Hawaiian South Shore September Newsletter

The Value of Naps

Most people know that sleep is important, but many fail to understand exactly how essential good sleep is for our health. While we are sleeping, our bodies repair injuries, reduce inflammation, and allow the mind to recover. Inflammation is a huge factor in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, sinusitis, and numerous other ailments, and anytime your body doesn’t get to recover completely, inflammation builds up in the body. This weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to the diseases mentioned above. In fact, it’s been found that even the simple sleep disruption of the annual Daylight Savings Time changeover causes a noticeable increase in heart attacks amongst the US population!

Lack of sleep has also been directly correlated to deficiencies in cognitive performance and reaction time. In other words, hand-eye coordination is affected, driving becomes dangerous, and you become less capable at work and school. The average person needs between seven and nine hours of sleep, with the hours before midnight being more valuable—but with our busy lives, most people only get between five and six hours of sleep. And the worst part is that sleep deficiencies add up and have a cumulative effect known as a sleep debt. Research is unclear about how long it takes to make up for lack of sleep, with some suggesting that it takes multiple hours to make up for a single hour of lost sleep, while others maintain that you can never make up for missed sleep.

The statistics about lack of sleep are pretty shocking. People who work their entire career on the night shift appear to shorten their lives by around seven years! Meanwhile, the average mother loses as many as 900 hours of sleep in the first year after childbirth.

Obviously the lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on people, but for athletes sleep might be even more important. Athletes build up more inflammation in the body and have more breakdown of muscles and cells that need to be repaired than the average person, and in general need around nine hours of sleep per night. But because of their work ethic and focus on their respective sports, athletes tend to get less sleep than they should. For this reason, many NBA players have a consistent routine of napping on game days, a few hours before their games start. This has been shown to improve reaction time, basketball-related skills, and even the ability to remember plays. And since many NBA games are played at night, and teams are busing from city to city overnight, those naps are extra important! Some teams even employ sleep specialists to consult with their players and ensure they are sleeping (and napping!) enough.

Surfers can take a lesson from basketball players when it comes to sleep habits. We tend to be pretty obsessive about our sport, especially when the waves are good. We travel long distances to chase swells, often missing out on sleep during red-eye flights or overnight road trips. When the waves are pumping, we are up early to prep for the dawn patrol, often going into sleep debt to ensure we are on it when the conditions are perfect. Then we surf all day long, trying to get as many waves as possible because we know that it could be weeks or even months before the waves are this good again. Instead of suffering through sleep debt, it’s a good idea to try to grab a few zzz’s whenever we can, napping between sessions, on flights, and any other time we have the opportunity.

On a recent trip to P-Pass in Micronesia, Hawaiian South Shore’s resident explorer and surf journalist Matt Rott spent four days getting barreled out of his mind—up at 4:30 am each day, not getting home until around 8:00 pm each night, and still having to make dinner and prep for the next day. By the time the swell had faded, Matt and his crew were completely exhausted, and one of the guys on the trip—a barrel-hound from Kauai named Nate—lay down on the floor and ended up sleeping for 19 hours straight. While the rest of the crew laughed at his ability to pass out for so long, by the time Nate woke up, he was refreshed and ready to surf again—just in time for the next pulse of swell to hit!

September Member of the Month
Q&A with Vern

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

I started bodyboarding at the Waikiki Wall while in middle school. A neighbor and I used to catch the bus with our resined plywood bodyboards. As we got older and started to drive, we got into surfboards.

Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when did it pick back up?

I laid off surfing for about 10 years. Just busy with home and work. Last month, the surf was calling, so I waxed up my board and went out. The surfing bug bit me!! I went to Hawaiian South Shore to check it out. It was like going into a candy store. David & Brett showed me the 7’6” Firewire ADDvance. It was supposed to paddle & float like my 9’0” and be more maneuverable. I stopped by the shop several times to get reassurance from them. I ordered the board and had to wait about 3 weeks for it to come in. Those were the longest 3 weeks in my life! I was so excited when my magic surfboard came in. I took it out several times and had a hard time. Very disappointed! After several surf sessions, I found the sweet spot to paddle and stand. Now I am stoked!! It’s a fun board that is fast, maneuverable, and easy to paddle. Great board for old guys too.

What is your favorite thing about surfing?

I enjoy surfing because it is relaxing and great exercise. As the saying goes, “A bad day surfing is better than a good day working.”

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing?

The old Kanda Lunchwagon @ Kewalo Basin was the only place to eat after a day of surfing!

What is your favorite thing on the menu?

The mixed plate had meat loaf, hot dog, luncheon meat, spareribs, pork long rice, macaroni salad, and rice. Hard to beat!!! Too bad they are gone.

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?

I enjoy training for triathlons with my friends @ TripleFit Hawaii.
I also enjoy fellowship with my buddies in Bible Study!

What type of work do you do?

I work in the trucking business.

You recently attended the Apnea Surf survival class. Why did you decide to attend?

I just got back into surfing and wanted to brush up on water skills. The class sounded interesting. The instructor was very experienced with surf survival and freediving!

How did it help you?

It helped me to relax and be comfortable holding my breath underwater. This class was also about learning to breathe efficiently. We learned skills on how to help others in case they get into trouble in the water. Coach Ricardo, is a pro and does this seminar with passion, safety, and aloha!

Who do you think should take the class?

Anyone who loves the surf and ocean.

Do you have any additional comments?

Mahalo to Brett and David for running a great shop! You guys da best!

Japanese Neoprene
Taking Wetsuits to the Next Level

The surf industry is full of environmentally unhealthy boards and accessories made from petroleum-based products, which means that ours is not exactly the green sport it appears to be. From Surfboards and leashes to wax and wetsuits, we leave a pretty big carbon footprint in our wake, which is why a lot of companies have started looking for alternatives. The wetsuit industry is one place where a lot of gains have been made when it comes to building better, greener, longer-lasting products, and one major factor there has been the adoption of Japanese limestone-based neoprene.

Unlike petroleum-based neoprene, the limestone variety is relatively free from impurities. It is lightweight, warmer, super stretchy, easier to put on and take off, 95% water impermeable (compared to 70% with petroleum-based neoprene), and better for the environment. In other words, it’s the obvious choice when building wetsuits for discerning surfers who naturally gravitate toward being environmental stewards.

Japanese limestone neoprene is the cream of the crop, and the product that is used in all of the top-of-the-line wetsuits. While some low-quality limestone neoprene is made in Taiwan, and cracks easily, Japanese rubber is the industry standard when it comes to top–notch neoprene.

Today, Japanese limestone neoprene is the foundation of the Straw Hat wetsuit line, a boutique wetsuit line offering the finest in modern neoprene. In addition to the best neoprene available, Straw Hat also adds elasticity for a better fit, silicone rubber under the cuffs to maximize seal and keep water out, and a nylon loop sewn into the zipper to attach to the boardshort string.

As far as we can see, this is as good as wetsuit tops come—which is why we are stoked to carry Straw Hat products at Hawaiian South Shore. Our selection includes smooth skin tops and neoprene bottoms, made from the finest Japanese rubber crafted into neoprene. If you want to stay warm and feel and look good doing so, this is the answer.

The Black Baron
JS’s First Twin Fin

When JS works on a board for six years, you know it’s going to eventually become a classic. The Black Baron is JS Surfboards first dedicated twin fin, and delivers exactly what you’d hope from a classic design with a modern twist. Released in conjunction with Joel Parkinson’s retirement from tour, the Black Baron is the perfect board for a high-performance surfer looking to expand their quiver and perspective, and fall in love with surfing all over again.

The Black Baron is built for fun—and there’s nothing more fun than going fast. It has foam for days, providing ample volume to float through fat sections and rip lined-up walls. The twin fin configuration turns this board into a rocket ship, providing acceleration no matter the section. And the flat rocker up front to veer through the tail adds to the board’s speed without compromising maneuverability.

The Black Baron is my personal favorite board for summertime waves at the moment, and everyone I have let try my board loves it as well. Stock dimensions range from 5’2″ x 19 ¼” x 2 1/8″ to 6’4″ x 22″ x 3″, so just about anyone can find a Black Baron that works for them. Summer is only half over, so come have a look at this ultimate groveler fun stick before Town goes flat for the winter!

Rave Reviews, Rad Customers

Firewire Seaside Helium (5′ 10″)

Thanks for hooking me up with the Firewire Seaside Helium! Loads of fun. On my first wave, the board took off and left me behind! I discover something new every day. Can cruise, and on the recent bigger days, can go vertical. At nearly 5 liters less than my 6’ 0” Helium EYO, it takes a bit more energy to get into the wave, but once on much more fun. Thanks HSS!

– Valued Customer

Firewire No Brainer (5′ 8″)

This is my favorite daily driver board. Works great both as a groveler and a performance short board. Catches waves easily and really fun to ride as a quad. Love the speed and looseness of the swallow tail. Not too loose­—just right. Another winner from Firewire!

– Valued Customer

Fuel for Athletes
The Delicious Benefits of Oatmeal

Pro surfers have come a long way from the old days, when all they did was drink, smoke weed, and eat ramen. Surfers are legitimate athletes now, training and practicing clean living to ensure they are in the best possible shape to perform well and survive huge waves. This preparation trickles down to the average weekend warrior as well, with many of us practicing yoga and engaging in cross-training sports such as running, biking, and Cross Fit. But staying fit involves more than exercise. An equally important part of fitness is diet—eating nutrient-dense foods that fuel our bodies rather than poison them.

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast for health-minded athletes, but it remains as relevant today as ever. While green smoothies and chia might be trending a the moment, oats are still as healthy and cheap as ever—and they are a great foundation for a variety of breakfasts. Oats themselves contain a large amount of fiber, which makes them a slow-burning carbohydrate that keeps you full and fueled for a long time. They are a whole grain stuffed full of vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function, and they taste good too. But perhaps the best part of oats is how they can be accessorized.

Many athletes and health-conscious people like to thicken up their oats with peanut butter, almond butter, or other types of nut and seed butters. You can also add whole nuts and seeds such as chia or hemp to oats to give them some crunch. The next step is to add either dry or fresh fruits such as raisins, berries, peaches, mango, papaya, or even apples or pears. Spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon add a little bit of kick to your oats, with some people even making what is called “carrot cake oats” (with ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and shredded carrots). Finally, either yogurt, milk, or a dairy substitute such as soy or almond milk finish off the creation.

The result is a delicious, nutritious bowl of goodness that fuels your body, sticks with you for hours, and sets you up for an epic day at work, in the water, or just cruising on the beach. Next time you are at the grocery store, grab a box of oats and see what everyone has been talking about since pretty much forever!

PurAir – Air Conditioning Experts

This has been one of the hottest summers in memory on Oahu. It seems like very day is pushing 90 degrees, and the humidity has been off the charts. When I’m not in the water, I’m sweating—so air conditioning has been a lifesaver this summer.

I don’t normally talk about things like AC companies on our Hawaiian South Shore blog and newsletter, but I was so impressed by PurAir that I wanted to tell everyone about my experience with them. The board of directors for our building did a condominium-wide air conditioning inspection, and after the inspection PurAir gave us some recommendations. One of these was the repair of the existing top coil, which cost around $375, in addition to other maintenance that came out to a total of around $500.

After servicing our AC unit, PurAir tech support called to tell us that they had been able to do our maintenance without replacing the top coil after all, and that they wanted to let us know that they’d be refunding us the $375 we had paid for the service. Obviously I was stoked on the savings, but I was even more stoked about the friendly and helpful service from their customer service team. PurAir definitely has my endorsement, so if anyone is looking for a new AC service provider, or simply tired of sweating this summer, go ahead and check them out!

Storewide 12 Month Financing!

Hawaiian South Shore August Newsletter

Hara Hachi Bu – The Health Benefits of Eating Until You’re 80% Full

I once heard it said that Thanksgiving isn’t over until you hate yourself. While that little quip might be worth a few chuckles, the sad reality is that here in the US, we often eat to excess—and not just on Thanksgiving. No matter what time of year it is, many of us are in the habit of eating until we are full—and then eating a bit more. This might bring us happiness in the short-term, but a nasty bout of indigestion isn’t fun for anyone—not to mention obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers.

In Okinawa, there is a different philosophy toward eating—one that mothers have been teaching their children for decades. It is the concept of hara hachi bu, which translates as “eat until you are 80% full.” Now, while this might sound like a recipe for being eternally hungry, the reality is that it actually is quite good for you. For one thing, our feeling of satiation is often delayed, so you may already be full before you actually feel full. In other words, that last 20% of your meal that you eat might actually be more than you need to feel full if you are simply patient enough to let the feeling of satiation present itself.

Further, there are numerous scientific studies that show that being in “starvation mode” slows down the aging process and the development of various diseases. This is theorized to be due to the fact that during seasons of food scarcity, animals are less likely to procreate. Evolutionarily, it is important to produce offspring, so the various species appear to have evolved the ability to slow down aging during times of famine so that they can live longer and procreate during future times of plenty. Obviously, we don’t want to subject ourselves to actual starvation—but by eating a bit less than our bodies need, it appears to be possible to leverage this evolutionary mechanism and slow down aging!

Of course, there is also the obvious benefit of losing weight. The US is quickly becoming one of the most obese countries on the planet. Our caloric intake is some of the highest in the world, and our body composition and related heart disease, diabetes and cancer rates are continuously on the rise. By ending our meals when we are 80% full, we will naturally eat less, which means less unburned calories that can turn into fat. Furthermore, since we aren’t habitually stretching our stomachs out by overeating, we will actually find that it takes less food for us to feel full—which again means consuming less calories and potentially losing weight.

Apparently, there are also specific instances where it is important to pack in the calories. If you are an endurance athlete or have just finished an eight-hour surf session, you are probably in calorie deprivation and might need a big meal to top off your energy stores. But most of us consume a lot more calories than we burn, so for us, this concept of hara hachi bu has obvious benefits.

Want proof that this philosophy works? Okinawa, which is home to the hara hachi bu practice, is one of the world’s blue zones—a half dozen spots in the world where people live noticeably longer than the average human. While there isn’t enough evidence to make the argument that hara hachi bu is the reason why Okinawa is a blue zone, there is definitely a correlation between the two. And from what we know about the health benefits of conscious eating and maintaining a low body fat index, it seems likely that eating until you are 80% full does indeed play a part in the longevity of Okinawans.

So, next time you sit down for a meal and get ready to dive in, take a moment and remind yourself to stop eating when you are 80% full. At the very least, you won’t feel weighed down by your meal, which might mean getting into the water for a surf half an hour earlier than normal!

August Member of the Month
Q&A with Jason Fujihara

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

I started surfing when I was 13 years old. I was an avid swimmer so when I tried paddling on a friends surfboard I was fascinated by the feeling of gliding on the water. A week later a few of us rented boards at Waikiki and I got run over by a canoe full of tourist but decided this is a sport for me.

Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing?

Yes when I had kids.

When and why did you start back up?

When I took my son to Disneyland he enjoyed the water ride so much we practically got back in line at least a dozen times. Started him at Waikiki Walls, progressed to Makapuu, then Makaha and Pipeline.

What is your favorite thing about surfing?

Being in the water and moving with nature.

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing?

Café Haleiwa, Kua Aina Sandwich

What is your favorite item on the menu?

Any breakfast is great. Avocado Burger

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?

Learning about science and technology.

Tell us about when you were involved with surf contest.

When my son joined NSSA I was asked to be a judge by Linda Robb, Kalani Robb’s mom. It was fun but I had a difficult time to sit and watch so I would end up in the water about mid-morning, sometimes getting in the way of the contestants. The kids were great and always wanted me to remember them but it worked the other way too. I could surf any spot on the island and someone would recognize me and would eagerly give me waves. I made friends with their parents who surfed and got invited to surf with them at their favorite spots.

What type of work do you do?

I have been involved with different aspects of computers since graduating from college.

Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us. What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?

Got a 6’ Libtech Puddle Jumper HP and only got a couple hours and already know it’s going to be a fun board. It’s setup with FCS 2 quad large performer fins, Octopus deck-pad and a FCS Freedom leash. All three new technologies that work GREAT. All thanks to Shaun and Brett who gave excellent recommendations and setup everything for me.

Do you have any additional comments?

The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and excited about what they do. Thank you guys for all the recommendations.

Big Wave Safety Course
Thank you to Painting with a Twist!

Here at Hawaiian South Shore we have always been big advocates of water safety and preparedness, which is why we partner with Ricardo Taveira at Hawaii Eco Divers each summer to host one of his big wave safety and apnea courses. This year’s course was a great success, as a solid group of surfers and water-people pushed their limits and learned the physiology and science behind apnea and water safety.

The course is typically a combination of classroom activities and in-water training, and having a quiet, comfortable venue in which to host the classroom portion of the course is essential to a successful event. This year the folks over at Painting With a Twist were generous enough to let us use one of their rooms for the training, and we couldn’t have asked for better hosts.

Jimmy, Megan, and Megan’s mom Cynthia have always been entrepreneurs. After working with her father in his market while growing up, Megan knew that business was in her blood, and when she met Jimmy in college in Colorado they started looking for the type of business that really spoke to them. On date nights they often went to a “painting and sipping” spot in Denver that they really enjoyed, and one day they realized there wasn’t one in Hawaii. They knew they had found their niche and decided to come to the islands and start a location through the Painting With a Twist franchise.

When Jimmy, Megan, and Cynthia aren’t graciously hosting water safety courses, they welcome guests who can sip wine and work on making “fun art” (as opposed to fine art). This concept has become super popular with the millennial and Gen X generations, and even Baby Boomer are getting in on the action! Painting With a Twist is always a hopping night spot, with groups sometimes coming for birthdays or other events, and also individuals coming to enjoy a night out and mingle.

We are super stoked that Jimmy, Megan, and Cynthia decided to open a Painting With a Twist here on Oahu. It is great to have them on the island, their establishment is a ton of fun, and of course we hugely appreciated getting to host our water safety class with them. Check them out on Facebook or call them up to book an evening of fun!

Firewire Woolight
A New Approach to Surfboard Construction

For all of the advances that we have seen in board design over the years, one thing has remained pretty much unchanged—the way that we actually construct our boards. Although a variety of epoxy and EPX boards have popped up over the past two decades, the number of truly original innovations can be counted on one hand. For the most part, the majority of our boards are built exactly as they were in the late 1960’s—a block of polyurethane foam is shaped and then laminated with fiberglass and resin.

Companies such as Firewire have been a rare example of board builders who are looking outside the box for new construction processes, and they are now poised to revolutionize the surf industry once again. The Woolight project is Firewire’s latest innovation, and it came about totally by accident.

Kiwi shaper, Paul Barron, was laminating a board a decade ago, and accidentally spilled resin on his wool shirt. When he saw how the wool hardened with the resin, it occurred to him that he could theoretically laminate boards with wool fabric. After testing his theory, he came up with a formula that worked—and that is way better for the environment. Using sheep-friendly wool, Barron uses a vacuum-pressure technique to press the wool into a thick wool-and-bioresin composite that is as strong as fiberglass and polyurethane. Building boards with this fabric rather than fiberglass reduces carbon emissions by as much as 40% and cuts VOC emissions by 50%, which means that although these Woolight boards aren’t necessarily green, they are a lot greener than a normal board. The wool-laminated boards also have better flex characteristics, which reduces vibrations while catching and riding waves.

Being a leader of surfboard innovation, Firewire was naturally attracted to this idea and has decided to add Woolight to its selection of construction options. Numerous board designs will be built with Woolight in the coming year, opening up a new and exciting world of both performance and sustainability in the surfboard market.

Here at Hawaiian South Shore, we have always been excited by the latest technology that is applied to building surfboards, particularly when it is good for the planet. We will soon be getting three Woolight boards in the store—some of the first boards commercially available from Firewire—and can’t wait to check them out. We hope you will come to check them out too. After all, when advancements in board design only happen once every few decades, it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss!

How Blue Light is Saving Japan

The great run of swell we have had so far this summer has been tempered somewhat by the absence of one of Hawaii’s greatest surfers in the lineup. Sunny Garcia has been interned in Oregon hospital, Portland for the past few months, in a coma after a suicide attempt during the spring. While Sunny has reportedly struggled with depression for quite some time, this tragedy still came as a surprise for many surf fans, especially here in Hawaii, and the entire surf community has rallied to let Sunny and his family know how much they mean to him.

Depression and suicide are a scary topic, and one that is actually quite prevalent in Japanese culture. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates among OECD nations, and a large percentage of those suicides happen in train stations and underground train tunnels, where people jump off of platforms in front of oncoming trains. This is obviously quite sad, and also quite distressing for other passengers and train conductors who observe these violent deaths. To try to help prevent these shocking suicides, the Japanese government has started installing blue LED lights in train stations. As it turns out, blue light has a calming effect on people—and there are numbers to prove it! In Japanese train stations that have blue lights installed near the edge of platforms, they have seen an 84% drop in suicide rate! Meanwhile, other nearby stations that don’t have these blue lights have not seen a corresponding increase in suicide attempts, which indicates that the overall number of suicides is decreasing, most likely due to the presence of these blue lights!

We surfers spend a lot of time swimming around in the blue ocean—a place that brings us great joy and helps to alleviate the stress of 21st century life.

Hopefully, Sunny Garcia will recover quickly, because we’d love to see him out in the water again.

Introducing our New Board Bag
Ask about the Member Exclusive 15% Discount!

HSS New Board Bag – 15% OFF!

I’ve been working on a new board bag, for the longest time I wanted something that works like a knit bag but had a little more protection. After over 20 attempts of making it with different material and testing it I finally found something I like.

It’s a board bag that’s made out of a 2 mm neoprene wet suit material. It has a lot of stretch so it fits most stubby boards up to 6’2. I like the 2 mm because it gives some protection when I throw it into my car. I made it 19” wide but it stretches to fit board that’s 23” wide. The nose had a great deal of strength around the stitching so it won’t tear easily when you shove into the bag. We also used a material that’s used for bullet proof jackets on the nose so it has cushion and strength. We sell it for $80 which is slightly higher than a regular knit bag but sells less than a daylight bag that is usually bulky. I notice that my wax doesn’t stick to it like a knit back so it makes it easer to take out of the bag. We slowly are working on adding more things to our Hawaiian South Shore line up.

OH! Since your a rewards member I wanted to hook you up with a 15% off special on this board bag. It’s only good until the end of August 2019. It’s my way of saying Thank you very much for taking the time to read our newsletter. After you use the bag please give me a review and let me know what you think.

  • David
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Hawaiian South Shore July Newsletter

When Surf Trips Go Awry

What is it they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men?

We’d always wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands, and with Kilty leading a yoga retreat there, we figured that was a perfect opportunity to combo the trip into a surf adventure. I’d tried out that CJ Sprout log with the Thunderbolt Technology a few times at Bowls, and figured it would a good traveler since it is so lightweight and strong, so I was stoked when Dave decided to send it with us.

When we heard that our resident yoga teacher and Hawaiian South Shore journalist Kilty Inafuku and Matt Rott were heading to the Galapagos Islands on a surf trip, we figured we’d send along a 10’0″ CJ Nelson Sprout for them to test in the local waves. But as it turns out, things didn’t end up going as planned! We’ll let Matt tell the story in his own words.

cj nelson sprout
CJ Nelson Sprout

The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador in general are right on the equator, so while they pick up both north and south swells, most of the waves are pretty small since the swells have to travel so far to get there. So we figured a traditional log would be perfect. Imagine our surprise when we showed up to the best forecast the Galapagos Islands have seen in years—nonstop swell in the head-high+ range for 10 days straight. After hauling the 10’0″ halfway across the world, it didn’t look like we were going to have a chance to ride it!

We ended up surfing a lefthand point the first two days of our trip—overhead rippable walls that were fun on our fish and shortboard, but way too big for leash-less, single-fin log. But that’s when things started to go really haywire. After our second surf session we were hanging out at a local restaurant eating ceviche and watching the sea lions wandering all over town, my middle finger started to hurt. I didn’t think much of it, but it got worse and worse, and by that night I could barely sleep. The next morning I was sure I’d broken my hand—it hurt worse than any broken bone I’d ever had (and I’ve had a lot), and I couldn’t move my middle finger at all. No surfing, no mountain biking, no rock climbing—I was in one of the world’s most exotic locations and couldn’t do much more than walk around and ice my hand.

The next day I visited a local doctor to see what he thought. Due to the fact that I hadn’t suffered any impact or trauma to the hand, he didn’t think it was broken. Instead, he diagnosed stenosing tenosynovitis, which is basically a repetitive motion injury that can become chronic and eventually lead to trigger finger.

Fast-forward a few days to Houston Airport, where had a layover on our way home. I was dragging our oversized board bag (full of boards we didn’t end up using) through the airport, and noticed that my hand was now swollen up like a ballon and starting to get an angry shade of red. I sent a picture to a doctor friend, and she told me to go straight to the ER as soon as our last flight landed.

At the ER, the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me. It didn’t seem like typical trigger finger symptoms, but I also hadn’t suffered any puncture wounds or bites/stings that I noticed, so infection didn’t seem likely either. But since the hand was so swollen and red, they figured the safest thing would be to put me on antibiotics, just in case there was an infection in there. Otherwise, there was a chance I could develop a compartmental infection (which could result in an amputated finger) or go septic (which could kill me!)

Less than three hours after taking the first dose of antibiotics, the swelling had gone down by 90%. The next day I was able to rock climb, mountain bike, and surf, and three days later I’m 100% recovered, even though I still have seven more days of antibiotics to take. Despite the fact there was no diagnosable reason for the injury, it appeared that I had infectious tenosynovitis, rather than the stenosing type!

The moral of the story? You never know what you are going to pick up when you are traveling overseas, so be flexible in your plans, always have travel insurance, and get in to see a doctor as soon as you notice something wrong. And drop into HSS to check out the CJ Nelson Sprout. I reckon it would go pretty good on the right waves!

Exploring the Galapagos Islands
with Oahu Yoga Teacher, Kilty Inafuku

The Galapagos Islands are one of the most protected ecosystems on the planet. Only 3 percent of the area is accessible without permits—and this basically covers the two major towns and the various privately owned ranches where locals live. The other 97 percent of the islands’ area are heavily regulated, and accessible only with permits—which are held by only a few tour operators. In other words, the Galapagos Islands are not the easiest place in the world to do self-directed, independent adventuring.

Of course, none of that matters when you are shacked up in a luxurious, off-the-grid eco resort, with homemade, farm-to-table food, giant tortoises wandering around the 50-acre yard, customized yoga classes morning and evening, and all-day tours with the best naturalists in the islands.

Hawaiian South Shore’s resident yoga expert, Kilty Inafuku, just got back from leading a five-star yoga retreat based on the island of Santa Cruz, where 10 lucky yogis (including five from Oahu) got to tune up their asana practices and explore the Enchanted Islands. Their hosts were Roberta and Reina Plaza, who moved to the Galapagos Islands 25 years ago and have dedicated themselves to building and operating a fully sustainable ranch/coffee plantation/retreat center. But it was Kilty and her yoga classes that were at the heart of the retreat. Each day, she’d center the guests with a guided meditation and asana practice, and each evening, she’d wind them down with a mellow yin practice.

In between yoga classes, it was non-stop exploration. The group visited four different islands, each of which featured different species of exotic birds, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises. Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution in the Galapagos Islands, and it’s easy to see why. The Archipelago’s 21 islands are all close enough to be sailed between easily, but far enough apart that species were sequestered and able to evolve separately over the millennia. By the time Darwin arrived, there were numerous varieties of finches and mockingbirds on the different islands, both of which were integral to his discovery of evolution. Likewise, 15 different giant tortoise species were present in the islands, with some differing even from the highlands to lowlands of the same island. On Santa Cruz, the lowland tortoise has to reach higher up trees and plants to get food, so they have evolved higher shells that allow them more flexibility with their necks. Meanwhile, the highland tortoises have plentiful grass and plants on the ground to eat, so they don’t need the high-necked shell, which is why they have evolved a lower shell, which offers more protection from predators.

Some of the most colorful inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands are the Blue-Footed Boobies. In addition to their funny names, these birds feature bright blue feet, which they use to dance and attract mates. The local Frigate is also quite bright and colorful. The male has a large, inflatable, bright red neck that takes 30 minutes to inflate, and which it uses to attract females.

There is plentiful sea life in the water as well, as the yogis discovered while snorkeling. Sea turtles, fish, and sharks abound, but it’s the species that live at the water’s edge that are the most interesting. Marine iguanas are found only in the Galapagos Islands, and can grow quite large. They march around the beaches looking for food, then swim out through the shorebreak whenever they feel like cooling down. Meanwhile, thousands of sea lions lounge on beaches, rocks, harbor jetties, streets, cars, boats, and even benches at restaurants. Because these animals are all protected in the Galapagos Ecological Park, they don’t fear humans, and are an ubiquitous part of life in the Galapagos. Most of the locals are so used to them that they don’t even pay attention, except to chase the sea lions out from under their cars when they need to drive somewhere.

Located just off the coast of Ecuador (which governs the islands), the Galapagos Islands are only slightly cooler than Hawaii, both on land and in the water. There are waves to surf, mountains to climb, and animals to see—and of course, yoga to keep you limber! Crime is virtually nonexistent, the people are as friendly as they come, and the country even uses the US dollar as its currency (after the local currency collapsed around the year 2000). In other words, there aren’t many places that are easier to visit—especially when your friendly yoga teacher has planned out all of your activities for you!

Now back on Oahu for some summertime waves, Kilty is already looking forward to her next yoga retreat in October. This one will be held in Dordogne, France, smack in the middle of wine country. The retreat will be a benefit for the Susan G. Komen foundation, which helps fund breast cancer research. If you are interested in joining Kilty for a week of yoga in the heart of France, visit www.kiltyyoga.com/france-retreat.html. Or, if a South American adventure is more your style, then you might want to wait until March when Kilty will be taking a lucky group to Patagonia (www.kiltyyoga.com/patagonia- retreat.html)! Until then, she’ll see you in class, and we’ll see you in the water!

SEAL Breathing Techniques
to Help You Surf and Live Better

Most yogis and professional athletes know that breath is the foundation of your performance. Every movement we do is fueled by the burning of calories, which requires an aerobic process that requires oxygen. But when we are under stress—the very times that we need energy the most—we often forget to breathe properly. And many of us never breathe properly at all. We do shallow breaths from our chests, emptying and filling the tops of our lungs, but never actually breath with our diaphragms, which allows us to access the entire volume of our lungs.

Another way that surfers are going green is with our clothes. From t-shirts and sweaters to bikinis and boardshorts, we are finding environmentally friendly ways to make textiles from organic or recycled fabrics, thereby minimizing our impact on the earth. One of the newest fabrics is being used by Vissla to make boardshorts out of coconut fibers! Cocotex takes the unused organic waste from coconuts and turns it into a carbon fabric that dries quickly and is resistant to odors. This Cocotex is then combined with recycled “Repreve” polyester yarns to create high-performance boardshorts that are good for your skin, your surfing, and your surroundings.

Navy Seals are trained to breathe properly when they are under duress, and we can learn a lot from them. As surfers, we are athletes (even though we often don’t think of ourselves that way) who perform in a stressful, foreign environment that is largely out of our control.

By learning to breathe properly during exertion, while resting between waves, and when we are in scary situations (such as when huge waves are about to land on our heads), we can fuel our bodies to more efficiently deal with the situation. The first step is tuning into diaphragmatic breathing. Sit on a chair and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. As you inhale, you should feel your stomach extend outward first, and then feel your chest expand. If you only feel your chest expanding but not your belly, then you are not breathing from your diaphragm, and you are only accessing around half of what your lungs are capable of. Practice breathing from your diaphragm until your lungs feel full (typically for a count of four), then open your shoulders to the sky and allow your chest to expand for another count of four. By this time, your lungs should be fully utilized and full of oxygen-rich air.

Once you master diaphragmatic breathing, it is time to learn our first breathing exercise tactical breathing. Navy Seals use this to calm themselves down during stressful situations when the fight-or-flight response is trying to kick in. Place your hands on your stomach and chest and slowly engage in diaphragmatic breathing, inhaling for a count of four. Once your lungs are completely filled, hold your breath for a second, then begin a slow exhale for eight seconds (depending on your lung capacity, you may want to inhale for more than four seconds and exhale for longer than eight seconds. The important thing is to ensure that your exhale is twice as long as your inhale). This slow, controlled breathing will help to settle you down and help you deal with stress. You can use this technique when you are scared in the ocean, when you are stressed at work, or when you are stuck in traffic and getting angry and frustrated.

The second breathing technique the Navy Seals use is called box breathing. This goes beyond calming you down and helps to sharpen your focus and reaction time. You will engage in the same diaphragmatic breathing, but your inhale, breath hold, exhale, and empty breath hold will all be the same length. Start with four seconds, and then progress to longer if your lungs can handle it. Breath in for four seconds, ensuring that you start your inhale with your diaphragm and then progress to your chest and upper lungs. Then hold your breath for four seconds, followed by a four-second exhale. Finally, hold your breath again with empty lungs for four seconds before starting the next cycle.

Throughout both of these breathing exercises, the important thing is to settle into a comfortable rhythm. You don’t want to be clamping down or forcing. Instead, your breath should be laying the foundation for relaxation and focus. Remember, you can go weeks without food and days without water, but you can only last a few minutes without oxygen. Many people think of food as the fuel our bodies use to power themselves, but food can’t be burned without oxygen. Learn to breathe properly, and everything else you do will benefit!

Member of the Month: Q and A with Nina

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

I got into surfing when I was 22; I was a late bloomer. I always had friends who surfed, I would tag along at the beach and just swim, body surf, but oddly never wanted to surf. One day, we headed to Queens and it was just lines of rolling sets coming in—-clean 3-4 foot clear, blue waves washing upon the hot shores at Waikiki and I told my friend I’ll go! I started learning at Queens/Canoes and learned surf etiquette pretty quickly, hahahaha. Soon, I stopped tagging along friends and surfed solo, borrowed my dad’s board (thanks Dad, sorry for dinging it), and

Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when and why did you start back up?

I only laid off surfing for 3 years in my life thus far. It was the three years I was pregnant and gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. I started back up because it was natural to do so. Like waking up and making coffee, it’s just on my mind one way or another, just like second nature.

What is your favorite thing about surfing?

Surfing alone is uplifting and makes me feel happy alone. But as you surf, you start meeting like-minded surfers and not so like-minded surfers, you share moments and grow with each surf session. You form bonds with people, the ocean, uncles, groms, kooks, hahaha, and see each other progress and fun moments. You start to have a sense of belonging with the wave and lifestyle/culture you create and play apart with other surfers, share and grow. Oh, and it’s fun.

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? What is your favorite item on the menu?

Soooo many! But Saigons in Kaimuki is pretty standard.

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?

Walking, friends.

What type of work do you do?

Nurse.

Tell us about the Straw Hat Wetsuit you purchased from us?

I received my first Straw Hat as a gift, and it served me WELL. I’ve tried other wetsuits and they either breakdown or just aren’t warm enough, if they are warm enough, they often compensate my paddling power. Straw Hat kept me warm in winter waves on Oahu and still provided maneuverability with paddling. Felt lightweight and smooth in skin. Aesthetic wise, it made me look good, hahaha. I felt like an X-men heroine. Lastly, they have an excellent guarantee for the wetsuit, questions were always addressed when I had them.

Do you have any additional comments?

Thanks Hawaiian South Shore for asking my input!

Straw Hat Wetsuit

Introducing COOLA
a Healthier Sunscreen Option

Natural Sunscreen from COOLA

As people become more and more aware of how the things that we consume affect us, the organic food movement has become more than just a fad—it is a mainstream movement. Meanwhile, our increasing environmental awareness has led to Hawaii creating laws that require sunscreen sold in the state to be reef-safe. But it isn’t just reefs that need to be protected from the toxins found in many sunscreens. Just as the foods that we consume directly impact our health, the products that we put on our skin are also absorbed into the body and have an effect on us—so, it is just as important for our bodies that our sunscreen be safe for consumption

Ten years ago, an East Coast surfer by the name of Chris Birchby was studying art design and packaging in school while still spending as much time in the water as possible. When both of his parents were diagnosed with melanoma, Chris became aware of how important non-toxic protection from the sun is. Both parents ended up going into remission, but after their health was restored, Chris decided that he needed to do something to help other people prevent the scare that his family had gone through. He set out to develop a sunscreen that was as safe for the human body as it was effective in blocking cancer-causing rays from the sun.

Chris was a professional poker player and had saved his winnings from the various tournaments he’d played in. He took that money and invested it into making an environmentally friendly, non-toxic sunscreen called COOLA. It uses recycled materials and solar power in their production, making it as good for the earth as they are for the body.

Coola is distributed in countries around the world, and will soon join our stock of sustainable, responsible suncare products here at Hawaiian South Shore. Good for the ocean, good for your skin, and keeps you in the water all day—you can’t beat that!

Hawaiian South Shore June Newsletter

Mugicha: Japan’s Favorite Drink That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

One of the most exhilarating parts of visiting and living in other countries and cultures is the opportunity to explore their unique food and drinks. Growing up in Okinawa, I was exposed to all sorts of interesting dishes and beverages, but perhaps the one that I recall the most vividly, at least during the summer months, is mugicha.

Mugicha is tea made from roasted barley and is a staple of the Japanese diet during summer. It is extremely cool and tasty, and a great way to refresh yourself during a hot summer’s day—which there are a lot of in Japan! It has a savory flavor, derived from roasting unhulled barley until it becomes the color of caramel, then steeping it in hot water.  It might not be the most appetizing-looking beverage, but the taste definitely grows on you!

Virtually every Japanese person grows up drinking mugicha during the summers—from toddlers up to the elderly! My grandmother told me it’s better than drinking water because it hydrates you faster. Not sure if that’s true but when I help out in the field, that’s all we have to drink. Many people think of sake as the national drink of Japan, but mugicha probably fits that description a bit better. The most amazing thing about mugicha is that it isn’t just universally loved in Japan, but it is also quite healthy. It is free of any processed sugars and full of vitamins and antioxidants. It has been suggested that the drink helps benefit blood circulation, and that it also has cancer-preventative properties.

Another interesting thing I read on livestrong.com – According to a 2006 article in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,” a beverage made of roasted ground barley like mugicha, protects your teeth against cavities. It does so by preventing the bacterium Streptococcus mutans from proliferating on the tooth’s surface and causing decay. Maybe that’s why Japanese give toddlers mugicha. 

I bet; you’re wondering if you can get it in Hawaii? YES, it’s sold at Nijiya Market and Don Quijote.

Brett, Manager: Lucky we Live in Hawaii!

Over the past few months we’ve had a chance to get to know Brett Martin, our store manager here at Hawaiian South Shore. This month, he describes his college surf experiences and explains the differences between surfing in California and Hawaii.

So, you went straight from high school into college, right? Did you surf while you were in college?

Not as often as I wanted to, but I tried to get out once per month or so. I mostly surfed Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, because those were the closest spots to where I lived. However, it was still around a 45-minute drive when traffic was good, and more than an hour if traffic was bad.

I had my own longboard and would also borrow my friend’s shortboard from time to time. At the time, longboarding was appropriate for my abilities. The shortboard I borrowed was a high-performance 6’0″, and I sometimes found it hard to catch a bunch of waves on it. But when I got out there, I always had a bunch of fun.

What were the main differences between surfing in California and surfing here in Hawaii?

The thing about surfing in California is that most days of the year, the wind is light/offshore in the morning, and then blows out by noon. So, if you can’t get out early due to your schedule, you either have to surf blown out waves or you don’t surf at all. Plus, the mornings are pretty crowded since that’s when the waves are good. You can either surf clean, crowded waves in the morning or blown out empty waves in the afternoon.

Here in Hawaii, the trades are either blowing or they aren’t, so you can basically choose where to surf based on what the waves are doing, and then surf whenever you want during the day. Since the water is so clear and warm, it’s just more enjoyable to surf. In California, the water is always cold no matter what. Both during summer and winter—it’s always cold. Also, the water is so murky, and it’s always scary because you never know what swimming around or underneath of you!

The other thing I appreciate about Hawaii is that when it rains, you can still find a lot of spots that aren’t too dirty or polluted. In California on the other hand, after it rains, you can’t really surf anywhere or you risk getting sick. Lucky, we live in Hawaii!

Boardshorts Made From Coconuts

How Vissla is Revolutionizing the Surf-wear Industry with Cocotex Technology

One of the most important movements in the surf industry over the past few years has been to find ways to produce our surf products in a more environmentally friendly manner. From eco-resins and bamboo boards to wetsuits made from plant-based rubber and sunscreens that are reef-friendly, we surfers are finally trying to clean up our carbon footprint—or at least minimize it as much as our hobby will allow.

Another way that surfers are going green is with our clothes. From t-shirts and sweaters to bikinis and boardshorts, we are finding environmentally friendly ways to make textiles from organic or recycled fabrics, thereby minimizing our impact on the earth. One of the newest fabrics is being used by Vissla to make boardshorts out of coconut fibers! Cocotex takes the unused organic waste from coconuts and turns it into a carbon fabric that dries quickly and is resistant to odors. This Cocotex is then combined with recycled “Repreve” polyester yarns to create high-performance boardshorts that are good for your skin, your surfing, and your surroundings.

While Vissla is known for their avant-garde approach to fashion and beach culture, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they are also quite environmentally conscious. The brand recently signed Ph.D. scientist, Hawaiian sovereignty advocate and staunch environmentalist Clifford Kapono, who now fills an important niche on their team. As the de facto global voice of surfing environmentalism, Cliff has been the force behind the Surfer Biome Project and numerous green surfboard initiatives and competitions. Needless to say, someone as environmentally aware as Cliff isn’t going to wear boardshorts that are bad for the planet, so it is a no-brainer that Vissla would help elevate the surfwear industry and find a way to bring coconuts into the mix.

Here in Hawaii, coconuts have long been an important part of our culture and society. They provided our ancestors with food, fiber, shells for various uses, and even husks for fires. Today, they are one of the symbols of our state and people. The fact that they can also be used in the construction of boardshorts—the shorts that we wear while enjoying the pastime of Hawaiian kings—only makes them even more important.

Member of the Month: Corey Wong

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

I started surfing around 1972. An uncle wanted me to get more physical, so he got me a surfing lesson in Waikiki. Then I got a used board and continued surfing at Queens, Pops, Threes, Concessions, Diamond Head, and Wailupe. My first new board was a Ben Aipa board. My second board was a Bonzer which I broke at Ehukai when I was trying to have my high school senior picture taken. It didn’t matter; the camera broke too.

Went to college in southern California and continued surfing at Huntington Cliffs, Santa Barbara, and Malibu.

Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when and why did you start back up?

Yes, I stopped when I graduated from college and started working as an engineer in Pasadena. I did a career change to become an acupuncturist and just focused my life on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Then I got married and moved to China for two years. We moved back to Hawaii after our first child was born. Two more eventually filled our lives. So, with work and family keeping me busy, I accepted that my surfing days were over. But when my son was sixteen in 2015, he wanted to learn how to surf. Without any surfing friends to teach him, I said I would. But first, I had to get back into it after 35 years. Started off with a 7’2”, then a 6’8”, then a 6’3”, and now I use a 5’6” board. I took my son surfing, but because he’s an engineering student at UH Manoa, he doesn’t have much time. So, I surf more than he does.

What is your favorite thing about surfing?

There are so many reasons why I like it. Most of all, I like the physical and mental challenge of surfing. Knowing I have so much more to improve keeps me going out. So with every wave I catch, I know I can do better. Then within that physical aspect, there’s peace and calmness of being in the ocean especially at sunrise (when yin energy transforms to yang energy), and having the relaxed focus of riding a wave. The people I meet out there are pretty cool too.

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? What is your favorite item on the menu?

Since I usually sunrise surf, I go home to eat. My Japanese wife has a Japanese breakfast prepared for me when I get home. First, she gives me a kale smoothie with fruits blended in. Then, I eat miso soup, rice, natto, and tsukemono.

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?

Hobbies? I work seven days a week. I do acupuncture and teach various health classes. Breaking this work routine, I’ve joined Acupuncturist Without Borders and gone to Yucatan, Mexico to give free treatments to the Mayan people last year. So, other than work and surfing, my “hobby” would be taking my youngest son, Kapono, to various venues to perform playing his ukulele. Watching and listening to him play amazes me as I watch his talent grow. Now, he volunteers in the lobby of a small Waikiki boutique hotel, Vive Hotel, every Friday at 5-7pm. I have lots of fun watching his passion and talent.

How long have you been practicing and why did you choose this path?

As an acupuncturist, I’ve been nationally certified from 1985, California licensed in 1986 and Hawaii licensed in 1988. So more than 30 years I’ve been in this field. From engineering to a career in health was a decision of wanting to help people. The big question was how did I want to help people? In college, I had joined the kung fu club and whenever we got injured, our Sifu would tell us how to treat ourselves, using herbal liniments, tuina (massage), moxa, pressure (acupuncture) points, and stretching. He knew acupuncture too. So, with his encouragement, I pursued Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). After graduating from a TCM school in Los Angeles and getting my California license, I went to China to study more for six months. Later, after opening up my practice in Redondo Beach, I also taught at an acupuncture school until I left California in 1993. That’s when I got married and moved to China for two years, studying more acupuncture, Tai Chi and Qigong.

I know you’re teaching, could you elaborate on that?

I teach various classes including Chinese fitness, kung fu, qigong, tai chi, balance and pool exercises.

*The Chinese fitness class involves lots of stretching, strengthening, balance and is based on the kung fu warm-up exercises.

*Kung fu class includes the Chinese fitness exercises plus two-person drills, applications, and forms. It is a traditional northern style kung fu which incorporates a variety of traditional weapons.

*Qigong class is to open up one’s meridians to circulate the qi (ch’i or ki) and blood. To become more sensitive to what the body experiences, one then can feel the qi. Once one can feel it, then you can start to control it, move it, or strengthen it. Qigong is very internal.

*Tai Chi class is to learn one of the Tai Chi styles I teach. There are many styles of Tai Chi with their own characteristics. The higher level of Tai Chi is actually practicing qigong. But to get there, you learn the form first. It is commonly known as a “meditation in motion.” A Harvard study said it is “medication in motion” because of the physiological benefits that occur in the body. I say it’s all that and more. It’s also a “philosophy in motion” which refers to the yin and yang theory as applied to the body and mind.

*Balance class is usually for my patients but anyone can come. It started off to work on people’s balance but I personalize it with the exercises the person may need, to reach their physical goal whether it’s balance or something else. Usually, it’s to work on being more functional with something they cannot do.

*Pool exercise class at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific. People who have some kind of physical ailment can come to this heated pool with an open ceiling. We do breathing exercises as well as exercises for strengthening, stretching, balance and agility. Sometimes, we do a Tai Chi movement in the water.

*Exercise is like nutrition. You don’t eat only one type of food. You eat a variety of food for good health. Same with exercise, you want to have a variety of exercises. Chinese fitness and kung fu are more external, more physical. Qigong is more internal, using awareness and intent of the mind. Tai Chi is both external and internal, where the physical movements can move the qi and the mind having the intent or awareness to feel it.

What’s the best way to contact you if someone is interested, is it by visiting your office or attending a class?

Most new patients and students come to me through word of mouth. If you are interested in acupuncture or a tuina (medical massage) session, or in attending a class, you can contact me through phone or text at (808) 220-0934 or email me at asianhorizonsllc@gmail.com. My clinic is in the Makiki area. I have a Thursday class at Jodo Mission on Makiki St and Sunday classes outside Kuykendall Hall at UH Manoa. First class is free for you to try it out.

Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us. What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?

The most recent board I bought from Hawaiian South Shore was a 5’6” Puddle Fish. My fin setup is the MR twin fin. I really like how easy it is to catch a wave and how it can handle small waves and holds up in the bigger ones. It is fast, loose and very responsive. I’m still working on getting it to its full potential but it makes the rider look better than he really is!

Do you have any additional comments?

I have to thank Dave and Brett for the advice they gave me in choosing my boards and fins. Since the time I started surfing in the 70’s on no leash single fin hand shaped boards, there’s been so much innovation in surfboard and fin designs. You guys have guided me to some great boards that suit me well.

NEW RELEASE IN JULY: The Slater Design’s No Brainer

Kelly Slater and Dan Mann Want You to Stop Overthinking

When you are up and riding on a wave, the last thing you want to do is to start thinking about the board under your feet. Your board should be an extension of your body, something that you are so in tune with that you can completely stop focusing on it and just move instinctively. You want to be in the flow, naturally drawing on years of muscle memory and reacting to the wave as it unfolds in front of you, rather than wasting time analyzing and overthinking. What you want is a No Brainer—a board that requires no thought at all, that only needs you to surf it.

When Dan Mann and Kelly Slater designed the No Brainer, that was the goal—a board that felt so natural that you forget that it’s there. As Mann says, it’s a board that’s so easy to surf; you can shred it even if you don’t have a brain! The No Brainer blends Mann’s favorite groveler rocker with a tiny bit of extra flip in the nose and tail, to tailor the board to Slater’s surfing. The bottom contours feature a subtle belly V in the nose that gives way to a single concave under the chest. That single concave is also complemented by a double concave that runs nearly the entire length of the board, transitioning to spiral V as it exits the tail under the fins. This combination gives you forgiveness through the forward rails, drive off the tail, and all-around maneuverability.

A true groveler, the No Brainer is intended for all levels of surfers, from beginners to experts, in waves five feet and smaller on the face. It comes in sizes ranging from 5’0″ to 6’6″, with volume ranging from 24.6 to 49.2 liters (Slater’s personal No Brainer is a 5’4″ with 27.0 liters). Utilizing Firewire and Slater Design’s Linear Flex Technology and a five-fin box setup, the No Brainer is lightweight, reliable, progressive, and versatile—the perfect summer board.

The Making of the Waimea Bay River Break

Most of us here in Hawaii have seen footage of the standing wave at Waimea Bay, which forms when the river flows out of Waimea Valley and breaks through the beach.

Have you ever wondered when and how that standing wave forms, or how long it lasts?

We did some research into the formation of the “Waimea River Break,” and what we found out was actually pretty unsurprising.

First of all, Waimea Bay is one of the biggest waves on the North Shore—this isn’t really news to anyone. Over the summer and winter, sand gets moved around the North Shore by currents and waves (again, not exactly revelatory news), and since Waimea Bay has some of the biggest waves and strongest currents on the coast, it is no surprise that sand builds up on the beach, making it a great place for people to enjoy the sun, watch people charge huge waves in the winter, and jump off the famous Waimea Jump Rock during the summer.

Most of us also realize that winter can be a bit rainy on Oahu—just think back to February and March of this year! When the rain really gets going, Waimea River starts to flow out of the valley, but with all the sand that gets built up on the beach, the river isn’t able to empty into the bay, which is its natural endpoint. The water eventually starts to backfill the valley and the marsh behind Waimea Bay beach, which actually isn’t great for the local environment, since the river naturally wants to empty into the ocean.

Left to its own devices, the river will typically either break through on its own, or eventually dissipate as the winter rains come to an end. But with so many miscreants (aka: surfers) living on the North Shore, it’s been years since the river has been left to its own devices! Once the water gets close to breaking over the sand berm, a bunch of locals takes matters into their own hands. They dig out a trench through the berm, connect the trench to the backed up water, and within a few hours, the flowing river has torn open the beach and emptied its guts into Waimea Bay. And in the meantime, it creates a pretty fun (if not short-lived) standing wave.

The legality of digging out the river is questionable, but at the end of the day, no one really complains. After all, no one is doing anything that nature doesn’t do on its own—they are just speeding up the process so that it happens during daylight hours, when the wave can be enjoyed by everyone. (That being said, the river does usually tend to get dugout in the evening, once the authorities [i.e., lifeguards] have gone home, so the river sessions often extend until long after sunset). And everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the fun; it’s more of a community event than anything. All you need is a shovel, a board, and the willingness to work a bit for your waves—and the inside scoop on which everyone is going to show up and break the river open, of course.

Next time you see a long period of rain followed by a major flat spell on the North Shore, head on over to Waimea Bay, and you just might ride the longest wave of your life!

Reviews and Who’s Stopped By

“Moving from a 7’2 Funboard to the Harley Ingleby Moe with a thruster setup has been an exciting step up to more progressive surfing. Friends in the lineup have told me to leave the other board home as this board has proven to improve my ability to turn, add some cutbacks, and gain some speed to my surfing. As someone that qualifies for social security, those are all huge pluses. Mahalo for the excellent advice. – Mark” ⠀

Our Long time VIP customer Gabe picked up a JS Black Baron…we’ve been selling many of these. I have one and after letting 5 people try after one ride, they are blown away at how the board feels. – David

Local Pro Kapono Nahina stopped by and picked up a Ben Skinner

The Strangest WSL Season in Recent Memory Continues at Keramas, Bali

Over the past few decades, we’ve become pretty accustomed to a predictable world tour scene. Since 1992 there have been 26 world titles—and 21 of them have been won by five people. Between Kelly Slater’s 11 wins, Mick Fanning and Andy Irons taking three apiece, and John John Florence and Gabriel Medina dominating the past five years with two world titles each, there really hasn’t been room for anyone else at the top of the heap. And while that might be a testament to how dominant these surfers are, a predictable world tour doesn’t really make things very interesting for spectators.

Fortunately, 2019 is off to a very unpredictable start. The third event of the season just ended at Keramas in Bali, and the top-10 picture is all over the place! John John Florence still holds on to the Jeep Leader Yellow Jersey, but Kanoa Igarashi is nipping close at his heels after his first win in Indonesia—the first Japanese surfer to announce himself as a title threat on the world tour! (Kanoa was born in Japan but moved to Huntington Beach at a young age to gain dual citizenship and pursue a professional surfing career. Last year, as the battle for Olympic qualification started, Kanoa switched his declared nationality back to Japan, so that he can compete under the Rising Sun flag).

Next up you have Brazilians Italo Ferreira and Felipe Toledo, both within striking distance of John John, and both perennial threats for the title (although neither has been able to finish a season in the number one spot). But then things get really weird. Gabriel Medina is way down at 10th, and ahead of him you have Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin, and even 47-year-old Kelly Slater! In fact, this is the first time in years that the US has held the majority of the spots in the top 10 (5 out of 10 if you include HB resident Kanoa).

Perhaps strangest of all, there is currently only one Australian in the top 10, and it’s not one you’d expect. Wade Carmichael has been putting together a decent season thus far, and is leading the charge for the boys from Down Under. He is currently tied with Gabriel Medina in the 10th spot, with two quarterfinal finishes.

On the women’s side, the season started out a bit weird as well, but after Steph Gilmore’s dominant performance at Keramas (where she ended the contest with a perfect 10 in the final), things are back to normal. Steph has already matched Layne Beachely’s record of seven world titles, and has now regained control of the tour, slipping into the leader position with a third of the season in the books. It is interesting to note that over the past few decades, the surfer rated first after three events has gone on to win the world title 60% of the time, which means that Steph and John John are the odds-on favorites to win the title in 2019. But in a season that has already had some crazy upsets, you never know what could happen!

The tour now moves to Margaret River in Western Australia, with competition set to kick off this afternoon Hawaii time (the morning of May 29 in Australia).