DIY Longboard Noseriding Stripe

Just in time for the leprechaun wave season, I got a great 9’0″ plank for catching little rollers and practicing my ever futile attempts at noseriding, or at least walking up close to the general vicinity.
The board I got is a great shape, a hint of pigginess, but it’s as plain as the barnyard hog.

Fat bottomed surfboards make the world go round….
I added a tiny blue turtle sticker as a marker to at least distinguish it somewhat, but it’s not enough.
To give it a bit of personality- but also make a useful mark- I decided to make a “competition” or “noseriding” stripe. These can be found on many hand shaped and manufactured surfboards today. Officially, the stripe demarcating the nose area of a surfboard starts at the last 25% of the surfboards’ length. This standard is credited to Tom Morey in 1965, and is still in use today.
To make my “comp” stripe, I gathered a pencil, a tape measure, DUCT TAPE (is there anything it CAN’T do?), and scissors. Goody for me, they have Pink Glitter Duct Tape now. Don’t judge- it’s my freakin’ sweet board.
Glitter! Supposedly, the glitter is NOT supposed to flake off. Good.
I also used a narrower version of duct tape in green to use as an accent.
Don’t like Pink? Yeah, they actually make Duck Dynasty duct tape:
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
For my 9′ Starr, this means the stripe will begin at 27 inches back from the nose. I measured this from the center stringer tip of the nose back to 27 inches to make my marks.
Unfortunately, I would be taping over the Starr logo, and removing the happy little turtle. Boo.
I used a straight edge to draw a straight line across the nose, checking for symmetrical distances from the nose on either side of the stringer.
I was ready to place my first tape- the green accent line- even with the top of the tape along the pencil line. I used a wax comb (the smooth edge) to get rid of any bubbles. I cut the tape at the edge of the rails.
Its straight, I swear! The logo’s angled up!
Next, I abutted the fabulous glitter stripe right under the green stripe, then the other accent green under that. I found I needed 2 layers of the glitter tape to cover the logo since its slightly transparent. I will remedy the lack of a logo in a sec.
I felt bad for covering up the Starr logo, so I put the Core Surf shop logo on, choosing a green color from a few I had picked up. Wish he had glitter….
Ok, I bet the shop owner will be THRILLED to have this kook representin’.
Here it is after a wax job- it’s hard to tell it not painted until you see the rails where it ends. If you’re really trying to fool people, wrap it all the way around.
So there you have it, a simple, cheap way to mark off your longboard’s nose and add a touch of style. Even if the board gets a suntan, the stripe mark is still generally useful to a future owner if I sell it. I have a feeling this one’s going to be around a while, though.
I do need to watch myself though with my duct tape obsession in surfing projects, or you can call me Boomhauer Fanning.
Yep, I’d go with the Speedos too.

Subtle way to Stoke your own Stoke

Ok, so while I’ve been competing in paddleboard racing events for years now, it’s ONLY within the past year I’ve tried competing in surfing. I’m not a competitive person anymore- not like I was in high school, and that was in Science Team, Math Team, Quiz Bowl….anything within the realm of nerddom. Physically, I was a wuss, but academically, I was Zena, the Warrior Princess.
Amazing how the universe plays cruel tricks on you. Now I just want to be that Olympian I dreamed of. Well, for now, little by little, I’m happy with the small victories in my life. With much trepidation, I was convinced by some good friends to try some fun competitions to get over my fear of my surfing in front of others and taking off on waves instead of letting everyone else go ahead of me all the time and settling for leftovers. My friends are thankfully so observant and want me to improve. I couldn’t ask for better friends!
I already have some paddleboard trophies hanging on my personal wall in my craft room, away from public show- they’re beautiful carved works of art that hang flat on the wall, no matter the place on the trophy. However, I have collected some 3-D trophies from these new surfing competitions that are quite nice, but I really have no shelves to mount them on, and I don’t want them to pile up on me (isn’t that a wonderful problem to have?). Most of this kind have a nice gold plaque attached that display the event and place I came in during that event. So I thought, why not- remove those, and mount those on something that can hang on the wall, but more discreetly?
Here’s my take.
First, I took nice pictures of the trophies with everything intact, and you may want to include the date the event was held:

Put them in a digital photo album for future reminiscing. Next, get yourself a dull butter knife- I used one of those fancy mini butter knives (like we use them anyway), and used it to gently to pry up the little plaques by the corner:

Don’t crank too hard- just work slowly back and forth. You don’t want to bend the metal plate. If you do bend the metal plate, this can be fixed with lightly tapping it flat with a rubber mallet on a rubber block carefully.
Still prying up the nameplate….

All came out flat, fortunately.
Next, I found a nice sized frame at Goodwill for .69 cents, glass and all. I used cardstock to make an interesting block pattern behind it. I also used the ESA sticker they sent me as part of my membership and threw it into the frame since this will be for my ESA trophies. I figure I’ll be able to fit all of this year’s awards in here- I only temporarily stuck these down so I can move them around if needed for space. Only three measly awards so far, but the year’s just started! 😉
Here’s another example I did for a paddleboard award I got that was on one of those Surfer trophies (didn’t make sense, but that’s all they had), so I took the plate off, stained a wood block, and mounted it on it:
The best thing is that you can save these old trophies and use them at birthday parties for the kids, donate them to a church, give them to non profits doing a surf contests that can’t afford getting trophies made, etc. Kids really love these, and they make an impact on them for a long time. Even maybe a few adults too, like me who need a little stokage….. but make room for the gromsters too, you know?

Surf Competition Checklist

OK, so this weekend, I’m attempting my second go at a surfing competition. My first try-several months ago- was fun. I didn’t place, but I did catch a good wave in that one, so I was happy, and I got to watch my friends surf, which was really the best part of the day.
Since competing is new to me still, I decided to compile a checklist of things to take with me to make things a bit easier. Plus, having a checklist helps me avoid the “what did I forget?” feeling that I get when trying to wing it. Of course, don’t forget to take your surfboard…..

Large Zippered Canvas Tote– I found this is the best way to schlep my junk to the beach. The zipper on top is the key. Otherwise, all the crap dumps out onto the sand and gets lost. Don’t invest a lot of money in one- go to Goodwill and find one. Honestly, they give these out like candy at a lot of trade shows and expos and end up at thrift stores- you’re going to be hauling it to the beach, so it’s going to get nasty, salty and sandy and eventually replaced anyway. Plus, if you win something, you’ll have room to carry it back without having to carry it back in your hand.

Waterproof Watch– This is handy for keeping an eye on the time left in your heat. They’re giving us 15 minutes to get at least 2 waves, and for me, that’s going to be tricky, so I’ll need to remember to not screw around looking for dolphins. Again, don’t spend a lot of money on one with all the tides and crap. I’ve had high end ones and low end watches and they last about the same time. I know someone will swear they’ve had one twenty years, but, I haven’t found that magical brand yet.

Printed Heat Schedule– OK, I know the heat schedule NEVER goes off on time from talking to people who do contests a lot, but mostly the order doesn’t change. At least you’ll have an inkling of when you’ll be coming up. Print out the schedule the night before and put the schedule in one of those plastic sheet protector sleeves and seal up the open edge with tape so you don’t smear the ink with your wet, sandy hands. Bonus points for printing out the tide table for the day and putting it on the flip side of the page before sealing it up. It’s old fashioned, but beats risking taking your expensive iPhone to the beach.

2 Leashes– I’m only surfing a longboard, so I’m taking two longboard leashes, one to use, and one as a backup. Not that we get crazy heavy waves around here, but you never know when the velcro strap on the tail decides it’s the day to tear through. If you’re surfing other types of boards, take back up leashes for those boards as well.

Leash String/ Loop– I’m taking an extra little nylon leash string/loop just in case that decides to break. I’ll be keeping it in my boardshorts pocket just in case.

Fin Change Out Kit– This may involve having a small screwdriver, a fin key, single fin nuts and bolts, fin screws (here’s a handy thing to make), and additional fin changing tools (see my tool kit). I’m not expecting to bust out a fin doing a wild air, but I can certainly see myself busting a fin while in the parking lot on the asphalt.

Extra Fins– For me, I’m riding a single fin longboard, so I’m taking an extra single fin for the reason stated above in case I need it. Obviously, if you’re riding a thruster, quad, etc. take a spare set with you. It’s worth the money to at least have a cheap back up set. If I have to change out a fin because I broke it, the punching bag stays home for use after the event.

Wax and Scraper– Yeah, this is a no-brainer, but after having done a bit of research, I learned it’s good to also keep some Tropical Wax in your stash, since it’s good for a wide range of conditions, according to some.

2 Towels– If you’re not bringing a chair, one’s to sit on, one’s to use to wrap around yourself after getting out of the water, since even’s if it’s a nice day, the wind can still give you chills which can zap your energy. Speaking of which…..

NEW Bottle of Sunscreen– Go ahead and splurge. Chances are, you’ve been trying to keep using that same nasty bottle you’ve kept in your hot car all season. The effectiveness of sunscreen declines when you leave it in a hot car- just like if you left medications in there. Really, if you get a burn and have to surf again later in the afternoon, you’re going to hurt. Bad. Not to mention the chills that come along with a burn, zapping any energy you had to compete. Use it.

Crunchy Granola Bars– Yeah, they’re not for everybody, but they’re one of the best things to pack on a hot day if you get the munchies. Energy bars and Clif bars may be good, but become a mushy mess come high noon. Stick with the little cardboard brick variety as a just in case.

Water– While you’re at it, bring some water, preferably cold if you can manage it, but at least a bottle or two even if you don’t have a cooler. Some of these events have water, some don’t, or may run out. You don’t want to miss a heat because you made a 7-11 run and can’t find a parking space when you get back. I avoid sports drinks when surfing or when I’ve raced in paddleboard events- being in the salt water combined with the artificial flavoring just makes me nauseous. I’d stick to water unless you really want to clear a barrier between you and your competitors with undigested granola bar leavins in the water.

Gallon Ziploc Bags– Just handy to have to sort your stuff, like your tool kits, fins, etc. They’re clear, and it keeps sand off stuff and things from landing in the bottom of the tote.

First Aid Kit– Just something smart to have with you. Here’s a little pocket example project I made I’m probably taking. You may just help out someone else too.

Of course, there’s a lot of other personal items you could add, but that’s a bare bones list I could see covering 80% of the problems a competitor may face during an amateur event, and something I’m hoping to use as a sanity checklist for some of these fun competitions in the future.
As I was writing this, it made me think of a story. When I was a teenager, I competed at a figure skating meet in Miami, Ohio. During my routine, I went to perform a maneuver that I had performed a thousand times flawlessly before. Somehow, I ended up on my lycra skirted ass. I got right back up, and finished my routine as if nothing had happened. For the rest of my routine the crowd was applauding wildly as if I had done something so admirable, and I felt wonderful.
Afterwards, I found out that the 6 year old that skated right before me had fallen too, but stomped off the ice in a fit of tears. Comparatively, at 17, I was Miss Super Brave for not succumbing to a fit. Umm…..embarrassing. I only hope I can keep from having a fit if I fall off my board tomorrow during the contest.
Because there’s no stomping off in the ocean.