SwellWomen Archives - Women's Surf Camp

Stand-Up Paddleboarding, also referred to as SUP-ing. SwellWomen is one of the only women’s surf camps in the world that also offers this fun-filled activity to our guests.

SwellWomen SUP

SwellWomen SUP Lesson

What does SUP-ing have to do with a women’s surf camp?

By offering SUP-ing, in addition to surfing, you have reason to extend your water time, all whilst improving and strengthening your surfing skills. We love SUP-ing because it offers a strong ‘core’ workout, and is a wonderful cross trainer for surfing. It helps with balance and helps tone the legs.

SUP-ing also allows our land locked guests the opportunity to cross train for surfing at home; visit your nearest lake and practice your SUP-ing there!

Read More »

Patricia Kwok is a New York fashionista turned entrepreneur. She combined her passion for fashion and her love of surfing to create a lifestyle brand of chic surf gear for women. We interviewed Patricia to find out how her business and love of surfing has impacted her life. 

*Summer Swimsuits Giveaway*

KEA is one of our awesome prize sponsors for the
SwellWomen Summer of Swimsuits Giveaway.
Get details and enter to win. 

> KEA is gifting the winner a brand new Byron Bikini valued at $160!


Q: Tell us about your brand, KEA, how did it come to be?

KEAKEA came about after I quit my job in the fashion industry in New York. I took a month long surf trip to Nicaragua and became inspired to start my own label.
KEA is a surf-inspired lifestyle brand for women who want to be active in the water but still look chic!

Q: What advice do you have for women interested in starting their own business?

I would tell them to imagine they had all the money in the world and then ask themselves if they would still be passionate about starting their own business.


Q: That’s a great answer. As a SwellWomen alumni, can you speak to your experience learning to surf in Maui and how surfing has impacted your life?

Surfing with SwellWomen in Maui was a great way to learn how to surf. The retreat offered great instruction and the beaches were beautiful. The group of women who attended came from diverse backgrounds and I still keep in touch with some of them 5 years on!

Q: How has surfing made an impact on your life?

As for how surfing has changed my life, it taught me to be patient (similar to waiting for a good wave) but also to be bold and act with conviction (like committing to a wave that might feel a bit too much). It’s kind of cool to live like you surf.

Tweet: “Be bold and act with conviction

like committing to a wave

that feels a bit too much.”

- Patricia Kwok, KEA


Read More »

SwellWomen Business Spotlight:: Carly Williams, The Sideways Approach via @SwellWomenCarly Williams is a health & lifestyle coach for from Colorado. Through her business, The Sideways Approach, she helps passionate women take an interest in their health, feel more energetic and find perfect balance in life.

For Carly, paddling out to a wave on her surfboard and snowboarding a fresh trail down a mountain is about going with the flow and reinforces the value of being present. We interviewed Carly about her business, surfing, and advice she has for other women …


Q: How did your background marketing snowboard, surf, and skateboard brands lead to you starting your own business?

A: Being in the action sports industry for over eight years allowed me to meet some really cool girls who are living out their dream of surfing, snowboarding or skating professionally. I was really inspired by these women and felt that the lifestyle that goes along with these sports can be incorporated into the lives of all females.

I noticed that each of these top athletes cultivate a positive mindset, healthy living, unlimited passion and a strong sense for adventure. I want to encourage all women to embrace these attributes regardless of where they are at in their life. I also learned a lot about marketing while working on so many great brands alongside industry leaders and that provided me with the business skills I needed to feel confident enough to venture out on my own. The rest is just purely riding on a dream to run a business I believe in and connect with women all around the world.

SwellWomen Business Spotlight:: Carly Williams, The Sideways Approach via @SwellWomen

Q: What has surfing taught you about yourself?

A: One of the many lessons I have learned from surfing is about non-resistance and going with the flow in all areas of life. In the water when I hurry and try to manipulate the surfboard into doing what I want I stumble and fall. Yet, when I breathe calmly, stay present and let the wave pick me up and guide me I go for a ride every time.

Just like in life when I try to force and push and pull things to happen I usually end up frustrated and confused. However, if I just go with it and do not resist what life has to offer, things beautifully fall into place.


Q: What advice do you have for women looking to find more balance in their lives?

SwellWomen Business Spotlight:: Carly Williams, The Sideways Approach via @SwellWomen

A: I think for all women it is important to take time and evaluate our current life situation and determine where we are off balance. I believe that the foundations of balance include, good nutrition, regular physical activity, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, some sort of spiritual practice and community involvement. If we find that one or more of these foundations is a little off it is easy to balance it out again by slowly incorporating small, positive, manageable changes into our daily lives.

Whether it be adding more greens into our diet or finding a new outdoor activity that makes us feel good or taking interest in something we are passionate about just make sure to do things that bring ultimate joy and never ending adventure. 


Don’t miss your chance to WIN two hours of health & lifestyle coaching! Carly is giving away two hours of coaching valued at $300 to our September fan-of-the-month. To be reminded of the contest “Like us” on Facebook.

The SwellWomen Facebook fan who likes, comments, and shares our posts the most will win two hours of health and lifestyle coaching with The Sideways Approach. Participants must “Like” the SwellWomen Facebook page to qualify. Promotion is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook. Past winners are not eligible. 

Read More »

2014 Summer Swimsuit Giveaway!

In: SwellWomen

*** UPDATE: Contest is now closed. ***

You’re still welcome to join our newsletter using the sign up form below.


Who’s ready for a swimsuit giveaway? Three lucky SwellWomen newsletter subscribers will each win a surf-friendly bathing suit this summer!

Sign up for the SwellWomen newsletter here.

This summer we have teamed up with three amazing swimsuits designers. These companies design swimsuits with both surfing and women in mind. Even better? The women behind them are truly inspiring!

SwellWomen Summer Swimsuit Giveaway

> Mi Ola is giving away a $200 gift certificate to one of the winners!

Mi Ola Seven year ago, Helena Fogarty attended a SwellWomen retreat that changed her life.  Helena is a New York fashionista who swapped her heels for flip flops and created Mi Ola. Sexy Bikinis that Stay On. Mi Ola swimsuits have been designed to provide active women a functional, yet sexy look.  Each style has also been wave tested and approved by real surfers. Take a look at these beautiful swimsuits at Mi-Ola.com

> KEA is gifting the winner a brand new Byron Bikini valued at $160!

KEA: SwellWomen Alumni, Patricia Kwok, is launching KEA this summer. The concept behind the urban surfwear line is “inspired by the city and made for the ocean.”  KEA styles are designed for female surfers who prefer a minimal and sleek look that’s also functional. Check out their Facebook page here.

> Sunsets Separates invites the winner to pick any in-stock swimsuit from their website valued at $100-$150!

Sunsets Separates: Great brands like Sunsets Separates are known to make bathing suits from the finest fabrics and are engineered to increase flexibility and strength. Sunsets Separates caters to a diverse range of customers from juniors to full figured with their bra sized, impeccably fitting tops. Peruse their collection here.

*** UPDATE: Contest is closed. ***

To celebrate a blissful summer, we’re giving away three of these surf-friendly swimsuits to the lucky winners!

The contest is simple, we will randomly draw one winner each month on July 1st, August 1st, and September 1st from the SwellWomen newsletter list. To enter to win one of these quality surf-friendly swimsuits, sign up for the SwellWomen newsletter here.

*If you’re already a SwellNews subscriber, you can sit back and relax. You’re automatically entered to win!

Spread the love by telling your friends and family to enter too! Here’s an easy-to-share Facebook post with all the details.

Read More »

SwellWomen Surf Vacations:: Finding Balance

In: SwellWomen

All the ladies love the yoga aspect of the retreat not only because it is rejuvenating, but because it assists in opening, and strengthening the body for our surf sessions. 

Surfing truly is a great workout! You can feel it in your shoulders, back, and legs. The beauty in doing both surfing and yoga is found in how they compliment each other.

The workout we receive from paddling and riding the waves makes our evening yoga session even more effective. It feels great to stretch our muscles, work on balance, and get in tune with our bodies. 

We are super blessed to have yoga instructor Claudia Micco here with us during our SwellWomen surf  vacations. She expertly guides us through yoga asanas and helps us bring awareness to each asana.

Here are a few photos from this week’s beautiful morning surf and sunset yoga sessions. If you would like to enlarge them, just click the thumbnail.



Read More »

When the ocean is calling, it can be hard to resist. The peacefulness of being out in the line up and in nature in truly blissful. Not to mention the joy of catching a wave and letting the power of the wave bring to shore. For these reasons and many more, excitement mounts as you get closer and closer to getting out for your next surf session. For some, the thrill can be so inviting that we lose focus on surf safety. There are 4 questions that every surfer should take a moment to ask before leaving shore.

What is the sea floor like where you’re surfing?

Is the sea floor soft and sandy, rocky-bottomed, or coral covered? This question is especially important if you are surfing in a new area. Coral and rocky bottomed location may call for reef shoes to protect your feet.

Finding my balance.

Danielle surfing the coral bottomed Breakwall in Lahaina sporting her surf booties. Read about her first surf experience here. 

Depending on what is covering the sea floor you may need to adjust your wipe out technique. Don’t miss our top 5 tips for how to wipeout like a Pro.

What is the surf like?

Taking just 10 minutes to observe the waves will give you loads of valuable information. You can identify where the waves breaking, the frequency of larger sets, and plan out your perfect ride. The surf can fluctuate day to day. A distant storm, high winds, and tides can all effect the conditions. This practice of asking yourself what the surf is like today will force you to take a moment to check in with yourself. Are these conditions you feel confident surfing in? Is there a pattern to the sets that will help you choose the best wave to surf? Trust your gut and always play it safe.

Weiahu Beach Park. Photo credit: The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo

Watching the surf at Weiahu Beach Park.
Photo credit: The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo

Where are your fellow surfers?

Identifying where the bulk of the surfers are can help you find the best break and avoid collisions. This is basic surf safety and a good foundation for surf etiquette. Often times locals or regulars will know where the safest or most reliable break is at a given beach. Look for a spot that will allow you to catch great waves but not put you in an overcrowded area. Once you’ve paddled out to the line up, take another moment to mind map where your fellow surfers are. This awareness can help you avoid collisions when catching a wave.

What obstacles are there that you need to avoid?

When standing on shore and watching the break, play close attention to any obstacles that may lay in the way of your blissful ride. Break walls, large rocks, patches of coral, and sandbars are all physical obstacles that you will want to avoid when surfing to shore. These will typically remain consistent for each visit. Also be mindful of rip currents, high surf advisories, or other warnings that can be different each time you go.

Surf Safety

Safety should always be your number 1 priority when you go out surfing. Knowing that you are taking all the necessary precautions will allow you to sit back and enjoy the bliss of surfing. For more surf tips check out these other surfing centered blog posts.

Read More »

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!

Read More »

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

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!

Read More »

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/
Read More »

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.

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.