SwellWomen Archives - Women's Surf Camp

How to Wipe Out like a Pro

In: Surf Tips, SwellWomen

Professional surfers get the most out of every ride – even those that end in a less than graceful way. The secret lies in knowing how to wipe out properly and then taking a moment to evaluate mistakes.

The Pros understand that a gnarly wipe out is part of the learning process. Hawaiian big-wave surfer Kohl Christenson explains, “I always figure that I’m going to eat it or get caught inside at least once during a big-wave session. If I don’t then I feel like I got really lucky or I wasn’t pushing it hard enough.”

Avoid injuries and get back on your board faster with these easy to follow tips:

1. Jump Back

Use your last moment of balance to jump off the board. Jump over the wave into whitewater or towards the wave off the back of your board. Never jump off the front of your surfboard as the wave could push it right towards you.


When jumping off your board into shallow water, try to land butt first with your legs up to avoid injury.

2. Protect Your Body

When jumping into shallow water, the best strategy is to land butt first and keep your legs up. This will help keep your head and ankles out of harms way. Keep an eye out for incoming surfers or boards and get low in the water to avoid the impact of the wave.

3. Relax

Once you’re in the water, you may get tumbled by the force of the passing waves. Cover your head, hold your breath, and let the wave roll past you. If the water is clear, you may even open your eyes to keep a lookout for rocks.

4. Come Up Slow

Come up slowly with one hand extended overhead. This will help you avoid bumping your head on floating surfboards and allow other surfers to spot you. Watch for fellow surfers, stray boards (including your own), and other obstacles when popping up for air.

5.  Retrieve Your Board

Swim to your surfboard or use your leash to pull it towards you. Climb onto the board and paddle into the safe zone. Once you’re clear of the active surfing zone, you should take a moment to think about what caused you to wipe out and how you can improve.

Wiping out is part of the learning process. These 5 simple steps can help you stay safe while surfing. And remember, to get the most out of each surf session be aware of what caused you to lose balance in the first place.

For more wipe out fun, take a moment to check out these 10 gnarly surf wipe outs.

Kohl Christensen Surf Quote

Stay safe and happy surfing!

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A tip to keep you from nose diving while surfing by @swellwomen

If you catch yourself nose diving while surfing in front of the wave, there’s a good chance you’re about to wipe out. This is caused by laying too far forward on the board. Surfers call this “pearling.”

Ever wonder where this term came from? Pearling refers to a near-ancient art of “Pearl Diving”. A very dangerous technique that required pearl hunters jumping out of a ship and diving nearly 100 feet down in a single breath! When surfers pearl during a wipe out, it looks like they’re diving into the ocean looking for pearls.

If you catch yourself nose diving or “pearling” in front of the wave, you are too far forward on your board. To avoid this glamorous technique, try moving yourself a little further back on your board.

The goal is to find your board’s sweet spot. This is where you are far enough back that you don’t take a dive, but not too far or else you will not be able to get yourself into the wave.


Special thanks to the pros at Goofy Foot Surf School for our monthly surf tip.

This post is part of the Monthly Surf Tips in our newsletter. To get the inside scoop on all Swell things, join our email list today!

Remember… keep calm and breathe! Practice makes perfect!

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Surfing 101: Turtle Roll Technique

In: Surf Tips, SwellWomen

A version of this article first appear in our newsletter. To get the inside scoop on all Swell things, join our email list today! 

The Turtle Roll

Turtle Rolls, also known as Eskimo Rolls, are a surfing technique used to get through breaking waves. This technique is particularly useful when you can’t duck dive because your board is too long.
There are 4 easy steps to perfecting your turtle roll technique:

  1. Paddle quickly into the wave to build your momentum.
  2. Grab the rails of your board at chest level.
  3. Lift your body off your board to gain leverage and lean hard to one side to flip the board.

To flip your board back over, pull with one arm while pushing with the other. Kick hard and use the board’s buoyancy to complete the motion. This motion is also known as ‘Turning Turtle‘.

When in the water there are a few helpful tips to remember when attempting your turtle roll. First, approach the oncoming waves head on or as close to 90° as possible.

Start to flip your board when you are about a board’s length away from the breaking wave. This will give you enough time to get completely submerged before the wave hits.

While underwater, hang low and away from your board. Be cautious of using this surf technique in rocky or coral bottomed shores.

Let the wave pass completely before flipping back. This way you can avoid the strongest pull from the force of the wave. Practice often for muscle memory and eventually it will come natural to you. Full image credits to photographer Sean Davey http://seandavey.com/
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Going out for a surf session first thing in the morning can make for a truly blissful day. But, if you don’t fuel up before you hit the waves, it could leave you feeling low energy and even dehydrated.

The intense cardio of paddling combine with the thrills of riding are a great way to get your heart pumping. You’ll need to fill up on proteins to keep you feeling fueled and water to keep you hydrated while you’re out hangin’ ten.


At their smallest level, foods can fall into one of two categories, micronutrients or macronutrients. Proteins are a macronutrient. They help you build muscle (which is why they are often referred to as the building blocks of life).


When properly hydrated the body can thinking more clearly, act more quickly, and avoid feeling cramped up after an intense surf or yoga session. Water is also the means by which nutrients are delivered to your organs.

Sometimes drinking our eight glasses of water a day can get away from us. Eating foods that have a high water content can help you boost your water consumption. Melons, celery, and grapes are all high water content foods.

The Ultimate Breakfast Food

The ultimate breakfast to fuel your morning surf session would be packed with protein and fiber, full of vitamins and minerals, and be super-hydrating. But you can’t be expected to eat the same thing everyday, so this food should also be versatile and easy to enjoy.

Seeds and nuts are generally high protein and loaded with good-for-you fats. This makes seeds and nuts great for fueling the body any time of day. There is, however, 1 seed that is particularly perfect for a pre-surf breakfast. This seed is unique in that it absorbs up to 27 times it’s own weight in water. Then. slowly releases it, hydrating those who consume it.

What is this nutritious, hydrating seed? Chia seeds!

(Yes, the same seeds from this classic commercial. ch-ch-ch-Chia!)

About Chia Seeds

“Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, with a tasty, nutty flavor” describes Yael Grauer in an article for the Costco Connection. A member of the mint family, chia seeds are safe to eat.  They have been given the recognition of being an official food item by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. But before you go snacking on the terra-cotta sheep sitting on your windowsill, keep in mind that those seeds have not been approved by the FDA.

Chia seeds are particularly great for surfers and other athletes. “They give you a lot of calories, they go down easy and they don’t disturb your digestion at all, which is perfect for running,” says nutritionist Kurtis Frank, a researcher at Examine.com.

Chia’s Noteworthy Nutritional Benefits

  • Chia seed contain more iron than flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. Two ounces of chia seeds contains about 8 mg of iron. Iron gives a tired body and mind energy as it carries oxygen to the muscles and organs.

  • Chia seeds are high in fiber to the tune of 10 grams in every 2 ounces. Read what Natural News highlights as the top 10 health benefits of fiber.

  • Chia seeds are loaded with calcium. The only seed with more calcium than a chia seed is the sesame seed. Calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth.

  • Chia seeds are rich in healthy omega-3 fats and contain more alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than any other known plant. “ALA is anti-inflammatory, helps support the cell membranes, and may stop cholesterol from getting too high,” Frank says.

Chia for Breakfast

There are so many ways you can incorporate chia into your breakfast!

The folks over at the Kitchn.com put together this great list of 5 ways to eat chia seed for breakfast.

Huffingpost shared their recipe for Banana Chia Seed Bread which would probably be a delicious morning muffin. (Especially if made with Hawaiian apple bananas!).

And in case you want to add chia to some of your other meals, here is Crazy for Chia’s 10 Must Make Recipes Using Chia Seeds


Taking that time for yourself and connecting with natural during a morning surf session is so fulfilling! If you’d like to learn to surf in the warm waters of Maui, you should check out our surf vacations for women.

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SwellWomen asks and Lacy answers in this interview with an inspiring woman business owner. Lacy Colley is a self-proclaimed foodie from Texas now living as an expatriate on the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean. She is also the creator and editor behind the travel blog, expâté (theexapate.com).

SwellWomen Business Spolight: Lacy Colley, expâté

Lacy Colley, expâté


Q: What is the purpose behind expâté and how did you come up with such a fun and creative name?

A: The idea behind expâté is to connect others living a life through travel, culture, exploration, and the unknown. I’m personally a bit of a foodie, so the name came to me naturally. Being married to a hotelier, we move and meet new people frequently, so connecting can be trivial, although very rewarding. The expat community in Anguilla has been one of the best I’ve been welcomed into, so I hope to share with others my stories and give them a taste of the multifaceted culture of the Caribbean.

Q: What has starting your own business and blog taught you?

Starting this venture in November of last year is always a writing work in progress and I’m looking forward to what’s in store for 2014. Setting off on my own as a social media consultant and founding expâté has put me in touch with a new realization – success starts with liking yourself, what you do, and how you do it. Once you have this daily positive energy in place, everything else in the universe seems to align.

Tweet: “Success starts with

liking yourself,

what you do, and

how you do it.”

- Lacy Colley, expâté


Q: Living in Anguilla sounds blissful! What other things bring you bliss?
Bliss in my daily life is my true compass and husband Todd. He supports my confidence as a driven woman, which reinforces a solid relationship with myself.
Q: As a woman in business, what lessons have you learned that you’d like to share with others?
The best lesson I’ve learned in business is to always have an abundance mentality. There is so much information to be shared, why compete, support others and fellow women. We can all learn immensely from one another and there is enough pie for us all.
SwellWomen Business Spolight: Lacy Colley, expâté

SwellWomen Business Spotlight: Lacy Colley, expâté

For more information about Lacy and her business, check out the about page of her blog here or connect with Lacy on Facebook.

The purpose behind the SwellWomen Business Spotlight is to share inspiration and resources with women world wide. If you would like your business or a business you love to be part of this series, please contact us at aloha at swellwomen dot com.
Be sure to like us on Facebook for updates, contests, tips, and discussions!

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Of course you do! You are a not just a mother, a wife, a surfer, a yogi, or a friend. You are spirit. A soulful women who contributes to this world on a daily basis. As Angelina Jolie once said,

“Figure out who you are separate from your family, and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self because with that, you can do anything else.”

If you’re ready to book your women’s surf and wellness vacation click here. Otherwise, here are a few questions to ask yourself as you consider whether a SwellWomen surf vacation is right for you…

Do you work hard juggling life and business?

It takes a strong woman to juggle all the responsibilities of life and business at the same time. Consistently being pulled in multiple directions can be draining. All too often, tending to our own needs as women for relaxation and rejuvenation aren’t at the top of our to-do list.

Let the warm aloha spirit embrace you as you enjoy your women’s surf vacation in the luxurious resort setting of west Maui. The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is set amidst 23 tropical acres along a  mile stretch of the famous white sand beach of Ka’anapali and next to the legendary Black Rock. Here in this pristine setting, all cares fade away as guests experience the sights, sounds and flavors of Maui.


Do you want to learn something new?

The thrills of learning to surf and the reward of accomplishment are truly empowering. SwellWomen vacations are designed to help you reconnect with yourself by pushing you to try something new.

There is a reason why surfing was born in Hawaii, the reason is the perfect waves and gorgeous turquoise warm waters – No wet suit required! Both never-ever surfers and intermediate surfers are sure to enjoy their morning surf lesson and recreational surf opportunities throughout their week. The surf instruction occurs both in the water and on the land. You will gain confidence and understand how surfing is a metaphor for achieving your personal goals.

Could your health and fitness routine use a jump?

Sometimes our fitness routine gets little, well – routine. Jump start your way to a healthier you with our fat-burning morning surf sessions and strengthening yoga practice. “Even when you don’t get up on that board, it’s an amazing workout,” assures Samantha Brown, a host on the Travel Channel. SwellWomen surf vacations made Health magazine’s 10 Most Slimming Vacations list!

Do you want more happiness?

Alright, this one might be a bit of s stretch, but did you know? Money spent on experiences, rather than material goods has been shown to lead to more happiness (Nicolao, Irwin, & Goodman, 2009).

Between the amazing island views, clear turquoise waters, and blissful wellness activities, how could not catch yourself smiling a little more than usual? Here are a few reviews from past guests who were truly happy to have experienced a SwellWomen surf vacation:

Do you want to be more productive?

SwellWomen Alumn Bonnie Stevens is an Emmy award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. In May of 2013, Bonnie wrote this inspiring article about the Business of Play. In the article, she encourages professionals everywhere to get fit for business. Here is an excerpt from her post:

“Whether you are a doctor, appraiser or rocket scientist, serious business people are taking play seriously and romping in the rewards. Those in the business of play say the benefits are visible. Experts say play can improve your bottom line.”

The Yoga and Wellness Experience is an important element of your SwellWomen surf vacation. There is no better place to tune into your well-being than on the magical island of Maui. Guests leave our surf and wellness retreats not only feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired, but they also feel ‘The Bliss’ of experiencing a renewed sense of enjoyment for life, family, and even their career.

SW Group_women bliss

At SwellWomen, we believe all women deserve bliss.

Join our community of supportive women and stay up to date on the latest wellness and surfing news by liking our Facebook fan page.

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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. In the first part of this 4 part blog post, we covered 5 of the traditional Hawaiian vacation spots to visit on Maui. Section 2 explored 5 more must-do activities on Maui that will involve suiting up and diving in.

For this third part of the series, grab your sunglasses so you can enjoy these 5 must-see sights on Maui for your next vacation.

10. Whale Watching – South Shore, Maui


The Pacific Whale Foundation cruises the warm Maui waters year-round. Visit their website for whale watching cruises.

The whales come to Maui during our winter season to give birth and mate.  They choose Maui because of the warm water temperature, our topography, and the lack of predators. Average adult whales are 45 feet in length and weigh over 90,000 lbs.  The baby whales are born at an average of 12 feet and 3000 pounds.  These are the most beautiful and intriguing mammals to see in person.

9. Watch Windsurfers and Kite Boarders – Ho’okipa Lookout, Maui

Located on the North shore of Maui just off of the Hana Highway, Ho’okipa is known not only for its amazing surf, but also as a world-class windsurfing spot. Five minutes past the surfer town of Paia is a world-renowned surfing and wind-surfing destination. Ho’okipa Lookout is a parking lot on the edge of a cliff overlooking the action. During the winter months, when the North Shore surf is up, this is a great balcony for watching the best surfers, windsurfers, and kite boarders in the world shred. Check out these pictures of great wipeouts at Ho’okipa.

8. Embrace a Breathtaking Sunset -

Whether you watch from the sandy beaches or up at the crater of the volcano, watching a Maui sunset is a blissful experience. Our SwellWomen guests embrace a breathtaking Maui sunset on a Dinner Sail aboard a luxury catamaran.

7. Watch World-Class Surfers at Jaws – Pe’ahi, Maui


What a show!

Jaws is Maui’s biggest tow-in surfing wave, and the yearly Billabong XXL Global Big Wave contest has listed Jaws as the winning break more than any other place. This wave gets to be between 30-70 feet and is not for the novice. You need to be towed into the wave and it certainly draws crowds of people to watch. The top names in surfing flock to Jaws when it is going off – and mere mortals like us follow to watch in awe.

6. Luau Show -

Discover the remarkable stories, history, and culture of Hawaii through the songs and dances of Maui and the Pacific. Watch the show, taste the local cuisine, and enjoy the experience.

NEXT: Watch for Part 4 of this series coming in December 2013 – [#5 - #1] 20 Must-Do Activities for Your Next Trip to Maui – Part 4

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Surfing 101: Wave Lingo

In: SwellWomen

SwellWomen Surf Vacations in Maui, HI

Surfing 101: Wave Lingo by @SwellWomen Surf Vacation for Women in Maui, Hawaii * Follow Your Bliss!

SwellWomen Surf Vacations is located in Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing. With warm water temperatures, the world’s best waves, and plenty of Aloha, Hawaii is THE best place on earth to attend a women’s surf camp.

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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.

In this first part of this 4 part blog post, we covered 5 of the traditional Hawaiian vacation places to visit on Maui. In this portion of the series, we explore 5 more must-do activities on Maui that will involve suiting up and diving in.

15. Snorkel Honolua Bay – Kapalua, Maui

Surrounded by protective cliffs, this peaceful turquoise snorkel spot is part of the Marine Life Conservation District. Since fishing is not allowed and coral lines the sea floor, Honolua is a destination for both the fish and the tourists. Many have spotted turtles and even dolphins in these clear tropical waters. When the swell is right, Honolua hosts some of the most popular waves on Maui. Read more about surfing Honolua Bay here.

14. Take a Dip at Big Beach – Makena, Maui


Big Beach in Makena – Maui, Hawaii

Big Beach is a long, wide, and undeveloped sandy beach on Maui’s south shore. It is impressive with huge views and a large shore-break. Beware the strong break when the south swell is up, but don’t miss the show of locals doing tricks on their boogie boards. The sandy bottom beach with clear water and views of the surrounding islands makes for a blissful place to go for a swim.

13. Cliff Jump at Black Rock – Ka’anapali, Maui

Black Rock was formed from one of the last lava flows on the west side of the island. It is a rocky outcrop at the far North end of Ka’anapali Beach. Some daring tourists climb the rocks to take a nearly 20′ plunge into the waters below. If you’re not ready to take the plunge yourself, don’t miss the nightly torch lighting ceremony. The ceremony includes live music, a hula dancer, torch lighting, and a cliff dive.

12. Swim Under a Waterfall – Twin Falls, Maui

For an easily accessible string of waterfalls, Twin Falls is your best bet. It is located at the beginning of the Road to Hana. The parking lot can quickly get crowded, but with many trail options and plenty of waterfalls to share the space rarely gets overcrowded. Don’t forget to bring your towel and be cautious of rising water levels.

11. Try Surfing or Stand Up Paddleboarding – Lahaina, Maui

SwellWomen is one of the only women’s surf camps in the world that also offers this fun-filled activity to our guests.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, also referred to as SUP-ing, is a rapidly growing global sport originating from – you guessed it – Hawaii.  There is a reason why surfing and SUP-ing were born in Hawaii. The reason is the perfect waves and gorgeous turquoise warm waters! No wet suit required! 

With the perfect surf break including views of the Maui west side mountains, both never-ever surfers and intermediate surfers are sure to enjoy their morning surf lesson and recreational surf opportunities throughout their week. Expect rolling waves to greet you each morning and glassy waves to end a perfect day. Suit up and learn to surf with some of Maui’s best surf coaches. The warm tropical waters and calm west side breaks are perfect for learning to surf. Hang ten and show your aloha spirit!

NEXT: Watch for Part 3 coming in mid December 2013 – [#10 - #6] 20 Must-Do Vacation Activities for Your Next Trip to Maui – Part 3

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The Halloween festivities in Lahaina, Hawaii have earned the nickname, “Mardi Gras of the Pacific.” The popular celebration is one of the island’s largest holiday festivities of the year.

Each year over 25,000 people come to Lahaina’s Front Street in Maui. Crowds begin to gather in the late afternoon to kick off the event with annual Keiki Parade.  The county closes off the nearby streets to all vehicle traffic well into the evening.  As the sun sets, the streets fill with colorful costumes, contests, and plenty of entertainment.

“The outrageous costumes, the happy enthusiastic people, the good laughs with friends… From what I can remember, it was the best night of my life! “ -Jeff Scheer, Maui Resident

Check out the Lahaina Halloween photo gallery for great costumes ideas. If you think you have a prize winning costume, suit up and make your way to Banyan Tree Park to battle fellow contestants for a cash prize.

“I had no idea how big Maui is for Halloween! We arrived in Lahaina with what I thought were pretty good costumes. We then realized how serious people take this event after seeing all the incredible costumes. Next year, I’ll be doing a little more than throwing something together last minute. I want people to enjoy what I’m wearing as much as I do them!” -Susie Baker, Big Island Resident

For more information about the celebrations visit the Lahaina Halloween website or check them out on Facebook.

2012 Lahaina Halloween photos taken by Haole Shots. Visit Haole Shots to view and purchase photos.




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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.