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6 Pointers for an Awesome Photo

Rule of Thirds

Ladies, if there is anything we can all agree on, it is the importance of an awesome photo for social media. Whether Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter is your platform of choice, we all like to look our best online. I’m going to assume most of us take our photos with our phones…or, let’s be real, shove our phones into our friends, boyfriends or even mother’s (guilty as charged) hands.

So without further ado, here are my 5 top tips for looking your best and taking your ideal photographs.

  • Embrace the Rule of Thirds

If you want an easy illustration of the rule of thirds, turn on your phone’s grid function for photos. The rule of thirds

is the idea that you should mentally split your pictures up into three parts…and place your subject to the right or left. It draws the eye into the photo and makes your composition more interesting.

  • Engage your Core

No matter how body confident we are, all of us have insecurities and worries about how we look in a bikini. An easy trick to flatten up your stomach for a photo is to engNatural Lightage your abs…yes even if you think you don’t have them. You have muscles there (I promise) and flexing them into a flat board will make you look more confident and improve your posture in photos.

  • Stare into the Sun

I’m joking…sort of. Pay attention to the light in your photos. Where is it coming from, and how best can you harness the power of that sunny day at the beach? Facing the sun is a surefire way of guaranteeing good light in any photo. Of course, we would all take our photos at golden hour if we could, and all look like glorious sun goddesses, but sometimes we must compromise. Bonus tip: if you can’t handle all that light in your face, sunglasses always look good with a bikini.

  • Use Natural Light

As much as possible, use natural light. I can’t tell you the science of why, but natural lighting makes a photo look cleaner and brighter than one taken with a light bulb.   Obviously, golden hour is my favorite time to take a photo, but there are all kinds of beautiful photos to be taken at different times of the day.

  • Saturate Those Colors

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize you could edit your photos right on your phone. True story- your iPhone (or Android) has a lot of powerful tools to brighten your photos, change colors around, crop, rotate, and make you look your best. (Slightly) increasing your saturation is a great way of making your photo really pop.

  • Have Fun!

This one is very important: do not forget to have fun. You are at the beach, or on a hike, or maybe even at home in your yard (again, guilty as charged). Photos are great, but what’s really important is the memories you create. Look back and remember today as a great day at the beach, no matter how your photos come out.

And make sure to tag us on Instagram! We love to feature our Pakaloha girls in our feed.

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Welcome to 2018!

Group Sunset

Happy New Year from all of us at Pakaloha!

Feather Print2017 was such an exciting year for us. We opened a new location in Kailua, introduced new prints like the Blue Lagoon and Feathers and new styles like our Pipeline bottoms and Big Beach Top.

It may be easy to wonder how we could possibly top such an amazing year. But don’t worry! 2018 is going to be bigger and better! We have lots of things to look forward to this year: new styles and prints, monthly giveaways, and pop up shops at UH Manoa and other local colleges! Keep your eyes on our Instagram and blog for the scoop on a new style coming your way in just a few weeks!

Let’s all strive to make 2018 the best it can be and to take care of our planet, ourselves, and our loved ones. May you have a year full of abundance and good health.

Let us know on Instagram what your New Years resolutions are! Whether it’s to dive deeper, surf bigger waves, or go on more epic adventures, we hope you’ll take Pakaloha Bikinis with you wherever this year takes you!

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5 Ways to Protect our Ocean

 At Pakaloha, we know you love the ocean just as much as we do. And if you are anything like us, you want to take care of that ocean so we can all enjoy it for years to come! Here are five easy ways to clean up your act (and the beach) so we can keep playing in the sun and splashing in the water forever…

  • Switch to Reef Safe Sunscreen

We’ve talked about it before here at Pakaloha, but it bears repeating. To protect our reefs, and to keep yourself healthy, reef safe sunscreens are key! All natural ingredients are better for your body and help prevent coral bleaching.

  • Clean up the Beach!

There are beach clean ups all over the Hawaiian Islands…Pakaloha frequently participates in them! Joining a beach clean up is a great way to pick up plastic to keep it from accumulating on the ocean floor. Even better: take a moment to check for trash when you leave! Picking up trash, even if you didn’t create it, is a great way to respect our ocean home and keep it pristine for everyone to enjoy.

  • Bring a Beach Mat Home…Not the Beach

Beach erosion is a big problem, and it’s important to keep sand where it belongs: on the seaside. By switching to a beach mat instead of a towel for sunning yourself, you can leave the sand behind and bring home nothing but memories.

  • Respect the wildlife

If you’ve seen a monk seal sleeping in the sun, consider yourself lucky. These majestic creatures are endangered, and are protected accordingly! Part of what makes the ocean so magical is the creatures that call it home: turtles, monk seals, dolphins, whales, and so much more! Part of visiting someone’s home is respecting them, and their space.  Don’t touch the animals and let them go about their business.  You might be surprised how far a little calm energy can go.

  • Limit your plastic use

Did you know that tiny bits of plastic have a huge impact on the ocean? Anything from plastic bottles to microbeads can harm the ocean’s ecosystem. Even glitter can have a huge impact! Little things, like switching to biodegradable glitter and glass water bottles are good for the ocean, and for you!


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Product Alert: Las Bayadas Towels

As you know, Pakaloha is so much more than a swimsuit brand. Between beach cleanups and community outreach, we take giving back seriously That’s why we carry Las Bayadas beach mats.

If you are wondering why you need a beach mat, when a plain towel works just as well, you are probably not alone. But beach mats do so much more than just a towel.

For one thing, they protect our environment. Sand erosion is a huge problem for Hawaii beaches. As you’ve probably noticed, beach towels bring home more than just fond memories. Hidden between the fibers of your favorite towels comes lots and lots of sand.

With a Las Bayadas beach mat, you don’t have to worry about bringing the whole beach with you. It’s made of recycled cotton, so it’s incredibly soft. And best of all, it contributes to a great cause!

10% of all proceeds go directly to funding scholarships for the Costa Verde International Schools for Mexican students. How awesome is that!

Las Bayadas towels can be found in all of our Pakaloha locations.

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Talk Story with Angelina Yossa

I got to catch up with Team Rider Angelina Yossa, an up and coming shredder from the North Shore of Oahu!  Thanks so much for talking with me, Angelina.  Be sure to keep an eye on this wave rider!


 Where are you from?

I am from the North Shore of O’ahu.

What type of board do you ride?

I ride a shortboard, usually in the 5’4” to 5’6”  range. On bigger days, in the winter, I ride a littAngelinale bit of a bigger board, a  5’8”.

What got you into surfing?

I started surfing when I was 3 because my mom taught me and my sister, so we could do it as a family. I’ve loved it ever since.

Where is your favorite place to surf?

I grew up surfing Haleiwa, and that is my go-to spot, but I also like surfing V-land, Rockies and Ehukai.

Why do you choose Pakaloha?

I choose Pakaloha, because they stay on and they are cute and the styles are great.

What is your favorite surfing-related memory?

I was surfing with my mom, I think I was about 7 or 8, and I just kept saying to her one more wave! Over and over again.


Thanks for chatting with me, Angelina. You can find her on Instagram and tearing up the North Shore in Pakaloha!

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Just in time for a sale… new styles are in!

From now until November 31st 2017, you can save up to 15%-40% on selected items.

  • $19 OFF Ehukai Tops
  • $16 OFF Mini Flowers Pattern
  • For all other non-sale items, enter coupon code cybermonday111 for 15% OFF your cart.

New Style: The Pipeline Bottom
If you’ve been to Oahu’s famous North Shore, you’ve heard of Pipeline surf break: host to wicked waves and epic surf contests. In the spirit of winter, and the return of Haleiwa’s infamous waves, we’ve brought to you a pair of bottoms tailor made for hitting the nearest break.

For you ladies who like things cheeky, the Pipeline has a flattering ruche along the back and a super stylish high cut. And the sides speak for themselves…

And like their namesake, these bottoms are perfect for surfing!

New Style: The Big Beach Top
We also have a new style in our tops. The Big Beach top is designed with support in mind—completely without wires! Larger chested ladies-If you have been searching and searching for a bikini top that provides optimal support while also being flattering and unique…congratulations, your search has ended!

This top is perfect for athletes, with the promise to hold everything in place. Also check out that lacing in the back!

New Style: The Paige Alms Top
This top is named after Paige Alms, our teams top big-wave charger. This tops ties cross in the back creating an “X” across your back, and features a sexy criss-cross pattern in the front. Great for active ladies, this top stays put whether surfing, swimming or playing!

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Talk Story with Alicia Yamada

Alicia Yamada

I was lucky enough to get the chance to catch up with one of our Pakaloha team riders, Alicia Yamada.  Thanks so much for chatting with me, Alicia, and stay tuned for more interviews with our epic team of surfers!

Where are you from?

I was born and live in Lahaina Maui Hawaii! 

What type of board do you ride?

I ride valley isle surfboards or Tokoro surfboards. These boards are shaped in Hawaii by local People of Hawaii, and I appreciate that.

What got you into surfing?

My dad got me into surfing as well as my 2 older brothers … My dad surfs more than me to this day , Actually he surfs more then his 3 kids combined!  …quite the legend!

Alicia Yamada

Where is your favorite place to surf?

My favorite place to surf .. I have quite a few favorite places but if I have to narrow it down to  one.. it would have to be a mystical place that looks fun with no one around! Otherwise .. it’s the bay! Honolua bay of course.. with everyone else and they cuzins!

Why do you choose Pakaloha?

Pakaloha chose me! Hahaha they have great suits and vibrant colors that stay on good while surfing … and Julie is one the most amazing beautiful people in the world!

What is your favorite surfing-related memory?

Each day that I get to surf is a very special memory.. a blessing that I’m sooo grateful for…but I guess when the waves are firing .. and I secretly scared inside .. and my stomach is nervous and I finally get the balls to paddle out.. and actually get in a good rhythm and catch some fun waves .. that’s got to be the best!  Very rewarding and satisfying I must say!

You guys can find Alicia on Instagram and on the island of Maui repping Pakaloha bikinis out on the water!

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How to get ready for Bikini Season

Pakaloha Maui Bkinis

Here in Hawaii, bikini season never truly stops. But that doesn’t mean we don’t fall into funks… You get busy and before you know it, you haven’t been to the beach in a month. And lets face it, sometimes you pick up your favorite bikini and it looks rather, shall we say, small.

Pakaloha is here for you! Don’t feel comfortable in your bikini? Below are my favorite ways to get ready for bikini season:

Turn on the song that makes you feel like you can do anything. Yes that one. The one that makes your attitude grow about 1000%. If you need a new one, I’m currently jamming out to Lizzo’s Good as Hell. Bonus round: windows down in the car, volume up. A round of car karaoke?

Try a new color. Pakaloha has so many good options. Get something that makes you feel unique (I’ve been rocking lavender). Or try a new style. Changing up your look can really get you excited to get out there in your bikini.

Make it an adventure. If you can, pick a new beach to hit up. I know, for a fact, that you have not been to every beach in your area. I’ve been an Oahu resident since birth and I have yet to meet the person who has gone to every beach here. That little beach access you see sometimes from the car? Yeah, go there. If it’s not right, there is probably another beach nearby you can hit up. Or it might be your new go-to spot.

At the end of the day, you want to see a great sunset and get some sand in your hair. We all have moments of doubt and insecurity, but, much like tan lines and sunburn, those are temporary. What lasts forever are the memories we make at the beach.

Just…promise me you’ll wear sunscreen.

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Best places to snorkel in Hawaii

Hawaii Bikinis

Bikinis aren’t just good for relaxing.  Pakaloha bikinis are meant to stay on during all kinds of ocean activities.  One of our favorite things to do at Pakaloha is snorkel and free dive, and Hawaii is the perfect place to do it!

Below are some of the best snorkel spots on the island.

  1. Sharks Cove
  2. Located on the North Shore of Oahu, this cove is a protected nature preserve popular with keiki and scuba divers alike.  The waves can be big in the winter but in the summer this spot can’t be beat!

  3. Hanauma Bay
  4. Hanauma Bay is a famous nature preserve on the Southeast of Oahu.  It’s sea life so a limited number of guests are allowed in at a time.  It’s popular for a reason, and worth a trip for long time residents and first time visitors alike!

  5. Kapalua Bay 
  6. Located on Maui, this spot is a sheltered bay with two different reefs to investigate.  The white sands mean this is a peaceful spot to relax in between dive sessions!

  7. Honaunau Bay
  8. You can find this picturesque spot on the Big Island, where its turquoise waters are protected and the visibility is great most days of the year.  It’s overlooked by Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, a great place to learn more about Hawaiian history.  This bay is also known as the City of Refuge…

  9. Poipu Beach Park

Poipu Beach Park on the south side of Kauai is a popular spot of a variety of activities, not just snorkeling.  You will fall in love with the arc of soft sand and the monk seals that sometimes sleep there!

So what are you waiting for?  Grab one of our bikinis, and get going!!

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How to make a bikini last forever

Hawaii Bikinis

Pakaloha bikinis are built to last!  Made with the best lycra, a Pakaloha bikini can last years after you purchase it.  But, as with all things we love, you should take care of your bikini.  Below are a few tips to keep your bikini in ready for the beach!

~After getting out of the ocean or pool, always rinse your bikini with fresh water.

~Always hand-wash your bikini and hang dry.  Never put your Pakaloha bikini in the washer and dryer or iron it.

~If you need to use soap, use an all-natural, gentle detergent.

~Be careful of chemical deodorants and sunscreen—they can stain!

~Check the lining of your bikini!  Fine sand can get caught in the lining.  You can remove it by gently shaking the lining out.

Do you want a bikini that will last forever?  Check out our online shop! We have board shorts too!