Why It’s Important to Always Respect and Listen to Our Lifeguards
Photo By Adventure of Jess
A couple of videos were posted on Instagram recently of people getting themselves into situations that they should have avoided in the water. One guy who was stuck on a ledge at Lekeleke Bay and getting hammered by big sets only survived because firefighters helicoptered in to rescue him (just in time, too!), and two other guys who were clearly not prepared for Pipeline were trying to paddle out but got told off by a lifeguard.
While these videos are good for a few laughs at the tourists’ expense, the reality is that these guys were all endangering not only their own lives, but also the lives of the people around them, including first responders like lifeguards. This can often be avoided if people simply listen to the lifeguards when they tell them not to paddle out, rather than arguing with them. But we see it time and time again at places like Sandy Beach and Pipe, where lifeguards have to go out of their way to explain to tourists and even locals who are unprepared for the conditions why they shouldn’t paddle out—rather than people simply listening respectfully and being grateful that the lifeguards are keeping them safe.
Lifeguarding on Hawaii’s beaches—and especially at places like Pipeline—is a dangerous, consequential job where people’s lives literally hang in the balance.
Photo Credit to @swellvibez
The first lifeguard on the North Shore was the legendary Eddie Aikau, and everyone who has lifeguarded the Seven-Mile Miracle since that time is part of his legacy. Lifeguards at Pipe in particular have to work their way up the ladder, putting in time at less dangerous beaches and proving their mettle in heavy conditions. Those who have earned the right to guard Ehukai beach are some of the best watermen and women on the planet. So next time you are out on the beach and see the lifeguards keeping an eye on everyone, let them know how much you appreciate their service and the fact that they have dedicated themselves to becoming world-class water rescue personnel so that the rest of us can stay safe. And whatever you do, don’t try to paddle out if they tell you not to!
THE NEW FIREWIRE MASHUP
Rob Machado’s Seaside and Dan Mann’s Spitfire are two of the most popular designs in the Firewire quiver, so it was only a matter of time before the two teamed up for a mashup—which is exactly what they decided to call the board that was created by blending the best of their two designs. The Mashup from Machado and Mann is a lesson in paradox. A high-volume groveler, the board features tapered, step-down rails that add more control in solid waves, making this board an all-rounder in every sense of the word.
Vee through the tail gives way to classic single concave in the middle, but with a twist—the single concave is broken into a double barrel with a second inset “vee” along the stringer. Although this isn’t technically a real vee since it is technically level with the rails, it still has the effect of allowing the board to roll from rail to rail easily, despite the fact that the single concave encompassing it provides snap and drive—again, making this the ultimate in hybrid all-rounder design. A touch of concave creates addition flip in the tail for added control, while the Helium construction results in a super strong, lightweight, responsive board that accelerates down the line and through turns. Coming standard with five fin boxes, the Mashup can be surfed as a twin, quad, thruster, 2+1, or even quad+nubster, making it incredibly versatile. Available between 5'2" and 6'6", this board is meant to be surfed a few inches shorter than your normal surfboard and is one of the most popular designs in the current Firewire lineup.
How To Address Sciatica
I’ve been struggling with sciatica for years, and for anyone who has suffered through that in the past, you know that it involves horrible radiating pain down the buttocks and into the lower leg. Sciatica is caused by impingement of the nerves in the lower back and can quite frustrating. Activity and movement are supposed to help, but when you are debilitated by the pain, how are you supposed to go out and get some activity? People who struggle with sciatica often spend much of their life to mitigate the symptoms. I know I did! I tried everything, especially rolling on Tennis balls and stretching—but nothing seemed to make it better.
Then one day I stumbled on this video that discusses how to address sciatica. The guy in the video explains that a lot of what we do to try to fix the problem actually makes it worse due to the anatomy of the area. Rolling on rollers and Tennis balls feels like it helps because the nerves that are being affected are quite close to the surface, so they are easy to trigger, but more often than not we are just aggravating the nerves even more, which leads to further impingement. Likewise, a lot of the stretching we do feels like it helps, but it is actually targeting the wrong area.
While a lot of sciatica is caused by impingement form disc damage, the piriformis also plays a large role in it. The piriformis is a large muscle in the lower back and buttock region, and can rub on the sciatic nerve, causing painful symptoms that are very similar to sciatica. If you have been struggling with this issue and find that nothing is working, it might be worth checking out the stretch that is featured in this video. Similar to the pigeon pose in yoga, it involves rotating the leg of the affected side inward and leaning forward over the knee, although it is important that you keep your lower back upright and stabilized rather than bending from the waist and stretching the lower lumbar region. The goal is to gently stretch the piriformis instead of the lower back, which helps reduce the impingement in piriformis syndrome.
While this won’t solve all sciatic issues, especially those related to nerve impingement from disc injuries, it can’t hurt—and more times than not, you will find that it provides some relief. In many cases, it fixes the problem completely! It definitely helped me. After years of dealing with that pesky pain in my buttocks, I can now move freely again and get my daily activity, which helps keep my body limber and my spine healthy and aligned, resulting in a positive cycle of improvement and progression.
"I got a steal when I picked up this board. I was transitioning from longboard to short board and ran across this California Twin and it is absolutely amazing. Very good for transitioning down!! Thanks to the guys at Hawaiian South Shore for pointing me towards the right choice for me!"
First and foremost, shopping with HSS has been a treat. They used text message updates to keep me informed on when the board was coming, which was useful for someone as eager as me.
Second, the board itself is a swiss army knife for surf conditions. I'm 5' 11' and 178lbs and this board can easily catch ankle biters to 3-4' waves. As an intermediate surfer looking to improve, this board has enough volume to help me paddle into the right spot and enough performance to help me learn how to generate speed and make clean turns.
The drawback is that off shore winds at around 15+ MPH makes it harder to paddle into 3+ ft waves. Because the board is so light and its relatively large mid-length shape, it basically turns into a parachute when you're paddling into the wind.
The board fits into hollow pocket of the wave really well. It drives and holds like no other board. For sure it’s type of board that you only ride when the waves get really good.