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Hawaiian South Shore January 2024 Newsletter

Hawaiian South Shore February 2020 Newsletter

Simple Exercises to Improve Hip Strength and Mobility—So You Can Surf Better!

We often think about upper body strength and mobility when it comes to surfing, but sometimes we forget how important lower body flexibility and power is when it comes to the fundamentals of wave riding. Everything from popping up on a board to pumping down the line and linking together maneuvers requires precise coordination of the lower body, which is only possible if all of your muscles and joints are firing together.

One area that a lot of surfers struggle with is hip strength and mobility. I know I definitely do! This has been a bit challenge for me as I have gotten older, but I want to keep my body in tune so I can keep surfing, so I have been exploring a variety of ways to keep my hips flexible. I found an interesting Instagram post that shows five useful exercises for hips, all of which both strengthen and loosen up the hip joints, enabling us to surf better. These exercises range from single leg lunge extensions to various stretches, and even include a couple of variations to spice things up a bit. Unfortunately, my hips are so weak and tight that I can’t even begin to do any of these exercises!

My goal is to get to the point where I can do all of these exercises every day and keep my body tuned up for surfing, but to get there, I need to do some baseline hip mobility work—simple, easy exercises that get me started down the road to hip health. To that end, I reached out to Hawaiian South Shore’s resident yoga expert, Kilty Inafuku of www.kiltyyoga.com (Instagram: @kiltyyoga).

Kilty teaches yoga classes on North Shore, is president of Hawaii Yoga Institute (a non-profit organization that provides yoga teacher trainings), and leads yoga/adventure retreats around the world (with her next retreat being in Peru in 2024). She is also a lifelong surfer, a keen foiler, one of the fastest female mountain bikers in Hawaii, and a frothing powder chaser who will be in Japan for the months of January and February chasing the world class snow on Hokkaido. In other words, Kilty knows exactly what we need to do in order to thrive when it comes to adventure sports like surfing.

Kilty got me started on a series of basic hip openers that will help me develop flexibility and strength in my hips, so that I can eventually progress to the more advanced exercises in the Instagram post above.

Malasana Yoga Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first one she suggested is Malasana, which is essentially a low squat that uses gravity to stretch the hips. Stand feet shoulder width apart and turn the toes 45 degrees outward , so that the heels are pointing somewhat toward each other. Bring your hands together at your chest and squat down, bringing the elbows to the insides of the inner legs. Once you are down low, simply relax into the pose, possibly swaying gently from side to side. Hold this for 30 seconds, allowing the gravity pulling downward on your butt to open your hips.

The happy baby pose is another easy one that is helpful for getting the hips tuned up. To do this pose, lie on your back on a yoga mat or soft carpet. Bring the legs up above you and pull down on the outsides of your feet with your hands. Eventually, you should be able to pull the feet straight down toward the upper body, but as you start, you might find that you aren’t quite flexible enough to do so completely. Listen to your body and do what you can, holding the pose for 30 seconds.

A lot of people who have hip issues also have knee problems. For those of us

supine pigeon yoga pose for surfers

whose knees hurt, the pigeon pose (which is a popular yoga pose that helps with hip flexibility) can be painful and even dangerous. Fortunately, there is a variation called the supine pigeon that is a lot easier on the knees. In fact, it is just easier in general, as it uses gravity to stretch out your hips rather than your own strength. Start by lying on your back and bend the left knee to right side, so that your lower leg points to the right and the left ankle is crossed in front of your body. Then raise the right leg and bend the knee the opposite direction, so that your lower right leg crosses to the left, stacking it on top of the left lower leg. If you can’t cross them all the way, go as far as you can without pain. Once you are in the position, simply let gravity pull down on your legs, opening your hips and increasing your flexibility. This is a largely passive stretch, and you can hold it for 30 seconds to a minute before switching sides.

In addition to flexibility, we also need strength in our hips. To get started on that journey, the crescent lunge is a great yoga pose to incorporate into your daily practice. Stand with your feet together, then step back with your left foot extended behind you, with your toes on the ground. As you step back, your right (front) knee will naturally bend. Sink into that knee until your front leg forms a 90-degree angle and your back foot is extended far behind you. Reach up and slightly back with your arms, accentuating the stretch and holding it for 10 to 15 seconds. Then step forward until your feet are once again together. Re-center yourself, then step back with the opposite leg and repeat the pose on the other side.

By incorporating these stretches and strengthening exercises into your daily routine, you can slowly begin to improve your hip health, strength, and mobility. Don’t be frustrated if the progress is slower than you anticipated. Remember, you are probably working to undo years’ worth of bad habits and posture, not to mention overtightening from surfing. Even if you don’t feel like you are improving quickly, your body is certainly loosening up and adapting. Soon, you’ll be able to do all of these exercises with ease, as well as the more advanced exercises in the Instagram video above!

 

Member of the Month - Odi Schlossberg 

Odi Schlossberg - hawaiian south shore member of the month

When and why did you initially get into surfing?

Back in the 70’s, my mom was one of the few pioneering surfing women in Uruguay. At the age of 21 she made her first trip to Hawaii, and had a 7’2’’ retro style custom board made (we still don’t know who the shaper was). Many years later, my brothers and I (15 years old) became curious about that ‘thing’. My mom cleaned it up and had the dings repaired; we switched from boogie boarding to surfing, and it became a lifestyle.

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

Several years ago I was pursuing my Masters of Architecture in Rhode Island. Although RI is known for its waves on the East Coast, the pressing schedule and demand for high quality work kept me away from the water. I was able to surf a handful of times, but not consistently. I never really ‘stopped’ surfing, it was not as consistent (or warm) as I would have preferred.

 

What is your favorite thing about surfing?

Several things!

  • The high you get after a really good wave
  • The feeling of being free out in nature, under the sun, enjoying the moment. There are no phones, no emails, no calls.
  • Having a good laugh with friends while we wait for the set and cheering for each other’s waves

 

Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing? What is your favorite item on the menu?

Usually, if I grab a bite after surfing the NS, I’ll stop at Nalu or Coffee Gallery.

I enjoy Nalu’s Portobello sandwich, or Coffee Gallery has the best (and richest) mocha brownie!

What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?

I love to paint and do printmaking (IG @odi_surf_art). I’ve participated in the Haleiwa Arts Festival, collaborated with international surf non-profits, and showcased my artwork in several local galleries.

I also enjoy playing music, building furniture, and (most of all) having a great time with my dog.

What type of work do you do?

I am a full-time designer at an architecture firm and a part-time artist.

 

Tell us about the board you recently purchased from us. What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?

I most recently got my hands on a Mayhem Carissa Moore 6’4’’ step up. We nailed it with the volume, size, and shape. I don’t always find boards that match the shape, size, volume, and board weight that I’m looking for, so this was a great find (and not to mention, a dream of mine to own and ride one of these! … hopefully not the last one!).

Carissa Moore board at Hawaiian South Shore

Do you have any additional comments?

I was very pleased with the team’s responsiveness and support to get this board. Buying surf gear is always fun, and even better when the crew is fun, friendly, and efficient.

 

Meet Sarah Lee - The North Shore’s Most Accomplished Waterwoman-Photographer

Meet Sarah Lee The North Shore’s Most Accomplished Waterwoman-Photographer

When you think of surfers from the North Shore, professional big wave chargers are what normally come to mind. But the reality is that the North Shore is full of all sorts of surfers. Some of them aren’t known at all, while others are known for something other than their performance in the water.

Sarah Lee is unique in the fact that she’s famous for her work in the surf—but not necessarily for her surfing. That isn’t to say that she’s not an accomplished waterwoman. Sarah grew up on the Big Island, where she was a competitive open water swimmer and an accomplished water polo player, in addition to being a lifelong surfer. Today, she rides a variety of boards, stylishly cranking through turns on mid-lengths and logs. Meanwhile, she’s just as comfortable below the surface, with an impressive breath hold and a 150-foot free dive.

But despite all of her accomplishments and experience as an athlete, it’s Sarah’s work behind the camera that has brought her acclaim. After studying cinematography in college, she decided she enjoyed still image more, and has spent the past 10 years focused on her career as a photographer. Sarah’s accomplishments are nearly too numerous to list—she was the People’s Choice winner of the Follow the Light contest, has scored the cover of The Surfers Journal, ESPN, and a variety of other magazines, and has been published in virtually every surf magazine and website in existence, in addition to dozens of other accolades.

At the same time, Sarah established herself as an in-demand underwater lifestyle photographer, orchestrating all sorts of photo shoots beneath the surface, including bridal shoots, portraits, and brand shoots for dozens of companies. Over the years, she has shot campaigns for Birdwell, Reef, Billabong, Suntek, Olukai, and high-end Italian fashion brand Forte-Forte, to name just a few. And as her reputation has grown, so has the demand for her unique skillset.

Today, Sarah splits her time between the North Shore of Oahu and Tavarua, Fiji (where she spends a few months per years as the resident photographer for the world’s original luxury surf camp). She also serves regular stints as a photographer on surf retreats and liveaboards in places like the Maldives and Alaska.

At the end of the day, what Sarah loves most is being in the ocean—whether she’s swimming, surfing, diving, or shooting. The fact that she has been able to make a living doing what she loves is a testament to her passion and abilities, and serves as inspiration to the rest of us.

If you are interested in checking out Sarah Lee’s work, or in contacting her to schedule a shoot, feel free to visit www.sarahlee.photo.

 

REVIEWS 

Steven DeBry about Takayama HALO CENTER FIN

These Halo fins are amazing! My 9’0 shoots down the line and holds into the face. No matter where I am on the board I can turn with ease. Highly recommend these fins. Mahalo from SoCal 🤙🏻

James Wilkes about FIREWIRE Sweet Potato

 

James Wilkes about FIREWIRE Sweet Potato Review

My motivation for purchasing a new board was to get through the slow and small season on my side of the island. I was bored with long boarding and wanted some thing compact and easier to transport.

My first time on the 5’10” 45L Sweet Potato was nothing I had ever experienced. Paddling in and out was a breeze as there was plenty of volume under me and my performance range is around 30L. My first experience surfing in a “lineup” of long boarders quickly became natural and I had the confidence to be wherever I wanted to in the break. There was one unbroken wave in particular that the board started to catch that surprised and confused me.

I didn’t understand this phenomenon until I saw a YouTube video of riders catching waves early. The third time out I was aware of the boards capabilities and it was loads of fun. Loosing count of waves, playing in the mush, and catching long board waves while making short board moves are to be expected.

 

VISSLA - EMPHASIS ON QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

Paul Naude wanted to do something that got back to the roots of the surf industry, so he started Vissla—a brand that was all about surfing, style, and community.

Paul wants Vissla to be a modern throwback to the early days of the surf industry, when brands were owned, repped, and used by real surfers with real surf needs. This is why we are so stoked about the brand here at Hawaiian South Shore. Learn More...

RESTORING THE ROOTS OF THE SURF INDUSTRY WITH PAUL NAUDE AND HIS MODERN THROWBACK BRAND VISSLA

 

More to Read:

➤ Surfer's Health 

➤ Surfboard Construction 

➤ North Shore Series