Extreme Sports Paradise: Sofia Keolani & S3

4 mins read
Owner Sofia Keolanui at the front door of the new S3 store.
Owner Sofia Keolanui at the front door of the new S3 store.

Look out, extreme sports fans!  A new store has come to Hathian.  Owned by former pro surfer Sofia Keolanui, S3 stands for “Skate, Surf, Sport” and provides a number of services ranging from equipment to lessons.  Some residents of Hathian will know Keolanui from the surfing lessons she’s offered for the last few months.

A reporter for the Hathian Observer sat down with Sofia Keolanui and asked her a few questions:

What prompted you to open a store?

Well, it was really that I saw a lot of kids around, you know, just wandering around.  I remember back home that surf shops, skate shops, they were places where every generation hung out.  You’d have granddads and their grandkids, multiple generations of surfers telling stories and shooting the breeze while they bought things or just hug out.  I think places like that really help kids, getting to hear those stories and about those experiences.  There’s a lot of bad stuff they can get up to in Hathian, in any city really, and places like S3 are kind of a barricade against that.

So this is a totally altruistic move?

[Laughs] Well not entirely!  I got tired of running lessons out of my house so I thought this was a good idea, and it allows me to offer gear without having to store it in my closets and bedroom at home.  But yeah a lot of it is just providing a place to hang out.  S3 isn’t a get in get out sort of store, it’s got places to sit and talk, and drinks and all that.

It’s a little surprising to find a pro surfer in Hathian, what brought you here?

A year or so before I moved here, while I was surfing in Indonesia, I got attacked by a shark.  I survived obviously, but the injury was bad enough that I couldn’t compete anymore, not for awhile.  There was a lot of pressure in my own head, being in places surrounded by other hyper-competitive people, so I headed east till I found a spot that wasn’t a big surf spot where I could be peaceful for awhile.

How good is the surfing here?

It’s pretty good!  You aren’t going to see barrels like in Hawaii, but in areas like District 8 and the beaches there, there are good swells especially for people who are learning or trying to improve.  There are a lot fewer people too, so there’s definitely a sense of peace that you don’t  get at the North Shore or places like that.  You can spend hours on the waves without seeing another person on some days.

What do you want people to know about S3?

Everyone’s welcome!  Kids, adults, everything in between.  I’m running a 25% discount for two weeks to celebrate the opening and that’s a good chunk of cash out of the prices on things.  I hope people will come by and hang out, maybe find something they like!  I’m currently hiring people as well; kids and adults are both welcome to come in and apply for a job.

S3 is located behind the Pie Hole Pizzeria and across from Jimmie’s Chicken Shack.  It’s open 7 days a week.

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