Surf Documentary: It Ain’t Pretty


A documentary about the challenges and triumphs of female big wave surfers, IT AIN’T PRETTY follows the quickly-growing women’s big wave movement, as well as exposing rampant sexism in the water, in the media and within the surf industry.  An Official Selection at 2016 DocFest and Sydney and Hawaii Film Festivals, as well as an audience favorite at numerous film festivals, this compelling doc makes its home entertainment debut on all leading digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Comcast.

Release Date: February 14, 2017

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Book Review: Tides by Jonathan White

tidesTides is Jonathan White’s romantic look at the motion of the sea.  As surfers, we can all relate to the love, power, and majesty of the ocean that White explores in depth in his new book. As a writer, sailor, educator, and marine conservationist, White takes us around the globe from France to China to Panama to the Arctic and back again exploring tidal changes and the effects they have on the land and people. One particular chapter is about Mavericks, the big wave spot off the California coast that responds in its own finicky way to the tides and swells. Despite the abundance of scientific information, Tides becomes a surprisingly  fascinating and highly readable book because of White’s deep love for the ocean.

Buy it now on Amazon.

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Have you always wanted to learn to surf? Would you like to take your surfing to the next level? Join Heather Alley and myself for a one week intensive. Space is limited and we are really looking forward to this trip! For more info and to reserve your spot click here.



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Book Review: The Aloha Shirt by Dale Hope

Aloha Shirt BookDale Hope’s love letter to the aloha shirt can be found in the updated and revised edition of The Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands released by Patagonia. 385 pages are filled with stories and imagery of the beautiful patterns and celebrated history of the iconic shirt. Surf legend Gerry Lopez  introduces the book with his own connections to the aloha shirt and offers us a bit of the history. Lopez writes, “Dale’s meticulously researched book will reveal not only a rich history, but will also serve to stimulate the reader’s own ongoing immersion into the spirit of aloha.” The book takes us further by highlighting the pattern makers and tailors who pave the road for this fashion trend. With literally hundred of images, historic documents, and black-and-white photographs, not only do we learn about the aloha shirt but the history of the Hawaiian islands as well.

For example, did you know:

  • That Aloha Fridays originated in 1966, the Hawai’i Fashion guild convinced the local businesses to dress down on the last day of the work week?
  • Duke Kahanamoku had his own line of aloha shirts and may have been responsible for the straight cut along the bottom of the shirt, allowing people to wear the shirts untucked without the tails hanging down.
  • Hollywood loves the aloha shirt, and it has been featured on and actors and singers throughout the decades, such as Elvis, Bing Crosby, Montgomery Clift, Tom Selleck, Sean Penn, and George Clooney.
  • Rell Sun designed the Pataloha shirt for Patagonia in 1993.

Dale Hope writes in the Prologue: “This history of such a marvelous cultural icon, so evocative of the spirit of its home, is woven with the mystery and allure of Hawai’i and the stories of those who have lived there.”

This book is a treasure for anyone who loves Hawaii and the lifestyle and fashion that come from such an enchanted place.  Purchase your copy here.

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Just Say No to Spray Sunscreens by Peggy Hall

sprayI just got back from a restful, healing trip to the island of Kauai…a favorite place to enjoy perfect blue skies,
warm water, and breathe in toxic chemicals…Wait…what? Sorry to say that last line is true!

That’s because so many people are duped when it comes to using sunscreen, that they are literally spraying the air with cancer-causing chemicals in an attempt to “protect” their skin.

Here’s what I mean…and why it’s important to you.

Spray sunscreens have become all the rage for some reason (marketing and advertising at its “best”)–which which for the life of me I cannot understand.

Now if you are cringing as you read this because you, too, have been duped into thinking that you are doing something good for yourself–don’t take it personally!

Of course you can put whatever you want to on your skin–just please don’t expose me and other innocent people to the harmful fall out.

Here’s why I personally stay as far away from spray sunscreens as possible.

First of all, when you spray on sunscreen at the beach or pool, most of the product doesn’t even land on your skin. Instead, it is carried off by the wind (to land on me!) and worse–to be breathed in by innocent bystanders.

Why is it so bad to inhale spray sunscreens?

Well, some of you might be old enough to remember when aerosol sprays were banned because they were “destroying the ozone layer”. (Sort of like vintage global warming.)

These days, the sunscreen sprays are far more harmful because they are loaded with cancer-causing chemicals that, when sprayed, create a carcinogenic mist that carries these toxic chemicals right into your lungs, to then be directly absorbed by your blood stream, putting you at risk for lung disease/cancer, liver disease/cancer and other horrid illnesses and conditions.

Sunscreen sprays are are especially harmful to children, whose immune systems are still developing. That means these innocent children are breathing in toxic chemicals that their delicate lungs and liver cannot filter out.

And people wonder why there is such an increase in illness, disease and issues with early puberty, later infertility etc…

The fact that these spray sunscreens contain cancer-causing chemicals  is not my opinion — it is fact.

Read the facts for yourself at

Now grab your sunscreen (yes, even that expensive one you thought was “natural”) and compare it to this list of toxic ingredients.

KEY: Look under the list of “Active Ingredients” — this means the ingredients are active, doing something to change the skin or chemicals in your body.

Oxybenzone: Increases production of free radicals; increases the incidence and frequency of skin tumors
Homosalate: causes severe acne, skin irritation, skin allergies and inflammation
Avobenzone: unstable in sunlight; breaks down into chemicals which damage DNA
Octisalate: pushes more chemicals into skin for greater toxicity
Octocrylene: Increases production of free radicals that damage DNA damage and contributes to the increased incidence of malignant melanomas = CANCER
BHT: contributes to skin tumors and cancer growth
Diethylhexyl 2 6 Naphthalate: causes testicular atrophy
Parabens, including Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylrparaben, Ethlyparaben: these mimic estrogen production; cause problems with ovaries, testicles, infertility,  reproductive issues, thyroid problems.
Octinoxate or Parsol 1789: mimics estrogen in the body, hinders thyroid function
Methoxycinnamate: implicated in cardiovascular disease; make skin more sensitive to the sun, causes allergies; toxic to liver and reproductive organs.
Retinyl palmitate: A type of Vitamin A, when used with sun exposure, this causes more skin tumors to grow, and to grow faster

For now, ditch the spray and do yourself, the environment, and others around you a huge favor!

Living Swell creator Peggy Hall has positively inspired thousands of people just like you to experience an ocean of bright shiny health and happiness by simplifying the ins and outs of what it takes to be naturally healthy and radiant. Peggy is the featured health expert for the ABC Radio Network and is creator of the best-selling Yoga for Surfers instructional DVD series, and the pioneer of the global surf + yoga movement.

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The Future of Wetsuits

Such exciting news! Patagonia introduces the world’s first and only neoprene-free wetsuits offering 21 full-length suits for men, women and kids. These Yulex wetsuits are made with natural rubber instead of petroleum based neoprene. We love that the entire line of Patagonia’s all-new, high-performance wetsuits are made from sources that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The certification assures customers that the source plantation isn’t contributing to deforestation, and that it’s managed in a way that maintains the ecological functions and integrity of the forest. While not inexpensive, these new eco-friendly wetsuits lessen our impact making the world a little better one surf session at a time. Get yours here.


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Tia Blanco’s Journey

Nineteen-year-old Tia Blanco has already made her mark on the world of surfing by becoming the 2015 Gold medalist in the ISA World Surfing Games. Famous for her skills in the lineup as well as her dedication to sharing her love of the ocean with others, Tia recently traveled to Playa Gigante, Nicaragua with Sony Artisans David McLain and Gabe Rogel to surf and immerse themselves in this special place.  Check it out!

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