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Caribbean Travel + Life Mag

One of our favorite magazines is featuring HIHO in the June/July issue.  Pick up Caribbean Travel + Life on news stands now to read all about the Highland Spring HIHO windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding event.

The writer, Matthew Miller and photographer, Shelly Strazis joined us for last year's event and looked at the event through the lense of a pirate's spyglass telescope to write this story.  Excerpt:

We’re offshore Anegada, 14 miles from the safe shelter of Virgin Gorda.  But who’s chasing us? The ghost of Sam Bellamy? Henry Morgan? “It’s Jim,” says John. “He’s crafty.”  Jim Hawkins, the crafty narrator of Treasure Island ? No, Jim Wallace, the cheerful British Airways pilot we drank with last night. This is the HIHO, a weeklong windsurfing and stand-up-paddling race that crisscrosses the BVI.

Download and read the full story here.

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Product Review

The guys over at Gorp.com recently did a product review of our long sleeve Suntek shirt.  And we're happy to report, they love it as much as we do.


Not surprisingly, HIHO Suntek is a staple in my own wardrobe.  Whether I'm going SUPing with my two boys or out on the boat with friends, the long sleeve Suntek holds up in the hot Caribbean sun (and sea for that matter.)  Within minutes of getting out of the water, it's cool and dry.  I just wore a short sleeve version when I participated in the Malibu SUP Cup here on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

The guys at Gorp.com really liked the "Keep Calm and Paddle On" design, but we also offer it with our logo and cool faded map of the islands on the front, as well as one with our signature compass graphic.  

And for the surfer girls, Suntek comes in the "Hidden Surfer" design in white and a dark sunset color, like this:

If you haven't tried HIHO Suntek yet, see what you're missing.  We sell them in both men's and women's sizes and they retail between $40 - $44, depending on the sleeve length. 

So, thanks Gorp.com!  You guys are the experts and we're glad to have your stamp of approval!


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Lunch on Necker, anyone?

Necker Island is the exclusive private island belonging to billionaire and BVI resident, Sir Richard Branson.  I'm excited to announce that the 74-acre paradise is also a stop on the Highland Spring HIHO race this year.  

Each day of the race, windsurfers and stand-up paddle boarders race from island to island.  We stop for a catered lunch on some of the world's most amazing beaches.  And on Monday, July 2, competitors will finish the race on the white sand beaches of Necker.

After completing the challenging race from Eustacia Sound, racers can relax in the crisp teal waters of the Caribbean Sea or float in the massive pool belonging to Branson himself. 

Necker Island has long been one of our favorite islands in the British Virgin Islands, actually in the entire Caribbean.  We were lucky enough to have a photo shoot there a few years back...

Maybe we'll take some items from HIHO's Resort 2013 line with us to Necker in July and snap a few shots.  You could always come with us!  If you're looking for some adventure this summer, the Highland Spring HIHO is for you...  Learn more at www.go-hiho.com/hshiho


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UPDATE: Soggy Dollar Bar Dash for Cash

We've finalized the course for the Soggy Dollar Bar Dash for Cash SUP Relay Race.  Paddler's will race from Tortola's Trellis Bay to the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost van Dyke.  Hard to believe it is now just a little more than two months away.  

Have you gotten your team together? Each team must be comprised of three members, and one of those members must be female.  We're keeping things interesting!

We think the stand-up paddlers are going to find it both fun and challenging. Take a look:

Start: Dash for Cash
At the Eastern point of Trellis Bay, the first paddler from each team starts in the shallow waters at the top of the bay.  The support boats hover offshore ready to pace the racers as they head downwind through the Caminoe channel towards Guana Island.  Strong winds will push the paddlers.  The current may be flooding in which case it’ll add an extra couple knots of speed.  If the current is moving upwind then expect big rollers in the middle of the channel.  Estimated start time is 9:00am on Friday, July 6.

1st Changeover: Guana Island Cut
Teams must make their first changeover by the narrow cut separating Tortola and Guana Island.  The sea conditions flatten out and racers can choose to stay inshore out of the wind and in almost mirror flat sea conditions.  Support boats will be in the area to assist paddlers as they enter and exit the race.

Course Conditions: Tortola’s North Shore
Sea conditions will get challenging as the swell bounces off the several headlands that define the North shore of Tortola.  This might be the most difficult portion of the race.

2nd Changeover: Brewers Bay
Teams must make their second changeover by the time the second paddler reaches the Eastern point of Brewers Bay. The course opens up after Brewers Bay, as paddlers head into open water.  If the wind is from the South teams should paddle a more South Westerly route; if the wind is from the East then a simple direct line course to Jost Van Dyke will suffice.

Finish: Dash for Cash
The first paddler to hit the beach, run up and touch the designated finish flag wins $4,000 cash for his team!  The finish may be challenging as the paddlers thread their way through the myriad of anchored boats in front of the world-famous Soggy Dollar Bar.  Second place finishers win $1,000 cash and the third place team wins $600. 

If you would like to compete in the Soggy Dollar Bar Dash for Cash, email me at andym@go-hiho.com  We're still accepting participants in the Highland Spring HIHO as well.  And remember, registration is free for competitors in the HIHO race; $600 per team for everyone else.  Hope to see you on the course in July!

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Dash for Cash to Soggy Dollar Bar

It's an exciting time at HIHO.  Not only are we making great clothes to fit our lifestyle here in the British Virgin Islands, we are planning some pretty awesome events...  
And the best part?  YOU can join us.  Our latest announcement is the 'Dash for Cash' SUP relay race to one of our favorite spots in all of the BVI, the Soggy Dollar Bar.  

{photo credit: Soggy Dollar Bar}

We are big fans of stand-up paddle boarding and this is a great way to combine two things we love: SUP racing and painkillers!  Have you ever had the Original Painkiller from Soggy Dollar Bar?  If not, this is a great reason to get yourself to the BVI in July.  Well, that, and the winning team will receive $4,000 cash!  Here are all of the details...hope you can make it!


$4,000 ‘Dash for Cash’ SUP Race to Soggy Dollar Bar
The Highland Spring HIHO Race adds a relay race to its week of competition

April 5, 2012 (Tortola, British Virgin Islands)  ‘Painkillers for everyone!’ when the winners of the first-ever Soggy Dollar Bar ‘Dash for Cash’ reach the beach.  The stand-up paddle boarding relay race will be held on Friday, July 6 during the Highland Spring HIHO – a week-long windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding competition in the British Virgin Islands.  The Soggy Dollar Bar ‘Dash for Cash’ is open to everyone, not just participants in the HIHO.

“We’re excited to open up the HIHO for this one-day race and include stand-up paddle boarders from around the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” says event organizer, Andy Morrell.  “Four thousand dollars for the winning team buys a lot of painkillers!” 

Teams of three will race from Trellis Bay on Beef Island to Jost van Dyke’s White Bay, home of the world famous Soggy Dollar Bar.  “It’s an honor to be part of the inaugural Soggy Dollar Bar ‘Dash for Cash” with such great partners as Highand Springs and HiHO,” says Jerry O’Connell, owner of Soggy Dollar.  “I can’t think of a better finish line than the  Soggy Dollar on White Bay.  The Soggy Dollar family will be there with open arms (and many Painkillers) to welcome all the supporters and participants in this challenging event. It will be well worth their efforts, I guarantee it.”

One of the world’s top stand-up paddle boarders, Chase Kosterlitz, will be racing on the Fanatic Team.  In addition to top local and regional racers, the United Kingdom’s top female stand-up paddle boarders, Kristy Jones will also make the ‘Dash for Cash.’

To ensure a fair race, all relay teams will use the same board design as they make the 12-mile trek.  Also, each team must have at least one female paddler.  Catamarans, provided by The Moorings, will be stationed along the race route to assist with the participant’s transitions and cheer them on.

The first team to reach White Bay will win a $4,000 cash prize.  The second place team will receive $1,000 in cash and the third place finishers will receive $600, which covers the price of entry.  To register for the Soggy Dollar ‘Dash for Cash,’ e-mail Andy Morrell at racebvi@surfbvi.com. The entry fee is $200 per person or $600 per team.  For participants in the Highland Spring HIHO, the entry fee is already included.  The registration deadline is June 6.   

Morrell says there are still a few spots left for the week-long event, the Highland Spring HIHO; it runs from July 1 – July 8, 2012.  The Highland Spring HIHO attracts water sports enthusiasts from around the world.  Staying aboard captained catamarans from The Moorings, competitors take part in an ambitious week-long racing event in open water.   Great sailing and nightly parties make the HIHO as much for non-racers as it is for competitors.

Visit www.go-hiho.com for more information.


Highland Spring HIHO combines windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, yacht racing & island adventure. Participants experience an odyssey through the beautiful British Virgin Islands, daily racing, great food & live entertainment.  Living aboard captained catamarans from The Moorings, the World's largest charter boat company, participants compete in SUP or windsurfing classes alongside pro & amateur racers from around the world. Highland Spring HIHO is as much fun for non-competing participants who can enjoy great sailing or other water sports and discovering new islands and destinations.

Soggy Dollar Bar is the birthplace of the Original Painkiller, the popular cocktail that blends rum with its own secret concoction of juices.   The name of the bar is derived from the fact that many people swim ashore from their boats, thus buying their drinks with soggy dollars.  For more than 40 years, Soggy Dollar Bar has been attracting boaters and drinkers alike to the white sands of White Bay, Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.

{photo credit: Kayla Beiler}

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HIHO, The Race

HIHO isn't just a Caribbean clothing brand, it's also a world-renowned water sports adventure held here in the beautiful British Virgin Islands each summer.  As a young windsurfer, I competed in the HIHO race for many many years, winning it in 1986.  

The Highland Spring HIHO combines windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and yacht racing into an action-packed week-long adventure.  Living aboard captained catamarans provided by The Moorings, the world's largest charter boat company, participants compete in windsurfing or SUP classes alongside pro & amateur races from around the globe.  

Highland Spring HIHO is as much fun for non-competing participants who can enjoy great sailing, the pristine beaches of the BVI and the nightly sponsored parties.  Check out this video from last year's race...

Highland Spring HIHO 2011 from Ryan Reede on Vimeo.

We make sure the participants are looking good with swag bags full of HIHO gear.  The race jersey is available for purchase here on our site.  If this looks like something you'd enjoy, which I can almost guarantee, registration is still open for the 2012 race.  We'll set sail from Tortola on July 1st.  Join us, won't you?  


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Getting the itch to race!


The Highland Spring HIHO is less than five months away. Come join us!

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Dark Sunset



Sunset in the British Virgin Islands 


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Quality & perfection

Like any good company we try and make a point to build long relationships with our suppliers.  To that end we travel to Peru at least a couple times a year to meet with our suppliers.  We’ve been working with Neyer Solis for some time.  Sensing opportunity Neyer left the large knitwear company where he worked and set up a small sewing line dedicated to our production.  His line has grown to 10 men & women working sewing our T-shirts.  


The screen printing and embroidery is subcontracted out to another company.  We’ve visited the printer before and our recent trip we were happy to see a new facility and plenty of jobs on-hand.  Small lines like Neyer’s and the printing facility he uses also get work from the larger factories that work production for brands like American Eagle.  The quality that Peru production offers is a great advantage for HIHO.  We also like working with small producers and it is a source of pride seeing them excel at what they do.

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HIHO's True Colors

Here’s a peek at a color chart we are working on for our men’s linen shirts.  Color plays an important part in the HIHO line.  We spend hours selecting colors and testing variations trying to get them exactly right before assigning them to the various clothes in the line. 



We send color swatches to our suppliers and they return us “lab dips” for us to approve. These approved colors are included in orders we send to our factories.  Naturally, we focus on colors that surround us in the Caribbean.






We are inspired by the turquoise and green of the sea, the golden sand beaches, riotous flower colors and, of course, the stunning palate available at every sunset.  Once we get the colors right we then agonize over a name: Is it coral rose or dark peach; dark blue or deep sea; and so forth.  



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Team HIHO Catching a Break!



A little known secret is that Tortola offers some of the best surfing in the Caribbean.  The island offers a good dozen wave riding spots, and there are as many others on the outer islands including Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Sandy Cay.  




It’s generally acknowledged that Cane Garden Bay is Tortola’s best surf spot.  Offering a point break, Cane Garden can serve up a wonderfully large & long wave to ride.  Tortola’s most popular break is Apple Bay or “Bombas” where surfers can choose from two right breaking waves, and a left break.  Music from the eponymous island bar wafts across the water to surfers in the lineup.  Other popular breaks include Josiah’s Bay which, when the swell is small, offers excellent beginner waves along with Lava Flow, Cooten Bay, Josh’s, Schoolhouse and Smugglers Cove.  




Sure, each break doesn’t work every time the surf is up, but when there is a convergence of a good size swell, offshore wind and favorable tide you can catch waves up and down the islands North Shore.  


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End of an Era

Original island-build boast


There are just a few of the original island-built boats still in service. This boat, seen fishing off the Eastern tip of Little Thatch, is kept tied up to the mangroves in Sopers Hole. When I was a boy growing up in Tortola boats were still built by hand by shipwrights who practiced their craft in almost the same way as their fathers and   grandfathers. They used some power tools but they still went into the bush to find cedar trees that were correctly shaped for the boats ribs. Caulking was done by hand and the boats launched by a team of people. In East End they would still build the odd island sloop while in Towers near the West End of the island I remember the yard where they turned out 18 or so foot open boats that were used by fisherman and by the North Shore residents who gunned off to work at Caneel Bay Resort on St John. By the 1980’s the Tortola boat building tradition had succumbed the ubiquity of the fiberglass boat. 



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