The Latest Surfing Trends and Fads: Fall Edition

So I’ve dug up some more surfing trends and accessories you may or may not have heard about. Some are inventive, some are…..not ready for primetime. 

Did I get any of this stuff for free or at a discount? HELL nah. I wish. My opinions are definitely my own, and I tell it like it is, brah.

Gnarly wipeout, brah


*****
Grater Grip for Surfboard Wax

I bought one of these at their booth at a local surfboard factory sale. They were thirteen bucks back then- now they’re $9.99- which is still a little pricey. It’s essentially a flat plastic cheese grater to help put on your surfboard wax, and remove it. This could be a good idea if you like that type of traction on your board. I tried it, and hated the feel AND look of it, personally. Oh well.

Pros: Great for using up the tiniest bits of wax left in your surfmobile

Cons: Random people may walk up to you with plates of freshly cooked pasta




Stained Glass Fins by Rainbow Fin Company

I had to snag this fin!!!

 
I have bought two of these fins so far as gifts, and I have been pleased with them, as well as the recipients. I like giving something that’s beautiful AND useful. Since they are one-of-a-kind handmade surfboard fins, they can run 100 bucks and up, so it’s more of a collectible for the “more seasoned” (aka older) surfer crowd. 

Pros: Makes simple, functional artwork on your surfboard or on the wall.

Cons: At the price, it’s definitely an investment.




Wax Knuckles

This pic is from their website

I don’t own this, but it seems like an awfully good idea. It’s a wax scraper and wax comb that is ergonomically designed. If you like to change out your wax a lot, or resell a lot of surfboards, this scraper is kinda neato. It costs twice as much as a regular wax comb (these are $5.99), but if you do a lot of scraping, it might be worth it.

Pros: May save on some carpal tunnel surgery down the road

Cons: The HUGE handspan required to make the scraper comfortable to use may exclude other smaller surfer chicks like me. I’ll wait for the smaller Oompa Loompa Model to be launched 



Ventura Vientola Finger Surfboard

I thought this fad had passed, but it’s back for Boomers

When I first started surfing, I bought I tiny toy 3” plastic “….Lost” surfboard I sat on my nightstand for my own encouragement. I guess this is the upgraded model at seventy bucks, but it is handcrafted in California out of mahogany, comes with a tiny leash, carrying pouch, and a miniature bar of surf wax. This would look good next to your wine rack and humidor. Did I guess right???

Pros: That’s art to any surfer, and looks better on the wall than the Family Cat in a frame. Also good if you live in a tiny house and drive a Mini

Cons: You may start buying these to look at when your knees start hurting too much to use an actual surfboard




Hope I showed ya something new today!

Do ya EVER graduate in surfing?????






My Surfboards: Funjun Funshape

Recently, I had a board shaped at Core Surf as kind of an experiment. A really fun type of experiment.

I wanted a shortboard (truly, it is called a funshape or mini-mal by definition) that could surf the tiny- sometimes choppy- waves of our Florida East Coast summers. Bonus if it could surf the decent stuff too. I also wanted something shorter than 7’2″, since that’s my cutoff for a shortboard if I ever want to do fun charity competitions. Most local competitions- IF they have the rule- require the board to be no taller than 2 feet than the rider to qualify as a shortboard to compete. Makes sense.
Since I’m not getting any younger, I opted for a 7’0″ “Funjun”. This shape has a wide backend to get into waves early, and looks a lot like a

Quad setup or single fin setup

 

miniature longboard with the thick rails and the wide nose. The other models of “Funjuns” typically have a 5 fin setup, but I wanted a single fin box instead on this one, with FCS boxes on the side to be able to switch to a quad setup if I wanted.

This shape finally seems to be the Holy Grail Board for me, at least

On my initial surf sessions in 2-3 foot okay surf conditions, I used a 7 inch fin from Captain Fin Co. It worked pretty well, but I’m a still a little timid to try crosstepping on it yet. It did slide out a little when bottom turning on a bigger wave, but I think that’s more my problem than the fin’s problem….

This is the 7″ single fin I use in it

Next, I picked up a larger quad setup by Captain Fin Co. as well. I removed the single fin and just used these for some decent 1-2 foot waves. These were definitely longboard waves, but this board allowed me to catch the same type of waves, but I could get “skatey” on them. That’s good, since I refuse to skateboard on the asphalt anymore. I don’t have much of my right meniscus left. Yikes.

Funjun Update:
This board has been incredibly fun the last few sessions. I’ve gotten some of the best waves I’ve had in a long while.

This is the “large” set of quads- I figured I needed a little more fin for the longer board

After surfing on and off for over a decade, I’ve tried a lot of surfboards out, and have been so disappointed in a lot of boards I’ve had. I’ve wondered how many people get to find their “Magic” board? The board that fits like the Glass Slipper.
It feels really nice to think I may have found MY perfectly matched board. Sounds weird, but now I think I understand what I’ve overheard older surfers talk about from time to time. They tell stories where a surfer may- a one point in his (or her) life- find their perfect surfboard. That perfect surfboard for that perfect time, for that perfect place. I hope this combination sticks around for a while for me.

Wow, is it already 4:20?!?

Deep.

Lovin’ the Nubbin

We were lucky to have a mini swell last week that surprised the hardened Summertime locals, who had already embraced the coming June doldrums. The timing for this project, then, couldn’t have worked out any better, since I ended up with trial run conditions.
I have a 7’0″ funshape that’s set up as a tri-fin. I’m not a teenager, so I don’t ride little chip boards, but I’m not very big, either, so a funshape can be a bit of a bear to turn when I want to go a bit faster.
A friend noticed, and suggested I consider getting a small center fin to replace the regular one I’m using in the standard Future setup I have in it now. They’re ones that came with the board- I’m no aerialist, so fancy carbon, honeycomb, gold flake, sting ray skin, Mick Fanning approved, etc. fins are out.
I went to my local surf shop and the owner made the same suggestion, and showed me a fin called the “Nubster” or the “Nubbin”. There’s actually a couple of types of these! (Be careful when searching “nubbin” on the interwebs- apparently, it means other things. *Shiver*). The shrunken center fin facilitates the turning ability and loosens up the board. Ok, whatever.


http://www.surfstationstore.com/shop/fcs-von-sol-nubster-stabilizer-fiberglass-fin/dp/40341
From surfstationstore.com FCS “Von Sol” Nubster

The price is interesting too- $30 bucks! The store owner then admitted, “Well, sometimes….I just cut down a fin myself.”
Bing! A crafty solution! Here was my version.
I had three plastic center fins that I wasn’t using that were Futures.

I was going to free draw a design, so I did a Goldilocks, and picked one that wasn’t too thick, have too much rake to work around, blah, blah.
I went with this one:

So I grabbed my pencil, a piece of cardstock, and traced the outline of the fin, excluding the base that fits into the board:

Next, I freehanded a shape that kinda looked like what I saw in the surf shop and online onto the cardstock’s drawing within the boundaries of the current outline of the fin:

I cutout the new shape and used it to trace onto the plastic fin:

I then took my fin to the scroll saw to cut the shape out. If you don’t have an electric scroll saw, you can use a coping saw instead. The plastic cuts fairly easily- a standard blade works just fine.

Getting ready to cut
After the raw cut
Next, I used the grinding wheel on the side of my saw with a sanding disc of 100 grit to get the main edges cleaned up.
Before sanding raw edges

Grinding wheel

After that, I clamped the fin into a vise and began fine tuning the edges by hand with sandpaper. I didn’t mess with the sides of the fin, only the edge, to get it smooth and to give it a nice sharp (well, somewhat sharp) edge. I used 150 grit to shape it, then 220 to smooth it out. I really didn’t need to get finer than that, since it was just plastic.

Fin in the vise
Looking from the trailing edge- it’s a little thick up front, but it’s “experimental”!

Here it is installed in my funshape:

I may try making another in an even lower profile in the future, but I was conservative this time. But during this past week using it, it does seem to make the board easier to turn! Maybe it’s in my head, but it does seem looser.
Or maybe it was just the Hennigan’s.