OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Inside the 128-square-foot shaping bay at Michael Surfboards, family history and lifelong passion collide for its owner, Michael Takayama.

“I remember my uncle saying to me, ‘Kid, do me a favor, when my time comes, make sure my tools collect dust in the right way, not the wrong way,’” Mr. Takayama stated that the floor was covered in flakes sanding dust.

In the midst of shaping a longboard surfboard by hand, Mr. Takayama was standing, barefoot, on the bay’s well-worn carpet. His uncle Donald Takayama, a celebrated waterman and surfer, held a planer in his hand. He died in 2012. And on his rack, a fresh piece of thick white foam, the longboard’s core.

“Surfing one of Michael’s boards is like riding a magic carpet built just for you,” said Sophia Culhane, 16, a professional surfer from Hawaii who is ranked third on the World Surf League (W.S.L.) International Women’s Longboard Tour.

Mr. Takayama refers to himself as a shaper. A Michael surfboard is made up of 15 steps from start to finish. Some shapers only pay attention to the first step and leave the rest to others. Mr. Takayama (55) completes each stage within his 1,100-square-foot factory.

“I want to make the best quality surfboards known to man or woman,” He said.

The blanks are the raw foam pieces that go into making surfboards. Before Mr. Takayama even begins shaping, he will ask customers to send videos or photos of themselves surfing. He will even meet them on the beach and take them out to surf.

“Understanding a person’s style and skill level is essential,” Mr. Takayama said, “and then it’s about what they want to do, and making a board that will get them there.”

Jessi Miley Dyer, a former professional surfer, is now senior vice president of tours, and head of competition at the W.S.L. “With surfing, your shaper is your translator. You’re going through that journey with them, and they are connecting the dots in your equipment and progression.”

Once Mr. Takayama assesses his client’s surf skills, he moves into his shaping bay, where he takes a blank and, using a planer, begins shaving pieces of foam off like a sculptor does with a piece of marble. While he will occasionally use a CNC (computer numerical controls) machine to shape foam into a rough outline of his design, he always shapes the foam by hand.

After the board is shaped, it’s wrapped in fiberglass in multiple layers and laminated with polyester resin pigment. Color details are added at this stage. Tail patches — additional layers of fiberglass — are cut and strategically placed around the rear end of the board.

The fin box is a thin piece of plastic that is pushed toward the tail and inserted into the blank to hold the fin. The board is then sanded; Mr. Takayama’s spear-shaped logo is applied in resin; and what are called pin lines, lines that hide the fiberglass overlap, are added.

Mr. Takayama frequently uses inlays — pieces of fabric cut and placed in certain locations on the board. These are next.

A gloss coat of a different type of resin is applied, then there are three rounds of sanding, using 600 grit, 800 grit and 1200 grit sandpaper in progression. Finish the process with fiberglass surfboard polishing compound. This is applied and then smoothed using a buffer.

“Some newer board shapers, they just make pop-outs, copies of the same board,” Ms. Culhane, a professional surfer hailing from Hawaii, said that she comes from a surfer family. She noted that she was not the only one. “Michael touches every board in every step. That’s super special. And because he’s there for the whole process, he knows how to fix or adapt a board to a person. He knows exactly what he did and what he can do to make it better.”

While Mr. Takayama can build any kind of surfboard he wants, he is a specialist in longboards. He currently has five models: Mana T, Comp, Annihilator PerPlexer and Mana T. They start at just $2,200. His most expensive model was $5,000.

From order date to delivery, it takes approximately 18 months to get a board from Mr. Tayamayama. About 140 cards — printouts of orders with dimensions like length and width, as well as details like color and inlay preferences — are pinned to the wall around the shaping bay.

“Michael lives and breathes surfing and surfboards,” David Arganda is ranked seventh in the W.S.L. North America Men’s Longboard Tour and has been Mr. Takayama’s apprentice for the last 18 months. “He shows up to the beach to watch people who ride his boards in contests.”

“It’s really cool to be a fly on the wall because he’s so into his craft and obsessed with being the best but also learning new things,” He said. “The people who know about Michael definitely know, and the other people that don’t know and aren’t patient are missing out big time.”

At the factory, Mr. Takayama’s younger son Kaimana, 24, who is ranked eighth W.S.L. International Men’s Longboard Tour, and grandson Noah (son of Mr. Takayama’s elder son John) do less technical jobs like taking orders and preparing boards for shipment, but it is Mr. Takayama, with the help of Mr. Arganda, who does the creative work.

Every day Mr. Takayama rises between 2 and 3 a.m. to drive the 15 miles from his house to the shop. “3 a.m. is the problem-solving hour,” During a midday interview he pulled his thick salt-and-pepper-hair into a low ponytail. “My uncle used to go into his shop in the middle of the night, and now I’m starting to understand why.”

In the world of surfing, Takayama is associated with words like “royalty” “iconic,” beginning with Donald Takayama’s stellar career in and out of the water.

“Donald was one of the first board builders that was world-renowned,” L.J. Richards is a former competitive surfer and sits on a board of advisors for California Surf Museum Oceanside. Mr. Richards, 82, added, “Michael, who was right beside me in Donald’s shop watching him shape and build boards, fits right into the next generation of that level of craftsmanship and skill involved.”

Michael Takayama, the youngest of four siblings, was born in Albuquerque. His mother was a German national and his father was a Native Hawaiian/Japanese citizen. The Takayama family was a military family. They moved three times before finally settling in Southern California at the age of seven.

“That summer, I discovered surfing and Uncle Donald, who was living in Solana Beach, and from that point on it was the ocean for me,” Mr. Takayama said.

He started competing at age 10 and hasn’t stopped since. “Four years ago at the Mexi Log Fest in Sayulita, I had the longest hang 10,” the 55-year-old said with a grin, referring to a competition in Mexico and the surf position that requires having all 10 toes wrapped around the board’s nose. “I smoked some of the kids and that felt good.”

Although he spent hours in his uncle’s shop during his high school years, Mr. Takayama spent nearly four decades installing flooring and bathrooms. “I absolutely loved it, going into someone’s home and taking something old and making something new,” He said.

But when his uncle started passing on his tools, and then died, Mr. Takayama began seriously toying around in his uncle’s shop and then built a shaping room in his own garage.

His life was transformed in less than one year. “I woke up one morning 55 pounds heavier than I am now. After enjoying the party and drinking for 30 years, I looked in the mirror and it was life or death,” He said. “The clarity came. I stopped smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.”

In 2019, Mr. Takayama officially founded Michael Surfboards. Honolua, a three-time world champion, won two titles on Michael Surfboards. In October, 17 pro surfers chose to board his boards during the Surfing For Hope Longboard Class at Pismo Beach (Calif.). At that competition, Ms. Culhane won the women’s event on one of Mr. Takayama’s boards.

“My boards are really, really special. All of them have rainbows; it stands for my dad, who passed away from suicide when I was six,” Ms. Culhane said. “Michael understood the reasoning of that and made it an art form rather than just a detail.”

“I consider myself beyond a perfectionist,” Mr. Takayama said. “I’ve remade boards because the color isn’t right. I’ve seen people tell me something can’t be done, I do it and then they copy my design. This process in its entirety is becoming a lost art, and I like to think of myself as a surfboard tailor, hopefully for many more years to come.”