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Archive for the ‘Surfing’ Category

Bells in a lei

The most awesome dog in the world (yeah, what all moms think) – Three Bells is the official “Coconut Girl” who this blog is named after! A malamute chow chow who would never play fetch on da beach with anything except coconuts – and they were usually bigger than her head. She is going to have to get another round of tests and likely surgery. And because we are outer-island it entails traveling back to Oahu and all those extra expenses. So far we’re at about $16,000 for the vet visits (four different vets – usually about 2-4 times a week since November), surgery, medical supplies, medicine, and supplements. The first surgery alone was over $9,000 and since we have no idea what went wrong last time (the chylothorax was fixed, but she is now leaking serum into her chest cavity and swelling with edema), s0 we are just trying to be prepared. If you have a minute, check out her GoFundMe page – there are lots of new awesomesauce rewards, like organic sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, and more. If can, can. If not, say a prayer! Her next doctor visit is Saturday…. We hope to get her back to the beach and on her paddleboard soon! Mahalo nui loa.

http://www.gofundme.com/Help-Save-Three-Bells

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Hawaii Winter Heating ToasterDon’t laugh at us when we complain, it gets cold in Hawai’i.

Not ice blistering Alaska cold, but cold all the same.

Before you call us pussies, let me explain. In Hawai’i, most houses are semi-contained. Many places here have either no windows or some windows, and the rest is screened in. There’s no heat, and rarely air conditioning. So whatever the temperature is outside, is what the temperature is inside.

So while the rest of the world would have their thermostats moderating something around 65°, we’re getting nice moist chilled air swooping off the mountains below 50° nighttime through the early morning.

The past few days I’ve had to resort to toaster hand warming, running the oven and opening the door, using the still-hot saucepan (after making rice) on my belly and bones, hot showers, foot soaks, jogging in place, ThermaCare neck warmers taped on the back, wool socks and hoodies, and even stuffing my Malamute / Chow Chow under the covers, to no avail. In a few hours I’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt, and the rest of the freezing world will be jealous, but until then….

While we’re on the topic, every year on weather modification sites you will see posts about snow here. To be clear, before there were airplanes, there’s been snow on the tops of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. That doesn’t discount “geoengineering” by any means, nor does it discount the fact that even those not living near the tops of volcanos are shivering.

I might even have to bust out my long sleeve 2mil wet suit top today for our current brisk ocean temp of 75.7 – what, don’t laugh!

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Help Save Three Bells Go Fund Me Hawaii Dog

Coconut Girl Wireless was named after my love, my life, my everything Malamute Chow Chow grrl dog Three Bells (though I always say I’m her dog). She’d look at you sideways if you threw a stick and expected her to fetch it – the only thing she’d ever fetch were coconuts! She’d run around the beach with coco’s twice the size of her head.

About two months ago she started coughing and gagging. I thought she had a doggie cold / kennel cough and was waiting for it to pass, but it only got worse. It ended up being Idiopathic Chylothorax, a not very common condition in dogs (it’s more typical in young small or over-weight large dogs). It was possibly caused by an injury or perhaps a fungus. Without getting into too much detail it causes the lymphatic fluid to fill her cheat cavity until her lungs partially collapse and she isn’t able to breath. We have to knock her out and drain her (half a gallon of fluid) but it only lasts a week until she’s uncomfortable again. We tried a diet change to low fat foods and many supplements without much success, and we need to act fast or it can cause fibrosis of the pericardium. She’s more weak after each draining, and the prognosis without surgery is not good.

Bells hob-nobs with local surf stars like Bethany Hamilton

Bells hob-nobs with local surf stars like Bethany Hamilton

Bells needs a Thoractic Duct Ligation, Pericardectomy and will have a tube inserted to help drain her chest cavity, which will cost around $7-8,000, not including other diagnostics (X-Rays, ultrasound, echocardiogram, testing of the fluids…). We’ve already spent thousands, but because this happened so quickly – and they offer no payment plan – we just weren’t prepared. Because there are no surgeons who can perform this on Kauai, we had to fly her to Oahu, (and all that entails).

Bells loves her paddleboard cruises up Kauai rivers

Bells loves her paddleboard cruises up Kauai rivers

The success rate for these surgeries is now around 80%, so if all goes well we’re hoping she can get back soon to what she loves most: swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, making people smile, and playing with kids on the beach!

We started a fundraiser to help with her bills. If you can help, it will be greatly appreciated. Include your address on our GoFundMe page http://www.gofundme.com/Help-Save-Three-Bells and we’ll send you some CoconutGirlWireless stickers! Mahalo nui loa for your kokua.

p.s. If anyone in Hawaii has an furry friend with Chylothorax feel free to contact us, so we can share our experience and hopefully save you time (it was a long road trying to figure this out!). Gentle Vets in Hawai’i Kai on Oahu (thanks Dr. Edhlund!) has a visiting board certified surgeon, Dr. Peter Vogel, VMD, Diplomate, who has 23 years experience and is very familiar with this type of surgery. Mahalo as well to our local barefoot country doc Scott Sims, for diagnosing Bells and relieving her symptoms; and Dr. Basko for helping with diet and nutrition issues.

bells swim2

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No lie, everyone’s affected by the government shutdown. The Hawai’i Surf Collaborative Forecast has been suspended until appropriations have been restored. (It’s moments like these that we’re glad we have forecaster Pat Caldwell’s personal email).

Government Shutdown Surf Report

For safety purposes, they will be updating and maintaining the daily Surf Zone updates, Tides & Currents, as well as the National Buoy Center (at least the buoys that still work) – not that tourists ever pay attention to the warnings.

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AlessandraOlanow Sandy Relief surf Love4Relief

What: 

Surf Collective NYC’s Valentine’s Day eCard campaign to benefit non-profit Waves for Water’s Sandy Relief initiative focused on New York and New Jersey’s hardest hit areas, including the Rockaways and other East Coast surfing hot-spots. Send your sweetheart, crush or friend an eCard that simultaneously helps our local surf communities hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy.

Who: 

Contributors include surfers from a cross section of creative fields including fashion designers Heidi Merrick and Rogan Gregory, filmmaker Mikey Detemple, photographers Alberto Guglielmi, Dane Peterson, Ryan Struck, Justin Jay, Justin Bastien, River Jordan, Zac Bush, surfboard shaper Tim Bessell, fine artist Michael de Nicola, graphic artists/illustrators Mr. Furious, Alessandra Olanow, Nick Lynn, etc.

How:

The series of eCards will be available online on Surf Collective NYC’s website (www.surfcollectivenyc.com). Users choose from one of the images, customize the message and make a donation in the name of the recipient. Your customized messages will arrive on Valentine’s Day.

XO:

100% of the monies raised will go directly to the charity to provide hot meals, construction materials, and much more; offering a paperless, environmentally-sound way of sending some Valentine’s Day XO while helping to provide local residents with the assistance they need to rebuild the communities we love.

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I hadn’t heard of Calavera Swimwear until I wrote an article last year entitled: “Swimsuits Surfer Girls Should NOT Wear“. A number of women commented and recommended I check out Calavera, and eventually the company contacted us with an invitation to try their suits. Now, as a surfer grrl who has been designing the perfect suits and wet suits in my mind (and on paper) for the past, um, 25 years, it was nice to see a company follow through on the dream concept of suits that stay on and look hot! On top of that, they’re really good quality, made in the U.S.A., and you don’t have to close your eyes when a wahine wearing one paddles in front of you and lifts her leg for a duck dive (Brazilian bikinis have their time and place, ahem). Calavera proves you can combine sexuality and functionality – and their innovative designs address issues most female athletes have when it comes to swim/active wear. No more yanking, tugging, sore necks and worrying about being undressed by the waves. We decided it was time to chat with Anna Jerstrom, founder and designer of Calavera, about her inspiration and the evolution of swimwear for surfer girls.anna_headshot2

When did you start surfing?

I was a “late bloomer” as far as surfing is concerned and didn’t discover it until adulthood. I was in the office late one night (one of many) and booked a trip to Costa Rica. I had no idea it was going to change my life so drastically but within six months, I had traded in my high-flying investment banking job for a life as a surf bum.

What inspired you to start designing your own suits?

I have always been a hobby designer, making my own clothes. When I moved to Costa Rica, the sewing machine came with me. Calavera came about from a personal frustration with the type of swimwear available on the market. Most suits just did not work for surfing. Having to adjust, check and tug all the time was really distracting.

Most of the big brands are focused on fashion apparel for the beach girl. While I love a cute bikini, there is a huge opportunity to take that cute suit and put performance at the center of the design process to make it functional. So, that’s what we did!

What’s the magic behind a Calavera suit?

Calavera is all about “under the hood” construction: fillers, tight-weave elastic, iron-on stabilizing materials, etc. These elements combine to make the fit durable but without sacrificing style. In terms of design, Calavera bikinis have loads of sass with a little punk rock thrown in.

Essentially, I am making swimwear for myself. Sure, I want to look good on my board, but I don’t want to miss the wave of my life because I was trying to adjust my bikini. So the suits are a combination of my own style and my desire to perform as a surfer. Apparently that’s an experience a lot of women can relate to.

What are some of the things that are unique to Calavera as a company?

The company represents a lifestyle, a passion and a kinship. At the heart of it are the Calavera girls – women who have decided to pursue their dreams and will let nothing stop them.

Where is Calavera made?

All the Calavera products are made in the US of A, specifically in Downtown LA. I’m trying to keep production streamlined and local in order to maintain a lighter “footprint” while supporting locally owned businesses.

What are some of the craziest situations where you have tested your Calavera bikinis? I saw something recently about a car wash…?

Yes, indeed! We bribed a car wash guy in San Jose, Costa Rica, strapped a couple of our Calavera girls on the hood of our car and drove it through the car wash. Verdict: the suit stayed on. You can see the whole thing unfold here.Calavera Poster

All Calavera designs are tested thoroughly in the water at Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica, which has some of the heaviest waves in the world.  There have definitely been some gnarly situations, but it is one of those places that literally isn’t surfable when waves get really big. But we love hearing from our customers about their experiences and exploits, so we’d welcome tales of big wave riding in Calavera designs.

Who is the Calavera team?

  • Evie Johnstone is a British native based in Costa Rica. She is on the National Circuit there and also writes a really good blog – Evie Surf - about her life in Costa Rica and as a pro surfer.
  • Jordan Hundley is currently number 38 in the world and she is the “baby” of the Calavera crew.
  • Amy Luis is the flow boarding world champion. (Check this video out of Amy sporting the Calavera rash guard. The thing doesn’t even move!)
  • Ami Berg is an amazing East Coast girl who helps train women in the special Olympics and teaches children with autism how to surf.
  • Heather Jordan is a native of Southern California who chose to postpone a shot at a full-time career in surfing in order to pursue a higher education. A well-traveled surfer, Jordan presently surfs on the UCLA women’s team and took 4th place in the College Women’s division at the NSSA National Championship.

We are also on the hunt for another crew member. But any girl who puts on her suit, paddles out determinedly and charges has the heart of a Calavera Girl.

Tell us a little about some of the riders you sponsor.

We want our customers to feel like they are part of the team; that she could be that Calavera Girl. As such, we take a slightly different approach than many brands; we want our team to be approachable and relatable. While they are all very accomplished surfers, they represent much more. They are the fearless, feminine water warriors. When the girls get together you are guaranteed to have a crazy good time, get very little sleep and make some fantastic memories.

Besides surfers (and the Queen of England), what other kinds of action-sports gals like Calavera? 

We’re thrilled that Calavera has started to spread among all kinds of water and beach sports. There are so many female athletes that struggle with the same issues as surfers and it is super exciting to see how Calavera is resonating with active women all over the world – beach volleyball players, stand-up paddlers, wake boarders, flowboarders, triathletes,  runners and many more.

I saw you added larger sized suits (DD). How is Calavera working for larger-sized surfer girls?

Avery in Calavera Pine Trees Kauai

Local Girl Avery Lookin’ Hot in Calavera’s 2013 Siren Suit; Pine Trees, Kauai

It is tougher for larger chested women to get the support they need. We have gotten a couple of feedback emails from DD ladies saying it is the first time they have ever been able to surf in a bikini, which is really rewarding for us to hear. I feel strongly that surfing and other watersports should not be about your size, and we want to try to cater to all kinds of shapes and forms. It’s about following your passion.

Calavera has been doing runway shows. Is it a new thing for a real surf suit to be attractive enough to show on a runway with “fashion” swimwear? How’s the experience been?

The challenge for Calavera is to communicate the functional aspects of the suit, since they are mostly hidden solutions that don’t really come across on the catwalk. Ideally, we’d put on a fashion show at a place like the Wave House in San Diego and have the flowboarder girls showcase the suits in action. One day we will pull that off!

I know a lot of women have dreamed of creating their own clothing/swim suit company; how did you get the ball rolling?

It is really just a matter of going for it. It is much like surfing – you just have to commit to that drop, even if it looks impossible – because that is the ONLY way you are actually going to make it.

How did you get the funds to start the company?

I was lucky to have a financial and business background so I could tap into my network for seed capital.

What were some of the ups and downs?

Life as an entrepreneur is full of unique rewards and challenges. Seeing a stranger wear one of your designs is definitely a high. Production, on the other hand, is riddled with challenges. You have to be able to think fast on your feet and address complications as they arise.

What is your marketing strategy?

Avery in Calavera

We love how all the tops utilize crisscross or t-backs, to avoid extra strain on the neck!

Calavera is a brand experience, a crew you join not just a bikini you put on. Our product is our core backbone, but beyond that we want to give all the female water athletes out there something to identify with. I love the phrase “Fearless Femininity” as it really captures what we are all about.

What might you say to wahines who want to start their own company?

It is important to do the research. Figure out how big the market is, what the profile of your consumer is, how much money you need to make it work, etc.  Generally there is a much higher chance of success if the product solves a problem or improves someone’s life in a novel way. The consumer is generally much more receptive to buying a solution rather than a product.

We love your website! Who does your web design?

Avery Smiles in Calavera

We surfed in the suits across Kauai. Here our girl Avery bodyboards 3-4 (Hawai’i style) shore break. No need to readjust even after close-out barrels. That’s something to smile about!

Thank you! I founded Calavera with my brother who is a very experienced e-commerce developer and strategist. The web shop is his baby and I am in awe of his creativity.

Why did you decide to only sell online? What are the advantages and disadvantages to marketing this way? When will Calavera be available in stores?

We launched online only initially because it allows us to connect directly with the consumer and start generating cash flow. Wholesale is the next phase and we’re just starting to test those waters. You have to prove sustainability and relevance in order for stores to take a chance on a new collection and having a robust online sales track record with demonstrates there is a demand for our unique brand. The disadvantage is that in doing so, you take inventory risk onto your balance sheet and as a small company it is hard to tie up your resources. Calavera has chosen to manufacture locally to ameliorate that problem, and we can refill our stock much more quickly than if we were relying on overseas factories.

What do you envision as the evolution of surfing for women? 

It is fantastic to see how surfing and other water sports are taking off among women. I think the top pro girls will continue to push the barriers, but I am also excited about the way surfing has become more mainstream and part of many active women’s lives. I have so many situations where women tell me they just started surfing and how much they love getting out in the water to de-stress from their careers and busy lives. Surfing has brought so much happiness to my life, and I get excited to see others experiencing that “surfing crush” for the first time!

What’s next for Calavera?

We are expanding into new active wear garments that look as good as they function. We’ll continue to come up with new and unique solutions that empower women to focus on performing in their chosen sport.

Can you give us any sneak peaks of new designs?

We’re launching a slew of exciting products in 2013, extending our reach a bit. We have a brand new swim top design which worked like magic when we put it to the test in Costa Rica, and we are introducing a pair of shorts and a full coverage bottom. Our best-selling “Glam” top is also getting some new sassy colors, and we are working on a one-piece with some new solutions never seen before in surf wear.

Evie 2012

The Siren suits; like a second skin!

WE’RE SOLD! We’re so smitten with this brand, we’ve decided to help them launch into Hawai’i shops. Right now you can purchase Calavera at Hanalei Surf on the North Shore of Kauai, with more stores coming soon. (Check back with us as we’ll be updating the list of HI locations.) Next time you’re in a bikini or surf shop and you don’t see Calavera on the racks, make sure to ask! And if you are a Hawai’i store owner/ buyer interested in carrying Calavera, feel free to contact us to help you set up an account or contact Calavera direct.

Wanna learn more about Calavera?
Check out a preview of their new short Water Warriors – coming to a film festival near you!

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Kelly Slater Boycott Monsanto

photo by Pete Hodgson

“Why would Monsanto and other chemical companies spend $41M to defeat a food labeling bill? What is there to hide in food? Plenty.”  –Kelly Slater

Monsanto and similar GMO companies poison the land and waters across the Hawai’i Islands with their frankenseeds, creating dust bowl conditions, and spraying pesticides daily, which wash out into the waterways and the surf, effecting the marine life, the reefs, and the kids that play in the water. Every surfer should have one of these stickers on their boards (and I should have that board! ;) ).

p.s. California’s GMO labeling bill may not have passed, but because of it many have learned about the issue and many moms have woken up.

Besides Monsanto, these are the other major players working to destroy natural seed and own our food: Synergenta, Dow, Dupont, Bayer, BASF Plant Science.

Here’s a $5,000+ donor list / Monsanto-led coalition against Prop. 37 – you know, the companies who tried to help save all the poor folk from paying the extra penny to label GMOs.

There’s also Cornucopia’s EZ chart on food companies and “natural” retail stores who financially contributed for and against Prop 37,

And if you haven’t updated yourself here’s a list of the foods that contain GMOs (the list is loooong, and yes, you are eating them. What, you think celiac’s – and the new slew of dietary dis-ease – is a normal trend?). Ask your favorite restaurant what they serve!

Check in with The Center for Food Safety’s True Food Network for updates, as well as their Non-GMO Shopper’s Guide and APP. What we buy will make the ultimate statement to these companies.

And we always say it, if you haven’t watched it already: Genetic Roulette.

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While waterproof, floatable items are always optimal in the face of tsunami or hurricane, we’re not quite certain how a “Frankenstorm” inspires an Evacuation Sale on Surfing Gear? (Google rankings anyone?)

Don’t get us wrong, we can’t really knock any sale on surfboards, ever (and the Lost “Driver” model looks kinda sick) but, unlike Bodhi, we might opt to sit this swell out.

For more disaster deals – and a list of open restaurants in NY – check here. Be safe (and surf be damned, avoid the contaminated waves for a while!).

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SUPthing is Wrong Here (otherwise known as “Stab and Dodge”) is a sort of underground soon-to-be-classic “surf” video – especially appreciated by short boarders around the world. It takes a special kind of character to be a SUPer. In crowded waves, with no self-restraint, center of their own universe, risking your life and limb for their enjoyment. After yesterday’s July 4th crowded wave extravaganza, we think this video deserves a reboot. SUPers, you kinda SUK.

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They both like shredding the gnar, brah.

I rarely subject myself to Twitter but what I caught in my five minute descent merited a chuckle. Even better if you imagine Elaine doing her dance while saying it.

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There’s much radiation on the brain lately – whether you are thinking about it or not. Fukushima radioactive particle releases are continuing despite being ignored by a majority of the population, and despite the reactors existing in some Fantasyland version of “Cold Shutdown” – a term which is soon to be redefined by the Japanese government after last week’s temperature increase (of course, breaking the thermocoupler is also an option).

In Hawai’i we get our fair dose when the jet stream cruises a more Southerly path, and becomes a mash-up of the worst kind, as it coalesces with tropical rain. On top of that, Surfrider and local residents are on the lookout for potentially radioactive debris that will eventually invade our shores. And we really don’t know how bad our imported sushi or locally caught fish (which like to cruise Japan and Alaska) actually is, because no one here tests it. The fact that Hawai’i milk post-311 tested the highest in the country for radioactive particles only insured that the EPA would discontinue testing of Hawai’i milk. (Don’t even get me started on Republican surfer / state senator Fred Hemmings’ campaigns to bring nuclear power to Hawai’i!).

image borrowed from Surfer Magazine

When I went to visit the mainland late January on a work/vacation – as we collect new material to push this ol’ blog into a new-fangled online magazine – I watched the buoys and checked the reports to see when I should schedule interviews and when it was more appropriate to head to the beach. Surfers always have their priorities in order. Though most of my stay is North of Los Angeles, I regularly hook up with my Redondo Beach surf cohort to carpool all the way down to San Clemente, in South Orange County, to enjoy Trestles, one of my favorite Southern Cali waves – crowded or preferably not.

So shortly after arriving, I hear the news that Reactor Three at the San Onofre nuclear plant is leaking. Immediately after the accident Edison issued a statement that said: “There has been no release [of radiation] to the atmosphere”, but that changed the following morning. And the reports set off the Spidey senses, as it’s reminiscent of the convoluted manner with which Japanese and U.S. officials have twisted data and minced words to make everything appear “safe” – no matter what, every single accident or incident is always declared “safe”. In this case the terminology regurgitated by the media was very scientific. In regards to how much radioactive particles were released via steam, the standard no threat/no harm vocabulary included: “tiny”, “very, very small”, and “minuscule”. Uh huh. So, since no amount is safe, we will have to figure out the math for that ourselves.

And while the one plant is leaking and SCRAMed, they find during a two month, 674 million dollar “face-lift” inspection of Reactor Two, that a huge number of brand new tubes, running between the heating elements and the turbines, were showing significant wear. Some 800 thinned by 10%, 69 thinned over 20%, and a few would have to immediately be replaced. These were tubes that were supposed to last 30-40 years. We won’t even get into how a worker falls into the reactor water, drinks the water, and is also immediately deemed “safe”.

A stupid way to boil water

Sporting the title of “worst safety record” of all U.S. nuclear plants, San Onofre sits just next door to Trestles. I used to do “surf safaris” and camp there as a teen, and the main thing we were concerned about was the rumor that tiger sharks liked to breed in the warmer waters around the plant. Honestly, I never really worried about the contamination levels in the air or water (though I would hold my breath as a kid as we drove by on the way to Sea World). It was only after Fukushima that I started looking at how a release from San Onofre might spread through Southern California, and how many of my friends could be affected.

“Charlie don’t surf, he’ll never learn.”  –The Clash  (“Charlie” still being slang for “the enemy”)

The issues in San Clemente have bred a community of hardcore activists, who over the years have rallied against numerous threats besides the nuclear plant, including military bases occupying the beaches, potential off-shore oil drilling, and other paved encroachments. The most famous protest though was/is from the perpetual threat of an illegal (as per CA Coastal Commission) Toll Road (see Save Trestles/Surfrider). A whole other story that doesn’t ever go away, despite seeming victories. When it comes to activists from that area, the term “no rest for the weary” certainly comes to mind. Let’s just say this: if you are heading to surf San Onofre or Trestles, on a nice off-shore day, and there is a steam release, I advise you not putting too much faith in the nuclear industry’s reports of “safe” or “tiny”. (Do they make surf dosimeters yet?)

San Onofre is a wash. The old plant, like many, is worn down, cracking, and things are only going to get worse. The cost of this temporary shutdown is $600,000 to $1 million per day. So why don’t they work to decommission the plant? Do they need the power that badly that it’s worth risking the population between San Diego and Los Angeles? Edison, the power company that owns the plant, has even stated they have “ample power reserve” without the plant operating.

San Onofre’s 2 reactors provide somewhere between 5 and 7% of California’s electricity, and each of them consumes somewhere close to 250 megawatts of electrical energy from the grid on a constant basis just to operate. Nobody ever seems to factor that in when they talk about why we need these monster nukes to supply the “demand.” –Daily Kos

Is there anything to learn from Fukushima? Duh!

The surfers in Japan treasured their Fukushima waves: “famous for clean water and uncrowded breaks.” As any surfer will tell you, surfing is how we make a connection with the ocean. It’s an intimate relationship. Today the surfers from Fukushima are sad for many reasons, but one of them is they will likely never connect with the ocean there again.

It’s curious that the accident at Fukushima has had relatively little influence in bringing about awareness and making serious efforts to shift away from nuclear power. Sure, Germany announced they would phase out their nuclear by 2022, and hopefully they’ll replace it with alternative, renewable power instead of relying so much on coal and oil. Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, and Israel may follow suit. But at the same time we have nuclear protesters getting beaten in India where five plants are planned; 21 new nuclear plants are being built in China; more planned for Korea, Poland; as well new-timers who were not deterred by 3/11 including Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Belarus (with Jordan and Saudi Arabia likely following suit in 2013); people in Japan are being shunned for protesting nuclear or speaking/blogging about the negative side-effects of radiation exposure; and President Obama, elected with the help of serious financial backing by tritium-lovin’ Chicago nuclear, is paying them back by opening the door for the first time in over two decades (since Three Mile Island) to the U.S. building new nuclear reactors (the new build in Georgia is already up to its neck in controversies). This after making a public address during the height of the Fukushima fears, that his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future would set the goal of 80% clean energy by 2035. Oh crap, in his plan nuclear IS clean energy! Well, that and drilling the Arctic. Great Jehoshaphat!

After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Vietnam suspended its nuclear plans for more than a decade, but after the Fukushima Disaster, Vietnam is pushing ahead with plans to start construction of its first reactor in 2014. –Enformable

Just weeks after receiving a federal construction license and now being challenged in federal court – by a lawsuit boosted by this week’s revelations about the Fukushima disaster – the first US nuclear power project in decades is suffering persistent problems that have already caused eight months of delays and are driving up costs. Meanwhile, contractors are arguing between each other and the plant’s owner about who should absorb millions in cost overruns – giant corporations or taxpayers and electricity customers. –NCWarn.org

Obama’s actions are reprehensible not only after seeing the worst-case scenario play out courtesy of Fukushima, but also after witnessing numerous technical difficulties in just the past year at aging U.S. reactors. Isn’t it a better moment to upgrade, safeguard, and enforce stricter regulations at the plants we already have? The pro-nuclear stance always seems to ignore the sticky realities of nuclear including: the very high cost; the broken-down plants that need billions to get back online; the NRC granting extensions to every plant that applies, regardless of their condition; the need for better contingencies regarding emergency back-up power; their potential inability to withstand large earthquakes or flooding; and finally the fact the industry still hasn’t figured out how to deal with the associated nuclear waste (only 4,000 tons of high-level, radioactive waste is stored at San Onofre though, so no worries there!). Have you watched the French documentary Nightmare Nuclear Waste? It’s a few years old, but believe you me, little has changed.

“We know we face extinction if nuclear war ever begins. But we face the same extinction even if the bombs never fall. The production alone of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons is initiating the death crisis of our species.” –Dr. Rosalie Bertell

So for many surfers, it was a bummer to hear that they wanted to build a nuclear power plant at one of the best waves in the world, Jeffreys Bay. Would it be too much to ask to at least try decentralized power via solar first – I mean, if South Africa isn’t prime for some self-sufficient power alternatives, where is? Check out this short flick on the situation, J Bay Nuclear Plant, featuring Kelly Slater. And check out pro-surfer Kyle Theirmann’s Surfing for Change, which is devoted to fun and activism – nothing wrong with that!

“Authorizing construction of new nuclear reactors without first constructing a radioactive waste disposal facility is like authorizing construction of a new Sears Tower without bathrooms.” –Dave Kraft, director of Nuclear Energy Information Service

People who care, including every surfer in the world (um, there are a lot of us), should devote a small part of their lives towards protecting wetlands, shorelines, surfing and camping spots, from pesticides, herbicides, run-off, concrete… and definitely from the insanity of nuclear plants, especially those on fault lines, in tsunami/tidal wave/hurricane zones, and at our treasured surf breaks.

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Though we may, on occassion ;) get a little bit behind here at CoconutGirlWireless, we’re regularly updating our news tweets. Follow CoconutGirl on Twitter! We follow back all eco-conscious surfers!

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Shooting above and below the ocean, hope this footage captured a sense of the memorial paddle out for one of the greatest surfers of our time, Andy Irons – in his hometown of Hanalei, Kaua’i, Hawai’i. It was sincerely a struggle to fully catch on film the magnitude of the event. Mahalo to the Irons family. Edited by Coconut Girl Wireless Productions. Special thanks to Mike Young and Allan Thomas for supplying the music – and everyone who helped with and attended the memorial. All our love to the Irons family. (Please, play full screen in HD).

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My local community has an amazing monthly board swap but if you aren’t so lucky and Craigslist isn’t cutting it, SurfingList may be for you. Here we have a quick chat with surfer and SurfingList creator Brett Hollman….

How did SurfingList get started?

I started SurfingList about six years ago with the idea that there were better communities than Craigslist for surfers that could provide more relevant local sites with items such as wetsuits, surfboards, surf reports, forums for surfers, beach condos for rent in the local surf community, and so on.

What are the advantages of using it over Craigslist?

SurfingList incorporates items for sale with other local items such as the surf forecast, surf report, forums, surf travel information, and places to upload photos rather than the much larger and diverse community Craigslist has created. SurfingList is a niche community where Craigslist is a community for all.

How many states / countries does Surfing List support? What are the goals?

SurfingList has 27 local sites right now and will continue to expand as we add more US and international destinations.

Do you find because airline fees are now so high (or there are so many restrictions) that more people are looking for sites that help them find boards once they arrive at their destination?

Hollman gettin’ some luv at Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Actually, that is a very good point and I would recommend people use the site for that reason as well. I have bought and sold a used board when traveling and SurfingList is the perfect location for a surfer to do just that.

What are some of your favorite surfing locales?

Well, I live in the San Diego area and love many North County areas such as Cardiff Reef, Swamis, and various breaks in Leucadia. As far as travel, I am a huge fan of Maui where I once lived and just got back from El Salvador which was an amazing surf trip with perfect right hand points.

Have you gotten any cool surfer celeb feedback?

Unfortunately not, but I do live down the street from Rob Machado, so you never know.

Check out SurfingList at SurfingList.com

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And we thought it happened with SUPs and Costco boards. Welcome, the Chanel surfboard. Hmm, then again, I would have loved to go surfing with CoCo….

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