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Hawaiian South Shore October Newsletter


David Kelly | Owner, Hawaiian South Shore

Mark Nelson founded Carve Sports, Inc. / VERITAS SURFCRAFT in 2014. Since that time, Mark and his team have partnered with Yu Sumitomo of Thunderbolt Technologies and elite longboard surfers including CJ Nelson, Harley Ingleby and Ben Skinner. Together with their shapers, this team has created exceptional lineups of high-performance and classic longboards. These boards have fun shapers and an established distribution of their boards in most major surf markets around the world. Brands include, CJ Nelson Designs, Harley Ingleby Series by Tolhurst Surfboards, Skindog Surfboards and Flying Diamonds Fins.

With so much history and tradition under his roof you’d think Mark would be a throwback, but he’s actually one of the most progressive forward-thinkers in the longboard world. He is one of the first to utilize the revolutionary Thunderbolt technology. Mark met Yu Sumitomo, the creator of Thunderbolt Technologies, when he was researching alternative surfboard construction. He looked at a lot of different construction options and toured several factories but didn’t find anything close to Yu Sumitomo’s boards in terms of quality and performance.

When they met in 2014, Yu Sumitomo was already making high-performance longboards, with earlier generations of the Thunderbolt construction, for some of the top professional surfers in the world. The flex and rebound characteristics of his boards were simply on a different level in terms of responsiveness. They proved to be very durable compared to traditional board-building materials.

With Thunderbolt Technologies’ blanks, the internal flex control components can be adjusted to provide the amount of flex needed in each part of the board. The boards essentially get designed from the inside out based on what the surfers and designers want. The boards are 100% hand layups, which allow for a high level of custom tuning.

Each model and size are built with their own unique flex control system. Once these hand-built blanks are finished, they can be laminated with a variety of materials ranging from XEON Fiberglass to carbon fiber. XEON Fiberglass is a proprietary fiberglass cloth that is prepigmented in a variety of colors. This ensures that the glassers don’t need to overload the boards with resin to get rich color during lamination. As a result, they can precisely control the amount of resin used from board to board for consistency in weight and lamination.

The XEON Fiberglass is laminated to the finished Thunderbolt blank, which already has the internal flexural control components for exceptional flex and rebound. XEON Fiberglass has the same flexural characteristics as regular fiberglass. When this is matched with the Thunderbolt blanks you get lots of flex with a prolonged rebound and extended projection when coming out of turns. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, takes more energy to stretch and rebounds to its pre-stretched length more rapidly than fiberglass. When you add carbon fiber lamination to a Thunderbolt blank that has internal carbon fiber flex control components, you’re doubling up on the speed that the board rebounds with when pushed hard in a turn. The harder you push, the faster it rebounds, which gives back a lot of energy and projects the board out of turns with extra speed and force. It takes more energy to flex a carbon fiber board than one laminated with XEON.

The carbon fiber Thunderbolt boards excel in larger surf, where the full benefit of that extra energy release can be realized. Of course, powerful surfers can put carbon fiber boards to full effect in any conditions. With Carve’s high-performance boards, the most significant thing that everyone notices are the increase in energy projected by the board when coming out of turns. The boards flex very well, so when put hard on rail they draw a tighter arc that allows for faster turns. Coming out of turns, the internal flex components generate a huge amount of energy and when the board unflexes it projects the board forward. This big uptick in responsiveness is what the riders love so much. Traditional models also benefit from the advantages of flex and rebound, but in more subtle ways. You can take Thunderbolt logs and put them on rail when you want to, but the primary benefit CJ Nelson is looking for in his traditional models is enhancing flow, feel and improving the responsiveness. This also allows him to nimbly position the board exactly where he wants to be on a wave, rather than wrestling a more rigid heavier log like traditional construction models.

Thunderbolt blanks are also set up for the tail to twist as well as flex. This allows the rider to control the board from the nose, with a lot more dexterity and rigid constructions. Yu Sumitomo is the man who came up with the Thunderbolt technology and his commitment to quality and constant pursuit of elevating performance.

His father, Tamotsu started making surfboards in Japan over 40 years ago and is one of the true innovators of the industry. Yu Sumitomo learned a lot from his dad and has continued to advance the art of building surfboards to the highest level. He is the reason that Mark Nelson got involved in the surfboard industry, and is as much a brother to Mark as he is a business partner. Between Mark, Yu, CJ, Harley and Ben, Carve Sports has grown into a thriving business and one that Hawaiian South Shore is proud to represent!


Surf shops have been a central part of our culture for decades! They are the watering hole of the surf community, where people come to stock up on supplies, check out the latest shapes and surf videos, and simply talk story. But while most of us have spent hundreds of hours in our local shops, we often fail to notice the people working behind the scenes to make these hubs of surf culture tick. That’s why we are turning the spotlight inward this month. We want everyone to get to know one of the main characters behind Hawaiian South Shore, so we decided to sit down and have a chat with our general manager, Brett Martin.

So where did you grow up and go to school, Brett?

I grew up in Southern California, in the city of Fullerton. I attended many different schools growing up, but the most significant were Fullerton Union High School and California State University, where I earned a bachelor’s in business administration.

Coming from Southern California, when did you first get into surfing, and what were your local spots growing up?

I was probably 10 years old when I first started surfing. My dad bought me my first surfboard at that age, and I was a weekend warrior for a while. My Dad took me to the beach just about every weekend. I caught the bug early in life, for sure. My local spots were Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and San Onofre, and I had a lot of great sessions at those spots growing up.

Do you prefer longboarding, short boarding or both? And has this always been the case, or has your surfing evolved over the years?

I have always loved both. They both offer something different, and it’s really nice to be able to switch between the two depending on what the waves are doing and what mood I’m in. If it’s pumping, then I’m most likely going to grab my shortboard, and if it’s a bit smaller and I’m in the mood to try to draw out some classic lines and get on the nose, then I grab my 9’6 CJ Nelson Guerrero.

Do you do any other board sports, or have any other ocean-related hobbies?

I skateboard on occasion, and I also like to body surf.

Can you tell us about your most frightening experience in the surf?

My most frightening experience was last winter at Log Cabins. It was only slightly overhead, but I wiped out on the first wave of a set and was held under for like three waves. I thought I was going to die. Every time I would finally make it up for air, another huge lip would break on me and send me in all kinds of directions, with absolutely no control. I was completely at the mercy of the powerful force of nature. It was definitely something I will never forget and very humbling experience.

What about the best wave of your life? Does one stick out in your memory? The best wave ever was the first one that I caught as a kid. The first time I caught a wave on the face. It was such a fun and rewarding moment. All that work of getting tossed around on the inside finally paid off. Up until that point, I was mostly getting worked trying to paddle out to the lineup and catching nothing but white water. When I caught my first actual wave face and was able to see the wave from that angle—see it just as it was lining up—that was something that I had never seen before. I was in awe the whole time. That was definitely the best feeling ever.

If you could create the perfect wave, what would it look like for you?

It would definitely be a super long barrel or two with some nice face time in between for a few off the lips. It would be like the wave that Andy Irons caught in High Five when he won the best barrel in 2010. He gets barreled twice and pig dogs in his own signature style that will forever stand out in my mind. Everything was so perfect about that wave and how he surfed it.

Where is your go-to surf spots now?

Right now, my top spot in town is Diamond Head. It usually always has waves, the vibe is usually good, and I just always have a lot of fun when I go there. I usually have a lot of fun at Tracks when I’m out that way and it’s breaking. When Country picks up, Chuns and Ehukai are usually my top choices.

What other jobs did you have before taking over as manager of Hawaiian South Shore?

I worked at Papa John’s Pizza, Hollywood Video, UPS, and a family-owned swimming pool business. I mostly worked retail. Right before I took this job, I was working as an operations manager at Old Navy Ala Moana.

Was working in surf retail something you have always had an interest in, or did you just fall into the job? How did you end up hooking up with HSS?

Yes, working in the surf industry is a dream come true for me. Working in an industry that I love such as surfing has always been an interest of mine, but something I never dreamed would become my reality. With Hawaiian South Shore, I randomly came across a job posting for a key holder position and applied. To my surprise, I got a call back a few days later to set up an interview. One thing led to another, and with a little bit of fate working on my side, plus hard work and the luck of having David coach me along the way, I am proudly here today as manager of Hawaiian South Shore.

Tell us some of your favorite things about working at HSS, and about the shop in general.

My favorite thing is stoking out customers. When a customer buys a board that you’ve recommended, and they come back to tell you how stoked they are and how well it surfs. That is the best feeling in the world. I feel super blessed to be able to make a living doing something I love. I used to think that only top pros got to live that dream but working at Hawaiian South Shore has taught me that it is possible for everyone. To keep that dream alive is like anything great and it takes a lot of work and dedication. Another thing that I love about working here is that all the things we sell are products that I believe in and use. I don’t have to put on a front, and it’s nice to be able to be genuine and authentic in my work. Well we genuinely love having you here at Hawaiian South Shore, Brett. Thanks for all the hard work!



Getting Reviews stokes us out and helps others know how the board rides, so keep them coming! Thanks for all you folks that do give us board reviews, we really appreciate it and it helps us help others.

CJ Nelson Haven Model

Raul Baybayan Shout out to the HSS Crew! I think the Haven is one of the best all-around boards to ride hands down! Had a blast riding it the past couple of days. If you want a CJ Nelson Designs board, but can’t decide on a specific model? The “Haven” is all of them combined in this one model! The addiction lives on.....Thanks Brett...

CJ Nelson Guerrero Model

bigote_bruhh @cj_nelson this board is MAGIC!!! Insanely responsive and super fun in these less than prime conditions. Thanks @hwnsouthshore for the hookup!

Lost Libtech Review surfing desert

This is the board I’ve been riding out here in the desert for the last two months. I’ve caught the best waves of my life on it and even more so the hardest beatings I can easily say I have never seen so many broken boards “this place chews 6’0’s like toothpicks”. Having surfed every single swell this season I am still on #1. Somehow @libtechsurf are making their boards.

In today’s online marketplace, reviews are the lifeblood of businesses and especially boutique and locally-owned businesses such as Hawaiian South Shore. Over the years, we have had the support of a lot of great customers, and many of them have spoken up online by reviewing our shop and letting the world know about their experiences here.

Everyone here at Hawaiian South Shore is extremely proud of our consistently high reviews across the different rating platforms and very appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to post reviews and help us grow. In doing so, you truly are enabling us to be a better surf shop and to continue to evolve our company over the nearly two decades that we have been in business. If you haven’t had the opportunity to review us online yet, please consider taking a few minutes to do so! Not only does this help others find our shop and learn about your experience here, but it also helps us to continually improve the service that we offer you. If you have had any problems at the shop in the past (hopefully not!), please feel free to contact us directly so that we can learn from these experiences and ensure that you are satisfied and stoked! Thanks again, for all the support over the years. Our shop exists for and because of customers like you!


Daniel Thomson (aka Tomo) has made a name for himself as an open-minded board builder not afraid to try weird, quirky shapes. While these boards might look a bit strange at first, the fact that Tomo downright rips on them lends them a lot of credibilities. So, it’s no wonder that Firewire has taken Tomo into their stable of shapers. One of Tomo’s most hyped and highly anticipated Firewire models has surely been the Hydronaut over the past couple of years. The elliptical template almost results in what looks like a rounded double-ender board with the wide point a bit forward of center. The torpedo nose reflects Tomo’s overarching ethos of doing away with unnecessary foam and making the board a maneuverable weapon for heavy waves. The Hydronaut is intended to be a step-up for heavier more powerful waves, Tomo has ridden it in solid swells at places such as Baja, Malibu, Black’s and the reef breaks on Oahu’s North Shore. Stu Kennedy has also been seen ripping this step-up in hefty waves around the world. The board comes stocked in dimensions ranging from 5’8” to 6’8”, with width ranging from 18 5/16” to 20 11/16” and volume ranging from 24 liters to 44 liters respectively. For those looking to tap into the eccentric genius that is reflected in Tomo’s boards and apply it to heavier and hollower waves, then Hydronaut is the answer.


Spencer Chang, MD Sports Medicine Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Surgeon at Straub Medical Center WSL Orthopaedic Consultant I ran across a great article on entitled, “To Fix That Pain In Your Back, You Might Have To Change The Way You Sit.” Here’s a brief summary. Many of us sit like this:

I see it in the line up all the time, waiting for waves. Unfortunately, it is pretty rampant on land too. Americans on average sit about nine to thirteen hours a day. But a study on Hadza people from Tanzania, East Africa showed that despite being more physically active, spending about 75 minutes a day exercising, they sit just as much (10 hours/day). Thing is, the Hadza people don’t have back problems even as they age. You see, the Hadza just sit with much better posture than we do. Americans will often sit like the letter “C” from looking from the side like the picture above. This tends to put a whole lot more pressure on the structures in the front. The “C” posture can cause disk degeneration, pushing the disks out the back, pinching nerves, causing arthritis around the facet joints in the back, and causing pain. Ideally, we should sit straightening out the “C”, like the picture below.

The old adage, “Sit up straight”, may have something to do with our poor posture. The tendency is to stick out the chest, which can make the back pain worse. Of course, slouching is bad too. The focus should be on correcting your pelvic position. Pretend you have a tail and stick out your tail to wag. Effectively, you tilt the pelvis forward, or flex at the hips, not at the waist (like in a “C” shape position). The quadriceps muscles can relax and the hamstrings can stretch. By sticking out your tail and correcting the pelvic position, the spine lines up like a stack of building blocks. The shoulders roll back as well. All of a sudden, the pressure is relieved in the low back, upper back, and even the shoulders. You suddenly feel like you are sitting tall. If you have back pain or shoulder pain, try this. Remember degeneration is a cumulative effect, so teach your children too. For an appointment call the Straub Bone and Joint Center at 5224232. Just say Dave from Hawaiian South Shore sent you! Also, if you have any questions shoot me an e-mail at


Our Hawaiian South Shore surf top is a combination wetsuit top/rash guard, for those cool mornings when you need a little extra insulation and want to keep your session going well into the morning hours when the sun starts to heat up. A 2mm neoprene chest and back provides warmth and padding for your chest while paddling. Meanwhile, the SPF 50 rash guard material on the arms and sides offer sun and rash protection without sacrificing flexibility as you paddle. We beefed up the boardshort connector, which can be tied to your boardshort string to make sure the top doesn’t ride up. And a back zipper provides easy entry, with the zipper extending up to the middle back to increase flexibility and prevent stretching and wear of the neoprene when putting the top on. The zipper is also made with a YKK zipper specifically engineered for salt water so that it doesn’t corrode and is held closed with a Velcro closure.
WHAT’S NEW WHAT’S HOT LOST NEW MODEL Landing December in Carbon Wrap. Yep, I ordered one for myself in carbon wrap and I can’t wait!!!!   SaveSave SaveSave