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Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: February 22nd, 2011 | Comments: (1)
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elephant surf the trunks

I’ve been using ‘The Trunks’ from Elephant Surf on my recent surf
sessions. ‘The Trunks’ are neoprene compression shorts that are meant
to be worn under your board shorts. They basically look like the lower
half of a spring suit and are similar to the compression shorts that
you see professional basketball players wearing under their shorts.

So I know you’re asking yourself why would you want to wear something
under your boardshorts. These under trunks are designed to prevent
rash and chafe that the stitching and constant rubbing board shorts

I’m a big fan of stretch boardshorts and after trying my first pair I
won’t wear a pair of boardshorts unless they are stretch. All the
major boardshort companies claim that their latest stretch boardshorts
prevent rash and chafe (constructed with welded panels instead of
stitches). However, while the boardshorts have improved from years
past, I’ve yet to find a boardshort that doesn’t chafe. Enter, ‘The
Trunks’ from Elephant Surf. They fit snug just like a spring suit and
the grippy neoprene keeps your boardshorts from riding up. The great
thing about these under trunks is their protection of chafe as I
surfed with ‘The Trunks’ on several 3+ surf sessions without any hints
of rash or chafe.

Another cool benefit of the Elephant Trunks is they actually keep your
lower half warmer in colder weather. I always get strange looks when I
tell people I get cold surfing in Hawaii…sure, compared to the East
Coast or even California, you could consider it warm bathwater. But
for those of us who have lived in Hawaii all of our lives, an air
temperature in the low 70’s is freezing! Combine that with our typical
trade winds and it gets chilly. We had a recent stretch of cooler
temperature, overcast skies, and chilly winds and while wearing ‘The
Trunk’, I did feel that I was noticeably warmer having those on. On
the really chilly day a 2mm wetsuit jacket and ‘The Trunk’ should be
perfect for those dawn patrol sessions.

I recommend this product to anyone who has problems with lower
rash/chafe and tends to surf long sessions. Surfers looking to keep
their lower body warm and improve their surfing should also give these
trunks a try as warmer muscles and legs equates to better performance
when the weather gets cold or towards the end of the session.

They offer ‘The Trunks’ in size M (30-34 waist) $48.00 and L (34-38)
$48.00. You can purchase Elephant Surf’s ‘The Trunks’ on their

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: November 10th, 2010 | Comments: (1)
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I recently tried Silverfish’s Standard Eyewear surf shades. These surf shades are similar to the Oakley Water Jackets and Sea Specs surf shades. They rival Sea Specs in price ($44.95) though the Silverfish Standard fit over my face way better than the Sea Specs. For some reason the Sea Specs felt very stiff over my nose and those shades never sat evenly on my face. I’m not exactly sure why the Silverfish shades feel better…I assume it’s due to a slightly different design.

For those who surf in the day, I highly recommend wearing these Silverfish surf shades…you’ll be surprised how much more comfortable you’ll be without fighting glare and all the squinting you normally do. The shades also protect your eyes from the dangers of your surfboard and reduces your risk from long term eye complications like glaucoma which can cause blindness.

Standard Eyewear Features:

UVA/UVB lenses
Integrate strap
Rubber nose piece
Microfiber pouch

Buy online at

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: May 8th, 2010 | Comments: (0)
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I ended up buying the E-Bomb 3 Pro Jacket (1mm) because of my Matuse Philo (1mm) jacket was way too tight and stiff. According to RipCurl, the E-Bomb 3 jacket is the most flexible jacket they’ve ever built. The E-Bomb 3’s seams provide maximum stretch and the 100% E3 offers top notch comfort, flexibility, and warmth. By E3, they mean the third generation Elastomax super stretch neoprene, which has evolved over the years providing increased warm, durability, and flexibility.

I’d have to say I’ve been using my E-Bomb Pro jacket almost every day (yes, I get very cold even in Hawaii with our constant trade winds) and have to say that it keeps me comfortably warm for most of the windy/colder days. The E3 neoprene is pretty close to the way RipCurl describes it…this is probably the best jacket top I’ve tried so far…almost like not having anything on and definitely built better than Xcel’s neoprene jackets. Like most jackets, the E-Bomb Pro comes with a shock cord waist so you can tighten the bottom of the jacket to lock in heat and keep you warmer. This particular cord can also attach to your board shorts as these jackets can get ripped off you in bigger more powerful surf…I’ve personally haven’t attached them to my shorts yet.

The only downside to my E-Bomb jacket is the store clerk suggested I buy a medium though I normally wear a small. Not sure if it’s because I have wide shoulders but the E-Bomb Pro fits well on my torso but the sleeves are too long…I guess that’s better than having a tight fitting jacket around your arm pits. Also on very cold north wind days in Hawaii, this jacket could probably use an extra mm for added warmth…I’ve taken this out on those super cold Hawaii days and frozen my butt off in the E-Bomb though I think I need to get a 2mm jacket or spring suit for those types of days.

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: May 4th, 2010 | Comments: (1)
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Matuse makes some great looking wetsuits and jackets…their all black Japanese rubber kinda makes you look stealth and dangerous. The Philo jacket looks so good on you that other surfers will assume you’re a ripper (just don’t catch a wave if you don’t). Besides looking good, these wetsuit tops also do a very good job of keeping you warm (Hawaii gets cold on occassion especially when we have blustery North winds during winter and spring) and the Japanese rubber blocks most of the wind from getting through.

The only downside to these 1mm wetsuit tops is they’re sized extremely small and the rubber is really tight and not too flexible around the shoulders and arm pits. I made the mistake of buying one way to small (unfortunately I got bad advice from the surf shop I bought it from) and ended up buying one two sizes too small! Yeah, I’m an idiot, I know 🙂 Even though the suit is tight, the rubber is so restrictive that by the time I made it out into the lineup I was completely gassed and I’d stay fatigued throughout the entire session.

Last year in the spring of 2009 we had a month of unsually cold weather here in Hawaii. It was so cold that I almost broke down and bought a spring suit but alas I opted for the more manly option of a 1mm jacket top. Surfing during in this cold weather became a toss up of freezing my butt off or being warm but fatigued from the tight rubber. In the end, I decided to try the Rip Curl eBomb 3 jacket (1mm) as I just couldn’t take how fatigued my arms and shoulders would become after using the Philo jacket. The eBomb doesn’t keep me as warm as the Philo but I rather sacrifice comfort for performance and the eBomb 3 is the stretchiest jacket I’ve used yet. I haven’t tried Matuse’s wetsuits but if they’re built like their Philo model expect extreme difficulty paddling.

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: September 1st, 2009 | Comments: (0)
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The Mule Surfboard Transport is a simple yet useful accessory to help transport your longboard or stand up paddle board using your bike or by towing it yourself. The Mule consists of a durable fabric for nose and tail pieces which strap your board to the two tube tires. Assembly takes about 5-10 minutes (I did have a little accident **see below) and it took me a bit to figure out how to assemble it the first time but once you figure it out, it should only take a couple minutes to strap your board in the future.

The Mule Transport is perfect for people who bike to the beach and works best with larger longboards. I think a stand up paddle board would be too bulky and heavy for bike racks and if you live a ways from the beach, the Mule is perfect. We all know how heavy those stand up boards can be…I dread carrying my SUP from the parking lot into the water let alone carrying it on my shoulder for several blocks and windy days are a whole different story here in Hawaii. You’d be surprised how much easier it is being able to tow a heavy board compared to carrying it over your shoulder and having to stop every five minutes to rest and let the blood flow back into your arm.

You’ll want to be aware of where you take your Mule as you won’t have anyone watching it when you’re in the water. I’m not sure how it is where you surf but here in Hawaii, people will steal anything you leave on the beach even in popular areas like Ala Moana and Waikiki. I’ve had people steal my shirts, $3 rubber slippers (flip flops), and I’m sure if they had a chance they would steal the Mule. If you live in an area like this, make sure you have a good hiding place or as an extreme you can try locking up the Mule with a bike cable lock.

Caution: Problems Assembling the Mule

I ran into some problems when I tried to add the nose and tail straps to the axle bar. I didn’t know it at the time, but the axle bar is made of fiberglass and for some reason the wheels were stuck and I couldn’t get one of them onto the bar to lock it in place. I kept trying to push the wheel on the bar and before I knew it I had a hundred fiberglass splinters in my hand. Ouch! As I was pushing the wheel, it had scraped the end of the bar and began shaving off the edges of the bar. It didn’t take much for those splinters to become lodged into my hand and I spent the next three hours trying to get all of them out. Mule Transport told me this had never happened but be careful not to jam the wheel on if it isn’t fitting properly. If you do get splinters, use duck tape to gently remove loose splinters. You can also use Elmers glue (wait for the glue to solidify and peel the glue from your hand) and use tweezers for the ones that don’t come out. Be careful not to lodge them into your skin.

The Mule is a cool and nifty surf accessory but I would recommend they change the material of the axle bar to heavy duty plastic or anything that doesn’t have the potential to splinter.

You can buy the Mule Surf Transport online for $89.

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: May 26th, 2009 | Comments: (1)
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I know this isn’t really a surf product but I know a number of surfers suffer from neck pain, especially those paddling small boards, myself included. There have been times this year when my neck has been so sore that it would wake me up at night. Most of this pain originated from paddling tiny boards which required me to arch my back and neck (probably didn’t arch my back enough) and surfing way too long and every single day. That’s when I started getting some pretty bad neck pain.

My mom had a Phiten necklace and decided to try it with a very skeptical outlook that it would help with the pain. I definitely wasn’t going to pay for a new one but luckily I was able to try one for free. I’m probably one of the most skeptical people when it comes to necklaces, bracelets, magnets, titanium, and all these other gadgets that supposedly reduce pain and increase motion but after wearing the Phiten necklace for a few days, I noticed my neck pain slowly subdued and then went away.

I wear my Phiten necklace everyday and it has kept my neck feeling great. My neck still gets a bit stiff when I surf long sessions several days in a row but I don’t experience the discomfort I did before wearing it. I recommend the Phiten necklace for surfers experiencing neck pain. You have to try it to believe it.

Price: Starts around $22 depending on which model you choose


Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: January 10th, 2009 | Comments: (20)
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The cool guys at GoPro Camera were cool enough to send me their new wide angle GoPro Surf Hero digital camera. These are the same guys that made the original GoPro waterproof camera that straps to your wrist. I’ve been using a Pentax WP Optio camera for a while now but those only work when someone’s willing to take photos of you 🙂 It took a while before the Surf Hero was released but it was well worth the wait.

GoPro Camera

I stuck the GoPro camera base plate on my 9’2 Kimo Greene longboard and surfed in tiny knee high waves in onshore conditions (see video above). Definitely not the most idea conditions for photos/video by any means but I was dying to try the camera out. I got home and downloaded all of the video and I was stoked to see how good the quality of the videos came out. For a tiny little camera that’s reasonably priced ($150), I wasn’t expecting a whole lot in video quality but was impressed for what the GoPro camera could do. I have to say that the video quality is better than my Pentax WP Optio which always turns out cloudy/blurry in the water.

Buy Online at GoPro’s Official Site

gopro2Screen grab of GoPro with suction mount

Here are a few specs of the GoPro Surf Hero Camera:

  • 170 degree wide angle lens
  • 5 Megapixels
  • Comes with stick-on base plate and FCS plug mounting system
  • Takes 56 minutes of video or 5 megapixel photos every 2 seconds for 65 minutes (with 2 GB SD card)
  • Waterproof housing
  • USB cable
  • Works on both longboards and shortboards
  • You can purchase extra base plates for other boards

GoPro Tips:

  1. Make sure you scrape all the wax off your board and clean the surface where your mount will be with acetone…any residual wax will weaken the adhesive.
  2. On longboards (9’0+), you can position the base plate anywhere from the tip of your nose to a foot below. I made the mistake of sticking the base plate 2.5 feet below the nose on my other longboard and while the shots/video came out fine, the camera ended up being directly under my chin while paddling.
  3. I would stick the base plate as close to the nose as possible (needs to be wide enough to completely adhere to the deck on standard shortboards). The camera also works on fishes (I used it with my 5’10 fish). Again, the shorter the board, the better it is to position the baseplate as close to the nose of the board as possible. You want to make sure the camera can fit your entire body in the frame as well as the wave.
  4. The camera works best in larger and steeper surf. I think it’s best to take a straight line and try for the barrel. Any type of pumping or aggressive turning looks weird (when the camera is facing you) and makes for dizzying video. If you look at the GoPro website, you’ll notice that barrels make for the best shots.
  5. Be sure to buy rechargeable NiMN or Lithium batteries (costs around $30 for batteries and charger) as GoPro advises against using alkaline. The camera takes 2 AAA batteries and you also need to buy your own SD card (2GB max).
  6. You can also use RainX on the housing lens to keep water drops to a minimum.
  7. For Mac users, when deleting video/photos off your SD card, be sure to empty your trash can. If you don’t, your camera will think it’s SD card is full and stop taking photos or videos. I struggled with this for 3 days thinking my camera was broken or something was wrong with the batteries.
  8. Be sure to keep the rubber seal in the housing free of dust, hair, particles, etc to keep it waterproof. GoPro doesn’t warranty against leakage so you’ll want to pay extra attention. You can remove the rubber seal and wash it with water to clean it but be sure to fit the seal back properly.

GoPro Suction Mount


I recommend that longboarders invest in the suction mount. The problem with the base plate is once you stick it on it’s next to impossible to remove. I took a couple off and had to cut it up like a pizza with a hacksaw. The adhesive is so strong that it’s difficult to remove it without segmenting it into several pieces.

You can use the leash tie stick on (little piece that you string your camera leash to) from your base plate set and use that to tie down the suction mount. The suction mount will come off if you eat it on a bigger wave so I do recommend you tie it down. If you mount it to the tail of your longboard you can simply tie the suction mount to your leash plug.


This camera is definitely worth the money but it would be nice if GoPro could add a few more features:

  • Provide SD card and increase storage space
  • Provide rechargeable battery pack
  • Provide preview screen so you can playback video while you’re surfing to check the angle of your shots

I know I’m being super picky with the requests above. On the whole I highly recommend photo enthusiasts to get a Surf Hero camera. GoPro will be selling a helmet cam attachment soon. You’ll be able to strap your GoPro to a helmet and take video or photos of your friends from all different angles. I’ll be sure to write more about that when I receive my helmet expansion kit.

I’m planning to move my base plate to the rear of my board and see how that angle looks. Hopefully removing the base plate won’t be too difficult.

Stay tuned for more video/photos in better surf!

Order HD Surf HERO Camera @

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: November 24th, 2008 | Comments: (8)
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The good guys at Sea Specs were nice enough to send me one of their surf sunglasses for me to try. I surf here in Hawaii during the middle of the day and for me, those surf sessions have always been extremely painful on my eyes. I really hate squinting and was excited to try these surf shades out on my next surf.

Surprisingly I tried my new Sea Specs during a mid-day stand up paddle board session. The surf shades fit comfortably on my face and the convenient non-removable strap secured my Sea Specs in place. The smoke tint was perfect for our strong sun and the polarized lens significantly reduced the glare. These surf shades worked really well stand up paddling and I could see fish, reef, sand bars, and every crevice with amazing detail. I can’t believe what I had been missing this whole time without shades! Best of all, I got great UVA & UVB protection as long exposure to sunlight can cause serious eye problems like glaucoma (which leads to certain blindness). Most of us put sunscreen on to protect our skin from the sun…why not protect your eyes? You only got two of them!

These may even be better than the Oakley surf shades as they’re 1/5 of the price ($49.99 vs $250)! Sea Specs block out all the bad rays, reduce glare, and stay stuck on your face. If you’re one of those surfers like me who hates glare or want to protect your eyes, I really recommend Sea Specs.

Buy these for only $49.95 at

Here are a few details on these surfing sunglasses:


  • Non-removable secure strap
  • A variety of lense shades/tints
  • Prescription lenses available
  • Full wrap around frames
  • Ventilated frames
  • Sea Specs float
  • Variety of frame colors
  • Soft nose bridge
  • Free shipping world wide
  • Buy 2 get 1 FREE
  • $49.95

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: June 14th, 2007 | Comments: (7)
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SurfCo Hawaii, the Oahu based surf company that produces nose guards, diamond tips, quick fix ding repair, and Proteck fins has created an interesting traction pad. Launched earlier this year, Surfco’s Hawaiian Hot Grip traction pads are the first ever clear molded traction pads which feature a CAD-designed one piece clear traction pad. The CAD design helps with streamlining the traction pad and the ergonomically designed air cushions provide a unique and comfortable fit for surfers.


The interesting aspect to this particular traction is the pad is manufactured out of the same material as Surfco’s noseguards, which provides a non-abrasive surface. If there’s one gripe I have about all the surfboard traction pads out there (Dakine traction pads, OAM, Xtrak, etc) is that those things rip my knees up pretty good when I surf every day. Last time I checked the pads had ripped all the hair off my knees so now I have bald spots!

The Hawaiian Hot Grip pad also directs water toward the back of the board due to the channels in the grip pad yet still provides an area for comfortable foot placement. The heavy duty peel and stick adhesive combined with noseguard primer (included) makes the application of the pad quick and simple. Don’t you hate it when your traction pad has 6 pieces and when you finally try putting it on your new board the pieces don’t fit and aren’t aligned properly? What a waste of time.

I’ll be getting a new custom surfboard soon and I’ll let you all know what I think of the Hawaiian Hot Grip traction pad. Stay tuned for a full review.

Filed in: Surf Equipment Reviews | On: June 9th, 2007 | Comments: (10)
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turbo_01.jpgI’m sure all of you have seen various ads in Surf magazines claiming that the funky looking fin called Turbo Tunnel provides longer noserides and smooth powerful turns. I was curious as ever and tested the company’s 9.5″ fin as a single on my 9’0 Kimo Greene Honolulu model. I tested the Turbo Tunnel fin at one of Oahu’s popular town spots, Queens in Waikiki, which produces perfect slow and rolling waves that sets up perfectly for noseriding. Conditions were clean and the waves were in the waist to occasional head high range. I was pretty excited to see how much of a difference this fin would make in my noseriding ability and on the first few waves I got to the nose without much problem on my Kimo Greene. The Honolulu model in itself is quite easy to noseride but after testing the Turbo Tunnel throughout that session, it appeared that the fin didn’t feel any different than the standard 9″ Proteck Superflex fin I have been using.

The Turbo Tunnel website claims that the fin basically improves all aspects of performance in your current longboard providing longer noserides, quicker turns, and extra speed. There are also numerous testimonials on the site with customer claims of more noseriding stability and overall improvement of the surfer’s performance. In my opinion, the Turbo Tunnel felt like any other fin and the results weren’t as significant as the company has claimed on their website and various magazine ads. While I don’t doubt that their customers are stoked on the Turbo Tunnel, perhaps the actual measurable difference is minute and is more of a mental state where the surfer thinks that the fin is really pushing their performance to a new level.

I will test this fin again a few more times to find a definite conclusion on the Turbo Tunnel fin.