Paul Naude and the History of Vissla
Many people know about the brand Vissla—it has gone from being a boutique cottage brand to an industry staple over the past five years—but few people know the story of how it started. But The Surfer’s Journal recently ran an article about Paul Naude that gives a great history behind the brand. I suggest that anyone interested in Vissla or surf history in general take a look at the article—but if you don’t have time, here are Cliff Notes!*
Paul Naude grew up in Durban, South Africa, and was part of the Shaun Thomson generation. Rather than going to college as his parents had planned, he started working in a shaping bay taking orders and doing ding repair, and eventually graduated to laminating, sanding, and shaping boards. In the meantime, he was becoming a decent surfer himself, and soon followed Shaun Thomson and the other South Africans to the North Shore, where he crashed with Randy Rarick and enjoyed a successful pro career (including a win at Sunset and a third-place finish at the Pipe Masters).
In the meantime, Naude was becoming more involved in the surf industry. He ended up learning the basics of media and publishing, and went on to found ZigZag magazine, South Africa’s premier surf magazine. He also become the regional license holder for Gotcha in South Africa, and was eventually hired as president of Billabong.
After Billabong went public and suffered from the surf industry’s decline in the early 2000s, Naude decided he wanted to get back to his roots, and started a company called Stoke House, which had a number of branches, including Vissla—a brand that Naude says was always intended to be about surf—not street culture, not skate or snow culture, just surf. He wanted to bring together a group of creative wave riders and board builders, and that’s exactly what he has done. Vissla’s team now includes a wide variety of “Creators and Innovators,” like shaper Danny Hess, filmmaker/shaper/artist Thomas Campbell, PhD scientist/environmentalist/native Hawaiian Cliff Kapono, and up-and-coming surfers like Cam Richards and Town resident Noa Mizuno.
Nearly 50 years after he first picked up a surfboard, Naude has now come full circle, with his brand providing opportunities to young surfers, just as he once received. So next time you strap on a pair of Vissla boardshorts, take a moment to appreciate the history behind them—then get busy paddling out and making some waves. That’s what Naude would want you to do!
*Speaking of Cliff Notes, Vissla team rider Cliff Kapono has recently started a web series called Cliff’s Notes that profile various surfers with different passions, and follows Cliff as he learns new skills from these artisans while discovering more about what it means to be an environmentally conscious surfer.
Hope for Dogs Rescue
A good friend of mine from Japan texted me and asked If I would let our Hawaiian South Shore members know about a non profit organization her friend recently started. Please check them out. Below is the info they sent me. Hey if you’re interested in helping them out contact Yuka…info is below.
Hope for Dogs Rescue, is a charitable, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization founded in 2019. We started with a vision to find forever homes for forgotten and abandoned dogs and made the pledge not to give up on dogs who have been abandoned due to age, medical or behavioral issues.
We are a volunteer and foster based, no-kill dog rescue group. We believe that every dog can be rehabilitated with the proper training and loving environment. We depend on public donation as we do not receive any monetary aid from the City and County or State.
Donation page: https://hopefordogsrescue.com/Donate
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (English and Japanese)
Phone: (808) 913-9881 (English only)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopefordogsrescue.oahu/ (English and Japanese)
Thank you very much for your support and considering donating to our dogs.
October Member of the Month
QA with Alison Miyasaki
When and why did you initially get into surfing?
High School. My boyfriend at that time surfed so I tagged along. There were very few gals surfing back then. BTW, Vernon was my boyfriend’s best friend. Back then, we shaped our own boards. Now we have Hawaiian South Shore. Ha, Ha!
Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when did you pick it back up?
Yes. I moved to the Big Island when I was 20 and surfed some (again, my boyfriend was a waterman and we were both lifeguards on the weekends, so we surfed before and after “work”). We broke up so I eventually stopped surfing and got into Horticulture. I also eventually had a child and raised her as a single parent. By then, I had relocated back to Oahu.
My daughter became of age where she could be home alone safely. This was in the late 90’s. I passed a surfshop near McCully and inquired if he had any used boards. I bought one that looked like it had major nose job repair. I started up again at Queens, Canoes, Pops. Vernon was coaching little girls basketball in Manoa. He was my daughter’s coach and he said he started surfing again too at Kewalos and invited me to dawn patrol.
What is your favorite thing about surfing?
It’s a unique sport, that though from an outsider, it looks repetitive…you know, catch a wave, paddle back out, then do it again, each ride is different. It teaches spontaneity and flexibility because one has to react to whatever the wave will do. Also, it is always so great to be in the water. There is also a close-knit group of surfers at Marineland that I am part of. The friendship is enduring.
Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? What was your favorite thing on the menu?
Back then, in high school, Kewalo lunch-wagon parked in front of McWayne Marine Supply near the entrance at Ala Moana Blvd. Today, I usually go to work after so no stopping to eat. If anything, pick up coffee. Insomnia has good coffee. Nice Vietnamese couple.
Now, there’s a place to eat after surfing. They serve up some mean Vietnamese food pretty early in the morning.
What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?
I am a triathlon has been. Now, I still cycle, much slower though, do short hikes, run with my dog, and also longer, multi-day hikes.
Tell us about any crazy trips you’ve had.
I’ve cycled some crazy routes: Montana to Denali National Park (62 days – this was brutal and remote), the Pacific Coast from the Canadian border to the Mexican border (41 days), Southern Tier from Pt. Loma, CA to St. Augustine, FL ( 66 days) and recently, Route 66 from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA (51 days). Some of the trips were self-contained, some, van supported. Also, rode part of the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon(can’t remember # of days on MTB). Summited a few mountains here, in the 48 contiguous and internationally. Backpacked the John Muir Trail (21 days)and finished by summiting Mt. Whitney.
What type of work do you do?
I have my own practice as a CPA and also work PT for a State agency.
How long have you been doing it and what are your biggest accomplishments?
I have had my business since 2001. Ah, work is just a means to support the “play.” If there are any accomplishments, the biggest one is my kid turned out okay. She’s 30, is not a druggie, does not have a baby in tow, is gainfully employed, and is independent of me. LOL!!! I must say, so far, I have no regrets and do not find myself saying, “ I WISHED I had done that.” Go do it.
Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us.
I recently purchased a 5’7” No Brainer, Slater/Mannkine lft. If you think you are losing it and need to feel like you still know how to surf, this board is THE ONE. It’s a “No Brainer.” LOL!!!
What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?
Like I said, TOTAL success story. Pretty awesome board.
Do you have any additional comments?
See you in the water but don’t bring a crowd with you. Look out for cyclists.
from CJ Nelson
CJ Nelson knows what it feels like to be on a good longboard, whether it’s a dedicated noserider or a performance longboard. With his new shape called the Parallax, he has blended a traditional outline with performance elements to create a speed machine that accelerates like a Porsche and turns on a dime, without sacrificing that beloved trim feeling. A traditional single-fin setup is combined with Thunderbolt Technology to create a lightweight longboard that maintains the feel of flow, but does so in a new age construction that is ultra-sensitive and durable.
9’3″ x 23 ½” x 3 3/16″ 78.8 L
9’6″ x 23 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ 81.4 L
9’9″ x 24″ x 3 5/16″ 85.7 L
Our Visit to Akita
Many of you know that I grew up in Okinawa, and that I often visit Japan for work and leisure. Whenever we are there, my wife and I always make it a point to visit someplace different.
On our last trip to Japan, we went to Akita, which is a prefecture in the northeastern part of the country. It is a really convenient place to visit because there are a lot of options to travel in and out of Akita.
Akita is well known for a few different types of foods, such as Hinai-Jidori (chicken) and Inaniwa udon (which is my favorite type of udon). Inaniwa udon is only made in the Akita region, and is thinner than other types of udon. Making the noodles is a long, labor-intensive process that includes kneading the wheat dough by hand numerous times, stretching it by hand, drying it, then kneading it again. This constant kneading is the secret behind the noodles, as it allows them to adsorb lots of air bubbles, which makes them tender and able to last for hours before being cooked. The effort is definitely worth it, as Inaniwa udon is one of the tastiest noodle dishes in the country!
While in Akita, we stayed next to Lake Tazawa, which is a caldera lake. It is the deepest lake in Japan, and located near a ski resort that operates during winter. There are also a number of hot springs near the lake that are super enjoyable! During our stay we took a boat ride around the lake that allowed us to see all the sights while relaxing on the water!
One thing that I found particularly interesting was that I didn’t see any moss anywhere on the lake, on the pier, or even on the hulls of the boats. I’m not sure if that’s true of all lakes in Japan, or just Lake Tazawa, but after being around the ocean my whole life and experiencing all sorts of sea grasses and seaweeds, that seemed really odd to me. That’s part of why I love to travel so much—we get the chance to see things that we might not have experienced before, and they often challenge our established ways of thinking and make us wonder!
Shredding with Waist-High to Double Overhead
One of the best things about owning a surf shop is that I get to see, feel, and even ride so many different types of boards.
When we recently started working with Firewire and stocking their boards, they suggested that we bring in the EVO shape. They said it has been one of their most popular models over the past few years, and that they thought our customers would like it.
We ended up stocking a whole size run of that board, and at first not many people were interested in it. But then word got out, and soon more and more people were coming in asking for the EVO.
The most interesting part was that many of the people I talked to about the board originally thought it was just a small wave board, because of its weird, straight rails and round nose. They thought it looked like a good groveler, and that it was only for waves up to chest high or so. While it is true that the EVO does excel in smaller waves, providing a lot of drive and maneuverability even when there is a lack of juice, the crazy thing is that people are now realizing it also thrives in powerful waves. Lots of our customers have been riding it up into the five-foot range, and say the board works great as the waves hit around the double overhead mark!
I talked to our Firewire rep and mentioned that to him, and he said that a bunch of his friends surf the EVO on the North Shore, even when the waves get solid! How fun is it to have a board that works just as well in waist-high waves as it does in juicy, North Shore bombs!
Autumn is the best time of year to score waves on both sides of the island, so come check out the EVO this month and see if it fits in your quiver as a one-size-fits-all kind of board!
New at HSS
What do you get when you combine an apothecary (person who prepared and sold medicines and drugs) and a utopia? Apothia, a modern twist on scent that brings to mind peaceful memories. Apothia is a boutique line of scents from Los Angeles created by Ron Robinson, who has had his finger on the pulse of luxury products for decades. After spending a larger part of his career discovering and cultivating other people’s brands, he decided to create his own, and in doing so has revolutionized the scent industry. Apothia offers scented candles, hand and body care products, diffusers, and eau de parfums, all created with gourmet ingredients and detailed care.
Drawing inspiration from nature, art, spirituality, and the nostalgia of family tradition, Apothia’s scents uses striking, bold blends that take the senses on a journey of discovery. Here at Hawaiian South Shore, we are fans of quality, and always excited to find new products that blow us away. When we found Apothia, we knew it was a brand we had to carry, but when we got to know the people behind the brand we were even more impressed. Ron and his crew are super cool and super passionate about what they do, and we are excited to be stocking them at HSS!
Winter is almost here and starting to get a little chilly and it’s going to be a little colder.
Stay warm with our 2mm Pull-Over Neoprene at Hawaiian South Shore!
Buy a Surfboard and get 12 Months FREE when you use the Hawaiian South Shore Store Credit Card!
*Offer applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. No interest will be charged on the promo purchase if you pay the promo purchase amount in full within 12 Months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the promo purchase from the purchase date. Depending on purchase amount, promotion length and payment allocation, the required minimum monthly payments may or may not pay off purchase by end of promotional period. Regular account terms apply to non-promotional purchases and, after promotion ends, to promotional balance. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Subject to credit approval.