As we continue to explore our roots as a brand being founded on the West Coast in 1978, we decided to meet up with our forever girl crush, Hanalei Reponty. Having a rich California origin story herself, we chatted about what California means to her, and how she connects to this unique landscape through surfing and snowboarding.
First, we dove into surfing in one of Hanalei’s favorite spots along the Southern California coast: Dana Point. Stay tuned later throughout the season as we explore snowboarding in the mountainous landscape of Mammoth, CA.
When did you first come to California? What were your first impressions?
I was about twelve, and it was on a family holiday with my parents and my younger brother, and coming from a little island like Tahiti, my first impressions were around the grandness and the vastness of California. The coast is so beautiful and on that trip, we ended up driving from San Diego all the way to Northern California, so I think what really captured my spirits was the diversity of California and the beauty of nature and everything that surrounded it.
What does California mean to you?
California now means home. I feel centered here. My husband, my dog, my family… everyone is here. It feels like a great place to rest and to be creative and to put everything together. We travel so much, we are always on the road so it feels like a home base.
3 words that make you think of California. Go.
Point breaks, palm trees, and beautiful sunsets.
Did you ever think you would end up living here?
Nope! (laughs). Definitely not. My dad would come here frequently, so growing up my brother and I would always hear his stories about California, but I always look back and think it’s like a circle of life that now, here I am, living here.
Why do you love surfing?
I love surfing because you’re so close to nature and you feel so free. Being in the ocean, dunk diving, surfing, paddling… it makes you feel so small, and at the same time you feel like everything is possible. You feel so connected to mother nature and who you are as a human being. Just that feeling of gliding or surfing on a wave, no worries in the world… I think is why most people get addicted to surfing. I think the ocean in a way will always put you back in your rightful place. It can either lift your spirits or drown your sorrows. I love being out there and feeling as free as I can.
What do you feel when you’re in the ocean?
I feel connected to mother nature. I feel very aware of everything, but at the same time, I feel very small, which is a great feeling. Being in the ocean makes you feel alive.