Shaka (ˈʃaka) or Chaka

“A gesture often associated with Hawaii and surf culture. Used to convey the concept of friendship, understanding and compassion also known as the ‘aloha spirit’.” Example: “Ehhhh, shaka braaah!”

You don’t need to be a Guru to know that spending time in nature can lead to enlightenment. Any spirit animal worth their luminous aura will gladly guide individuals through the wilderness on the path to ‘finding oneself’. For decades, those people evolved enough to understand that playing outdoors equals high levels of stoke have chosen to communicate their feelings of fulfilment and bro-ness with one particular hand gesture. The shaka.

Like neo-hippies flock shoelessly and shirtlessly to Burning Man, skiers and snowboarders journey to Japan, their powder Mecca. They are hoping to satisfy an inherent yearning that cries like an indolent inner child whose toy is being dangled just beyond its reach. This is why riding in Japan isn’t just fuel for your adrenal glands, it goes much, much deeper. Riding in Japan is good for your soul. It is for this reason Oyuki has invented a mitt that allows riders to throw shakas from the ski lift with the uninhibited zeal of a righteous preacher.

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The Shaka Mitt was originally conceptualised by a circle of friends who work and shred in Hakuba, one of Japan’s most famous ski areas. The place receives approximately eleven meters of snowfall annually so there’s a lot for people who live there to be genki (happy) about. These riders dreamed of being able to exemplify their genki-ness while maintaining optimal levels of thermal comfort. After a day spent riding profoundly epic powder, this group of freethinking humans shared their idea with the makers of Oyuki over bowls of hot, delicious ramen. Their chakras aligned and the Shaka Mitt was born.

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The team at Oyuki wanted to develop the concept into something that represents the ‘tamashii’ (spirit) of riding Japanese powder. The end product is a mitt that utilises goatskin leather, a material that is naturally water resistant and hardwearing. Leather is also very pliable so the mitt quite literally fits like a glove, allowing riders to easily grasp their poles and do up snowboard bindings. Its aesthetics are understated and raw, mirroring the unrefined qualities of its birthplace. Each Shaka Mitt is made by hand and comes with guaranteed love and kindness.

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The Shaka Mitt’s unique design is not just a practical way of conveying good vibes, it’s also a highly effective piece of apparel for skiing and snowboarding. Housing three fingers together creates a cosy, cave-like environment in which body heat can be shared. Leaving the pinky finger free is also advantageous because this tiny digit contributes to around half of your overall hand strength. By not hindering its movement, skiers and snowboarders are gaining dexterity without compromising on warmth.

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After spending a day riding Japan’s incomparable powder, a common remark is ‘I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face’. By blending functionality with a mantra of peace and good times, Oyuki’s Shaka Mitt is this smile's perfect accessory.

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