NEWSLETTER JULY 2020
Understanding the UV Index and How to Stay Safe in the Sun
I was chatting with FCS rep Keoni Watson the other day, and he mentioned that the UV index was going to be super high this weekend—pushing as high as 11. That sounded pretty gnarly to me, but I realized that I didn’t really know what the UV index meant, or where it even came from, so I decided to do some research. I found an online guideline from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and discovered some really interesting information.
As it turns out, the UV index was created in 1994 by the EPA and the National Weather Service, as a guideline to help people plan outdoor activities but avoid overexposure to UV radiation, which can cause a variety of health issues (including sunburn, cataracts, and skin cancers such as melanoma). The UV index was then updated in 2004 to serve as a more comprehensive, global UV index that provides daily guidance for UV radiation in different locations. The number provided on the UV index for any given day is projected for the time of day with the most radiation (approximately noon), but users should understand that the actual amount of UV radiation rises and falls throughout the day.
The updated global UV index ranges include low (1-2), moderate (3-5), high (6-
7), very high (8-10), and extreme (11+). These ranges are meant to help people plan their days and take the appropriate steps to protect themselves from solar radiation when enjoying outdoor activities. This might include sunscreen, clothing specifically designed to block UV rays, sunglasses, and even avoiding direct sunlight. It is important to understand that even on days with a low UV index, it is still possible to suffer damage and potential health problems from overexposure to the sun, especially for people with light or sensitive skin.
That being said, general suggestions for the different ranges include:
Low – Use sunglasses on bright days, and use sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.
Moderate – Use sunscreen and cover up when outside. Try to avoid direct sunlight during midday.
High – Protection against sunburn is essential. Use sunglasses, sunscreen, and
UV-blocking clothing, and stay in the shade during midday.
Very high – Extra precautions are needed. Unprotected skin will burn easily. Avoid direct sunlight between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing, and use sunscreen.
Extreme – Take all precautions. Skin can burn within minutes. White-sand beaches and other bright surfaces can reflect sunlight and cause UV damage and sunburn, even if you are under shade.
The EPA guidelines go on to explain what causes variations in the UV index.
Interestingly, there are a lot of factors to take into account. These include the season, time of day, cloud cover, conditions of the ozone layer, altitude, latitude, and characteristics of the earth’s surface (such as snow, sand, and water, which reflect 80 percent, 15 percent, and 10 percent of the sun’s UV rays, respectively). The UV index takes all of these factors into account and predicts the amount of skin-damaging UV rays that will reach the earth in a specific location at a specific time on a specific day. Obviously places such as Hawaii often have high UV
index readings, so we are pretty used to preparing for bright sun. But when levels
get up to 11, as they are this weekend, even locals here on Oahu need to pay attention. Come on in to the shop to grab some of our non-toxic, reef-friendly sunscreens, and stay safe while shredding the summer swells!
As most of you know, I have been dealing with a knee injury for the past year. I decided to treat the injury conservatively, and after a lot of rest and rehab, I decided to try out a knee brace and get back in the water.
I started using a brace in October, and the knee has definitely been getting better. I have been doing a lot of yoga stretches and exercises, and am getting stronger, but when the swell is pumping I have still been using a brace to give me more confidence in my knee. At first I was using a hinged knee brace with supportive arms on both sides of the knee, and neoprene on both the top and bottom. The problem was that the two supportive arms would ride up when I was in the water, and the brace would get too high on my knee to be effective
I decided to look for another option that was more water-friendly. Many of them were quite expensive, in the $300 - 400 range, and that was more than I was looking to spend. But then I found the McDavid Bionic Knee Brace with Compression Sleeve on Amazon. This brace is pretty affordable and is made of plastic, which keeps it from riding up. It gives me great support and works well in the water. At first, it bothered me a little bit, but there’s a spandex material that goes under it to keep it in place, and once I started using that it worked great.
I had a friend who has had a knee problem for a few years, and any time he surfed a few times in a row, it would bother him and he’d have to ice it and rest. I got him on this same brace, and now he is surfing without any problems! The brace fit him sort of weird when he first tried it on, but once he got in the water it fit perfectly and worked great, just like it did for me—and the water is where we both want to be, so this brace is ideal for both of us!
➡️When and why did you initially get into surfing?
Born and raised in Kailua living right next to the beach, shore break. I learned in the ’70s...it’s what you did, that’s how we played Surfing!
➡️Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing? If so, when and why did you start back up?
Yes early 80’ had to take a break I fractured my C3 and C4 hit my head on reef surfing Allen Davis, was in traction and then a neck cast. Started back surfing in early 90’s when I moved to Kailua,Kona. Nice clean mellow surf...
➡️What is your favorite thing about surfing?
Love the Beach and the thrill ,rush and speed of Surfing.
➡️Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing?
Anyplace with Poke Bowls.
➡️What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?
BHot Rods/Trucks, right now I own a ground up Custom built 1968 D200 Dodge Sweptline Truck
➡️What type of work do you do?
Currently at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Restaurant Row.
➡️Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us. What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?
5’7 Firewire Twice Baked, I love and owned many Firewire’s, I currently own 7. The Potatoes are some of my favorites, the Twice Baked is fast and snappy with the right fin setup, it also has lots of volume in really smaller boards which works for me in all conditions with head to a little overhead surf....gets me in quick through sections and fast.
➡️Do you have any additional comments?
South Shore always bring in all the Firewire’s first and quick, their services are very knowledgeable and Professional with Aloha. It’s been my go-to Surf Shop ....much mahalos braddah’s. Cheeeeeeee
Randy Rarick is a surfing legend—both in Hawaii and around the world. He moved to Honolulu at the age of five, and by the time he was 10 he was being mentored by Waikiki beach boy Rabbit Kekai. Since then, he has been involved in virtually every aspect of the sport and industry, from ding repair and owning a surf shop to helping form the ISP and running the Triple Crown. He is widely considered to have surfed in more countries than anyone else in history, represented Hawaii in the 1970 World Contest, and received invites to The Eddie.
Today, Randy continues to influence surf culture both on Oahu and abroad. At 70 years of age, he continues to paddle out on the North Shore on legit days and is an innovator in a variety of forums. He recently decided to bring his self-designed Black Tip fin to market. Here at Hawaiian South Shore we are pretty excited about anything that Randy does, so we decided to carry his fin, and sat down recently to get the skinny on it.
What inspired you to develop your own model of fin?
I have been getting fins from Fiberglass Fin Company for years in my own templates. However, I wanted to make one with more flex and have a couple different sizes, so I worked with FUTURES to help me develop a fin that fit my needs. It was more just to have a fin that I could use in my own boards, rather than something to take to market.
What was the most interesting part of the development process?
It was interesting working with FUTURES, as they did the specs here in the USA, and then had the fins themselves made in China, to keep the manufacturing costs down. So I had to go through a few months of back-and-forth to get the specs right, and then approve the samples and tweak those before going to production.
Did you draw inspiration from any particular shaper/designer, or from any particular session or trip from over the years?
I was always a fan of George Greenough and the concept of tip flex in fins. However, in order to get that much flex, you had to foil out the fins so much that they would tend to break down. Meyerhoffer came out with his “Surforward” fin a few years back, and I used that for a while, and really liked the flex capabilities. But the template was a bit too narrow for Hawaiian surf, so I went back to my standard template, but approached FUTURES to use their technology to make it, adding the flex characteristics that met my needs and desires. This has actually been an ongoing process over many years, but to bring it to market I needed the increased manufacturing capabilities.
What is your go-to board? And what type of board do you find this fin design works best with?
Since the fin comes in 7.5” and also 8.5”, I designed it to work with a variety of boards. The 7.5” works really well as a 2+1 set up in small and mid-range boards. I ride a 7’10”, and it holds in great with the FUTURES SB 1 (side bite fins). That setup handles anything up to six-foot Hawaiian, yet still gives you the signature snap out of turns that the Black Tip provides. On my longer boards, I use the 8.5” as a single fin (and also with side bites sometimes), and it makes your board extremely loose. I’ve loaned it to dozens of longboarders and they’ve had their minds blown at how much looser it has made their boards. Because of all the feedback from them, I am in the process of making a couple of bigger versions for big boards and tankers.
The key to this design is the tip flex inherent in the Black Tip. It has the carbon in the tip, then a gap, and then carbon again in the bottom two-thirds of the fin. What this does is give you extremely good tip flex, without the tip of the fin breaking down. The fins are also light and thin because of the use of the carbon, so they are as high tech as anything on the market.
TAKAYAMA HALO FIN REVIEW
I’ve been using in about 3 years and I just got me a new pair because I like the new colors I got this design, so I got 7.5 inches with 4-inch sides
Love it! Incredible Fins, Fast! Releases up the wall, release up the top. And I can get that back snap and this is for my SUP board, this is an incredible fin, Awesome!
RSC Sunscreen is one of the best sunscreen products that I have ever used. I am confident it is better for my skin than other sunscreen products because of the quality of the ingredients they use. Also. I have used it multiple times when I went surfing during peak times of the day and I have never had an issue of getting burnt. I am very pleased with my experience with RSC and I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a quality sunscreen product.
Review by: Dallas N.
I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND IT
Personally, when looking for a good sunblock I look for one that protects my facial skin and prevents it from burning and that doesn’t run into my eyes. When I first Tried RSC, I was open-minded. Its smell wasn’t bad, but I was impressed from the first try. It was blazing hot and I surfed at noon. The sunblock didn’t break, it prevented burns on the face and cleaned off easily. I definitely recommend it, better than any other I tried (Vertra, Sun Bum, Shiseido to name a few).
Review by: Freddie D.
BEST YET. RATING = 5/5
Better than the “sticks.” Seriously, I have 2 unused “sticks” used during the summer - 1st time. Usually, don’t promote products but this is one I can recommend without hesitation. Not using anything else on the face/arms. Would be in my bag on a surf trip. Tried both the “tan and white” = Both work. It’s always in my truck - Don’t leave home without it. KEYPOINT: reapply after 2 hours in the water. Review by David L.
I work in healthcare and these last couple of months have been rough. Being able to get out in the water to surd has definitely helped me get through this hard time. I want to thank David and Brett at the HSS team for helping me gear up and keep surfing. I bought a Sci-Fi 2.0 from HSS recently and from start, to finish it was a fantastic experience. They care so much about each and every customer genuinely and you can feel that in your interaction with them. Plus, they are a wealth of knowledge (David, your fin recommendation was on point! Exactly what I needed to loosen up my board and work on those turns!). I am extremely happy with my purchase and every time I leave the HSS Shop. Thank you for all that you do. I am a forever fan and supporter of HSS.
There are few names in surfing that are more iconic than Mark Richards. Also known as the “Wounded Seagull” for his signature, awkward, splayed arm style, MR won what at that time was a record four world titles in a row, dominating the world tour from 1979 to 1982 on his self-designed, twin-fin fish. Today, Mark Richards is a renowned shaper, and his Superman-style MR logo is known around the world. Still specializing in fast, loose, twin-fin fish designs, his line of boards is representative of his patented style of high-performance surfing that led him to such dominance in the early 1980s.
MR’s twin-fins were a response to the long, difficult-to-turn single fins that were dominating surfboard design in the late 1970s. Although he continued to ride the more stable single fins in Hawaii, he needed something shorter, faster, and more maneuverable in the small waves that dominated most of the tour stops—a need that informed his design of the 1978 Freeride twin-fin. The first one he shaped worked perfectly and became MR’s signature model—one that he continues to build and refine today.
Along with the shorter, wider, straighter-railed fish design, MR also worked to create the perfect fin for his twin-fin boards. The fin that he ended up designing has also stood the test of time, and continues to be the staple of his fish and twin-fin experience. Recently, FCS introduced the updated FCS II version of the Mark Richards Twin Fin with Stabilizer, a classic design that remains relevant today. The addition of the small stabilizer fin in the middle of the large twins provides extra control without sacrificing the speed and looseness that is characteristic of twin fins. MR also spent a lot of time refining the size of his twin fin template so that the fins are large enough to surf without the stabilizer, but not so large as to become overly stiff when the center fin is added.
The FCSII Mark Richards Twin Fin with Stabilizer is perfect for fish designs, funboards, a variety of twin fins, and really any board that wants drive and speed. It is a great option to spice up your ride during the summer when the waves don’t provide as much push as in the winter, but when you are still looking to ride something short and spunky, and keep your shred factor high.
Over the past few years, Rob Machado has made waves with his fish designs that he has released through Firewire. The speed and flow of a twin-fin really match his stylish surfing and has inspired thousands of surfers around the world to stop trying so hard and just enjoy the ride.
But lately, Rob has been feeling the thruster again and decided he wanted to ride
something a little less alternative. The Glazer is a short, stubby, user-friendly
thruster that has helped Rob fall back in love with a middle fin. It has lots of volumes, which makes it easy to paddle and pick up speed down the line. The 5’2” version has27.5 liters of volume, which is three liters more than Rob’s normal shortboard, at 24.5 liters. The board is nicely foiled, with thin nose and tail, but some been in the rails for float and speed. The majority of the rocker is in the last six inches of the nose, which gives you a lot of flat space under the chest, providing even more paddle and down-the-line speed. If you are looking for something to put the fun back into your surfing, but don’t want to ride a retro shape, the Glazer is Rob Machado’s answer.