Quick-N-Dirty Surfboard Sock

Our little surf group is taking a short road trip in the morning, so I wanted to whip up a quick board sock for my 7’0″, since we’ll be stacking boards on the car. I don’t want to get my nasty wax job all over my friend’s board, and a towel placed in between boards just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.

Now, I’ve had board socks in the past mind you, but they were ALWAYS:

  • Too snug
  • Not stretchy
  • A general pain in the ass to use
  • Expensive

Now I need one. Tomorrow.

Glad I picked up a few yards of cheap, but good quality Lycra about a year back. It only cost $3.00/yard, but it is ugly as sin.

I wouldn’t wear it, but for this project, it might work

This Lycra was about 60″ wide, perfect for folding over and stitching up one side. My surfboard is only 22 1/2″ wide, so it only needs to be cut to about 25″ folded, to give me plenty of slop and seam allowance. Working with this heavier Lycra guarantees some movement of the material, so I want to allow some “slop.” Too bad its striped- I’m going to mess up a bit, but oh well, I’m in a hurry.

This is quick-n-dirty, yo.

Nice and stretchy

I cut about 2 1/2 yards from the length for my sock. My board is 7’0″, so that gives me extra for the seams, and also a casing at the bottom for a drawstring.

Rotary cutters are best with Lycra

Prepping to sew- it’s a lot of material

Since this was heavy Lycra, I used a 90 ballpoint needle with a longer zig zag stitch using a roller foot. A walking foot works best, though.

I’m so Klasse…..whatevs

About a 1 inch seam allowance

Lycra’s on the MOVE!!!!

Next, I wanted to put a little curve in at the nose of the sock, not as if it was really necessary. Since the board’s nose is pretty wide, I honestly guessed and marked it out with my pen while the sock was folded over. Then, I cut it and clipped it (don’t pin Lycra, it can snag).

Guess marks- sooooo professional

Prepping the nose for sewing

After the main sewing is done, I serged my seams. You can just clip them, since Lycra doesn’t fray.

Serged seams

For a drawstring, I used some old 1/4″ craft bungee cord I had saved. So what if it’s blue??? I had it on hand.

Doesn’t match. So what.

I made a simple 3/4″ casing by flipping up the bottom edge of the board sock, leaving a section open, then feeding the bungee cord through.

Clipping off the casing at the bottom

Used a narrower zig zag stitch

Sewing the casing

Threading the drawstring

Make sure to double knot the ends!

The finished product rolled up pretty compactly.

But does it fit???

This afternoon, after I got back from surfing, I tucked my Funshape into the boardsock to check out the fit.

It’ll do for now

Big at the nose

BUT, it was a breeze to get on, and it will be soooo easy to pop in the washing machine. Schweet.

I’ll can fix anything needing tweaking on the sewing machine later. ‘Cause I’m going surfing tomorrow, and to quote George Costanza….

Surf Car Organizer DIY

My Car Organizer

We’ve had an unusual little run of surf lately from the wacky El Nino pattern really starting to show up this winter. Of course, I was scrambling the other morning (with most of the county) to get my butt moving and into the water.
I managed to squeeze myself into my wetsuit, only to be flipping towels looking through the backseat for my key lock and my wax of all things. My leash was in the trunk, so I was running around my car like I was Benny Hill and it was time for a “sexy party”.
I’ve seen these car organizers for people with kids and for road trips, but never for surf crap accessories. I also wanted one that I could take out of the car easily for those times when I’m not surfing, and I wanted to have room for passengers, Here’s the one I made from a store bought shoe holder that holds wax, leashes, sunscreen, etc.:
….AND, I made THREE for $7.00 from 1 shoe organizer I bought from the local outlet store clearance rack. Bonus points if you can find one from your local Goodwill. Mega bonus points if there’s one in your closet not being used that you can use for this project.
Here’s the original:

Lucky to find this shoe organizer in nylon fabric with extra mesh pockets. It takes up the whole door!

Since it was such a long shoe organizer, I cut it into three sections, following the seam lines:

One section cut away

This particular shoe rack was made from rip stop nylon, so I could have just sealed the edges with a glue like stuff you can get at most craft stores called Fray Check, since nylon will fray out with use.
For this project, I decided to finish the edge by overlocking it on my sewing machine, then covering the edge with some bias tape I has lying around. I wasn’t particular about matching colors, so I used brown:

Personally, I buy bias tape from the clearance bin at my local sewing store in several colors. You can use it in a lot of projects.

Here’s what it looks like after binding the top edge:

Bias tape bound top edge of the organizer

Next, I needed some way to hang it in my car that would be easy to remove. For this, I decided to set grommets spaced a little wider apart than the posts on my front seat car headrest, then I strung thick round elastic rope through and knotted the ends to make a hanger.

Old bungee cord works great for this project!


View from the backseat…

I can now get everything of the floor, out from under the towels in the back seat too. I can get to the hyped swell super fast, and wipeout all the sooner.

Ok, not me. But it feels that way in my mind…..

DIY Wetsuit Storage Hanger

So it’s the end of February, and I’m ready to lose the wetsuit. Wrestling into it, wrestling out of it, rinsing it, etc. Not to mention the 3 different wetsuits I’ve had in rotation lately depending on the fronts that come through. Although I can’t complain- beats the yellow snow up north any day. I can complain, though, that EVERYONE in New England and most of Quebec holds a perma-pass to DisneyWorld and apparently crashes here in Brevard County for the duration of the Winter that they complain so loudly about. Don’t you have bitchy NYC “Housewives” to be tended to??? A Curling session you’re missing???
Ah, I feel better now.
Since the wetsuit will be going into storage soon, I was thinking of a way to make a good storage hanger without going out and buying one, since my agoraphobia increases with the number of tourists on the road.
I gathered up some items I had on hand: 4 cheap plastic hangers, some electrical tape (I happened to have blue), some packing bubble wrap, a few desiccant packs from medications and inside packaging, and a pair of utility scissors:

The four hangers will provide the thickness necessary to hold up a heavy wetsuit (thoroughly dried of course). I’m going to align them next to each other like this:

Next, I cut a few strips of electrical tape so I could wrap the hangers together at a few places:

After that, I cut a strip of tape for each desiccant pack, and placed it in the middle, off to the side of the tape so they’ll be exposed. I’m taping these to the long bar across the bottom so they won’t get in the way of the suit and they’ll be inside doing their job.


Then I cut 2 rectangles of bubble wrap about 6″ wide and about 10″ long. I took each of these and jelly rolled them up to place on each of the shoulders of the hangers, secured with more tape on each end:


Here’s what it looked like complete:

Now, if you want to go nuts, wrap the hook completely with the tape (color coded if you want), and add labels. Here, I added the thickness of the suit and the month and year it was purchased, so I know how many seasons it’s been around, since neoprene does have an effective wear life, especially if you use wetsuits for diving as well as surfing.

Now that I’ve started to store my wetsuits away and go back to showing some skin, it’s time to think about getting some ink to raise my surf coreness in the lineup. Since I’m still trying to get sponsored by KFC, I’m thinking something like this:


Surfboard Doctor’s Bag

With the generally accepted happiest time of year before us (surfers actually call that hurricane season instead), I always like to think up a gift craft that can be a useful to another surfer, or yourself.
For this year, I was inspired by a recent friend’s unfortunate drop-n-ding. She only has the one board, and can’t wait for the ding repair guy to “get around to it”. The swell has been fun for days, and she doesn’t want to miss out in case there’s more.
So here’s a little fix-it kit for those patch repairs on the fly.

First in the kit:

Oh so pretty. The non acetone pads are for surface prep and cleanup before doing any sort of repair. You want to get rid of any residue, and the pre-soaked single use pads are handy to have, and the non-acetone is safe for most glass jobs on boards. The emery boards are to also sand and prep the surface to do any epoxy work. I find these to be more useful than sandpaper, since they are more precise and only sand the areas necessary. Also, 80% of dings seem to gravitate towards the rail, so it’s easy to sand a section that’s on a curved rail, without slipping up and sanding a bigger swath by accident.

Secondly in the kit:

These items are for the really quick and dirty repairs. These days, they sell duct tape in sheets with backing, like a large sticker sheet (this sheet is cut in half). You can find these at the craft store, and now even at the hardware store. Duct tape is a great in-a-pinch repair, sealing out water fairly well temporarily. To go with it, an Exacto knife allows you to cut a custom sized repair patch. Heck, you can even make it stylish. Beats wrestling with a large strip of tape sticking against itself while you’re trying to stick it on your board, only to find sweet wrinkles all over the place.

Next in the kit:

Of course, for those deeper dings, there’s the tried and true SunCure, PhixDoctor, etc. to include. PhixDoctor comes in a tube that doesn’t go bad, and seems to work well in my experience. To help with this, I included a few small plastic stir cups and some wooden craft sticks that you can pick up really cheap for a huge package of eighty!

Finally, the last items:

SAFETY ITEMS! Of course! Throw in a few pairs of nitrile disposable gloves (I’m sure you have a few to spare from your stash!) and a couple of painters’ masks to use when working with the PhixDoctor. I DON’T CARE if you say if it’s overkill- I’d like to keep the remaining brain cells I have, when working close to any chemicals, thanks, tough guy. We will note your hard coreness.
Lastly, I packed this in a tote with a snap on lid with a top handle for easy toting out to the garage or yard, where you’re probably doing your repair.
In addition, download and print out this handy list to include in the kit which is a synopsis of what I’ve explained above:
All in all, this kit comes out to less to 20 bucks to assemble, with the PhixDoctor and the Exacto knife probably being the priciest items. This is certainly something that will please the avid surfer on your list.
Honestly, do you really need to be in any position where you could be vulnerable to staying home during the holidays because you can’t patch up your board?

Pocket Fin Adjustment Tool Kit

In my quest to make everything more compact, I wanted to make my fin tool kit as small as possible. For this, I challenged myself to fit everything into a standard travel plastic soap container:

I used a stubby flathead screwdriver to fit in the case, for using with single fin change outs. I also added a standard fin key (small Allen wrench) to the box.

For the nuts and bolts, as well as the fin screws, I used little empty lip gloss containers. They’re perfect for keeping small items, and they’re flat and fit right into the soapbox. 

I also labeled each container to make sure the screws wouldn’t get mixed up.

Additionally, I used my handy label maker to label the kit:

Had to label it, or I’d be disappointed I wouldn’t be smelling Irish spring fresh…..

An Easy Way to Hang Up Your Leashes

Lately, I’ve had an issue with my extra leashes getting all tangled on the shelf, or sliding off the pegs I have in the garage. Here’s a simple hack to remedy that problem.
Here’s my peg rack, which is mounted on the wall just a little over 5 feet high:

Now, you might use a hook system, a tie rack, whatever. Anyway, I measured the diameter of my peg at about 7/8″. I estimated the diameter of my leash cord at about 1/8″ average.
Given this, I set out to the hardware store to find a rubber o-ring with a 1″ Inside Diameter (check in the plumbing section). Your o-ring may be smaller since my pegs are honkin’ big.

Once you have your o-ring, roll it (or stretch it) over the end of the leash that attaches to the board.

Once it’s on, the o-ring should slide freely up a down the cord, but not fall off the leash. Slide the ring to the middle of the cord and hook it over the peg or hook.

The friction of the rubber and the tight fit will keep the leash cord from slipping around and falling off, and you can take it right off the peg easily. As a bonus, you never need to remove the o-ring off the leash, since you’ll never even notice it while surfing.
Here’s my organized peg rack now with leashes that don’t slide off:

Problem solved!
Now get back to flailing!

DIY Handplane Wall Racks

So, FINALLY the water’s and weather’s warming up around here in Central Florida. And all this winter, my poor little handplane I made last year sits outside, dwarfed by my longboards and hoping it doesn’t get whacked by an errant tail.
It’s only recently- now that the warmer weather made me think about handplaning again- I thought that the handplane deserves a better storage place. It is quite a neat little creation, whether or not you made your own or bought yours. I thought a little set of racks would be in order.
To make the racks, I bought a piece of craft basswood at the hardware store, 1/4″ thick, by 3″ wide, by 24″ long, for about 4 bucks.
I cut out a template from a cereal box (yes, I’m a Cheerios junkie) for the hooks. I provided the template I made as as PDF here:


I used this to trace out the hooks onto the basswood:
Then, I used my scroll saw to cut out the hooks carefully, and sanded the edges smooth.
To make the bases to attach the hooks to, that then mount to the wall, I used the remaining basswood to cut two 3″ by 2.75″ squares.
You can paint these pieces, or stain them- I used some water based stain I had leftover that goes on a bit like paint. It took a couple of coats to get the look even.

I then glued the angled top part of the hook to each base about 1/4″ down from the top edge using a good layer (but not goopy) of E6000 glue, and made sure they stayed propped up while they dried.
After that, I sprayed both pieces with clear polyurethane sealant.
To hang them on the wall, the best thing to use is a sawtooth hanger with prongs you can press into the soft wood with a small mallet on the back of the bases. Line them up carefully on the wall, not too far apart from each other, and make sure they’re even:
Here’s my handplane hung on the wall upright and on it’s side on my “Surfing” wall:
Looking forward to some sand burns soon- how does it find it’s way in THERE???