Yearly Archives

18 Articles

Surfing News

Surfing legend Slater won’t compete at Tokyo Summer Olympics

Posted by Sue Steward on
Surfing legend Slater won’t compete at Tokyo Summer Olympics

American surfing legend Kelly Slater, seen by many as the greatest of all time, missed out on qualifying for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, where the sport will make its Olympic Games debut.

The 47-year-old American surfer was edged for a spot on the US squad for surfing‘s Olympic debut in July of next year, after John John Florence returned from knee surgery to edge Slater for the last spot at an event in Hawaii earlier this month.

The 11-time world champion who became the youngest and also the oldest to win the crown, inspired a generation of surfing stars with a range of videos of his amazing efforts becoming must-see viewing for both fans and competitors.

Competing as an Olympian would be an epic farewell for a 40-year career than started at age eight in a youth event; however, instead he will be watching the event.

Slater told the New York Times, “I’m going to enjoy it as a spectator,” dismissing any notion that he would end his career soon after missing out on the Summer Games. He added that next year, everyone will continue to see him at the top of a wave.

Although Slater needed a victory at the Pipeline Masters on Oahu’s North Shore in order to secure the title, he lost in the semi-finals, leaving him ranked the world’s eighth but one spot behind 2016 and 2017 world champion Florence, who took the second US men’s team spot behind Kolohe Andino.

Florence, an Oahu North Shore 20 years younger than Slater, was a former protege of the surfing icon.

Florence said that Slater has been his idol since he was a child and the surfing is like a member of his family.

After having missed five of 11 tour events with a knee injury, this year, Florence returned for the season finale. However, he was eliminated in the Pipeline quarter-finals. He sealed his Olympic spot as Slater lost to Italo Ferreira from Brazil in the semis.

Surfing News

2024 Paris Olympics: organizers to hold surfing 10,000 miles away in Tahiti

Posted by Sue Steward on
2024 Paris Olympics: organizers to hold surfing 10,000 miles away in Tahiti

Several years ago, Olympic leaders began pushing the idea that host cities could spread events over a wide region even share with a neighboring country to make the Games more manageable and defray costs.

They probably didn’t have something like this in mind.

On Thursday, the organizing committee for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris announced its desire to hold the surfing competition nearly 10,000 miles away in Tahiti.

French coastal spots such as Biarritz and the Basque Country and Pointe de la Torche bid for the event, but organizers opted for the Teahupo’o break in a part of the world they rightly characterized as “one of the cradles” of the sport.

Conditions there should allow them to successfully hold an event that, well, requires waves.

The Paris 2024 organizers said, “The consistency and the quality of the Teahupo’o wave, at this time of the year, in the middle of Tahiti’s high surf season, should ensure that the Olympic competition will take place more than one week.”

The decision isn’t entirely unprecedented. The 1956 Melbourne Olympics faced strict regulations that required all horses entering Australia to be quarantined for six months, so equestrian events were shifted to Stockholm.

Tahiti makes sense for Paris 2024 since it is part of the overseas territories of the host country. The 48 qualifying surfers will compete during the early days of the Games, then have the opportunity to fly to Paris, where they can live in the Olympic village and take part in the closing ceremony.

The venue must be approved by the International Olympic Committee, which will discuss the proposal at a January meeting.

Organizers used words such as “spectacular” and “extraordinary” in describing Teahupo’o, adding that it would “allow Paris 2024 to resonate all the way to the heart of the Pacific Ocean.”


How to take care of surfers’ skin (part 3)

Posted by Sue Steward on
How to take care of surfers’ skin (part 3)

5. Hydrate Your Skin

When you spend hours in the ocean, your need for water goes up, and your skin can reflect that.

There is no use in lathering it with lush oils and creams if you don’t hydrate it from inside out.

Water is vital for skin health, and as a surfer, you should drink plenty of it. Keep a glass bottle of water always at hand, and drink it before and after surfing.

If you don’t particularly appreciate pure water, you can always make a delicious handmade fruit juice or fragrant flavored water.

There are plenty zero-effort recipes out there, so no excuses to opt for unhealthy and sugared drinks, that will do the opposite of what is intended.

6. Eat Right

Water isn’t the only source of hydration.

A healthy diet keeps your skin balanced and more resistant, while also boosting the action of the products that you put on its surface.

Rich fruits and healthy vegetables are also packed with H2O, with the added benefit of minerals, vitamins, and many other fantastic components.

Some foods are particularly beneficial, such as avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, almonds, carrots, green tea, citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, greek yogurt, and eggs.

7. Act When Something Is Wrong

Every time you notice something wrong with your skin, look for medical advice. The skin is the biggest organ on our body, and it often reveals underlying issues.

We are not only talking about skin cancer symptoms, but also little ailments that can become big problems if unattended.

Alterations in moles, spots, persistent rashes, broken skin, or nail fungus, they all should be checked by a specialist.

Now that you know how to care for your skin, it’s time to have fun in the waves. It’s incredible out there.


How to take care of surfers’ skin (part 2)

Posted by Sue Steward on
How to take care of surfers’ skin (part 2)

3. Moisturize Your Skin

After cleaning, it’s time to moisturize. Here, the options are endless.

For the body, chose between oils, creams, or lotions, according to your needs at the time.

You can have a nourishing cream to pack extra moisture when surfing more intensely, a quick-absorbing lotion with a dispenser to wear on the go.

For the lazy ones, oils and spray formulations are the right choice.

An after-sun lotion or aloe vera gel is always helpful in the summer. They calm the skin and boost its recovery after sun exposure.

As for the face, find a quality cream that suits your skin type and apply it morning, evening, and every time you wash it in the shower after surfing.

Depending on their needs, some people benefit from dermatologist-formulated skincare products.

If you have extra sensitive or reactive skin, melasma, or are prone to breakouts, we take you back to the first step and advise you to contact a dermatologist to find out what is best for you.

Another useful tip: hands and feet are often dismissed at this stage. Don’t forget to wear hand cream and apply frequently.

Care for your feet with a rich foot cream to prevent hard, dried skin. Apply it after the shower and before sleeping to keep your foundations nice and healthy.

4. Protect Your Skin

All surfers, regardless of the weather conditions, are particularly exposed to the damaging effects of the sun.

You must always – and we mean always – apply a safe sunscreen, according to the instructions of the packaging, before you hit the water.

There are different types of sunscreen, so try around or ask your dermatologist to find the right one.

It’s always better to choose a different sunscreen for face and body, according to your skin type and sun exposure.

While we don’t remember it until we get a sunburn, the vulnerable skin on our heads also needs protection. There are sprays, sticks, and oils specifically created to protect it.

Choose the best one for your hair type and stick to this step, as melanoma in the scalp is rare but more dangerous than in other parts of the body.

Other useful measures are covering your head or pulling your hair up in a ponytail to hide your part and keep it from sunburn.

Surfing Equipment

How to take care of surfers’ skin (part 1)

Posted by Sue Steward on
How to take care of surfers’ skin (part 1)

Surfing can be rather damaging to the skin. The frequent contact with the sea, sand, salt, and the wetsuit demands specific measures to keep your skin happy and healthy.

Surfing is amazing for the body and the mind, but not so much for the skin.

Several variables contribute to damage the skin’s surface and leave it more vulnerable. Fragile or broken skin is also more prone to infections and other opportunistic aches.

As a surfer, there are a few essential aspects to consider.

Steps as simple as cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting are very basic, but different people have different needs that need to be met.

Scalp, hands, feet, and face are naturally more exposed to the burning sun rays, the dehydrating salted water, and the friction caused by sand, wax, or wetsuit seams.

Windsurfers, for example, can develop painful blisters in their hands.

The body, on the other hand, is often confined in wet, non-breathable fabrics for considerable amounts of time. All these factors demand specific measures to keep the skin in perfect condition.

Here are a few steps to replenish and care for your skin, leaving it ready for the next session:

1. Know Your Skin

First and foremost, you need to know your skin type, as it allows you to choose the right products.

A dermatologist will help you identify your skin fragilities, and prescribe the best routine for your body, scalp, and face, according to your specific needs.

It’s also important to adapt your skincare routine to the intensity of your surfing practice.

When you surf more often or depending on the season, you may need a more or less nourishing moisturizer, a deeper or lighter cleaning product, and a higher or lower protection sunscreen, etc.

2. Clean It Up

Once you know your skin, it’s time to clean and do it right.

Depending on your skin type – oily, dry, combination – the right cleaning product will wash away impurities (salt, sunscreen, etc.) without stripping the skin from its natural protections.

Avoid harsh detergents and irritant formulations. It’s smart to invest in good shower creams or gels formulated for sensitive skin.

If you’re wearing a sponge, make sure it is cleaned right. Otherwise, you will expose your skin to unwanted bacteria.

Again, don’t forget the scalp: invest in a gentle shampoo that cleans, but doesn’t build up or dehydrates. It may take a while to find the right one, but it’s worth the search.

It’s also crucial to wear a specific cleaning product for the face, whether it is a gel, an oil, or micellar water. Use it every morning and evening, and in the shower after surfing.

Every once in a while, you can also exfoliate for a deeper cleanse and to promote skin renewal. Be careful, however, as to not damage the skin.

Opt for gentle exfoliants with rich oils for the body. There are some interesting DIY recipes out there that are worth a try. For the face, choose one that adjusts to your skin type.

Surfing News

Kolohe Andino and Kanoa Igarashi will compete in surfing’s 2020 Olympics debut

Posted by Sue Steward on
Kolohe Andino and Kanoa Igarashi will compete in surfing’s 2020 Olympics debut

As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games nears, the shortlist of surfers in line to compete in the sport’s big debut is taking shape – and so far, two Orange County surfers have secured spots to compete in the historic event that will bring surfing to millions of viewers.

Huntington Beach local Kanoa Igarashi and San Clemente’s Kolohe Andino have both earned slots at the Olympics, meaning local surf fans will have familiar athletes to cheer on.

Igarashi, who has dual citizenship and will be surfing for the host country, is no stranger to the podium. The two-time winner of the U.S. Open of Surfing — at his home break in Huntington in 2017 and 2018 — began as a tyke taking tiny waves in Newport Beach and at the Huntington Beach Pier.

Had he not joined Japan’s roster, Igarashi likely wouldn’t have qualified for this Olympic Games, with stiff competition among United States athletes clamoring for the team’s two allotted spots for men.

Unlike typical surf contests, the mainland and Hawaii are combined for the upcoming Olympics, making it even harder to secure entry considering stand-out surfers such as John John Florence and Kelly Slater are in the running.

But one U.S. surfer who has made the team is Andino, it was announced Friday, Oct. 18.

Both Andino and Igarashi must still meet eligibility requirements of the International Surfing Association, the International Olympic Committee, and the respective national Olympic committees.

With the World Surf Tour events still in fierce competition mode — and the World Tour rankings one of the paths toward qualification — it’s unclear who will nab the second men’s spot. The final spots on Team USA’s two-man, two-woman Olympic team will be determined at the end of the WSL season in December – following the women’s Maui Pro event and the men’s Hawaii Pipe Masters event.

Andino is currently ranked fifth in the world on the World Tour and is the highest-ranked surfer from the United States.

The WSL CT is the pathway for 18 countries to qualify surfers for the Olympics. The remaining 22 surfers from countries that don’t participate in the WSL are determined through the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games and the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse called Andino “Captain America.” Andino is a second-generation surfer, following in his father Dino’s footsteps as one of the world’s best surfers competing on the World Tour.

The younger Andino, 25, has won seven USA Surfing Championships and shattered records with nine National Scholastic Surfing Association championships a decade ago as an amateur. He joined the ranks of the world’s best in 2012.

Behind Andino in the rankings are Florence and fellow Hawaiian Seth Moniz, followed by 11-time World Champion Slater, who all have a chance to qualify for the Olympics.

Surfing News

Japan’s surfing spots prepare to cash in on Olympic wave

Posted by Sue Steward on
Japan’s surfing spots prepare to cash in on Olympic wave

Japan’s surfing spots are looking to ride a wave to economic revitalization before the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, when surfing will make its Olympic debut.

In the hope of attracting more tourists and stopping population decline, these municipalities are hosting surfing events and building special websites to promote themselves as destinations for surfing enthusiasts.

Ichinomiya in Chiba Prefecture will host the 2020 Olympic surfing event. Located on the Pacific coast, Tsurigasaki beach attracts many surfboarders in the early morning and late afternoon as it is easily accessible from Tokyo. The nearest station is Kazusa-Ichinomiya, which is about an hour by express train from Tokyo Station.

Each year, about 600,000 surfers visit Ichinomiya, population 12,000. It hosts an annual competition for professional surfing athletes from around the world and has seen its profile steadily grow.

In 2015, the Ichinomiya Municipal Government launched a comprehensive economic strategy focused on “surfonomics.”

It has built up a “surf street” along the beach with shops and restaurants. An information center opened in April 2018 rents out surfboards and bicycles for visitors to carry their gear on.

Since December 2016, Hyuga in Miyazaki Prefecture has also pursued an initiative dubbed “Relax Surf Town Hyuga”.

Having a warm climate, the city has one of Japan’s most popular surfing spots.

In 2017, it attracted 300,000 surfers and beachgoers, up from 200,000 in 2012.

Hyuga releases promotional videos on a special website as well as uploads images of its coastline on social media. It is working very hard to attract surfing events to capitalize on surfing’s Olympic debut.

Although Makinohara in Shizuoka Prefecture lost the bid to host the 2020 Olympic surfing events to Ichinomiya, it was chosen to host training facilities for the United States and other surfing teams.

The city, sitting directly across from the Izu Peninsula on the opposite side of Suruga Bay, also organizes lessons for elementary school students in order to introduce the sport at an early age.

Another spot that is known for quality waves is part of the Izu Islands, Niijima Island. It takes about 2½ hours to reach Niijima from Tokyo by high-speed ferry or 35 minutes by air.

Niijima Island used to host international surfing events and is trying to energize its economy by wooing back surfers.

The move seems to be succeeding as the annual domestic surfing festivals and competitions it hosts have led to an increase in surfers in recent years.

Surfing News

The qualified surfers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Posted by Sue Steward on
The qualified surfers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The shortboard competition will be held at Tsurigasaki Beach, in Chiba. The quest for gold, silver, and bronze medals will include 20 male surfers and 20 female athletes.

Surfing’s qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is complex and consists of two entities – the World Surf League (WSL) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Both the professional world tour and the world governing body have decided to split the spots available for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Japan, the host country, has automatically secured one slot for a female surfer and another one for a male athlete.

Later, four events will determine the competitors who will participate in surfing’s Olympic debut. They are as follow:

·        2019 Pan American Games – 1 male surfer and 1 female surfer;

·        2019 ISA World Surfing Games – 4 male surfers and 4 female surfers;

·        2019 World Surf League – 10 male surfers and 8 female surfers;

·        2020 ISA World Surfing Games – 4 male surfers and 6 female surfers;

Each country can only qualify a maximum of two surfing athletes per gender.


·        Lucca Mesinas, Best American Male Surfer at the 2019 Pan American Games

·        Shun Murakami, Best Asian Male Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

·        Ramzi Boukhiam, Best African Male Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

·        Billy Stairmand, Best Oceania Male Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

·        Frederico Morais, Best European Male Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games


·        Daniella Rosas, Best American Female Surfer at the 2019 Pan American Games

·        Bianca Buitendag, Best African Female Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

·        Shino Matsuda, Best Asian Female Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

·        Ella Williams, Best Oceania Female Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

·        Anat Lelior, Best European Female Surfer at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

The mentioned surfers have secured provisional spots in the Tokyo 2020 and will lose their places in case 2 other fellow countrymen and countrywomen finish ahead of them at the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games.

Therefore, the official list of surfing athletes that will take part in the competition will only be revealed fully in June 2020, after the re-allocation of unused quotas.


Sofia Mulanovich earns gold at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Posted by Sue Steward on
Sofia Mulanovich earns gold at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Sofia Mulanovich has earned the gold medal in the women’s division at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan.

The 36-year-old female surfer defeated Silvana Lima, Carissa Moore, and Bianca Buitendag, in an extremely tight final that was held in Miyazaki, Japan.

The Peruvian surfer secured her career’s second gold medal in the World Surfing Games, a surfing event held by the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Sofia Mulanovich earns gold at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Sofia Mulanovich expressed, “I think that I’m in a dream. This isn’t happening. It’s unbelievable for me to win this event with all the best surfers of the world.”  The veteran won her first gold medal in Salinas, Ecuador, in 2004, when she was only 22 years old. That year was a golden year for Mulanovich. Besides the World Surfing Games title, she also earned the ASP World Tour trophy.

Past, Present, and Future

The Peruvian still is the only South American female athlete to be crowned world surfing champion.

Sofia Mulanovich concluded, “Two Peruvians won gold medals at the Pan American Games in Lima and my winning here adds to that. Surfing is fast growing in Latin America, and Peru is here to stay.”

Fernando Aguerre, the president of the ISA, believes that the women’s final was a “validation of the universal competitive landscape” of surfing.

“Sofia Mulanovich had a long career as a professional surfing athlete. Earning gold after 15 years and against this stars is incredible for her. I’m sure she is going to think about her chances for 2020.”

Meanwhile, four female surfers have secured spots in Tokyo 2020.

Shino Matsuda (Japan), Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), Anat Lelior (Israel), and Ella Williams (New Zealand) will only confirm their tickets for the Summer Olympics as the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games wrap up in May 2020.

These four female surfers will only lose their spots if there are two fellow countrywomen of the same gender qualifying ahead of them at the upcoming World Surfing Games.

Surfing News

Surfing in Japan during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Posted by Sue Steward on
Surfing in Japan during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

The 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Interestingly, the world’s largest metropolitan area is also widely known for hosting world-class surf spots.

While tourists and sports fans from all around the world are in the city for the Summer Olympic Games, local surfers will be riding their daily waves. In fact, the Chiba region, which is near Tokyo, is considered as the birthplace and capital of the Japanese surfing culture.

Onjuku, Choshi, and Ichinomiya, which are located 40 kilometers away from Tokyo, are some of the best surfing spots in Chiba. Pollution and fishing harbors are the greatest threat to wave and surfing here.

Niijima, Oshima, and Hachijojima are three islands that are located off the coast of the capital, which often offer great surfing experiences for the local board riding community. So expect a laid back lifestyle and stunning sight-seeing.

Shonan and Shichirigahama – in the Kanagawa prefecture – are two famous wave peaks that face southern swells coming from the Pacific Ocean.

Shikoku, the fourth largest island in Japan, also offers impressive river mouth waves. Ikumihama, Uchizuma, Shishikui, and Niyodo are the best choices; however, they are not free of local wave warriors.

The province of Fukushima was once famous for its top right-handers ridden in front of the nuclear station. Nowadays, it is a radioactive surfing cemetery, where surfers won’t surf and human beings won’t live.

If you are planning a surfing trip to Japan – the Land of the Rising Sun, you should do it during spring, between April and May. Remember that local surf shops are so expensive and trains are the best way of traveling from spot to spot there.

The 2020 Summer Olympics will take place between 24th July and 9th August, in Tokyo. Because surfing is very popular in the country, so it would be nice to have surfing as an Olympic sport, in a high-tech artificial wave pool of Japan.