Akela Surf and Pointe Break Retreats Team Up-Captivating an Audience

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For me there was no question that I was going to integrate FASHION into this retreat! It is what I have done professionally for most of my life and is well apart of who I am. Pointe Break Retreats is more than just a vacation or a get away, its a level of quality and innovation. No plain or generic attire would do for our clients, I wanted a fresh and cheeky look that captivated an audience. That is what Pointe Break truly is, a combination of all things that Jennifer Nichols and I LOVE! Pointe Break is a product of passion, talent and love. It was also an easy decision to put our company Logo on a branded rash guard made and designed by the talented team at Akela Surf. Being a Canadian Company ourselves we wanted to support another Canadian company in the creation of our exclusive rash guards.  The story of Akela surf is rooted by love, passion and vision. Its a love story that I fell in love with myself as well as their philosophy. We couldn’t be more excited to reveal our rashie this June at Pointe Break Retreats.

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Akela is the Hawaiian word for “happy”. Thirty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw on your rash guard. Take a chance. Catch a wave. Explore the world. Pursue your dreams.

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Meet Annie and Servio!

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Akela began before the husband-wife team ever met.

Annie has been creating art in the form of clothing since she was in her early teens. From a small town in Quebec, she quickly fell in love snowboarding and the skate culture. Eager to play with designs and colors, she created her first skater tees while she was still in high school.

Her passion landed her 2280 miles west where she got accepted to study Fashion Design at Helen Lefeaux in Vancouver. And that’s where her creativity and unique style was able to blossom. Her love for her craft and all of her hard work quickly paid off.

She began her career working for Three Stones, a street inspired fashion women’s line. She moved back to Montreal, Quebec to help Orage, an outerwear clothing brand, to help develop their ski brand and identity. Later she traveled all over Europe and Asia for Osiris Shoes to help with trend spotting, trade shows and to work directly with their overseas manufactures.

One fateful day in Del Mar, California, Annie was introduced to surfing. She remembers the first time riding a surfboard and the indescribable rush she felt after catching her first wave – pure happiness.

Annie’s kindred spirit led her to take a trip that started in Tofino, Canada and led her to set up her first surf shop in Sri Lanka. She designed a surf clothing line that used all of the local fabric and accessories that she could find – it was very popular with the tourists.

With her newly acquired experiences, she went back to Quebec where she happened to run into Servio in a metro station. Servio jumped at the chance to ask her out for coffee.

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He says “It was like two old souls finding each other.”

Servio was studying international commerce in Montreal. He started surfing at the age of 9 near Margarita Island, where he was born. After political turmoil erupted in his native country, he moved to Barbados where he was able to study English. Before long he was backpacking across Europe, learning French and Italian as he traveled. An adventurer, just like Annie, he wanted to keep exploring the world so he moved west, to Montreal. The harsh Canadian winters and lack of Ocean waterfront made him miss his surfboard and the freedom of the Atlantic waves. He began planning a way to combine life, surf and business

Akela Surf was born in January 2012. The couple started an online business that offered eco friendly products for the Canadian Market selling organic tees, surf wax, and accessories. It was very important for them to respect and cherish the beauty of the worlds oceans. They pledged to ensure that their products would not negatively affect the environment. Based off of their work, they won a competition at HEC in Montreal. After a few months, they opened their first store in Montreal, Quebec.

They experienced fantastic growth and after a year of operations, Annie gave birth to their son, Kaiko. They decided to take a trip to Barbados. During their trip they received some amazing feedback from one of Akela’s swimsuits and before long – demand for their unique offerings blew up! They decided to shift their business to focus solely on Akela Surf and closed their store shortly after.

Akela Surf now offers a full line of unique, handmade, clothing and accessories for their customers

Check out below some great media coverage from this brand!

http://www.thesurfoffice.com/blog/2015/4/24/akela-surf

http://akelasurf.com/pages/media-coverage

Pura Vida xo

Mom and dad I still miss you! xo

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JENN’S TOP RECOMMENDED DAILY EXERCISE TO PREP FOR SURF AND SAUTES… EXTENSION METHOD HIP BRIDGE SERIES (targets glutes, hamstrings, core)

Part 1 -Lie on back, bend knee and place feet flat on floor, hip width apart and toes pointing straight ahead in parallel -Pressing feet strongly into the floor, raise hips as high as you can, using your glute muscles and hamstrings (backs of legs). Try to achieve a straight line across the front of the hip in full bridge REPEAT X 8 FULL BRIDGE, FOLLOWED BY 16 PULSES Part 2 -Repeat Part 1 with one leg raised, bridging on one supporting leg. Ensure bottom kne stays in line with centre of bottom foot REPEAT X 8 FULL BRIDGE, FOLLOWED BY 16 PULSES, BOTH LEGS Part 3 -Repeat Part 1 and 2 with HEELS RAISED. Do not lower heels for entire exercise. Ensure foot does not roll outwards over outside of foot, towards baby toe. Place more pressure under big toe and inside of foot. Keep inside of heel bone in line with centre of hips REPEAT X 8 FULL BRIDGE, FOLLOWED BY 16 PULSES, BOTH LEGS THEN SINGLES Part 4 -Repeat Part 1 and 2 in TURN OUT position (knees open to frog/diamond shape). Use outer edge of foot to push off floor, activating outside of upper leg and hips to bridge REPEAT X 8 FULL BRIDGE, FOLLOWED BY 16 PULSES, BOTH LEGS THEN SINGLES

Why are these exercises important? The hip bridges fire up the upper hamstrings and glutes, targeting small groups of muscles that are vital for full extension and powering from the backs of legs to help raise the hips and not sink back in the pelvis. The bridges with heels raised strength a group of muscles just above the knee joint, called the VMO, which assist in stabilizing the knee and ensuring that the leg is fully stretched in extension (knee caps full lifted). Bridges in turnout build strength and stability in external rotation and any circular movements of the leg.  This series is crucial for building stability, balance and tracking of the knee joints when on the surf board, as well as building the power to pop up and ride that wave…

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Jenn’s 3 ‘Pre-Class’ Stretch Tips!

Pick #7

Just as it is essential to ‘wakeup’ and prepare our body before we hit the surf, there are a few stretches and warmup exercises we can do to ready ourselves for an intense dance class. Before you move into any stretch, you first want to ensure that your muscles are warm. Stretching with cold muscles places you at risk of tearing and straining the tissue.

To heat up the lower body before moving into a stretch, try this hip opener to get the blood moving and start your internal furnace:

ATTITUDE CLOCHES

-place one hand on a barre or counter top for stability

-begin to swing outside leg, slightly turned out from the hip and bent at the knee, from the front to the back in a ‘pendulum’ action

-ensure that there is no tension in the hip joint; allow the weight of the leg with gravity to drop to the floor as you brush from front to back

-release tension in hip, although ensure ribs remain closed and navel draws in towards spine to project the lower back

-repeat x 32, both sides

-next, face the barre or counter top and repeat swings, this time opening leg to the side, then allow it to drop and swing across the body (sideways pendulum)

-imagine a string attached to the knee cap, drawing the thigh up and then releasing to fall back towards the floor

-ensure torso does not move or twist with the action of the leg; remain still and square in upper body

-repeat x 32 each leg Now you are warm and open in the hips, ready to move into some basic stretches before you begin class!

PASSIVE HAMSTRING & GLUTES STRETCH

HAMSTRINGS

-face barre or counter top and place one leg up, extended to the front, ensuring square hips

-raise opposite arm and bend forward, crossing hand over to outside of leg

-bend and stretch standing leg slowly 4 times

-hold stretch with straight standing leg for 2 minutes

-standing tall, extend same arm as raised leg to the side, then twist body towards it and place back of hand against back; use the pressure of the hand pushing to increase the torsion of the twist; breathe and hold for 30 seconds

-finish by folding forward again, this time straight forward, one hand on either side of leg, reaching for barre; hold for 2 minutes

Repeat other leg

GLUTEUS

-place leg on barre or counter top with 90 degree angle bend at knee, outside of foot resting on barre

-fold body forwards over leg and take hold of barre, one hand on either side of leg; hold for 1 minute

-bend and stretch standing leg slowly 4 times

-rock body in towards barre, decreasing angle at the knee, then back out, increasing angle x 4

-cross two hands to outside of raised foot and pulling body into diagonal stretch; hold for 1 minute

-next, cross hands to inside of raised foot and pull the body once ore into the opposite diagonal stretch; hold for 1 minute

Repeat other leg