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M O N I Z Haley Otto Photo: Tyler Rock


Available at Town and Country

Ezekiel Lau Highline Performance Boardshorts



Our annual wahine issue is one of our favorites because we get to feature the beauty and grace of the female surfer. This issue is extra special because our guest editor is two-time Women’s Longboard World Champion, Kelia Moniz aka “Sister”. We picked her brain for who and what to feature this month, and even got her input on photo picks. Pictured here is Kelia, doing what she does best at her favorite surf spot, Queens. Photo: Tony Heff




06 Free Parking 12 Guest Editor’s Note 16 Rewind 22 Charity 26 Fit for Surf 48 She Rips 60 Underground 54 Industry Notes 66 Last Look

Rosie Jaffurs Photo: Keoki


Mark Holladay





40 Alexandra Kahn



52 P A U








5/11/18 9:13 AM

E D I T O R ’ S


By Kelia Moniz

It’s been seven years of living on the mainland...and let me tell you, there is just nothing like Hawai’i! Three months ago Now, three months later, I’ve never felt more at home with my family, my friends, and now my husband. I dragged him all the way from NYC. Leading up to the move we spent many months visiting Hawai’i, and finally my heart felt like home was calling. Now, three months later I’ve never felt more at home, with my family, with my friends, and now a husband. My husband being born and raised in New York City has opened my eyes to the beauty in all the simplicities of these little islands in the middle of the pacific. From waking up to birds singing, to the low laying clouds over the green mountains of Manoa valley, to the most crystal-clear, magical water of Makapu`u Beach. Growing up here you can almost become numb to your surroundings, and it becomes just another day. Now, I wake up and am so excited to be here and I’m so thankful to call this place my home. I guess this is just a little reminder not to forget how blessed we are to live in paradise. Don’t take even the littlest thing for granted like walking into a Jamba Juice and picking up a Freesurf mag to see the latest and greatest of our local talent. It’s safe to say, “Lucky we live Hawai`i.” ;)

Kelia and friends share a wave in Waikiki



Hawaii’s Biggest and Best Selection of Surf Gear

Striker Model by Kerry Tokoro: 5’4” X 18.25” X 2.12” Ala Moana Center Street Level, Mauka 808-973-6780


r e n n Ta l e i n McDa

Editorial Publisher Mike Latronic Guest Editor Kelia Moniz Managing Editor / Photo Editor Tony Heff Art Director John Weaver Multimedia Director Tyler Rock

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M O N I Z Haley Otto Photo: Tyler Rock


Ambassador-at-Large Chris Latronic Copy Editor Mara Pyzel West Coast Distribution Chuck Hendsch (619) 227-9128 East Coast Distribution Eastern Surf Supply (808) 638-7395 Hawaii Distribution Jason Clifford (808) 638-7395 Staff Photographers Tony Heff, Chris Latronic, Mike Latronic, Tyler Rock, Keoki Saguibo Contributing Writers Kyveli Diener, Daniel Ikaika Ito, Alexandra Kahn, Kelia Moniz, Kahi Pacarro, Mara Pyzel, Shannon Reporting Interns Shannon Cavarocchi, Aukai Ng

Contributing Photographers

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new Smoothies to-go pack walk in or order online at jambajuicehawaii.com/catering jambahawaii.com

photo by Mark mcdaniel

Erik Aeder, Kirk Lee Aeder, Eric Baeseman (outbluffum.com), Brent Bielmann, Brian Bielmann, Ryan “Chachi” Craig, Dayanidhi Das, Jeff Divine, Dooma, Rick Doyle, Isaac Frazer, Pete Frieden, Dane Grady, Bryce Johnson, Alexandra Kahn, Ha’a Keaulana, Ehitu Keeling, Laserwolf, Bruno Lemos, Mana, Jake Marote, Ryan Miller, Zak Noyle, Shawn Pila, Nick Ricca, Tahnei Roy, Jim Russi, Daniel Russo, Jason Shibata, Spencer Suitt, Tai Vandyke, Jimmy Wilson Business Development Arthur Lessing (808) 383-8209 Business Administration Cora Sanchez (808) 383-9220 Operations Assistant Jason Clifford (808) 638-7395 FREESURF MAGAZINE is distributed at all Jamba Juice locations, most fine surf shops and select specialty stores throughout Hawai‘i, Southern California, and the East Coast. Subscribe at freesurfmagazine.com Other than “Free Postage” letters, we do not accept unsolicited editorial submissions without first establishing contact with the editor. FreeSurf, Manulele Inc. and its associates is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged submissions or their return. One-way correspondence can be sent to P.O. Box 1161, Hale‘iwa, HI 96712 E-mail editorial inquiries to info@freesurfmagazine.com A product of Manulele, Inc. 2015

Watch Board Stories on Channel 12, or 1012 HD in Hawai`i or at OC16.tv










(...in case you missed it) By Kyveli Diener

MARGARET RIVER PRO CANCELED Following two shark attacks near the Margaret River Pro contest sites in West Australia in mid-April and concerns raised by multiple competitors, the World Surf League decided to indefinitely suspend the third Championship Tour event of the year. The competition had already advanced to Women’s Quarterfinals and Men’s Round Three, causing a small uproar from surf fans who disagreed with the call. WSL explained that their decision was supported by the fact that at least one whale carcass had washed up in the area and salmon were seasonally running, sending great white sharks into a feeding frenzy. The League maintains that there is a vague possibility the contest could be resumed at an alternative venue later in the year.

SURF COMMUNITY RALLIES TO ASSIST KAUA`I AFTER DEVASTATING FLOODING AND LANDSLIDES Torrential rainfall in early April led to devastating flooding and landslides on the island of Kaua`i, trapping residents in some parts of the island where roads were no longer accessible. The devastation was wide-reaching, including big wave charger and local girl Keala Kennelly’s childhood home — where her parents still live — being less than 100 yards from being destroyed by a landslide. Members of the Hawaiian surf community from all islands banded together to assist Kaua`i, with Laird Hamilton bringing a boat over from Maui to help ferry stranded residents and North Shore Oahu’s Da Hui O He`e Nalu orchestrating a mass collection of donated supplies to help people get back on their feet.

NEW FILMS FEATURING HAWAIIAN TALENT PREMIERE NATIONWIDE At the Tribeca Film Festival in late April, two films showcasing the talented surfers and perfect waves of Hawai`i made a big splash. First, Unstoppable tells the story of Kaua`i’s indomitable Bethany Hamilton and her ability to be as capable, if not more, at mothering two young children with one arm as most moms are with two. Another Tribeca gem was Momentum Generation, the sequel to Taylor Steele’s 2001 documentary Momentum: Under the Influence. The sequel is set on Oahu’s North Shore and features Hawaiian legends Shane Dorian and Kalani Robb alongside the likes of Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and Taylor Knox. Finally, following multiple small pre-screenings in April, the highlyanticipated Andy Irons documentary Kissed by God held world premieres in Los Angeles, Honolulu, and New York in early- to mid-May. 16








ANDY IRONS: KISSED BY GOD HAWAI’I PREMIERE By Tyler Rock Eight years after his death, the much anticipated tell-all story of Andy Irons' life and passing has hit the big screens. On May 6th, Hawaii audiences got their chance to see the acclaimed Andy Irons: Kissed By God feature length documentary at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu's Chinatown. Carried by brother Bruce Irons’ telling interviews along with many of the family and friends in Andy's life, the film highlights his humble beginnings on Kauai's North Shore and explosion onto the surf scene. While surfing is the backbone of the film, all throughout we see the struggles with mental illness and opioid addiction that led Andy down troubled roads. The film is taking a national premiere and film festival tour before being offered for purchase and download after summer. To find out more, visit tetongravity.com.

Ocean Macedo

HSA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS COMPLETED AT ALA MOANA BOWLS Up-and-comers from several islands shined in late April when the Hawaiian Surfing Association’s state championships were held over four days in mid-sized surf at Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu’s South Shore. Gabriela Bryan from Kaua`i continued her 2018 hot streak by winning the Girls 14-15-year-old division, while on the boy’s side Maui standouts Ocean Macedo and Logan Bediamol respectively dominated the 14-15 and 16-17-year-old .


Ian Walsh


At the Big Wave Awards in Los Angeles on April 28, chargers from Maui and Oahu walked away with several of the evening’s top prizes. Cheered on by the likes of Greg Long, shaper Chris Christenson, and Albee Layer, 2017 Pe`ahi Challenge champion Ian Walsh took home two of the night’s most coveted trophies, having earned them both on the same mind-numbingly perfect wave. For completely disappearing and reappearing inside a 40-foot barrel at the North Shore Maui contest in October, Walsh earned Ride of the Year and Tube of the Year. Female champion of the Pe`ahi Challenge in both 2016 and 2017, Paige Alms, surprised no one by clinching the Women’s Overall Performance Awards presented by Hydroflask and used her time at the microphone to advocate for more women’s big wave events in the future. North Shore, Oahu’s Aaron Gold was also victorious that evening, winning the Paddle Award for a mid-January bomb at Pe`ahi. Though Hawaiian nominees Nathan Florence, Billy Kemper, and Kai Lenny didn’t walk away with trophies that evening, they could still feel good knowing that all three were among the top ten qualifiers for the 2018 / 2019 Big Wave Tour season, which kicks off in October.



Kelia Moniz This month guest editor is the lovely and talented Kelia Moniz. We thought it would be fun to put a twist on our “By the Numbers” feature and have her share with us some fun numerical facts about her life.

How many tattoos? 4

How many miles did you fly the past year? Over 150,000

How many fake teeth? I have 6 fake teeth! Don’t let this smile fool ya! ; )

How many world titles do you have? 2

Favorite number? 7, for my family!

Age you started surfing? 5

How many pairs of shoes? Probably about 30, I get rid of shoes once they are dirty! Haha!

Years your parents have been married? I think my parents are almost 30 years! It’s kinda insane.

Longest nose ride, in seconds? Honestly, behind my wake surf boat for like 25 seconds. Haha!

How many years you’ve been married? 1 Whole entire year!

How many brothers? 4 How many boards do you own? Probably 10 How many “sisters”? Sooo many!



n a c i x e M t s e B s ’ i i Ha wa

Restaurant & Margarita Bar Coco Ho

Photo: Rock/Freesurf

Located in the North Shore Marketplace 66250 Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712

808-637-3059 www.CHOLOS.mx

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Island Fresh Fish Tacos Refreshing Margaritas Open Everyday 9:30am-9:30pm Happy Hour: 4-6 pm M-F - Food & Drink Specials

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Beyond The Surface International By Mara Pyzel Photos Nicolas Landa Tami A small group of women gather along the sandy shore of the Arabian Sea, their vibrant silk saris, a rainbow of color against the expansive blue background. Small children play in the lapping waves while the older kids play further out, catching waves on longboards and softops, laughing and splashing about. The smiles on their faces convey it all the fun, the sunshine, the saltwater, the stoke we all know so well. This group of happy surfers has been able to surf combine their surf stoke with sustainability, learning about caring for their coastlines while spreading their message through film and art thanks to Beyond the Surface International and one of its subprojects, Coast2Coast. Gathering in the cool shade of a plam, students and volunteers put their minds and tools to work: boards, a camera, and the ocean are all that is needed to educate others about the urgengency of maintaining a sustainable way of life on the coast ensuring surfable oceans for generations to come. Through documentary-filmmaking, song writing,

poetry, upcycled art projects, murals, photography, and educational workshops, Coast2Coast’s message of environmental stewardship is spread to audiences across all oceans. This small fishing village, a speck along the vast coastline of India, is just one of the many remote communities Beyond the Surface International has partnered with in the years since the foundation began. A vision of Billabong Women’s freesurfer Emi Koch, the global nonprofit works towards generating positive forward movement by creating a powerful network of youth empowerment and community development programs. Koch pinpoints the moment she was inspired to begin the nonprofit, which, she points out with irony, came to her while far away from any shoreline. She was teaching art classes in a monastery in Nepal: “One evening out in Kathmandu, I met these two skateboarders who had traveled over from Afghanistan where they spent a few months working at Skateistan, an incredible nonprofit that




using skateboarding as a tool to engage girls in Kabul. It was the first time I had connected the dots between my two life passions: surfing and social justice….My purpose [in founding the organization] was to channel support for their programs.” Koch has since partnered with Nicolás Landa Tami, a cinematographer from Peru, and the two of them keep the programs running. Not allowing borders to constrain their reach, Beyond the Surface International’s community presence spans the globe with ongoing projects of all types including workshops, social media, film, photography, surf, and art. Programs can be found in small seaside villages in Mexico, Indonesia, and in Peru, where their “Residensea” - a storytelling and art curation program - works in conjunction with locals to spread the stoke and awareness. Beyond the Surface International's dynamic approach to ocean health and social justice embraces many outlets for expression of their message. Documentary shorts and other filmmaking projects of note have emerged from these adventures and workshops. From award-winning amateaur filmmakers (How to Make Dreamcatchers) to documentarians of note such as Dave Homcy and Crystal Thornburg (Beyond the Surface), the products that have emerged from the eyes behind the lenses serve as proof that the projects supported by organization are affective - the message of surf and ocean celebration can be spread across a global audience who is capable of making positive changes. Do yourselves a favor and give your eyes some delight with a visit to the Beyond the Surface International’s website beyondthesurfaceinternational.org. There you will find clips of some of these amazing places, people, and experiences and see the program at work. You can also learn more about volunteering in these remote locations, donating your time with hands-on workshops in your creative outlet of choice by being in touch through email equipo@coast2coastmovement.com. Not enough miles saved up for the trip? No problem! Travel-free opportunities are an option as well. Be on the lookout for the organization’s coffee table book - a visual log resulting from some of the projects mentioned above, the profits of which will help fund future projects. Help preserve a healthy ocean through supporting this network dedicated to making systemic and environmental change through our shared love of surfing and follow them on Instagram at [@beyondthesurfaceintl] and [@ coast2coastmovement].

Mahina Maeda’s Ginastica Natural By Alexandra Kahn

Ginastica, unlike many other forms of body weight and breathe oriented exercises which have been around for generations, was only developed in the 90’s. The man behind it all was Alvaro Romano, a 4th degree Black Belt, a physical education teacher, a Hatha Yoga practitioner and a man passionate about fitness. The primary influence behind Ginastica Natural is the ground movements of jiu-jitsu; however, it is combined with elements of yoga such as stretching, breathing and flexibility, as well as animal-like gestures. He teaches through a series of videos, as well as through seminars and workshops across the world. All ages can practice Ginastica and there is no specific fitness requirement. As one of its primary benefits is to increase flexibility, many athletes who desire additional flexibility turn to Ginastica as an alternative to simple stretching or yoga classes. An added benefit of Ginastica Natural is its use of body weight instead of workout equipment, and many surfers who desire to be stronger but not bulkier are incorporating this activity into their routines. Surfers such as Sunny Garcia, Kelly Slater, and John John Florence have learned Ginastica Natural from the North Shore’s master- Kid Peligro. Although native to Brazil, he currently splits his time between California and Hawaii in order to surf and teach. On Oahu, Peligro works at Sunset Beach Jiu-Jitsu with female youth competitive surfer


Alexandra Kahn

Fit for Surf

Mahina Maeda. Maeda became a Ginastica Natural instructor herself not too long ago. Freesurf Magazine sat down with Maeda to talk about Ginastica Natural, her dedication to her newfound passion, and its influence on her surfing. When you first started were you naturally good at it? When I first started, I was pretty bad at it- like a kid learning how to ride a bike for the first time. Learning as a instructor, I’ve always told my students not expect too much. I was the same, and if they keep continuing you see yourself enjoying it more, and realize that it’s a piece of cake.

Did you start this in order to get in better shape? I started this because I wanted to be in better shape but also to see a difference. It’s crazy to think I’ve changed over the past years since I started Ginastica. Not just fitness wise but my attitude and the way I react to things now in more positive way. Ginastica really pinpoints on what you lack and need to work on. There’s no such thing as hiding it. And I think that’s my overall goal within this training.


KA -1 5S -H 2



S U R F /

Pete Freden


What strengths from surfing can be helpful for Ginastica? We work a lot of core strength, mobility, balance, and coordination. Those are pretty much the key factors in surfing. We want to put you in a neutral situation, and give you orders and hope for you to react and incorporate the strength, mobility, and balance together. Surfing is so unpredictable that not always the same wave and same section is going to come at you. The training is pretty much a preparation for that. Do you think it’s important for surfers to do a variety of exercise forms? I think it’s important. I’m not trying to say to forget about all the cross training stuff. I think it should be balanced. Cross training can really help if you need to work on gaining muscle mass, but also having the mix of Ginastica would really help with your body. What’s the hardest part of Ginastica for you? The hardest part is definitely teaching. My whole life I’ve been the athlete. Getting my license and teaching is a huge switch. Now I need to train but not also train for myself but to watch others, correct them, give them feedback, and also make them understand. Right now I do still compete and teach, so I’m constantly switching gears and understanding myself and others. I think that’s why I’m more open minded about things now. What was the process of getting the teaching certification? The process to get certified was intense- 5 days straight of 5 hours of training, maybe like 10 min breaks, but probably only 1. It’s crazy how fit you feel after those 5 days. Not only that, but I had a huge opportunity to learn with awesome doctors and trainers like Eric and Jesse from Foundation Training, and Rodrigo from Holistic Pro Health. Do you know other surfers doing this as well? Of course! This winter has been the a huge blessing and I got to work with all the top athletes in our community- Coco Ho, Makai McNamara, Makana Pang, and all the up and coming groms. As well as all the international surfers who even compete at the top level like, Owen Wright, Adrian Buchan, Mick Fanning, Conner Coffin, Leo Fiovranti, Jordy Smith, Joan Duru, and many more..

The C a p t i va t i n g l i f e o f

Amber Mozo By Alexandra Kahn At only twenty-three years old, Amber Mozo is wise beyond her years and supremely independent. Most Hawaiian surfers or ocean enthusiasts are familiar with Amber’s story and the legacy of her father, Jon Mozo, an accomplished surf photographer who lost his life at Pipeline over a decade ago. The ocean has been a constant in Amber’s life since her youth, and memories of childhood pastimes consist mostly of surfing, barbecues and family time by the sea. Losing her dad at the age of nine, It was difficult for Amber to comprehend the impact it had on her fully. However, she was able to identify the pain she felt within and observed in others, particularly her mother. Not long after her father’s death, Amber picked up his camera, and without any prior knowledge of photography, began to document the world around her.

Mark Holladay


Mark Holladay

Even as a child, there was a subconscious connection between the camera and Amber’s Dad’s memory. It was a natural way to keep the link alive. Now a full-time photographer herself, she sometimes wonders what it would have been like to have been able to get her father’s advice at times when she feels lost or discouraged. Ironically, she was uninterested in photography before the loss of her father and had never sought guidance from him. Amber opens up about her career path saying, “I still have a lot to learn; it’s all self-taught.” She also admits that she is constantly learning and evolving in her craft. So how did someone with no prior experience in photography, pick up a camera at such a young age and become a successful photographer while still in middle school? Call it intuition, if you will, or maybe it was just her destiny. “A lot of how I get an image and how I set myself up is because of what I love and what catches my eye, and it’s not so much the technical side.” What catches her eye and inspires her the most is everything ocean-related, from the texture to the color; from the depths to the tide. Her images stir the soul and can’t help but to compel us to dive into ourselves and see what beauty is beheld within. For a creative photographer, inspiration is essential to continue learning, innovating and growing in your art form. Amber never tires of the ocean, and while sometimes she opts to include people and their expressions in the scene, it’s the ocean and its constant changing that continually draws her back for more. Many photographers pay their dues for some odd years before they get their first big break; they study, practice, and take as many jobs as they can hoping that one day their passion will transition into a career. It was not this way with Amber. She took a liking to the camera at the age of ten, and by the time she was in 8th grade, her mother had determined that it was worthwhile to enroll her in a homeschooling program so that she could dedicate more time to her photography. That decision certainly paid off and Amber was able to build a following through the newly emerging social media platform of Tumblr. It was there that she was able to showcase her view of the world around her and interact with followers. Her images were re-posted and shared, spreading quickly through the blogging world, leading to inquiries from brands and other individuals who felt inspired by her work and story. She was perplexed by the concept of working with brands at such a young age, unsure of how to handle her adolescent self in an adult world. However, with time, dedication, and independence, Amber has grown into quite the entrepreneur. Since losing her father to Pipeline, she has felt fear and a lack of understanding for the notoriously deadly wave that has claimed the lives of so many over the years. Losing a father at such a young age is a tragedy in its own right; however to do so publicly, with the entire community watching and sympathizing, is unique. After her father’s death, Amber’s mother and three siblings struggled to comprehend their loss and how to move on from it. At age nine, Amber was not yet old enough to have an established sense of personal identity, and this public loss might have contributed to the private and somewhat shy person Amber has become today. Fear and loss have different ways of affecting each person and for Amber, even in her youth, these feelings allowed her to view life and all its moments with a new perspective. “I don’t like to think about the past, and I definitely don’t like to worry about the future because it hasn’t happened yet and the past is already gone,” she says. “I try to live in the moment and be as present as possible.” Being present is difficult for most people who fantasize about washing their worries away but instead tend to focus on the big picture, always planning for the next step. At times, though, Amber views her lack of over-analyzing as a fault. “I don’t think logically,” she says, “I just go off a feeling everytime

and with everything.” One might argue that it is this optimistic, sensory-based, gowith-the-flow style of living that has consequently contributed to her success at such a young age. Amber is grateful for the trials she has faced because they have molded her into the strong and independent woman she is today. She elaborates, “I like that I was given those opportunities to grow and I like that, because of those experiences, now, when things happen in my life, I don’t stress about the little things and I just see the big picture. I think it really helps when I can reflect on that. I like that I have that as the foundation of who I am and it is something to always turn to.”

All of the travel and brands and recognition aside, Amber lives a pretty simple life. Her happiest times come from the moments spent with the people she trusts the most. Amber doesn’t yearn for adrenaline or competition; she seeks a sense of peace within herself and takes comfort in the feeling of home. Whether it’s swimming, surfing, photography, or walking, she makes a conscious effort to spend part of every day inor near- the water. She is equally noncompetitive in her surfing and her photography, shying away from the crowds to seek out quiet places, where she can further her deep relationship with the ocean. She lives her life in the same fashion in which she styles her photographs, and when asked to describe herself and her favorite part of photography, she gives similar descriptions of “letting it happen, letting things unfold naturally and as they are supposed to.” She doesn’t force aspects of her life just as she does not plan or force aspects in her photographs. She lives in the moment; she captures the moment. She stays prepared for whatever life might throw at her, putting all her trust in the natural order of things, which has helped to keep her at ease when making it through obstacles she has faced. Amber loves how life challenges her and welcomes every surprise that comes her way, learning from each experience. This winter she came face to face with one of her most significant challenges to date when she decided to swim out to Pipeline to photograph the Volcom Pipe Pro.

While the wave had rightly intimidated her since childhood, a few years ago she had felt an itching within to tackle that fear and intimidation. Amber set her mind to the task at hand and, earlier this year entered the ocean at Pipeline for her first time under the guidance of one of her close friends, experienced Pipeline photographer Zak Noyle. Like other aspects of her life, she says she “...just went with the feeling. It wasn’t like I did insane preparation or training to get to this moment. I feel like it just happened and I was in a place where I could accept it.” Amber’s intuition guides her in her art, and it guides her on her life path. She explains, “I try to sit back, breathe and reflect on what I want and what makes me happy and how I can still stay inspired and be creative and get out of my comfort zone and go to new places.” Since shooting the event, she has not returned to Pipeline, but plans to grow a relationship with the famous break. “I know that it’s always changing and I know what I’m dealing with,” she says of Pipeline. “I know she is really powerful. It’s gonna take me a few times to get knocked off my feet to learn.” She continues, “No one can master Pipeline. Any person going out there definitely needs to be knowledgeable about the way it operates and the way it works and what it really is.” Just as the best surfers still make mistakes or have unlucky days despite their preparation or knowledge of the deadly wave, photographers face similar battles. Pipe is relentless and often unforgiving. It demands respect because the wave will always win at the end of the day while humans are merely objects playing within the powerful forces of nature.


Amber Mozo finding her balance. Photo: Mark Holladay


Driven by passion and innovation, her style of photography is always changing with the world and her experiences. She reflects on her photographs, just as she reflects on the moments of her life, reviewing her digital images on her computer to get a new perspective and feeling. While some of the more technical photographers enjoy handing off their pictures for outsourced editing, many artisticallyinspired photographers think of the editing process as a continuation of the image capturing. You are “editing your images that you want to put out into the world,” Amber says, “That’s really important to me.” She relishes the entire process down to the sharing of the physical images with others, feeling that she can “connect with people through her art and photos.” This connection allows for an unspoken understanding between Amber and her audience, and she likes observing the difference reactions evoked in each viewer from

Mark Holladay

Amber with photographers Zak Noyle and Ryan Moss, about to swim out to Pipe.

Juan Oliphant

The editing bay

Mark Holladay

Amber at Chun’s Reef

each image. “I am learning from them, and they are learning from me,” she says. “It’s something so simple and something so deep, but I love that. I love that I can have that connection with strangers.” Her desire to connect with her audience reflects the style of her imagery, which she describes as “storytelling”. Amber likes the “idea of something that you can create that can live forever,” preserving that moment, that place, and that person. Social media has provided a primary outlet for “storytelling” and connections. Had it not been for Tumblr, Amber might not have gotten the young start that she did and had it not been for Instagram, her career might not have blossomed into what it now is. Instagram is the platform through which Amber can share her images and gauge the connection of her images to her followers.

Mark Holladay

While Amber sometimes worries about disappointing or hurting others, her maturity and experiences have taught her that, “You are in charge of your own life and all of your decisions do affect the world around you. But it’s important to always be true to who you are.” Amber stresses individuality and self-awareness and prides herself on having these qualities. She urges other photographers not to spend their time comparing themselves

Amber and husband Colby Hollingsworth

to others but to focus more on connecting with what they are trying to do as an artist. “Make sure you are connecting with yourself and not with what everyone else is doing,” she explains. “I know it sounds simple, but I think it’s something that we all need to be reminded of, and if you do it your way, people will really appreciate it, and you can appreciate yourself.” Amber also emphasizes respect for one’s self and for others, in addition to developing one’s own identity. Amber’s ability to look at life as a gift and an opportunity is inspiring. She is not weighed down by the ‘what-ifs’, or even the ‘hows’. She embraces life and all of its tribulations, learning and growing as a person through reflection, inner peace, trust, and self-love. Her self-awareness and positive outlook on life are indeed remarkable and something to aspire to.

All photos and captions: Amber Mozo Sharks at Haleiwa

Moana Jane on a corner beach in Moorea.

My favorite koa wood board made and shaped by a close friend.

Summer session on the south side.


Honolua Blomfield at home at Chuns reef.

Heaven sent, my first empty wave photo at pipeline.









Coco Ho Photo: Keoki

Malia Manuel Photo: Ryan Miller

Carissa Moore Photo: Pete Frieden

Zoe McDougall Photo: Tony Heff


T h e b i k i n i c o m p a n y, a l l a b o u t l o v e . Yo u g e t w h a t y o u g i v e in life. Be a part of our movement at seeker Of Sunshine. F r o m l i t t l e g i r l s s u i t s , t o w o m e n’ s s u i t s , a n d s o m u c h more in store! A swim line dedicated to giving back, Summer 2018. @seekerofsunshine





Haley Otto By Kyveli Diener

D.O.B.: 5/11/04 Sponsors: Lady of the Sea Creations, Kai Coffee Hawaii, Moku Hawaii, Two Crows Surfboards, OnIt Pro, Banán Bowls, Siren Song Wetsuits, Sun Bum Sunscreen

Haley Otto rips…but you already knew that. We first featured this talented Waikiki log rider three years ago, when she was just 11 years old and all she wanted was to visit Malibu one day. Fast forward to 2018 and some things are still the same: Haley is still graceful as ever as she cross-steps and noserides her 9’0 Two Crows (which is still her favorite board), she’s still sponsored by Moku Hawaii and tight as ever with the Queens groms that can be found handing around that shop and who essentially own Waikiki’s most crowded lineup, and she still idolizes Honolua Blomfield and Kelia Moniz. But there are a couple differences in the confident blonde: where she previously couldn’t name any hobbies she enjoys as much as surfing, she now admits to being a normal teenage girl who loves shopping (especially Billabong clothes, though she fears she’ll have to return to shortboarding to fulfill her dreams of being sponsored by that brand one day), she’s racked up a ton of new sponsors (including one that reflects her love for protecting coral reefs), and yes, she made it to Malibu. She’s older, wiser, but just as grounded in aloha spirit — this is Haley Otto 2.0.


You were originally born in Chicago before moving to Waikiki around age 7 — do you remember anything from the Windy City? I do — we lived on the lake, so I always got to go on a boat and we’d go tubing a lot. I’ve always been around the water. You started out on a shortboard because you began surfing so young, but what brought you around to longboarding and what are you favorite maneuvers? My Auntie Lori got me a longboard for my birthday, so I just started riding it and I completely fell in love with longboarding. I think it was my 8th birthday. I really love to hang ten and cross-step, and I really love logging, which is a really traditional surfing style. You’ve had some great female longboarding role models growing up here on Oahu.

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So you must be stoked that Hawaii passed that law in May banning oxybenzone sunscreens. It’s exciting to see change happen when people take action and speak up about something they’re truly passionate about! Since this ban has been brought up before but never passed, it’s really exciting to see that it has passed. Also I’m very happy to be a part of a company whose product is reef safe and who care about our coral reefs and how they’re being affected.

Honolua [Blomfield] is a surfer that really inspires me, and she rides Two Crows too sometimes! She’s just an amazing person and great surfer, I really look up to her. And I love Kelia [Moniz]. Watching Kelia surf she really inspires me, she makes me want to become better and surf like her. She’s a really amazing person, I’ve actually surfed with her out here a few times and she’s doing more events with the girls so I think we’re going to get to see her more. It’s really exciting. She’s starting her own events, just hanging out with the Waikiki girls, shopping and surfing and stuff. And now you’re becoming a role model for younger girls getting into longboarding — it’s going full circle! It makes me really happy when I see little girls surfing. You’re just like “Go, go!” and they catch their first wave and they’re so excited. I really love the idea of women’s surfing becoming more popular. These surfers, these women, these long boarders, they’re so amazing and I really look up to them a lot. I’m really happy that longboarding for women is becoming bigger. Where are some of your other favorite places to surf when South Shore is flat? Some of my other favorite spots are Haleiwa on the North Shore, and Chuns. Education has always been really important to you — what are some of your favorite subjects? Next year I’ll be going into 9th and starting Myron B Thompson, it’s an online school. One of my favorite subjects is ELA, English Language Arts. I really enjoy science, and I’m really interested in marine biology. What would be your backup career if you couldn’t be a pro surfer? Definitely to be a marine biologist and study coral reefs.

Living in Waikiki and being surrounded by tourists, what do you think we can do to help them understand how to protect the reefs? I think we just need to inform people about how sunscreens are affecting coral reefs and look at other factors like pollution. The one thing I would say is just to get more people involved and talk with tourists to learn what’s in their sunscreens and how they can use other sunscreens. How was it to finally get to Malibu last year and fulfill that dream of surfing First Point? It’s really different and the waves are totally different. It’s really cold, but I completely fell in love with Malibu, it’s one of my favorite waves. I did the MSA Classic in 2017 and I won my division, so I was super stoked about that. I just really love to wave. I feel like I really connected with the wave, it was such an amazing wave for noseriding. I also got to meet a lot of new people. What are your new travel dreams? Hopefully Australia for the Noosa Fest. I hope one day [to get to Mexico], and I might go back to Malibu in September. What competitions do you have coming up and what are your long-term surfing goals? I competed in the HSA state championships at Bowls [the last weekend in April]. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but I have four more years to compete in that division, so I’m hopefully going to do better next year. I made it to semifinals and then I got fifth in that heat. Right now I’m focusing on HSA, but hopefully I’ll get to do NSSA, I’m still looking into that. And then one day I hope to surf on the WSL World Longboard Tour and become World Champion. Last words for the Freesurf audience? See you on the next wave!






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Mahina Garcia Story and Photos by Alexandra Khan In a culture engrossed in social media, the behavior of those in the spotlight creates an even more significant impression on the minds and actions of youth. Young girls, in particular, are more susceptible to self-imposed pressure brought on by a constant comparison between themselves, their peers, and the social media stars they idolize. It’s essential that those given the power of social media stardom view themselves as role models and therefore invoke behavior that inspires the impressionable youth who follow them. We are also in an age when being a feminine female athlete is accepted, and women are capable of reaching fame for both their beauty and their strength. It is vital for women of social media celebrity status to promote a healthy lifestyle, self-love, and self-acceptance. One woman who embodies all of these qualities and more is native Hawaiian surfer girl and fitness model, Mahina Garcia.

Her passion for fitness and water sports has allowed her to transition into the world of fitness modeling- a place where she can embrace her natural form.

Garcia radiates happiness and confidence, and it’s no wonder that she has built a successful career as a model. Besides being a stunner, her passion for fitness and water sports have allowed her to transition into the world of fitness modeling- a place where she can embrace her natural form, her love of exercise, and her passion for variety. She hides nothing from her social following, showing the real, raw person she is and encouraging a healthy mindset in others. She often speaks about healthy diets, exercise routines, hydration, being outside, embracing your body type, and listening to your body. She is a well-balanced individual on a quest to help others achieve a similarly healthy and balanced life. Like most of us, Garcia has not always been the perfect picture of confidence and health. Like many young girls and aspiring models,

she once attempted to fit the mold in which society tried to place her. This relocated her to cities such as New York and LA, where Garcia found an emptiness in her spirit that had once been filled by her connection with nature. She longed for the ocean, the sunshine, the mountains, and the forests, but she also missed her family, with whom she is very close. Realizing that this traditional route might not be her path, she returned to Hawai`i to embark on her own.

During that time, Garcia also grew into her womanhood and experienced changes that felt unwelcome within the modeling industry. At first, she tried to fit the physical mold she believed was necessary for success through unhealthy methods until she realized the negative physical and mental repercussions and opted for a change in lifestyle. Garcia created her own mold: one of nature, exercise, healthy food, spiritual practice, body awareness, and most of all, selflove. She understands the lack of confidence and self-esteem in women, and recognized that it was time for a change. Garcia, who has two younger sisters, knew that her decisions would affect not only on those who look

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up to her as a model, but most importantly, her two sisters who look up to her as a role model. These days Garcia openly acknowledges the mentality that her body is her temple and tells Freesurf, “I love my body, so if I can be the strongest that I can be both physically and mentally, then that’s what I am happy with.” She hides nothing from her fans and encourages them to follow what they feel every day and adjust to those feelings.

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As someone who travels for both modeling jobs and surfing, maintaining a healthy routine is not always easy. Garcia developed techniques to continue feeling good no matter where she is, such as keeping a healthy diet, drinking hot lemon water once she arrives at a hotel, staying hydrated throughout her flights, and exercising when she arrives in a location. She also tries to consume green juices and ginger shots when she is on modeling jobs. “If I’m on a pleasure trip, I’ve learned to allow myself a certain amount of leeway when it comes to food, so just having that balance is important. Another priority is enjoying food for its flavors, and choosing quality over quantity.” Regardless of the trip, she always allocates time to move her body because, she says, “If I don’t move my body, I’m a whole different person. When you go on vacation a lot of people are so used to saying, “Screw it I’m letting everything go out the window,’ but once you are in tune with your body, ‘screwing it’ all the time isn’t going to make you happy or make your trip better. Feeling good is going to make your trip better. It comes back to balance. Everything is about balance.” Over time, Garcia has taken an interest in genetics and blood types and how the two elements influence diet and body type. “Your body is the only thing you own on this planet basically, and it’s who you are and how you function. Understanding your genetics is an important key. Also understanding what your build is and understanding how your body functions is important.” However, a healthy diet is just one component in treating the body as a temple. We asked Garcia a bit about her routines in fitness, nutrition, and beauty. Here’s what she said:

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What’s your typical daily routine? I wake up; I drink my lemon and apple-cider-vinegar water, and then I will journal down the goals that I have for the day or week. Once I journal, I open up my computer, check my emails... I will probably go on my Instagram because social media is a business nowadays. Then I head into Haleiwa and do a workout and hit the sauna, and if it’s beautiful out I’ll go for a surf and grab lunch from Pupukea Grill or make a salad. Depending on what the rest of the day has in store, I’ll do more computer work or enjoy the beach. Average workout? Recently I’ve been trying to get in at least four days of cardio and two days of strength training and toning. For my cardio, I have two days of running or hiking, and the other two days I’ll come and do cross-train vibes, so I’ll be on the bike, the rower, and I’ll mix it into a crossfit-type workout. The other two days are booty, kettlebells, and squats. And yoga, too, at least four times per week. Beauty secrets? Always hydrate! Add lemon, apple cider vinegar, and garlic into your diet. As far as beauty, facial cupping is my go-to. That helps with circulation and lifts your face. You lather your face with oil, then you move your mini facial cups around. It’s basically a natural Botox for your face. I do that almost every night. My other beauty secret is oil; I pop Vitamin E oil tablets open and put them on my under eyes and any scarring I might have.


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By Keoki If you knew Chas, you know Chas! That’s the best way I could explain the person son, brother, and especially friend Chas Chidester was. If you had the opportunity to meet him, you would know that there wasn’t anything not true about his character, demeanor, or personality. Chas’s childhood friend, Mason Ho’s Instagram post summed up Chas really well, “This is how he did it every time, in the eye. Real, raw and respectful. Said I love you lots, top notch manners, very talented in many ways, huge heart, best travel partner, maximum surfing IQ, charm like no other, always had my family’s back, and the list goes on and on.” He was real and real as could be. Nothing upfront. On April 12th 2018, family, friends, and community gathered at Monster Mush to pay their last respects to Chas. More than 150+ were in attendance and

whatever swells were popping up on the charts around the world, it all seemed to have no significance at the moment. We all made it point to be there for Chas, like he was for all who encountered him. With the help of North Shore surfer and family friend Liam McNamara, a rain of flowers coming from a helicopter spreading over the semi-closed, currenty, circle. The fragrance of plumeria quickly stole the ocean salt scent and was replaced with a feeling of complete relaxation, like Chas was right there saying it was going to be Ok, like how he wanted it to be. I have never experienced that feeling from a paddle out ceremony. Where your caught in between both worlds and those few seconds seem to stretch to minutes then the sun hits you bringing you back. That was surreal, and we knew it was real, just like Chas. Aloha my friend!

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Megan Godinez By Kelia Moniz Photos Tyler Rock Kelia: 'Kay Aunty, clearly you are one of my favorites to watch surf and take notes from. Who did you look up to as a little Waikiki kid? Who inspired you? Megan: Growing up in Waikiki, there were always legends in and out of the water. There're too many! But I loved watching Uncle Lance Ho'okano, Uncle Bonga, Jenny Lee Van Gieson, Kai Sallas, and Aunty P. Makalena. They each had such a powerful presence in the lineup, but yet were so graceful and effortless on the waves. As I got older, honestly - and you're probably going to laugh and think this is so cliché - but you, Kelia Michiko Moniz; you inspired me to be me. The best part about it is that you always reminded me to be proud of my style and to never change it. Kelia: When we were kids we got to surf all day, every day, time was no issue. How do you manage to work a full-time job and still find time to surf? Megan: I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard. I start work very early in the morning, 5:30 am to be exact, so by the time I'm done, I...am..... pooped! But knowing how I'm going to feel after I get out of the water is what really gets me in the water. If I had a bad day at work, I'll


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make myself go surf because I know that the second that I touch that water my worries are gone. As I've gotten older I’ve realized I need the water like a fat kid needs cake. Kelia: Do you find that surfing brings you different inspiration as an adult vs. as a kid? Megan: For me, growing up in the surf world I almost felt like it was a job more than a fun hobby. Most of that stress, if not all, actually came from me. I was really hard on myself as a kid, and still am 'til this day, but I've learned to balance. I always felt like I had to prove something to someone. But the inspiration that I get from surfing now, I think it is derived from me now being an aunty. I mean, my Instagram handle [@aunty_megzzz] says it all! Now when I see the up and coming generation of girl longboarders, the thought, ‘How can I pay it forward to these girls?’ always pops into my head. Kelia: I think I could answer this question for you, but what are things you love doing, other than surfing, that give you close to- or equal- the joy? Megan: [Laughs] You can definitely answer this one for me! But ask anybody who knows me, and they will tell you I truly enjoy cooking and being in good company. My soul thrives off of good food and good company. There's something about sharing moments in time with people you love and cherish that make you feel alive and beyond yourself... or at least for me anyway. Really anything to do in the ocean, I love. I love diving, but somebody

- a.k.a. YOU - always wants to make excuses to not go! I've recently gotten hooked on canoe surfing and when I say hooked, I mean hooked! I feel like such a badass steering the canoe.

a couple boards with him but I prefer to stick to the artwork. Kelia: In terms of competition, what are your goals and plans? I know there’s still a little spark in you to show the world who Aunty Megs is! Megan: My goals in surfing? I mean... a world title is always in the back of my mind trying to make its way to the front of my mind and, trust me, that’s something I've always been chasing. Hopefully there are more contests in the near future because a part of me still fiends to put on a jersey.

Kelia: Not all of us had the privilege of having a dad who shaped surfboards in our garage and I’ve never really asked you this question so: What was that like for you as a competitive surfer to have your shaper literally in your home? Did you start shaping with him? Megan: First off, my dad is a madman in the shaping room. He can shape and glass a board in one day which is kind of gnarly and I'm not complaining [laughs]. I was very fortunate and very grateful to have my dad as my shaper. As I got older I got more involved with the shapes and dimensions of my boards and I feel like that helped my surfing a lot. Understanding what 3/4 of an inch changes on your board, whether it's in the rails, the thickness of even length of the board, helped me with my movements in the water. I shaped

Kelia: Can you give me three random facts about you that maybe even I don't know? 1. I always have to have my rings, a watch, and my necklace on when I leave the house. If I forget one of those three, I will turn right around to go get it. I cannot surf without my rings! 2. I used to be a regular ice skater, believe it or not. Ice palace was the spot on the weekends! After surfing all day, I would go to ice palace and skate until about midnight. 3. When I was four years old I could dive down to 13 feet and pick up those dive rings at the bottom of the pool. I'm pretty sure I'm part mermaid, but my parents won't tell me.

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Kaua`i's Tatiana Weston-Webb changes her “Olympic”nation from USA to Brazil Following the trend of competitors hedging their bets to qualify for the firstever Olympic surfing contest at the 2020 summer games in Japan, Kauaʻi-raised Tatiana Weston-Webb officially switched her national affiliation from the USA to Brazil on April 30, which she announced through the WSL in both English and Portuguese. The change reflects both her south Brazilian birthplace in Porto Alegre and her mother’s nationality. She is the third formerly U.S. surfer to do so following Californians Kanoa Igarashi and Frankie Harrer, who have switched their nations to Japan and Germany, respectively.

Dusty Payne returns to the water Following intense reconstructive surgeries to his jaw and skull and many months of rehabilitation after a near-tragic fall at Backdoor on January 8, Maui’s Dusty Payne has returned to the water. Surfer Magazine revealed footage on May 4 of the Volcom surfer riding a longboard and catching party waves with his family, much to the joy of surf fans everywhere who have been sending wishes for his good health. Welcome back, Dusty!

Garrett McNamara welcomes new daughter Nazare expert Garrett McNamara and his wife Nicole welcomed a baby girl on the North Shore of Oahu in late April. Welcome to the world Theia Love Nazare Celeste Rose McNamara, and congratulations to the whole McNamara Ohana from Freesurf!

Hawai`i bans oxybenzone sunscreens In a victory for oceans and reefs worldwide, the state of Hawai`i became the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing the harmful chemical oxybenzone, which has been proven to contribute to coral bleaching and reef death, as well as inflict negative effects on the human body when it is absorbed into the bloodstream. The legislative victory took place on May 3, but will not go into full effect until 2021. In the meantime, beachgoers and tourists throughout the state can begin enjoying the many zinc oxide-based, reef-friendly options already available in stores statewide, including Raw Elements, Tropic Sport, and Sun Bum.

Big wave water safety specialist Kolomona Fernandez undergoes emergency open-heart surgery When Kolomona Fernandez, a man who has dedicated his life to protecting big wave surfers at Jaws, had to undergo emergency open heart surgery in April, the Hawaiian surf community rallied to return the support the water safety specialist has always offered to others. Following a brief medically-induced coma, Fernandez is awake and recovering in a Maui hospital, and an ongoing GoFundMe campaign in his honor raised more than $50,000 in just over three weeks.


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Noseriding, the closest feeling you can get to flying. Rosie Jaffurs and Keoki connect for a modern perspective on an ancient glide. Photo: Keoki