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A Chance To Surf, A Chance To Dream.

Surfing The Nations has been working  for several years with the kids from a transitional housing shelter in Waianae, teaching surf and swim lessons every week. The kids that participate are living through some unstable and challenging situations and need something to give them hope, and  more importantly, someone to be there for them and believe in them.

Throughout the years, Surfing The Nations has seen the Waianae Surf Club  grow and thrive. Cobian sandals came alongside the Waianae Surf Club and TJ Barron taught at the first Waianae Surf Camp last year. Ever since then, our partnership with Cobian has given the kids some amazing opportunities.

This weekend, for the second year in a row, kids from the Waianae Surf club will be participating in STN’s Freedom Surf Contest. Cobian has sponsored five contestants from the club, giving them the chance to use everything that they have learned to compete. The big picture is to not only enable the kids to compete, but to inspire them to dream without limits and view themselves and their futures with hope, despite the hardship and poverty that they’ve experienced.

 

Check out the Cobian video with TJ Barron at the Waianae Surf Camp, and come to the contest to cheer them on this weekend!

 

Summer Recap!

Fall is officially here! Some people know it’s fall by the changing of the temperature or the leaves changing color (or the return of pumpkin spice everything) but at STN we know it’s fall because of the new arrivals! We’ve started a new SLS class with five new students from Switzerland and the United Sates and this weekend we welcome 35 new interns from all over the globe!

Alas, although the season has changed, summer is not soon forgotten! Summer 2013 was one for the books. To give you some proof of that, we’ve put together a little video for your enjoyment.

Thanks to all who participated in the trips, internships, and summer challenge!

Philippines Photo Reel!

The Philippines team just returned from a 17 day trip to Siargao Island. After flights, taxis, boats and ferries, they arrived in the village of General Luna. The team worked together with our local Filipino friends and went to several different islands and villages, bringing donations of clothing, school supplies, and dental supplies. Getting to know the locals, volunteering at a local school,  a trash clean up and of course, surfing were also a big part of the trip. Here are a few photo highlights:

Our amazing hosts!

 

Stoked for the overnight boat ride! Bunking with the locals and their chickens.

Tricycles drivers reppin’ STN in Cebu

 

Cloud 9

Trash clean up in GL!

The kids getting stoked and helping out!

Never a dull moment with the kids of GL

Dako Island

General Luna home life

The Freedom Surf Contest

The anticipation is in the air when you show up at the beach in the morning.

Your hoodie is still on because the Hawaii sun hasn’t lingered over Waikiki long enough yet.

You see judges make their way to the scaffolding with coffee in hand.

You’re about to surf Queen’s with just a handful of friends in a fun competition.

Playing games in the sand, setting up your hammock and hanging out with friends

while live music plays, are the few things on your schedule for the remainder of the day.


These are just a few memories that people have made when over the past several years of the Freedom Surf Contest.

This September, we are bringing it all back to you!

September 27-29th, The seventh annual Freedom Surf Contest is happening at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. This year’s contest will also be featuring The Surf Garage Hawaiian Nose-Riding Championship and the ITSA Prom/AM Tandem Hawaiian Classic.

The Freedom Surf Contest is one of our favorite weekends because it really is fun for everyone! Three different surf contests, live music and entertainment, all in a family-friendly environment.

Come enjoy the weekend with us as we celebrate a drug-free Hawaii and promote a positive image of surfing. Bring your surfboard, your hammock, your volleyball, your friends, your family and get ready to make some great memories!

See you there!

Register for the FSC here.

Any questions? surf@surfingthenations.com

In With The New!

Don’t you love it when something that’s already good, gets taken to the next level and made so much better?  That is what has happened at the Surfers Coffee Bar.

Thanks to the generosity of people in Hawaii and all over the world, The Surfers Coffee Bar, already an amazing coffee shop serving quality, fair trade coffee, is now serving drinks using a new grinder, filtration system and top quality LaMarzocco espresso machine.

Stop by and get your chance to test out the new machine! If you’ve already been to SCB, come try out your favorite drink with the new machine. It’s almost like visiting an all new coffee shop, but with all the things you loved about it still perfectly in place. If you’ve donated through the Kickstarter campaign, come and redeem your rewards!

As for my own personal review: this is not only for coffee drinkers! I took a break from my usual cappuccino and I ordered a chai latte. It was so good, that I literally turned around and got another one right after!

(Note to self: order the largest size next time!)

Come by this weekend! Surfers Coffee Bar, 63 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, Oahu.

The new machine! Also known as ‘The Guzlander’, lovingly named after our sponsors Nelson and Norah Guzlander!

Travel Via Friends


This generation uses social networking to involve their friends in everything they do, from sharing what they had for lunch to their wedding photos. Social media has been instrumental in breaking down walls between people, cultures and distance to make communication almost limitless. If social networking influences so much of our lives, what could this mean for traveling? Two friends considered this question and came up with an idea that could revolutionize travel. Traveling not by map or guidebook or hit-and-miss couch surfs, but travel via friends.

Krissa and Daljeet met in Hong Kong as high schoolers. As ‘TCKs’ or Third-Culture Kids (a person that has spent a significant amount of time growing up in a different culture than their parents), they naturally built up a group of friends from all over the world. For Krissa and Daljeet, the world was wide open and accessible through their network of friends spread across the globe. Recognizing that others shared their wanderlust, they decided to find a way for people to have this powerful network, without having to live overseas for years! The vision was to enable people to access the world on a budget, while making friends and staying in a trustworthy environment. From their vision came the amazing new traveling network Friends of Friends Travel (FOF Travel).

FOF Travel is a website where travelers can connect with people they already know and their friends (the friends of friends or “FOFs”) to exchange travel services at no cost.Being travelers themselves, the founders of FOF Travel understand a traveler’s needs, concerns and expectations. Some of the services offered are: free accommodation (“Roof”), storage space (“Locker”), travel tips and information (“Guide”), or something as simple as meeting up with a trustworthy local for a coffee (“Coffee”). The rare and wonderful thing about FOF Travel is that your connections are never random strangers; you are always interacting with a friend of a friend. FOF Travel is able to provide a place of trust that is invaluable when going to an unfamiliar place. That’s something that no other travel network provides.

 

 
 
Safety concerns aside, having a local to connect with ensures you get the best experience possible on your journey. Surfing The Nations always aims to live as close to the local culture as possible during our international outreaches. There truly is nothing like spending the evening eating dinner on your new friend’s rooftop in the Middle East, getting to experience traditional ceremonies in Indonesia, or explore places that are known only by the locals. These experiences are not bought with tickets. They are gifts birthed out of friendships that are formed when we take the risk to enter into a world completely foreign to us. Friends Of Friends Travel has three pillars of their philosophy: Trust, Philanthropy, and Wanderlust. One of the Founders, Daljeet Singh says, “This is the kind of travel we want to share with everyone else. When we, as TCKs, add our global network onto FOF, someone only has to add ONE of us as a friend, and suddenly they’ll have access to a whole global network of people that they can trust. It’s about traveling the way TCKs do – it’s our way of life.”

For those of you who haven’t gotten your passport out for a while, or have been dreaming about packing that suitcase or getting that ticket, there are no more excuses! To get started, simply sign up with FOF Travel for FREE, and start building your network. Then, you can start making your connections and getting plans set into motion for your trip! You can also choose to upgrade to the hugely beneficial Premium Club Membership to get access to exclusive travel deals from some of the world’s best travel providers. We can’t wait to see how Friends Of Friends Travel will empower this generation to go! Check it out!

New Staff Members and Intern Graduates!

This past week, we said ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Aloha’ to our graduating students in the Internship and Surfers Leadership School.

The summer internship was composed of five students representing five different nations: Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia and The USA. It was the one of the most internationally diverse internships yet! The interns accomplished a lot over the past three months: book reports, essays, working with our Ulu Pono kids program, teaching surf and swim to at-risk youth and feeding hundreds of people each week. Topping all that off, was a 10 day outreach to the Big Island!

The Interns!
L-R Alejandra Rojas, Leila Williams, Mirijam Schneider, Lovisa Samuelsson, David Winters.

 Surfers Leadership School also graduated five full-time students and two part-time students this week.

The SLSers completed three months of leadership training, which included apprenticing in an STN department, leading activity days, teaching leadership principles, book reports, a final project, and of course, their Big Adventure trip to the Big Island where they lived off the land for a week!

Our part-time students, Jonas and Ann-Sofie, from Sweden, made the leap and moved their whole family to Hawaii to work with STN! They participated in the SLS assignments while still balancing their family and work life.

Now with the three months of SLS behind them, these students are stepping into full time staff positions at STN.

The SLS Students!
L-R
Jonas Nystrom, Ann-Sofie Nystrom, Victor Lidskog, Milo Buck, Troy Krill, Madelene Wetterdahl, Kyle Whitney.

We are so stoked to have new members in our Ohana and an amazing crew of new staff members!

The next SLS and Internship start in September! Check back for more updates on that soon!

 

 

Indonesia: An Instagram Reel

The Indo team is back and still getting over jet-lag, but they had an amazing trip this year! Approximately 40 team members from Sweden, Canada and the United States spent three weeks traveling through the islands of Bali, Lombok, Nusa Lembogan, Gili, and Sumbawa. We’ll be bringing you more stories and updates soon! Here’s some of their instagram highlights. Enjoy!

 

KUTA

LOMBOK

SCAR REEF

LOMBOK TREASURES

LOMBOK

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR, INDO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram Highlights From Summer Challenge!

The first session of our Summer Challenge program has come to an end! We had 26 students come to the first four week session from all over the world: Sweden, Canada, The Galapagos Islands, and Mexico were just a few nations represented in this first group. It was an amazing month filled with adventures all over the island, as well as serving alongside STN in their weekly outreaches. The next session starts July 31st. Here are some of our favorite instagram highlights for you to get a glance at this awesome program! Follow us @surfingthenations and check out the hashtag #stnsummer for more!

 

Camping trip of a lifetime- learning how to throw net, some rescue training and
shaping wooden boards!

Hooked up with an epic barbecue!

Pearl Harbor visits!

What are you doing next summer?

 

 

STN Bangladesh Launching!

Surfing The Nations has been doing short-term, month long trips to Bangladesh for the past decade. Throughout those years, friendships have been developed, positive community transformation has happened and surfing has taken off in Cox’s Bazar!

Just as any student has a graduation, Surfing The Nations is excited to announce that short term trips to Bangladesh are being graduated into a new season of long term work! While the short term trips will continue, the groundwork for STN Bangladesh will begin.

Our dedicated staff members, Whitney Willett and Ashley Hilton are leaving tomorrow to spend four months in Bangladesh, where they will be completely immersed in the culture they have grown to love.

 Their goals are to:

  1. Learn Bangla through language school
  2. Gain a greater understanding of Bangladesh: the religion, the women, social issues and needs.
  3. Get connected to the growth in Bangladesh through different organizations and individuals that are committed to seeing Bangladesh flourish.

They will be living at the language school for the first month and then they will look for a host family to live with. They will also be taking cultural courses on religion, dance, and other related things. Here are a few of their thoughts as they get ready to leave:

 Three Things Ashley is excited about:

  • Living completely immersed in a foreign country for four months!
  • Reconnecting with friends that she met during her stay in April.
  • Forming new relationships.

Three Things Whitney is excited about:

  • Experiencing Bangladesh for more than one month! (Whitney has been several times for only one month at a time).
  • Building relationships with the women.
  • Being a sponge and soaking up all that will come her way in the next four months!

Whitney says, ‘It’s going to be exciting! We are going to face a plethora of emotions and have experiences that will shape us for the rest of our lives. I spent seven months in India in 2009-2010, and that has forever shaped who I am and I know that this experience will forever shape the two of us also.’

Their language school starts on August 1st, so they’re off tomorrow to start their journey! We’ll be filling you in on their progress throughout their time, so watch this space!