Hawaiian South Shore’s November Newsletter!

Apnea Surf Survival Class

By David Kelly, Owner, Hawaiian South Shore

Did you get a chance to read last month’s article by Matt Rott about wipeouts, hold-downs and how to survive them? Well that inspired me to take a class because I know 20 seconds feels a lot longer for me and sometimes I feel like I’m not able to hold my breath long enough when I get wiped out. When I posted that article on our blog and Facebook, one of our members sent us a link about a class called “Apnea Surf Survival Class.” I’ve heard about this class before. Matt commented saying that he was thinking about taking a class but in the last minute he had to do an article for Magic Seaweed and he flew south to the Arctic Circle to surf. Don’t ask why, yeah, I would never fly down there to go surf, but anyway… I took the class and I learned so much about myself. It was an experience I will never forget.

The class had around 20 people and I was impressed because Dennis Payne and Liam McNamara were there taking the class too. This was their second time taking the class as they wanted to get brushed up for this winter.

The biggest thing I learned from the class was how to breathe from my diaphragm and how to oxygenate myself. Without getting into a lot of details, on the second day of class, I could hold my breath for two minutes and 37 seconds. Everyone else made it for 3 minutes or more, so I have a lot to work on.

If you’re interested in this class, email us at sales@hawaiiansouthshore.com, I can send a link to the class.

Here is some additional information from the instructor:

This course is designed with only one goal in mind; to increase your breath hold ability in tense situations underwater, while remaining calm and in total control of your mind. In this apnea training for surfers, you will learn different techniques of apnea and breathing exercises to fully oxygenate the body and to strengthen and increase capacity of the lungs. The class is designed to help you spend more time underwater through lectures, intense breath hold training and multiple breathing and swimming exercises. Its purpose is to aid surfers in dealing with extreme situations where mind control and calmness are the main factors for your survival.

In addition to the apnea theory and breathing techniques to maximize oxygenation and breath hold, we will be emphasizing High Surf Risk Management to recognize, minimize or avoid unnecessary risks found in the surf zone. We will also present and work on many “Surf Rescue” scenarios encountered in the sport of surfing and other water activities. We will cover the importance of providing CPR and Rescue Breath Skills to unconscious victims.

This is a course that every waterman and woman should take! It will make you and your surfing community safer!

It’s Getting Chilly and for Me That Means…

Time for Nabe and Wetsuits!

Yep, both are Japanese!

Nabe is one of my favorite dishes. It’s hearty and filling, but not too heavy. I think I could eat it most nights, even during the summer. Japanese usually only eat it during winter months, when it’s cold. It’s way too hot in Japan in the summer to be eating this dish. Well, come to think of it, they don’t eat nabe, but pound the Ramen in the middle of the summer… mmmm got me.

Anyway, I like all different kinds of Nabe. Kimchi, Seafood, Chicken and many other Nabes. The main ingredients are usually veggies and meat of some kind, placed into a boiling pot of broth. The broth is the most important part of the dish. When it starts off, it’s usually bland, but as you boil the ingredients, it becomes tasty. I guess the key is to have the right broth for the right ingredients. My wife likes to make it and she used to make her own dashi (soup stock), but now at Don Quijote and Nijiya, they sell the Japanese Nabe Broth. It’s really good and super easy to make Nabe with this. Well, I don’t make it, my wife does all the cooking. I’m not allowed in the kitchen. Haha!

Open the package, pour it into the pot, let it boil, place veggies and some thinly sliced beef or any kind of meat and let it simmer. Then you’re ready to eat!

After you eat the contents, it’s also good to simmer some rice with the rich broth or Udon and finish up. It makes a lot of food, which makes for a good dish to eat with family and friends.

This image is what is sold here in Hawaii. You need to water it down since it is a concentrated pack. There is no MSG.

Enjoy it and if you make some hot pots, send me some photos!

Wetsuits have come a long way in the past 50 years…

What started as crude, inflexible iceman suits, they have evolved into sleek, supple heaters that keep us in the water much longer than we ever could have dreamed.

All the major surf brands make suits now, and boutique brands have sprung up as well, bringing top-end rubber to quality conscious consumers. The Straw Hat brand has a line of wetsuits as well, and it’s one that we’re quite proud of, because we understand wetsuit quality, and know a good product when we see one.

That core component of a suit is its rubber, and it stands to reason that the better the rubber is, the better the suit will be. We want a combination of warmth, durability, and flexibility. The Japanese company that makes the Straw Hat suits has been building top quality OEM suits for divers, surfers, and even the Japanese National Defense Force for 35 years. The skin of the Straw Hat rubber is slippery smooth, but stands up to the elements, as some of our past clients are still using suits they bought five years ago, with no cracking or dry rot!

But we weren’t satisfied with only having the best rubber on the market. We added extra design elements like added elasticity for a better fit; silicone rubber in cuffs to maintain seal and prevent over-stretching, even with frequent use. There is also a nylon loop sewn into the zipper to attach your board short string under the suit, to keep it in place.

The result? Wetsuits that are built to last, but provide the warmth and comfort that 21st century surfers demand. If you are looking for the best wetsuits at affordable prices, these are worth checking out. Straw Hat has been a staple of the surf wardrobe since day one, and Straw Hat wetsuits will be keeping us warm well into the future.

We are so stoked and confident about the Straw Hat wetsuits, that we offer a 30-day money back guarantee!

What’s New at Hawaiian South Shore?

Channel Islands X INT Shaper’s Series Surfboard

The Channel Islands X INT Shaper’s Series surfboard is a hybrid soft deck with an epoxy hard bottom for responsiveness and durability.

The core is 100% recyclable, American-made Marko foam, designed for optimum strength and performance for a soft board.

Sustainable bamboo stringers are featured for strength, allowing for flex and performance.

The MINI model is a Channel Island, Kalani Robb and MINI automotive collaboration for a combination of performance, fun and versatility.

This board has an ultra-relaxed rocker, wider nose and squash tail, thinned rails, and aggressive single to double concave with Vee out the tail.

Taking a page from Al’s Popular Skinny Fish design, the MINI incorporates all the speed and wave catching ability of a traditional fish with a performance of a squash tail.

This board was designed to work best in knee to head high surf.

The strength of Libtech X Lost Surfboards

If you surf and you’ve been in the surfboard section of the store, you know we carry the Libtech X Lost Surfboards. As a matter of fact, we are the ONLY ones in Hawaii that carry them. This board has been a hot seller for the past 3 years. In year 2, we were #1 in the nation for selling Libtech’s. We believe in them so much we keep just about every model and size Lost has with them.

Have you seen the video Libtech made a couple years ago where they run a car over the board?

For a while now, a friend of mine said I should try it. I was hesitant, until now. We ran over a Lost Round Nose Fish Redux. We actually ran over it and backed up over it and… nothing happened! Just some scratches, no stress fractures. It was very impressive. I am now a true believer!

Watch us run over the board here… 

Hayden Holy Grail

Hayden’s Hypto Krypto was the #1 selling model in the world for 4 years. It was voted the best all-around surfboard for 3 years in a row.

For the past 6 years, we’ve been selling the Australian-made Hayden Hypto Krypto. We don’t sell the Made-in-Thailand boards. We used to, but after reviews and complaints from customers, we decided to stick with the one that has the better flex, strength and ride. Yes, it’s about a $100 difference, but the reviews and repeat orders we receive from members, say it’s well worth it.

By the time you read this, we should have the NEW Holy Grail model in stock. It’s a model that catches waves like the Hypto, but it’s more of a performance board. The average surfer can catch tons of waves and surf it like a high performance shortboard. The advanced surfer can really push the board. It’s pretty much a high performance Hypto Krypto, with a slight pulled-in nose and very different looking rails toward the tail.

This board is going to blow up like the Hypto Krypto!

I Learned A Lot About Carbon Wrap…

We recently had two guys visit the shop that are on vacation and work for Lost. We learned a lot from our conversation.

First, we learned that it takes almost triple the amount of time to make these boards compared to a normal surfboard. The Carbon stripes you see on the deck and bottom are recessed into the foam. They cut out .5mm of foam and insert the carbon so it is flush to the deck.

Also, the glassing is heavier than standard surfboard glass. They place 2 layers of 4-oz. glass and a 4-oz. biaxial fiberglass on top of that. That makes 3 layers of 4-oz. on the deck and they place 2 layers of 4-oz. on the bottom. I’m 180 pounds and I rode my Carbon Wrap the entire winter season last year and hardly endured any pressure dings. A friend that I surfed with all winter is 200 pounds and said the same thing. It’s no wonder why our boards were holding up so well.

I was super stoked to get the low down on the glassing, it’s super impressive. I recently bought myself the Baby Buggy with 5 fins. I surfed it in the country in solid 4’ surf and it worked well as a thruster. In town, I surfed it as a Quad, the thruster in town seems a little loose.



UPGRADE to the NEW PLATINUM Membership and SAVE Big Time! PLUS, RECEIVE A $126 VALUE BONUS (if you sign up this month)

The Membership you currently have is Free, the benefits are 5% back on most items, a birthday special, sales and invites to Members Only Events. Starting this month, we’re offering a new Platinum service upgrade.

The added savings include:

• 10% back on your purchases (does not include surfboards and sale items)

• 20% off your Birthday month

• Free Shipping on phone and web orders (2-day service)

The Platinum membership is a ONE TIME $20 membership, which is a steal because it will more than pay for itself in no time! PLUS! Here are more bonuses you’ll be stoked on:

Grab your Platinum Rewards Membership now and we’ll send you:

• Hawaiian South Shore T-Shirt ($30 value)

• 1 year Premium subscription to www.SurfNewsnetwork.com ($96 value)

◊ Includes 10 day forecasts

◊ Unlimited access to all Webcams

◊ 5 days of Webcams Archives. (The archives are awesome because you can check out the action from the day before or review your surf session to get a different perspective.)

◊ In case you didn’t know, SNN is one of the oldest surf reports around. Gary has been doing the Surf reports since 1976. Wow, 41 years of giving Hawaii the surf report, that is awesome!

That’s a value of $126! The bonus offer is ONLY available during the month of November, so send an email NOW to sales@hawaiiansouthshore.com or call us at 597-9055 to lock in your Platinum Membership and grab your bonuses now!






The Critical Slide Society – More of a movement than a brand…

It was around seven years ago, on a surf trip to the Coffs Harbour region of Australia’s NSW, that I first started noticing TCSS logos. And no wonder. At the time, The Critical Slide Society was a fledgling enterprise started by two local boys, Jim Mitchell and Sam Coombes. In fact, it was more of a movement than a brand. TCSS started as a blog, and slowly grew into a community. But then things started to gain momentum, and suddenly, less than a decade later, TCSS is a multi-million dollar surf brand.

The irony, of course, is that TCSS is sort of an anti-brand as well. The movement started because Jim and Sam recognized that there were others like them out there—people who saw surfing as something much bigger than contests and magazines. These were people who thought surfing was bitchin’ in and of itself. They were longboarders, shortboarders, retro riders and body surfers who just sort of wanted to go surf, have a good time, and forget the rest of the hype.

As often happens with counter-culture movements, the hype soon caught up with The Critical Slide Company. Today, its understatedly stylish collection is sold all over the world, with the biggest markets being Australia, Japan and the US. Shorts, shirts and hats have been joined by pants, bags, socks, warm gear and even customized fins. The items are designed with comfort, style and a bit of novelty in mind, and often include lesser-noticed details like printed linings and stash pockets. The prints are done in-house, the designs are simple yet stylish and the workmanship that goes into the collection is as much about feel as it is aesthetic. No wonder the brand is such a hit with the mellow underground of our already fringe sub-culture.

Check The Critical Slide Society out today!

Channel Islands Soft Top Surfboard? Performance? WHAT???

While soft-top boards were all but written off 10 years ago, these days it seems like everyone has one. From total beginners to pros who rip the snot out of them and paddle them into double-overhead Pipe, foamie surfboards are everywhere. Jamie O’Brien has pretty much built a career around surfing critical barrels on soft-tops, and pulling stunts like mid-barrel transfers from foamies to normal boards. Kalani Robb has seen his career revived after signing with a soft-top brand, and Koa and Alex Smith are notorious for breaking and returning so many soft-tops to Costco that they forced the retail giant to change its return policy.

Shore breaks used to be the domain of body surfers and body boarders, but these days there are just as many stand-up surfers pulling in over dry sand on the soft, nearly indestructible boards. But soft-tops are just as popular at small, soft waves, where beginners can learn to surf without many of the dangers of “real” boards.

There are a number of reasons for the popularity of soft-tops, such as affordability, durability, and of course the fun factor. After all, it’s hard to take your surfing seriously when you are on an eight-foot funboard made out of body board material—and the last thing you want to do when the surf is marginal is take your surfing seriously. But for most beginners, probably the best thing about these surfboard/body board hybrids is the fact that they don’t hurt too bad when they hit you. That’s great news for newbies, and for surf schools and rental companies catering to kooks.

The downside? They aren’t exactly high-performance boards. Plastic fins, weird flex patterns, and an over-all awkward feel means that while soft-tops might be fun and quirky and good for a novelty session, you probably aren’t going to boost a styled-out air on one. At least not yet.

But a company called INT is out to change that, and renowned board brand Channel Islands has decided to throw their hat in with them. A line of hard-bottomed soft-tops has been released, with two models from Channel Islands in the quiver, including the MINI and the Water Hog. These boards have a standard epoxy-resined glass bottom with high-performance fin boxes, but a durable, more forgiving soft-top deck on a core of Marko foam. In other words, they combine the performance of a glassed board with the forgiveness of a foamie.

Here at Hawaiian South Shore, we currently carry the MINI, which is somewhat of a hybrid groveler—short and stubby, with straight rails for speed and a round tail for control. The MINI was originally a popular collaboration with Kalani Robb and MINI Automotive, but the updated MINI x INT model is the next level of soft-top surfboard design, and is changing our idea of what foam boards are capable of.

We are also excited to announce that we will soon be adding the Channel Islands Water Hog x INT to our lineup. This mini-longboard equipped with the INT technology is revolutionizing the funboard design.

While most soft-tops (up until now) have been essentially oversized bodyboards with fins, or spongy pseudo-longboard clunkers, these cutting-edge soft-top/hard-bottom boards are as friendly to your top turn as they are to your shins. The fact that they are nearly indestructible only serves to make them even more utilitarian.

Channel Islands MINI x INT boards are available in 5’6″, 5’10”, and 6’2″, and Water Hogs will be available in 6’6″, 7’0″, and 8’0″. Stop by the shop and check them out!

You might also like:

Quick Board Repair on the Run

Swells 101: How are Waves Formed?

Swells 102: Ground Swell Versus Windswell

Surfboard Tail Designs – What’s the difference between them?

A note from HSS owner, David Kelly…

In our Oct 2017 newsletter, Spencer Chang said that the MR Super Twin is by far the best board he’s ridden—and that says a lot, because he’s purchased a number of boards from us over the years. He said he liked the way the swallow tail felt. That reminded me of the Hayden Untitled I once rode. It was a friend’s board, and I remember it actually had way too much float for me. The first wave I took off on was overhead, and I thought I was going to get pitched. But I remember the board just grabbed the wave and I was able to control the descent, and it had tons of drive down the line. I think part of the reason was that, just like Spencer said, the tail gives it lots of control.

I found a lot of varying information online, but I ran into a few YouTube videos… and one that I thought was legit was how Michael Baron, a shaper at Quiksilver surfboards, explained the swallow tail. It was so good, I have decided to get an MR Super Twin or the Lost Sub Scorcher II! 

For this surf tip, I have asked our resident big wave rider and surf writer Matt Rott to go over the different tail designs. I know there’s a lot of info out there, so I wanted to give you an easy, comprehensive primer on what each has to offer.

Surfboard tail design has evolved over the years, and, as with most things, necessity has been the mother of invention…

The original square tail was crude and utilitarian. It provided lift, a good planing surface, and a semblance of maneuverability, but very little stability. The pintail, on the other hand, was designed to give gunny single-fin boards control. The pin tapers to a point, which lengthens the outline of the board without adding too much volume, allowing it to anchor in the face of even the biggest and hollowest of waves. Today, pintails are still used on big wave guns to provide ultimate control at high speed in powerful waves, whereas a true square tail is largely a thing of the past.

Round Tails

Round tails (and all of their various nuanced manifestations, including rounded pins and thumbnails) are essentially a softer, less extreme evolution of the pin tail to provide smoother maneuverability and more lift in the tail, but without completely sacrificing the stability and control of a pin. These rounded tails fit into the concave face of a hollow wave, and lend themselves to high-performance surfing in barreling waves, providing control in the tube and a smooth, powerful arcing turn at high speed. They are commonly used on mini-guns, stepups, and other shortboards intended for punchy, hollow waves.

Original Deep Swallow Tails

The original deep swallow tail was developed as a response to twin-fin boards. While we often think of the swallow tail as a good design for a loose, rippable thruster, it was originally intended to serve as a pair of pintails—one for each of the two keels on a twin-fin fish. These early swallow tails were very deep, so the two tips of the tail actually looked somewhat like two pins—and again, this pair of pin tails served as two points of control behind the fins. Due to the width of the “tail” created by the outside edges of the two tips, these boards had straighter rails, more tail volume and a greater surface from which to turn, which made them more skatey and responsive. However, the v-shaped cutout that essentially created two pins also provided some control and bite. These deep swallow tails are still commonly seen on retro fish.

Squash Tails

The squash tail essentially takes the volume of a round tail and adds corners, providing even more volume and rounded angles from which to pivot, while the flat rear surface of the board allows for more slide and release out of a carve or snap. This high-volume, highly maneuverable tail is typically combined with a thruster setup, which makes up for the diminished control that is inherent in a squash tail. While a greater variety in board shape and tail design is being seen in shops these days, for many years, the squash-tail thruster was the high-performance design of choice.

Modern Swallow Tails

The modern swallow tail is essentially a squash tail with a shallow v-shaped cutout between the two corners. Like the deeper original swallow tail, this allows a board to maintain a straighter rail back to the tail, increasing volume, lift, and planing speed while also adding a little more release and pivot due to the missing foam between the slightly more pronounced tips. While modern swallow tails are often associated with small-wave grovelers (since they work well with quads, and provide added lift without completely sacrificing pivot and bite), they are also sometimes used on boards intended for power carving in beefy waves. They even show up on guns and barrel boards from time to time, although these big-wave swallows are typically combinations of a narrow, drawn-in pin tail rail with a little extra width right at the end of the board (provided by the twin-tips of the swallow tail, rather than the traditional single pin).

If this seems like a lot of information to digest, you can always boil it down to a few basic concepts…

Generally speaking, all tail designs are combinations between square tails and pintails. The wider a tail is, the more lift and planing speed it will have, but at the sacrifice of control. For this reason, wider, more voluminous tails are typically used on small-wave boards and grovelers. Narrow, pointed tails will provide less speed and maneuverability, but more control at high speeds and in hollow wave faces, which is why pin tails are typically used in guns and rounded pins in mini-guns and stepups. A softer, rounder rail will lend itself to holding a carve in a hollow face, while corners and tips will provide a pivot point from which to release into sliding maneuvers. Every tail on virtually every board ever shaped is essentially a combination of these four elements, including bat tails, diamond tails, and just about anything else you can dream up. By taking into account the style of surfing you do and what waves your next board is being built for, you can work with your shaper to hone in on exactly what your tail should look like.

Photo Credit: Petra Bensted

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Surfing in Iceland: Staying Warm When the Water’s Cold


I’m on a surf trip in Iceland at the moment—that’s 66 degrees north, just a hair shy of the arctic circle. In other words, it’s cold. At the moment, the water is around 48 degrees, the air is a bit less, and the wind is ripping at a solid 40 knots. But it’s ripping offshore, which means that I’m doing multiple sessions per day. After all, the wind could turn tomorrow and it could be onshore for weeks—gotta get it while it’s good!

Having grown up in Hawaii and spent 15 years on an island in the south Pacific, these temperatures are not exactly familiar to me. To say I am out of my element when completely inundated by the elements is an understatement. But if you want to see and surf the world, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Fortunately, wetsuits are so good these days that it makes frigid surf zones much more hospitable. But sometimes thick rubber isn’t enough—especially if you are an island boy who isn’t used to traveling with neoprene. Here are a few extra tips that can come in handy in the colder latitudes—and that I’ve been taking advantage of here in Iceland.

1. Don’t skimp on your rubber

I’ll be the first to admit that I cut corners when possible. Finding ways to get by without spending a lot of money means that I can do more trips, and who doesn’t want that? But one place I never skimp is with wetsuits. Especially when you are heading somewhere really cold, it makes a huge difference to have fresh rubber that is thick and secure. Since I don’t surf in wetsuits every day, my suits usually last a season or two, but any longer than that and they start to break down. At the moment, I’m in new booties, gloves, and a hooded R4 from Patagonia, and my core temperature is staying good for hours in bone-chilling water. Can’t complain about that!

2. Take care of your suits

Particularly for those of us who don’t use wetsuits very often, it is very important to make sure we take good care of them when they are in storage. Always rinse your rubber with fresh water after every use, and hang them to dry rather than dumping them in a corner. When storing wetsuits between trips, hang them on a clothes hanger per the garment instructions.

3. Strategize when you suit up

When the air is below 50 and the wind is howling, you can’t really take your time when suiting up. When at all possible, change into your wetsuit before leaving the house. If the drive to the surf is too far to accommodate that, then strip down and suit up by layer. I usually drop my pants first while keeping the rest of my body insulated, then pull on my wetsuit up to my waist, followed by my booties. After that, strip your top layers off but keep your beanie on to maintain head heat. Get the wetsuit zipped up and gloves on before trading in wool hats for rubber hoods, and make sure you have all of your other surf gear ready before you get suited up. After your session, strip off your wetsuit and get bundled up in clothes in the same way, just in the opposite order.

4. Bring a thermos of hot water

I learned this one from the Milo surf charter guys in Alaska. Before heading out for a freezing surf, fill an insulated bottle with hot water. Then, when you paddle in and your core temperature is way below where it should be, you can pour the water down the chest of your wetsuit and wallow in the joy of pure, unadulterated heat for a few minutes before stripping down and changing into dry clothes.

5. Use a plastic bag for your feet

This is especially helpful when pulling on a wet wetsuit, but is worth doing even when your suit is dry. Take an old shopping bag and wrap your foot in it when pulling on your wetsuit, and you’ll be surprised how easily that rubber slips on.

6. Tips for booties and gloves

It might seem silly to think that there is a right and a wrong way to put on booties and gloves, but in reality a few simple strategies can make your session way more enjoyable. The main goal is to avoid flushing and ballooning. Before you put on your booties, roll up your cuffs of your suit legs. Once the booties are on, roll the cuffs down over the booties (so they can flush) and make sure that seam and cuff is straight and flush. Then do the same for the gloves, making sure to roll both arm cuffs up before pulling on either of your gloves (since your fingers will be very clumsy once your gloves are on). Pull on your dominant hand’s glove first, as that hand is probably a bit more dexterous, and will have a better chance of pulling the other side on even in its clumsy, gloved state. And again, make sure that the cuffs of your suit and gloves are flush and don’t ride up, to minimize the chances of getting water flushed up into your wetsuit.

7. Have a changing bin

Chances are, when you are changing after a cold session, the last thing you are thinking about is keeping your suit clean and safe. But changing on the ground can not only get your suit muddy, but can also cause unnecessary wear and tear on rocks and plants. If at all possible, try to carry a plastic tub that you can stand in to change out of your suit. This can also double as a storage bin for wet neoprene. If you can’t travel with a bin, you can also use a piece of tarp or heavy plastic sheeting to stand on and wrap your suit up with.

8. Dry your suit as soon as possible

Wherever you are surfing, hopefully the waves pump for you the whole time. If they do, you will probably be doing both evening and morning sessions, which means only 8-10 hours between surfs. There’s nothing worse than a wet wetsuit, especially when it’s freezing cold during the dawn patrol, so get that suit hung up and dried as soon as possible. Or, better yet, bring two suits, so you always have one that is dry. Putting on wet gloves and booties is no fun either, so make sure they are turned upside down to drain while drying.

You might also like:

Swells 101: How are Waves Formed?

Swells 102: Ground Swell Versus Wind Swell

How to Survive Wipeouts and Hold Downs