saw Wayne in Oahu at Craig and Tava's wedding, I thought " Now there is man who owns himself". We loved his "take no prisoners" attitude and love of life and will always remember him fondly and with a smile.

Condolences to the family.

Blake Stanford (Austin, TX )

March 29, 2005

Wayne, You enjoyed life to the fullest. One of my fondest memories was at your wedding. We forgot to take pictures, so we had to do a retake.

You were an original!!

See you on our next journey Friends always, Joni Balsillie (Sandy, UT )

March 29, 2005

My husband Falk and I were fortunate to have known such a great man, who was loved by all who had the opportunity to know him...he will be missed greatly in Hermosa...his name will go on in the stories told by his many friends...Love to you always Wayne, you will remain in our hearts and fond memories.

Patricia Nahring (Redondo Beach, CA )

March 28, 2005

To all that have signed and will sign this guest book:

Thank you for sharing your memories with our family. It's nice to know that Wayne was loved by everyone he touched. We will definitely miss him.

Aloha au kou, Your "baby" sister Layne Novak (Hilo, HI )

March 28, 2005

Wayne, Thank you for being a big part of my childhood. We had some great times (You, my mom, Tava and me). Trips to San Diego, helping you judge contests (at least I thought I was helping), little league games and just seeing who could stay up long enough to watch Fantasy Island on a Saturday night. These are things that I will never forget. Thanks for helping a kid with Canadian parents become just a little bit Hawaiian.

And yes, I too did a double take every time I saw a black Lincoln rolling down the street.

My love to Tava and the whole family.

Mike P.S. More bug juice please.

Mike Fanthorpe (Redondo Beach, CA )

March 28, 2005

Dearest Wayne May the breeze of the ocean let your spirit soar, Feelings of sand under your feet as you walk out your door, As the shining warm sun puts a smile on your face, You will always be loved wherever your place.

Stay free............

Peace and love, Kristi Tava and heart is with you!

Kristi Balsillie (Costa Mesa, CA )

March 27, 2005

We will miss you Wayne. You are a master of the traditional board building techniques. You could create a smooth curved pin line even on those days when the glasser or shaper could not. I still think of you when I see a 1980 Black Mark V Lincoln Continental going down the road.

Rest in peace Wayne.

Jim, Mary, Stephanie and Kimberly Cowherd (Torrance, CA )

March 27, 2005

Uncle Wayne and family, We shall miss you. Mahalo for so many good times. Mahalo for being such a good friend to my dad. You mean so much to him. (Lungie)We will all see you again. Our Aloha to your daughter and family. The Gomez ohana (Belmont, CA )

March 26, 2005

what can i say, a great freind i will miss truely, a master board builder a tough boss who taught me a great many things about life,surfing and board building , i started with wayne in 1985 at shoreline and continued to make boards with him till around 1997 i t was a great honor to work with wayne something i allways cherish and remember, i still make boards today the same way i was taught by him, thank you wayne, for years of friendship,knowledge and comrodery ill miss you my freind greatly,may god bless your soul  dennis (mcgyver) mcgivern (hermosa bch, CA )

March 26, 2005

I only knew you from The Endless Summer, but those Ala Mo waves you rode changed my life and made my mother worry that I had become a surfer. Her worries were unfounded and so much ALOHA(!) to you.

Robin Pozniakoff (Long Beach, CA )

March 26, 2005

Hey Wayne - You were a real cool dude! We'll miss you tons but your spirit will live with Tava (& Peanut). Love, B.

Bernard Desarnauts (Paris.. San Francisco, CA )

March 26, 2005

Wayne, we will remember your sense of humor, introducing us to big Izzy's music, playing the mandolin in our backyard, and your "be and let be" philosophy that you lived by. But especially, we'll remember the great conversations we shared about your daughter Tava, where your love and pride were so strong and apparent. We'll miss seeing you around!

Bernard, Francesca, Nicolas & Lucas Desarnauts (Paris, France)

March 26, 2005

Sally & I have known Wayne, aka "Uncle Pressure" for 20 years, he & I celebrated same birthday together (2/17/different years)& exchanged gifts.He helped me by sponsoring my earlier years in offroad motorcycling racing, bought a motorhome & would go out to the desert for the weekends with us to have fun Fri/Sat, then on Sun help Sally "pit" for my race, inspiring me to win many trophies. His, as he called it "Good Aloha" will be sorely missed. And now with tears in our eyes, we bid you Aloha, Wayne.

Dan & Sally Martinez (Hawthorne, CA )

March 25, 2005

Good by old friend. I will always remember our surfing trips to Mexico and the fun we had at your wedding.

Tony "TB" Balsillie (Green Valley, AZ )

March 25, 2005




March 24, 2005

To one remarkably cool dude, a wonderful father and an inspiration to so many. You will be sorely missed.

your son-in-law, Craig Stanford (San Francisco, CA )

March 24, 2005

Having surfed the '60s, and not only admired you, but experienced your art, I am honored to have the board you made for me, as well as the one you made "to me, from me, about time", your personal possession, in my collection. Mahalo and aloha, Jim aka Kimo Oneal (Manhattan Beach, CA )

March 24, 2005

Hey, ya old "tube rider" -- I started in the 50's and followed you in the 60's. God Bless You.

Flip Ervin (St. Paul, MN )

March 24, 2005

Artist, shaper, surfer and inspiration to many. May all of our lives be as succssful as yours. The surf scene in heaven will rejoice in your arrival. God speed Wayne.

J.E. "Doc" Hagler (Huntington Beach, CA )

March 24, 2005

I'm signing in for my friend, Candy Fickle who lives here in Santa Cruz. She was a good friend of Wayne Miyata's and he will be missed, especially by Candy.

Aloha to you Wayne.

Margarite Tuchardt (Santa Cruz, CA )

March 24, 2005

He stayed out of the soup and showed all the young ones how to do it right. Have fun in the clouds!

C Rauch (L'ville, GA )

April 16, 2005

I was 14years old and surfing my third winter season at Torrance Beach in Redondo when I met Wayne. Surfing his signature Rising Sun longboard with his long hair flying as he blew us away with his speed and ability. Forty four years later I'm still riding longboards and talking story about the old surf legends. All evening glass from now on. Bruce Horton Bruce Horton (Kailua , Kona, HI ) 


Please feel welcome to add your tribute to Wayne Miyata by emailing it to me. Thanks, Bob Feigel