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California, Here We Come!


It’s that time of year again!

STN founder Tom Bauer and our stellar staff member Ryley Snyder are in California and they want to see YOU!

Here’s how you can make that happen:

  • November 1st- STN Reunion Day at Huntington Beach Pier, Southside Pier from 10-1 !  Everyone is welcome. Come bring what you would like to eat and we will have a simple BBQ. It’s a time to catch up, talk story and surf! Lunch will be at 12, but feel free to come any time between 10 and 1!
  • November 7th-  There will be surf sesh/gathering for people that are interested in coming out to STN at T Street, San Clemente from 9-11 AM.
 
Tom and Ryley will also be hitting up the High Desert on the 4th,  Westmost College on the 5th, and San Diego on the 6/7th!

 

Stay updated on their whereabouts by following our facebook and instagram, and using the insta hashtag  #stnrecruit !
 

#HUMANSOFWAHIAWA

They’re strangers.
Strangers aren’t supposed to affect your daily life very much.
Strangers don’t have your trust.
They don’t have your time, like friends who’ve had years with you.
They don’t hold a place in your memory.

 
But these strangers have a power; these strangers have stories.
 

Their stories bridge the distance between your separate roads
and cause you to share a moment on their path.

Before you know it, you find the people that are the most obscure are suddenly influencing you. With their words and expressions lingering into your mind, you feel your heart inevitably soften, your mindset shift and your perspective grow.

These strangers that I’m referring to can be found on the highly popular blog ”Humans Of New York’‘.
If you are one of the few who haven’t heard of it, Humans Of New York was started by 20-something Brandon Stanton. Having lost his job in bond trading, Brandon hit the streets, to start photographing random people in New York City. Like any good photographer, Brandon interacted with his subjects and started to add the stories and quotes that stood out to him during those conversations.
Some photos are published with long captions, others have just one line, and all of them find their way to our hearts. They are now steadily covering instagram, facebook and tumblr feeds.
In a circle of irony, the ‘social’ networks that have been accused of discouraging
real interaction with even those that are closest to us, have come full circle to bring us
close to strangers.
 
A few weeks ago, the STN Marking Department sent out Surfing The Nations staff and interns into our town of Wahiawa to get to know the people, ‘Humans Of New York’ style. They documented their photos and stories on instagram with the hashtag  #humansofwahiawa.
Most people on the mainland and living elsewhere, imagine Hawaii to be swarming with native people sporting hula skirts and ukukleles, or perhaps they view it as a grown-up Disneyland full of tourists, with dolphins jumping over a volcano sitting under a rainbow.
Hawaii, and specifically Wahiawa, is a very diverse place. The #humansofwahiawa project put on display the different ages, races, hopes and dreams of our town.
There are many things that can be learned from the photos on Humans Of New York or  #humansofwahiawa, but more than anything, we learn that
everyone has a story, and that the most fascinating things we’ll hear
or see are still undiscovered. That is, unless we get out there, have the eyes to see, and open up our lives to strangers, or, rather, stories of our town.

 

Here’s just a few photos from the hashtag. Find more on instagram #humansofwahiawa !

Next up…Morocco!

The Middle East trip has been an integral part of STN’s international program for years.

From the shores of Egypt to the ruins of Turkey, no trip looks quite like the other, but each one offers an incredible amount of adventure. 

Surfing The Nations is excited to announce this year’s Winter trip is to the intoxicating land of Morocco!

The trip is full for this year, but stay tuned for updates on the trip and follow the team on instagram with the hashtag #stngo

 

Cover photo from dragonkiteschool.com

 

Until Next Time, Sri Lanka.

Today’s blog comes from Katie Redmond, our incredible, world-traveling humanitarian barista at Surfers Coffee Bar! Katie just recently returned from an STN surf trip to Sri Lanka! Here she shares about the land of the Jungle Book and all she experienced there.

In 1998, Sri Lanka breached the radar of Surfing the Nations. STN found the world-class point break wave known as Main Point on the tip of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka. Sixteen years later, I had the privilege of seeing this masterpiece with my very own eyes on the 12th annual Surfing The Nations outreach trip.

Myself and five others trekked across the width of Sri Lanka from Colombo to Arugam Bay where we spent the entirety of our 24 day trip. Our team consisted of five who came with Surfing The Nations, and we were also joined by a couple from Italy, a team from Bali, a team from Southern California, and a local family.

In an environment with a widespread mix of locals and tourists, it was refreshing to stay in a village where we could really get to know the people. I could take a walk through the village and see faces that have names I knew at every turn. We held a number of activities during our stay: women’s tea, surf school, movie night, and, my favorite, Family Night.

On Family Night, we would hop in a tuk tuk to the next city and bought multitudes of chickens, coconuts, vegetables, spices and rice. The smells were overwhelming. Surrounded by mothers, daughters, and sisters, we sat crowded on a single mat on the floor, cutting kilos of vegetables and the largest amount of garlic I have ever seen. We then started serving families the creation we made. We started with 70 paper plates and soon found ourselves scrounging for more. Ninety people ate dinner with us in one night. These evenings were filled with laughter, family, dancing, spicy food, and warmth. The families adopted us into theirs so quickly; I marvel at their acceptance and long to be back in it.

Whether the waves were pumping way overhead or barely a ripple, we surfed and swam the East coast of Sri Lanka. Joining us were children and women who once were terrified of the ocean as they watched it rip their village apart in the 2004 tsunami. I watched a woman who once would not leave her home alone catch her first wave, and I understood her reality in a new way. In a highly Muslim community, infused with Buddhism and Hinduism, it is not a culture that is comfortable with women surfers.  This woman was  also mother of a Sri Lankan surfer and she has seen the opportunities her son had been given through surfing. He competed in the Red Bull Ride My Wave competition, and she began to encourage the girls in her family to surf.

In a culture so founded on family, it is surprising to see the absence a father figure plays in the children’s lives. As we surfed or swam with the local boys daily, we found they were longing to be involved in everything we did. They even volunteered to help us rebuild the STN Sri Lankan property fence.  A group of eight 16 year old boys, one father, and the 5 of us partially clueless team members worked side by side for days and hours. These boys with pasts I can barely put into words simply want to be wanted and to do something significant.

Finally, the day to leave the country I had come to love arrived. We walked the village, stopping house to house to say our goodbyes. One of the 16 year old boys we spent a lot of time with hugged us all and simply said, “No goodbye. See you later”.

Until next time Sri Lanka, until next time

 

-KR

 

 

The author sporting Sri Lankan women’s style

 

At The RedBull Contest

Bonding At The Beach

Surfing At The RedBull Comp

Surf At The RedBull Comp

Some Of The Team With Local Friends

See you later, Sri Lanka

 

The Youth Of Wahiawa Thrive in Ulu Pono

Today’s blog post comes from Ulu Pono director Brittany Southwick. The Ulu Pono program has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and with the continued support of local charities and volunteers, so have the kids! Brittany writes about the amazing summer that the Ulu Pono kids an teens had and tells us what’s happening this school year

 

“The summer of 2014 brought deeper relationships, more fun and education to the Ulu Pono Department at Surfing the Nations. Over the months of June and July, we traveled all around the island every Wednesday and Thursday giving the youth experiences outside of Wahiawa, that, realistically, they would usually not be able to have. Using funding from grants received from Friends of Hawaii Charities, we took them to the Honolulu Zoo, Bishop Museum, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, to volunteer at our Feeding the Hungry outreach and even took some of the teens camping for a weekend on the North Shore! The Summer Program is designed to keep the kids out of trouble that they get into during the summer when they are bored, and stuck in Wahaiwa with nothing to do. It rewards them for being consistent with their attendance during the school year, and helps us to get to know the kids on an even deeper level as we spend more time with them.

Now that summer is over, the school year has been in full swing with our Genius Factory program on Wednesdays as well as a brand-new community outreach on Saturday afternoons! Genius Factory focuses on the younger demographic, Pre-school  to 5th grade, providing free after school homework help, virtue lessons and healthy outlets such as dance, community clean-ups and art lessons. Our newest outreach, the Ohai Community BBQ is just taking off here in September as a way to reach out to the teenage demographic of Wahiawa. This presents an opportunity for us to connect with not only the kids of Wahiawa, but their families as well. Students from our internship program are involved in our Ulu Pono outreaches each week, fostering an even more community-minded lifestyle within Surfing the Nations. Ulu Pono means “To thrive on a Righteous Path” which is our heart behind the program- and none of it would be possible without the support and grant money from Friends of Hawaii Charities each year. We are so thankful and honored to receive their support and know that none of this is possible without them. We are looking forward to the 2014-2015 school year and all the growth that is going to happen in each one of our kids! ” – BS

 

To find out how you can volunteer or if you’d like more information on the Ulu Pono program, email brittany.southwick@surfingthenations.com

 

 

Ulu Pono Camping Trip

 

Serving at Feeding The Hungry

 

Busy At Work At The Genius Factory!

 

 

Shop On Amazon + Give Back

Any new finds on Amazon? Getting your Christmas shopping started early?

Now, one of the easiest ways for you to shop, has also become an easy way to give with AmazonSmile! You can choose to donate to Surfing the Nations at no added cost to your transaction. 0.5% of the price of eligible products will be donated directly to us when you’re ready to check out.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to smile.amazon.com,
  • Sign in with your Amazon account
  • Select “Surfing the Nations” as your charitable organization.

Eligible products that you are purchasing will be marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation.” It’s a simple way to give back while promoting guilt free shopping!

Mahalo for your future investment in Surfing the Nations!

 

*”Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.”

Sailing Adventure Leadership Training

Aiming to take our commitment of character and leadership building to the next level, Surfing The Nations is excited to add a new leadership training program to its roster: S.A.L.T. – Sailing Adventure Leadership Training!

This program gives senior STN staff and volunteers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set sail around various Hawaiian Islands on a 96-foot sailboat, SSV Makani Olu, for one week. STN will partner up with The Marimed Foundation for this incredible excursion. Marimed was established in 1984 and delivers ocean and land-based learning experiences that empower youth, adults and families and strengthen communities (http://marimed.org/ ). Not only will the adventure develop skills in teamwork, decision making and adaptability, but STN staff will fully crew the ship: flexing their leadership skills by managing and operating the vessel over a continuous period, day and night, in some of the most intense ocean settings.

The trip will be an experience in what it means to be a true waterman. It will draw on each staff member’s endurance – mental and physical – and teamwork skills to achieve the team’s goals in the face of difficult challenges, unfamiliar obstacles and some of the harshest natural elements. Water-based activities the crew will also be participating in include snorkeling, free diving, spearfishing and fishing, while enjoying remote hikes during their anchorages.

 

/// Partner with Us

Help by donating to send this team on a life changing training experience. Your investment in a volunteer crew member will equip them to be world-changing men and women of character, ready to face the challenges that come with leadership, teamwork and the great outdoors.

 

Cost:

  • $1,100 per person

    • Includes all meals

    • Transport to and from ship

    • Team activities (fishing, sailing, safety, education, etc)

    • Safe Arrival Dinner

    • CPR First Aid Certifications

 

Donate Online:

 

/// Excursion Dates

Trip is weather dependent & based on Captain approval.Tentative dates range between

  • November  13th – November 19th, 2014

 

Follow us on social media to stay updated!

Instagram: @surfingthenations

twitter: stn1040

facebook.com/surfingthenations

 

PC: Dai Mar Takmarack

 

I N D O N E S I A

The 17th Annual Indonesia trip has come to a close. I had the amazing opportunity to lead this adventure trip full of amazing people. Our diverse team of 21 included surfers, photographers, musicians, college students, and a family of four!

We started in Kuta, Bali and over the course of three and a half weeks, went to Bingin, Uluwatu, and Desert Point on Lombok. After that, we jumped on a boat for 7 days to Gili, Sumbawa and Nusa Lembongan. The Indo trip being a surf tour, the team got great surf at world class breaks: Impossibles, Scar Reef, Desert Point, and Shipwrecks, just to name a few. At one point, we sailed through such rough waters that our boat nearly capsized, beating any roller coaster ride money could buy, and causing us all to laugh uncontrollably as we slipped across the boat.

When trying to describe the overall experience of Indonesia, I find myself coming back to the same word:

WILD.

The surf was both perfect and threatening, the culture was colorful and bold, and the wildlife is up close and personal, a lesson quickly learned from repeat monkey invasions! The nature around us was captivating: the cliffs of Uluwatu, the views of Bingin Beach, the long jaw-dropping barrels at Desert Point, and the breathtaking views of  rugged Sumbawa.

On top of getting amazing surf and a ton of laughs, we were consistently reaching out to the communities around us. One of the most amazing experiences was when we were in Desert Point on Lombok.We met a man who had his house halfway built and needed the funds and work to finish it. We had a contractor and a carpenter on the team with us, so they went to his house to check it out.After assessing the need and figuring out what we could do, the team pooled together and provided enough funds for him to get 20 days worth of labor and all the supplies he needed to have his house completed. This man was just one of the people we were able to help on the trip. We passed out clothing and school supplies everywhere we went, helped meet practical needs whenever we could, hung out with the locals, and made lifelong friends.

We also had Cameron Taylor with us, a Hawaii bodyboarder sponsored by Empire bodyboards.Empire generously stocked Cameron up with some brand new bodyboards to give to the kids in one of the most remote locations, Desert Point village on the island of Lombok. When you saw the kids get the chance to play on a board in the waters that they live right in front of their entire lives, you know it’s a gift that will keep on giving.People ask me if Indonesia was good, and I tell them Indonesia was everything: It was good, it was fun, it was hard, it was tiring, it was crazy, it was totally different from anything I’ve done, it was adventure at its essence, and it was worth every second!

For more info on the Indo trip, or to apply for next year, visit www.surfingthenations.com or email go@surfingthenations.com

To see photos from our trips on instagram search #stngo

Check out some photos below from our amazing photographer Kara Donovan! For more, check out our flickr account!

 

Hurricane Playlist: Pepa Knight

I sat in the Surfers Coffee Bar on an ordinary work day, trying to think of a band to write about for a weekend music feature.My friend, Tyler, was visiting from California and plopped down next to me as I stared blankly at my screen, weary from browsing. Seeing the chance to get some fresh ideas, I asked him to tell me a good band that I may have not heard of before. He grabbed his phone, scrolled through some music and threw out a name that was to become my new favorite band: ‘Jinja Safari’.

Fast forward to a few years later: Still growing in popularity and stretching beyond the borders of their native Australia, Jinja not only thrives as a group, but is made up of insanely talented solo musicians. Cofrontman of the band, Pepa Knight is one of those who has branched out to produce a solo project, and the first samples are TASTY.

Today, we introduce you to perhaps his most popular single, ‘Rahh!’

Pepa creates a surprising sound, picking colorful, lesser-used instruments like the sitar and the flute to accompany soothing, yet energy-filled vocals.
‘Rahh!’s use of drums- a very significant and spiritual instrument in many cultures- sets it all to life; carrying the song and waking you up with the rhythm of adventure. Jinja Safari was inspired by the sounds of the world, with frontman Marcus Azon crafting the feel and even the name of the band after his experiences in Jinja, Uganda. Pepa recently took a trip himself across India and that has heavily inspired what he’s written.

The fact that the creator of the music is a globe-trotter himself may explain the vagabond feeling that you get when you hear ”Rahh!’
It’s a song that seems made to accompany an epic sun rise; a reminder of the fresh and the new. It was made for one of those car rides where your arm stretches out of your window, and your fingertips float with the curves of the wind. It’s an ‘I’m awake to the world and going somewhere!’ song.

Inspiring, fun, refreshing.
It’s everything you want your weekend, or your life for that matter, to be.

Enjoy the sounds of Pepa Knight and follow him here as you wait for the release of the full album ‘Hypnotized’ in April 2015!

 

BLSD Project Hawaii Is Blessing The Kids Of Wahiawa


STN is excited to announce that the Ulu Pono kids program has been chosen as the first ‘ one for one’  project by local apparel company Blessed Project Hawaii (BLSD).

Read about their mission from their website below:
“”Our mission is to spread blessings to people in need, particularly children.  For every shirt we sell, we will give one to a person in need.  We have all been blessed with so many things in this world.  Sometimes we get too caught up in what we want for ourselves.  We should stop for a moment and realize that the things we take for granted everyday, someone else is praying for. We have all been blessed so that we can Bless others.
 
The Blessed Project Hawaii is a for-profit organization.  We understand that we cannot create a movement alone.  If we can get people to buy a shirt, we are able to get them to buy into giving.  The more people we can get to give (in any way), the more we can start to see a change in the world.   We will be starting all projects in Hawaii and plan to target one district at a time.  If we could get the support from each district, while on the project, we can start to see more smiles and perhaps some improvements.
 

Although a free T-Shirt for someone in need may seem like a small act, we believe that it can lead to greater and bigger acts of kindness ,progression, and togetherness. We would also like to raise an awareness of selflessness and the spirit of giving. For who ever wears “BLSD” apparel, we want them not to just look good but to feel good as well.”
 

For every shirt that BLSD sells, they will give one to a child in the  Ulu Pono Kids program. It is a very special and often rare thing for the kids to be able to get brand new clothing items. It will be an amazing way to invest in a child and show them they are worth it!
 

Their goal is to donate 100 shirts-. The prices range from 20 to 30 dollars per shirt, and there is also bags, hats, and stickers- all supporting the Blessed Hawaii Project.
Check it out! (the tote and stickers are some of our personal favorites)!
Contact and follow BLSD online:
Instagram- @blsdproject