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!
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!