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Surf caps – very, very cool!

Surf caps — neat stay-on caps to protect you from the sun while your surf — are becoming a must-have accessory for surfers, and if you are between 12 and 18 yrs you can learn to make your own, says Katja Oberhofer, who will be running 3 cap making workshops for teens during the summer holidays.
Under her trade name ‘skojo’ Katja makes surf caps from recycled kite fabric (from kite surfing), which she says is great for the job, water-proof, light-weight and unique in design.
Swiss born Katja came to New Zealand in 2006 to pursue her passion for windsurfing. Before coming to Raglan this year, she lived in Auckland, doing research in bioengineering. “I have been making surf caps for my own sun protection for many years,” she says, “admittedly pretty ugly ones to start with.” Encouraged by friends, she decided to start her own business. “At this stage, my main goal with skojo is to promote sun caps for water sports, combining function with style. Sun caps for surfing are still considered ‘un-cool’ by some, which is no surprise given the lack of stylish surf caps on the market. However, New Zealand has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, and spending a lot of time in the water is putting surfers at higher risk. I think it needs a more creative approach to encourage in particular younger people to protect from the sun.”
Using torn kites given to her or bought cheaply off Trade Me, Katja spent many hours improving cap design and gradually increasing cap production. “For me, surf cap making is a design challenge.
Katja officially launched skojo in October 2010 at the Taranaki Wave Classic, and has since attended markets in Raglan and Auckland. Now she is looking forward to sharing her craft and her message of sun safety to young people, teaching teens how to make their own caps, and she will be encouraging them to be creative with their own original designs. “I hope we can generate new ideas on how to make surf caps look ‘cool’ and functional at the same time — and I hope people in general start thinking about wearing a sun cap in the surf.”
Three workshops will be offered at the Old School Arts centre during January. Each one will be 3 consecutive mornings, Wednesday to Friday from 10am-12 noon, with the first one from 12-14 January. The $39 fee includes tuition and all materials to take home a stylish, original cap. Contact the Old School for more dates and details, pick up a brochure from there or the Information Centre, or go to

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