Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

With Taki Mai’s success among the surfing communities of California and the recent men’s and women’s world surfing tournaments held in Fiji, we have seen a few recent reminders of how well kava and surfing go together as a combination.

Surfing in Fiji and the South Pacific

Of course surfing is no newcomer to the South Pacific, as a previous blog post entitled Kava and Surfing – The Perfect Combo pointed out.

Surfing has been in the island nations such as Fiji for hundreds, if not thousands of years – at first with solid wooden boards or using canoes. In 1890 Thomas Williams wrote “youngsters use the surfboards which are so often found in Polynesia”, but surfing dates back to well before that.

Nowadays fiberglass boards and boardshorts are the order of the day and major world-renowned surfing tournaments like the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Fiji Pros have been hitting the local beaches.

Two more World Surf League tournaments were held in Fiji in May and June 2015…

The Fiji Pro Tournaments

First the Fiji Women’s Pro tournament was held from May 31-Jun 5 at Tavarua, Namotu island and then the same destination played host to the Men’s Fiji Pro tournament from June 7-19.

The lady’s event, with US$262,500 worth of prize money up for grabs, was won by Australian Sally Fitzgibbons.The men’s event was worth US$525,000 and was won by Owen Wright, also from Australia. In fact Owen made surfing history in Fiji, with two perfect heats in a single contest for the first time ever.

Before the events got underway the surfers were officially welcomed with a traditional kava ceremony – as you might expect.

What makes kava so right for surfing?

Aside from the big tournaments, surfers around the world are starting to see the delights of kava. The relaxation and stress-reducing benefits of kava have long been associated with beach communities in the South Pacific. With the notoriously laid-back nature of surfing communities, kava is much more in keeping with general vibe than the high energy drinks that are often heavily marketed to youngsters.

As well as helping surfers stay relaxed and focused, kava can also aid with the “cooling off” period afterwards, when tired muscles need to recover and repair themselves. We wrote a blog post just last week about kava and muscle recovery.

Returning to dry land after catching waves all afternoon, there are few better ways to wind down and prolong your natural surfing high than with a kava shot.

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