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Vertra Ambassador Spotlight: Mahina Akaka

About Mahina Akaka     

Mahina Akaka: longboarder, product enthusiast, model, and  Vertra ambassador. After meeting with her, we think it’s easier to answer who Mahina Akaka isn’t.  

A carefree, island girl at heart, Mahina got her start with longboarding while growing up in Hawaii. After her first competition with ROXY around age 12, her career started to bloom; a series of competitions led to her competing in the WSL by 2019.

 “I’m pretty sure I learned to swim before I knew how to walk. In Hawaii...we’re constantly in the ocean.”   

 Now, she’s getting photographed by surf and fashion brands alike - in between competitions and sharing her work on social media. When she’s not in the water? She’s probably helping the Vertra Team take pictures of it. 

Her Work with Vertra  

While she’s worked with Vertra for 4 years, she doesn’t just represent the brand as an athlete; she’s an integral part of the team! She can also be found directing the other Vertra athletes during photoshoots, with her newfound role as our on-call Creative Director. She has a talent for putting the person in front of  the camera at ease, so that the photographer captures their personality and gets the best shots.  

 She’s worked with a talented roster of athletes and photographers, such as Olympic athlete Brisa Hennessy and photographers Karyn Chong and Abby Oh. 

About Brisa Hennessy: “While it was my first time meeting her...with Brisa it was such a fun shoot all around.”

 

Outside of her photography-centric duties for the brand, she’s also one of our Creative Consultants for Product and Social Media. In this role, she assists the brainstorming process of our products, helps test them, and provides feedback to the Product Team. This feedback is a key step in the product creation process for Vertra. It relies on athletes like her to test out prototypes and provide honest feedback - ensuring that only the best formulas get created. She is also extremely social media savvy and pitches ideas to the Marketing Team for IG posts and stories.

Mahina’s Vertra Essentials: Travel Edition    

As you can imagine, Mahina’s life is chock full of travel! She even joked that, “traveling with longboards is one of the biggest struggles of all time.” To juxtapose these longboard logistics, she does like the convenience of Vertra products when out and about.
  

 “[Sunscreen] is such a useful product! It should be in everyone’s daily routine, no matter what.”  

It’s clear Mahina wears a lot of hats at Vertra, including our very own UPF 50 bucket hat! We’re so proud of her and we look forward to watching her compete in Mexico this September at the Peninsula Longboard & Film competition. To check out more of her work, you can find her Instagram here.

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