Eric Arakawa is shaping boards – and lives

Eric Arakawa currently shapes guns for Hawaiian Island Creations and is one of the world’s most famous shapers. At an early age, Eric discovered surfing – and soon he was obsessed. If he wasn’t in the water, he was shaping boards.

“I’ve been making boards since I was 14 years old, as I couldn’t afford to buy new ones!” said Eric. “I just ate, slept and dreamed of surfing: it was my whole life.”

But when Eric was about 15 years old, he discovered a new, deeper passion. It came from an unexpected but much deeper place.

“I had everything I needed; I did well at family, school, friends and surfing. But when I was 15, I got invited to a church by a friend who was so persistent I finally gave in. I said, ‘I’ll come on the one condition that you never ask me to go to church again!’”

He’d grown up believing that people who followed Jesus were judgmental and stern – people who didn’t know how to have fun.

In fact, he found the opposite. He discovered that life following Jesus was deeper and more fulfilling even than Eric’s passion for surfing. It wasn’t long before Eric gave his own life to Jesus – and he hasn’t looked back.

Now, he’s combined his two great passions, using his talent for making surfboards to connect with surfers around the world and, when he can, encourage them to look to the Creator of the waves – not just the waves themselves – for a true sense of purpose.

“The most important thing that I’ve learned about surfing is that surfing is not the most important thing,” said Eric.

“I use surfing as a way to fulfil my purpose in Jesus Christ, as a tool that I use to serve God.”