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Hawaiian South Shore April 2024 Newsletter

Hawaiian South Shore February 2020 Newsletter

CJ Nelson Sprout 2.0: Gear Review by Matt Rode

Matt, who typically rides shortboards but weighs 150 lbs, found the ample 76+ liters of volume on the CJ Nelson Sprout 2.0 allowed him to regularly catch more than his fair share of waves. The surfboard's dedicated noserider design performed as expected, with easy entry and positioning, even in steeper, more critical waves.

While not designed for radical turns, Matt noted that CJ Nelson Sprout 2.0 excelled at the type of turning required for setting up noserides.

He found power turns like drop-knee cutbacks to be the most effective for redirecting the board.

Matt praised the board's incredible stability and control when walking the nose, describing it as feeling "like you are walking on a sidewalk." However, he noted that the lightweight Thunderbolt construction felt slightly less stable than a traditional volan/polyurethane build.

In terms of noseriding, Matt said the CJ Nelson Sprout 2.0 performed as well as any log he's ridden, providing excellent lift and trim through critical sections. He was able to execute long hang tens and heel hangs with ease.

The only real downsides Matt mentioned were a personal preference for the feel of a heavier, traditionally glassed log, as well as the new edge added to the tail, which he felt traditionalists might not appreciate as much as the softer 50/50 rails of the original Sprout model.

Overall, Matt concluded the CJ Nelson Sprout 2.0 blends traditional noseriding performance with modern design and construction, making it a great option for both longboard purists and those seeking a versatile travel companion.



Member of the Month - Kaily Smitson

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

My dad's been surfing forever, and he started taking me inside Cliffs when I was 7. He showed me the basics, then left me to figure out the rest while he went for the bombs on the outside. I got really into land sports in middle and high school and didn't surf much. But when I went to college, I got back into it. Being on the mainland, I really missed the ocean and have been surfing ever since.

Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing?  If so, when and why did you start back up?

I have 3 kids, so I surfed through the first 4 months of pregnancy with all of them and then laid off surfing until after they were born.


What is your favorite thing about surfing? 

Probably for most surfers, putting into words the sensation of catching a great wave is tricky. The feel of flying down the line, with nothing but your board beneath your feet, connecting you to the ocean. In that instant, you're entirely present, immersed in the experience. It's both a rush and a moment of zen all rolled into one.


What product did you most recently purchase from us and why?

My brother, who shortboards, was raving about the Sci-Fi 2.0. It's 6 feet long, just over 35 litres. I'm not a great shortboarder by any means, but I love the challenge of it. He said it's a board that can do a lot but also not too technical for someone of my ability. My husband bought it for me for Christmas, and it's by far my favorite board I've ever ridden.

How are you liking that product so far?

Love it. It paddles fast for a shortboard (always helpful when you're a girl on a shortboard in the lineup), maneuverable, responsive, sits perfectly in the wave.

What fins are you using with your new board?

Futures. Thruster set-up

Have you used other fins in the past and how do these compare?
I've always used Futures on my board. My brother surfs a lot and recommended them, so I went with it.

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? 

Konos North Shore Hawaii

What is your favorite item on the menu?

BBQ Pork Bomber and a Mud Pie milkshake

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?

My family loves going to the beach. We're teaching our 9-year-old to surf. We also enjoy hiking. When the surf is junk, I'll play tennis or take a class at F45.

What type of work do you do?

Kind of ironic for this feature, but my work is closely tied in with surfing. 

I work with my family business, Leighton Lam Designs. My dad, Leighton, started surfing as a young kid and would make his own surfboards. He began creating art with resin and later transitioned to making surfboard resin earrings, which he called Ear Art.

He sold these cool, colorful earrings for years and then moved on to using other jewelry materials, all inspired by Hawaii and the essence of the ocean. I work with him and my mom in our little family business. We sell to stores all across Hawaii, Japan, and the greater U.S. If the surf is good, you'll definitely find my dad and me taking a liquid lunch.


From the Lineup: A Surfer's Perspective on Earth Day

Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970. Nelson was inspired to create Earth Day after witnessing the devastating effects of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. He wanted to raise public awareness about environmental issues and create a movement that would lead to significant environmental

On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans participated in Earth Day events across the country, demonstrating their support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day is often credited with launching the modern environmental movement, leading to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of several landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated around the world, with millions of people participating in events and activities aimed at raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices. Earth Day has become a global movement, inspiring individuals, communities, and governments to take action to protect the planet. Learn More...




In a Zoom meeting, David had a conversation with Dan Mann about the Firewire Boss Up surfboard. Dan, known for his shaping skills, shared why this Mid-length board is creating such a buzz. He explained that its versatility makes it perfect for various wave conditions and surfing styles. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned surfer, the Boss Up's unique fin setup and durable yet lightweight construction make it a top pick for anyone looking to enhance their surfing experience. Watch it here...


1. Ala Moana Bowls Invitational State Championship: Scheduled from April 24 - 28, this event is part of the Hawaii Surfing Association's calendar and is set to take place at the famous Ala Moana Bowls. Sign Up here 



Noah about CJ Nelson PARALLAX Single Fin (9'9) Thunderbolt Red Light Blue

What immediately stands out is how early this board gets you into waves, even in crowded lineups. Its low entry rocker and refined planing surfaces allow it to catch bumps and get up to speed incredibly quickly, blasting past other surfers who think they have priority. Once up and riding, the Parallax just keeps accelerating down the line.

James Wilkes about Firewire S BOSS 5 Fin (5'6-5'10) Futures Ibolic Volcanic

You guys told me it was a quiver killer but I didn't believe that. It just didn't make sense. The day after I bought it, I wanted to test it out at Rock Piles and it was just kind of flat, a crappy day. I was catching long borders outside and feeling that guilt where you're just taking all the waves.

At first, I didn't like it because it felt kind of unstable with that big vein that goes through the middle. But once you get going, once you catch that wave's momentum, it just goes. Then the next day I went to Laniakea, and it's 5 to 6 feet there. When I got on my first wave, it felt like my first time jumping on a skim board, just right out from underneath me. It's so fast. If you feel the texture, it feels like Teflon, super slick, super fast. It just made no sense how I could take that from a mushy day on the south side and then take it to the north shore and get nice, critical, pitching waves.



Best performance keels on the market. Fast and drivey outside the pocket. Quick and loose with just enough hold inside the pocket. So stoked on these fins! Mahalos Hawaiian South Shore. Best surf shop ever!!!!


Mahalos for making it all the way here. See you in the water!