Legendary shaper Harold Ige passes away

January 16, 2012 | Windsurfing
Harold Ige: surf legend an Naish icon

Harold Ige, one of the best shapers of all time, has passed away when he was testing new 18ft SUP prototypes with Randy Naish. Suddenly, Harold collapsed and left us.

"I was about 50 yards behind, when I watched him collapse into the water. I got there as fast as I could. Kai Santos saw the pilikia and swam out with fins and together we tried to resuscitate Harold", explains Naish.

Ige was quickly taken to the beach and everyone tried to bring him back, but it was not possible.

"I've never felt so helpless! I did all I could, we did all we could. I'm sorry. I'll never forget this day even if I want to. The surfing world lost an icon, a legend, and a friend to many, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a mentor", he adds.

Harold "Iggy" Ige was enjoying SUP in the waters off Lanikai, in Oahu, Hawaii. The cause of the death is supposed to be heart attack.

The 71-year-old surfer was a very humble surfer and human being. He started to shape his own boards. After the high school graduation, in 1960, he moved to Southern California and worked for another legend, Greg Noll, and Dale Velzy, soon after.

Harold Ige also worked for Dewey Weber and kicked off his own surf brand "Iggy", in Oahu. In 1979, he founded Naish with Robbie and never left this wave riding family. Ige, an old school shaper, was an authentic craftsman. He was very much respect in the Hawaiian islands.

"Back in the 70's, people used to say: 'when you shape a board, you put your soul into it' or some spiritual stuff like that. I kinda laughed but, when you shape, you do get really tired. It's so much more work than machine shaping, not only because it's hard labor but because you put all out", Harold Ige once explained.

"When you say shaping, it's not just shaping using the planer. You touch it, listen to the way it's cutting- I have to hear and feel it, otherwise I can't tell the details. Maybe you put mana into the board by hand shaping. That’s why you get exhausted".