In celebration of Maui being voted the #1 island in the world by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for its 20th consecutive year, we are counting down 20 must-do activities for your next vacation to Maui.
First, we’ll start with 5 of the traditional Hawaiian vacation sights to see on Maui:
20. Banyon Tree Park – Lahaina, Maui
According to those who identify a connection between the seven Hawaiian islands and the seven chakras, Maui is the island of growth and heart. Consider Lahaina’s infamous Banyon Tree. When it was first planted in 1873, the Banyon tree stood at a only 8’ tall. Now, the tree has grown to inhabit an entire acre making it the world’s largest Banyon tree. The tree can be visited at all hours, but it particularly fun when surrounded by a local art show or craft fair.
19. Oheo Gulch, Seven Sacred Pools – Kipahulu, Maui
With dozens of waterfalls, cliff side campground, hiking trails, and a bamboo forest, there is no wonder why thousands of tourists brave the road to Hana to reach this attraction. Located in the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park 12 miles past the town of Hana, the park staff hosts regular cultural activities to entertain guests. Visit the National Park Service website for more information.
18. The Road to Hana – Northeastern Coast of Maui
The Road to Hana is a legend. Miles of twists, turns, lush rainforest, scenic ocean vistas, waterfalls, and flowers at every turn. It is no wonder why many consider this an attraction not to be missed. A true adventure in the spirit of famous mantra, “Life is about the journey, not the destination.”
17. ‘Iao Valley and ‘Iao Needle – Wailuku, Maui
Once the site of important battles, ‘Iao Valley State Park serves as a sacred space surrounded by lush tropical landscape. The state park is home to one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, the Iao Needle. Standing 1,200-foot high, this iconic lush tower overlooks Iao stream. This attraction is ideal for easy hiking, tropical photo opportunities, and sightseeing.
16. Haleakala Crater – Haleakala National Park, Maui
A trip to Maui would not be complete without a visit to the crater of the Haleakala Volcano. Stunning views of sunrise and sunset attract hundreds of visitors each day. Dress warm as the winds blow strong and temperatures drop significantly when you’re up over 10,000′ in elevation. For the adventurous visitor, a planned hike into the depths of the crater can be amazing.
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Surfing is one of the most enjoyable water sports. There is nothing more exhilarating for a surfer than to ride the biggest waves for the longest time. However, people who want to learn how to surf, draw back from the sports even before trying a session because of fear of sharks.
Indeed, sharks are seen as hostile predators of the sea. They are large, strong, have saw-like teeth; or to put it – fierce looking. In fact, of all the world’s sea predators, sharks are the most feared. But sharks are perhaps also one of the most misunderstood predators. Although it is true that there had been victims of shark attacks, there are a lot of misconceptions about these creatures.
If you are a surfing greenhorn, do not give up the enjoyment of surfing just because of an irrational fear of sharks. Here are 5 reasons why a fear of sharks should never stop you from learning to surf.
1. Men and Women do not form part of a shark’s diet.
There is no such thing as a man-eating shark. Men are not staple foods of sharks. Other than the fact that men and women are too bony for sharks’ tastes, these animals prefer rich fat-content meats to maintain its temperature and to give it more energy.
2. Most cases of shark attacks involve mistaken identity.
Data reveals that 90% or more of shark attacks are mistakes. From below the waters, sharks sometimes erroneously identify humans as their common food. That is why in most incidents, after biting a person, sharks let’s go of the victim after hanging on for a while.
3. Only a few sharks have the potential to be dangerous.
It is a wrong to generalize that all sharks are dangerous. Out of 360 species of sharks, only 4 of these are responsible for unprovoked attacks on humans: the Great White Shark, Bull Shark, Tiger Shark and Oceanic Whitetip Shark.
4. The odds of being attacks by a shark very, very low.
Sharks rarely attack humans unless provoked, making the risks of being attacked very little. In fact, only 15% of the shark species frequent the shallow waters or the coast, where anyone may possibly encounter them. According to the International Shark Attack File, a person’s odds of being attacked by a shark is only 1 in 11.15 million. The risk of dying is only 0 in 264.1 million. That is why, in majority of shark attacks, the victim always survives and gets to tell the tale.
5. The dangers of sharks as we know are exaggerated.
Sharks have been adjudged to be evil creatures by mere bad publicity. There are more animals that cause human deaths such as flies, mosquitoes and bees. Perhaps to be blamed for their bad identity is the media, which most likely sensationalizes every news of a shark attack. Other than the media, Hollywood must also take part of the blame for first giving the idea about the legend of “man-eating sharks” as portrayed in movies like the “Jaws” series.
Surf without fear – Leave your shark fear at shoreRead More »
Spending lots of time outdoors this summer? Whether you’re off on a hike or surfing some peachy waves, it’s incredibly important to use sunscreen. To choose the right sunscreen, you’ll need to understand the basics of sunscreen like how it works and how to read the label. We’ll also share a few ingredients to look for and list a few to avoid when making your next purchase.
Sunscreen serves to block the UV rays of the sun. Some sunscreens scatter and reflect light away from the skin while others absorb the harmful rays. The sun’s effects are most harmful during spring and summer months. This is the time of year when the angle of the sun is more direct on the northern hemisphere. And, these rays are particularly strong between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Did you know that the SPF rating of your sunscreen is directly related to the length of time it will block UVB rays? It is! The most common equation for calculating protection is to take the number of minutes you can be exposed to sun without burning and multiply it by the SPF number. This will give you the maximum protected sun exposure time.
Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time
If you can be in the sun for 10 minutes without any signs of redness, the number of effective minutes of protection is equal to 10 times the SPF rating. In this example, if your sunscreen is SPF 15, it will block UVB rays for 150 minutes (or 2 1/2 hours). Considering the sun’s rays are strongest for 6 hours of the day, it would be smart to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. There has been research to support that sunscreens with an SPF above 50 create little added protection compared to SPF 50. To be on the safe side, you’re better off buying a SPF 50 sunscreen and reapplying, especially after extended water exposure.
One of the important elements to understand about sun protection is the SPF rating only refers to the blocking of UVB rays. These are the rays known to cause sunburns and have been linked to cases of skin cancer. UVA rays, on the other hand, reach deeper into our skin causing wrinkles and more fatal cases of skin cancer. It is highly recommended to use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen which will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
When purchasing sunscreen, be sure to check the label as well as the list of ingredients. Sunscreens labeled “Water Resistant” will be effective for about 40 minutes in the water. For surfers, we recommend using a sunscreen labeled “Very Water Resistant” which will by you up to 80 minutes of uninterrupted bliss while out in the water.
The most important ingredients for UVA protection are Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Avobenzone or Ecamsule. On the other hand, beware of any sunscreen that contains Retinyl Palmitate. This is a form of vitamin A often added to sunscreen advertised to minimize the aging effects of the sun. In a study performed by the National Toxicology Program, researchers found an increase in cancerous symptoms in animals exposed to the chemical. You may also want to avoid chemicals like Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. Not only do they harmfully effect the coral reefs, but they have also been known to cause irritation and rashes for those with sensitive skin.
Staying safe out in the sun can be as simple as applying the proper sunscreen or wearing the right gear, like a rashguard from Carve Designs. Always reapply after extended surf session or other water activities, and remember to cover all exposed skin (don’t forget about your ears and feet!).
Some information you need to know when entering the world of surfing. Enjoy!
Some Surfing Do’s And Don’t's:
Enjoy your ride when you know the do’s and don’ts!Read More »
Is a fantastic SwellWomen Surf Vacation on your bucket list? A blissful week of wellness, surfing, yoga and reconnecting with you is just what you deserve. So, what are you waiting for? Here are 8 great ways to help make this vacation a reality. By saving up in advance, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy every moment of your well-earned vacation.
Open a Travel Saving Account: With many free saving account options available, opening a separate savings account for your travel fund is easy and convenient. To boost the effectiveness of this saving technique, use auto-transfer features to give the account a life of its own. Or, check out sites like Smartypig.com which offer an online savings account with competitive interest rates and fundraising options.
Use a Change Jar: Just $1.36/day (two people emptying their pocket change) adds up to $500 a year in savings. Bring this idea to the next level by going visual and make a Dream Bank. Take a shadow box and insert a picture of your destination. Leave an open slit in the top of the frame or at the top of the backing for dropping in change.
Clean House: Take all the clutter and collections you’ve meaning to get rid of and use your travel plans as motivation to sell, sell, sell. Put items you’ve been storing on Craigslist or eBay, or have a yard sale. Use the proceeds for your travel fund.
Get everyone involved: If you’re planning to travel as a family or group of friends, why not save up for the trip together? Go one-for-one or start a “he saved – she saved” competition. Make goals together for travel funds and check in with each other regularly to keep the momentum going.
Bottle Return: Dual purpose saving – recycle and raise money. Put the word out to family, friends, and neighbors to set aside their refundable recyclables for you. Make a weekly effort to collect the bottles and cans. Redeem the recyclables for bonus travel money.
Paypal Your Travel Funds: Using fundraising sources such as eBay, ebates, or other paypal friendly accounts can really add up. Vow not to withdraw money from Paypal, instead opting to save these fund for your next vacation.
Sacrifice a Little Now for Lots of Fun Later: Try downgrading monthly subscriptions or memberships and put the money saved into your vacation fund. Also try eating out less and opting for coffee from home instead of a trip to the local brew house.
Pantry Week: Often times just before leaving a big trip we dwindle our food storage down in hopes of cleaning house of anything that might go bad. Try adopting this strategy on a monthly basis. Each month, try putting off your grocery shopping for one week (or even 3-5 days). Scavenge the pantry, freezer, and cupboards for meals. Use the savings from your grocery budget to build up your travel fund.
With a little momentum and a fabulous surf vacation for motivation,
you’ll be surfing with us on the beach in no time!
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The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky.
A great day for surfing, and time will fly by.
But surfers beware of that powerful sun.
Its lurking hazard could ruin your fun.
There is nothing like a big blue cloudless sky on warm sunny day to draw crowds of people to the beach. But of all the places to explore, the beach is one of the most dangerous spots for sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) rays heat the sand and reflect off the water magnifying the sun’s effects. Surfers, sunbathers, and swimmers alike put themselves on the receiving end of thousands of UV rays.
To protect your skin from the sun’s potentially harmful effects, it is critical to use protective gear and sunscreen. Using a wetsuit or a rash guard with SPF, like those found at Carve Designs, can provide endless hours of sun protection. Be mindful to use sunblock on areas not covered by gear like hands, feet and face.
The right sunscreen and protective gear are crucial to keeping surfers happy and healthy while out catching gnarly waves. Sunscreen for surfers should be water resistant, protect from both UVA and UVB rays, and have a minimum SPF of 30. Without further ado, here are our 10 favorite sunscreens for surfers:
For Body and Face:
Other Water Resistant Sunscreens:
Remember that old saying, ‘you are what you eat’? Well, your parents were right. Our bodies have the amazing ability to break down food into minuscule chemicals to be absorbed by our cells and used as energy. Mondo accomplishment, but there’s a catch! Your body can only be as amazing as the ingredients it gets to work with.
At their smallest level, our foods can fall into one of two categories, micronutrients or macronutrients. Micronutrients are the trace elements that are essential for healthy bodies such as organic acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fresh foods like fruits and vegetables are loaded with micronutrients – yay! Macronutrients are the energy sources and structural calories in our foods that are needed for normal growth and development. The three main components of macronutrients are proteins, carbs and fats. Proteins provide the building blocks and amino acids necessary for life. Carbohydrates are our source for on demand energy. And, fats supply our bodies with stored energy for future use.
Our bodies and minds need both macro and micro nutrients in moderation to stay healthy and strong. But its not just the quantities we need to pay attention to – the quality of our foods will have vastly different micro and macro nutrient contents. Because removing vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals from foods can extend shelf life, most processed foods have a high macronutrient and caloric content at the expense of micronutrients. Instead, choose foods like locally sourced fruit and veggies or organically raised meats to get more bang for your buck at the cellular level.Read More »
Whether it is 8 degrees or 80 degrees outside, drinking plenty of water is great for maintaining a healthy mind and body. When properly hydrated the body can thinking more clearly, act more quickly, and avoid feeling cramped up after an intense surf or yoga session. Below are some of our favorite BPA-free water bottles for easy and convenient water consumption.
Imagine standing at one end of a wave tank and running a wave-making machine at perfectly regular intervals. What would you expect to see at the opposite end of the tank?
This question inspired pioneer wave researchers to perform a series of experiments. When the researchers observed the waves forming sets at the opposing end of the tank, they assumed their wave-making machine must not have been working properly. After precisely calculated adjustments were made, the researchers repeatedly observed the same results. Their discovery? The train of waves created at regular intervals arrived at the opposite end of the wave tank in sets.
This result inspired engineers to take a second look at the equations used to predict wave motion. They discovered that tiny fractions of energy (often dismissed or overlooked) were slowly being transferred from the leading and trailing waves in a set to the center wave.
So, what does this mean for us surfers? Even on days when the winds are consistent and blowing uniformly, waves will still form into sets. This also means that waves sets that have traveled thousands of miles (like those hitting the Hawaii coast every day!) will be more organized than local windswells. Start building your travel fund and pack you bags, the beautiful and consistent Hawaiian swells are waiting for you!
Although your swimsuit might seem like the last thing you’d be focusing on when going out to surf, it can easily ruin a good surf outing if things aren’t staying in place the way they should. Popping up on your board while dropping in on a wave takes a focused mind and your swimsuit can quickly distract you if it is not behaving the way it should. So here are a few tips on what to look for in a swimsuit for a blissful surfing experience.
Over the years, our Swell guests have sported some really great bathing suits for surfing. Check out the gallery below for swimsuit ideas!
Keep the above tips in mind so that the next time you plan to buy a bathing suit, you’ll make the best decision. What tips do you have to share with fellow surfers about picking the best swimsuit for surfing?Read More »
Our mission is to provide inspiration for growth and renewal through surfing and yoga on the beautiful island of Maui. Read our blog or subscribe to our feeds and newsletter to prepare for your surf and wellness vacation or stay in the bliss if you've headed home. SwellWomen discusses surf, health and Maui lifestyle with news tidbits and useful tips.