Rakai was born and raised in Hastings, Hawke's Bay and spent entire summers roaming the sand dunes and beaches of his hau kainga, Waimarama. As children Rakai's father taught him and his siblings how to surf and as young teenagers would load the family ford falcon station wagon and do road trips up the east coast visiting whanau and exploring isolated surf breaks. Visiting these rural coastal communities Rakai was exposed to the painted Ringatu Marae of the east coast, these images and the love of the ocean and coastline is a big part of what inspires Rakai's work. Rakai can be found working as a multi disciplinary graphic artist at his practice Studio Pacifico. Rakai likes to make surfboards as a hobby and when it's on Rakai will drop tools and go hunting waves.