My Manifesto: Manicure or Ding Repair, Surfer Chicks?

Being a woman who surfs, I’ve noticed that most other surfer chicks just aren’t into the surfing DIY scene. There’s still a bit of an intimidation factor out there to do your own repairs.

Fixing up your own surf gear seems like something a lot of surfer girls just don’t do, and furthermore, don’t want to do for a variety of excuses. It’s a real shame, especially since these same women could probably do a killer manicure and pedicure on themselves. Trust me, THAT’S much more difficult than fixing a surfboard ding, Mr. Dude Brah. 

I’m guilty of being too afraid to fix my own dings and cracks in some of my surfboards, even though I craft stuff constantly. It is a bit intimidating, but I needed to get over it. My first surfboard required some surgery right now, and I didn’t want anyone else to operate but me.

I can’t believe it got this bad

That is gnarly, dude

If you read this blog, you’ve seen my post about this board, my first real surfboard. Its’ tail got cracked all to hell since I’m a kook, with bonus random dirt shoved down into the cracks. The foam had also shown some water intrusion because it was beginning to turn light brown. I had FINALLY talked myself into retiring this board to the wall hanger status it deserves, but I wasn’t going to hang it up with the tail looking that nasty. And it wasn’t coming off with any cleaning. Gross.

I got out my Dremel tool and used a NEW felt polishing wheel bit. Kinda like one of those manicure pens. Perfect. It’s glass, so I wanted a light touch. Remember to wear eye protection and a mask, just like you do when cooking meth, Mr. Wizard.

Buffing it out

The felt polishing wheel worked great, but it’s a process that takes some time and patience. I had to buff down deep into the cracks to remove the dirt, which required me to cut a little into the first layer of glass. I noticed this because the “hairs” of the fiberglass (fabric the board is wrapped in) started to pop up like hairy goosebumps. I stopped when I saw that starting to occur, but I still managed to remove the majority of the damage, which was awesome.

Next, I mixed just a little jewelry resin (I like this stuff because it’s SUPER clear, and it’s self doming, so it will spread into the cracks) and used a tiny sponge brush to “pounce” the resin into the cracks on the tail. I then used the edge to smooth the area over. I used Post-It flags to mark the area I buffed, so I wouldn’t dump extra resin over the good areas.

Make sure you get any bubbles out!

Using a sponge brush

 

Done! This particular jewelry resin takes up to 3 days to cure, but it seems to work better than standard Ding Repair resin on this type of heavy gloss coat. I did this repair indoors since it’s a 100 degrees here, and I was worried that the resin wouldn’t cure correctly in the heat of the garage. I’ll just finish curing it on the wall.


This was a pretty bad “ding”, so the cleaned up version looks a lot better. I just need to keep it on the wall, and swear to no more surfboard abuse. But, just in case, I need to practice on my ding repair. I’d better check Pinterest….

That actually might be useful

Surf Leggings with Custom Digital Photo Print

If you checked out my last post, I had purchased a yard of sport Lycra from spoonflower.com with a digital photo I took and uploaded. The fabric came out great, and I was pleased with the quality and weight. For my project, I decided to make some simple, comfortable leggings I could surf in. I used a pattern I picked up in a clearance bin at WallyWorld:


The only drawback was that the fabric was printed on white Lycra, so with a dark print like I had, some white may show through on the seam lines. To minimize this, and to prevent distortion of the photo, I went with the largest size on the pattern- just in case. But, because I only had a yard, I cut the pants short into capris by cutting on the lengthen/shorten line (hehe!).

Hey, as good a line as any!

I cut one for each leg

This pattern was nice because of the minimal seams. One seam on the inner leg, and a seam up the crotch. Schweet.

This needle worked well

Simple zig zag stitch to allow for stretch

Using a walking foot on my machine helped

Inside seams finished

Bagging one leg into the other and clipping to sew up the crotch

There’s no need to finish off the seams since Lycra doesn’t fray out, but I did serge the seams with a two thread overlock to reduce bulk.

Next, I made the waist casing by folding down the top 2 inches and clipping around. I used 1 1/2″ non-roll elastic, leaving a scant seam allowance around the bottom. I also made a little Lycra hanging loop for the inside back of the pant to let it drip dry if I want.

Makin’ the waistband casing

To make the hems on the legs, I used a twin needle to fake a cover stitch. These work great on Lycra, and look awesome on hems.

These are da bomb

Use a long straight stitch with your double needle

Love the look of a double needle

Done!!!

So I was happy I went with the Medium size, because I didn’t want to overextend the Lycra. Yikes.

These held up well

Water cam!!!

Here’s some surf legging action shots by Ted Schultz from last Thursday:


Next time, I think I’m going to try this:

I can do that face. Totally.

My Surfboards: First Surf Love

This was my first real surfboard that I purchased about 15 years ago. A 7’6″ Town and Country funshape by Stu Sharpe (excellent local shaper). I had been learning to surf on a softtop for about 6 months or so at that point, so I decided to take the leap into the real deal.

My first surfy love

I bought this down in Melbourne, Florida at Longboard House. Like a total surfer girly girl, I will totally admit I saw it in the window, and it was going to be mine. Granted, I probably wasn’t quite ready for a funshape, but it had a lot of rocker (curve) in the nose and tail, which avoided a lot of nosedives on waves. The downside was, I needed to paddle a lot harder for waves because of the short size and the rocker, and I had to learn to “pop-up” much more quickly.

Lots O’ nose rocker

Kept me from pearling a lot

 
This board is fairly wide, which helps stability, but the narrower tail does help it to turn well. The true turning ability of this board is only something I found out MUCH later, after I learned to turn. Somewhat.

21 3/4″ wide!

 
Of course, the paint job is gorgeous. The pictures don’t show the purple iridescence, and the hibiscus motif is just eye catching.

A beautiful surfboard is a joy forever

It still comes out for a surf now and then, but it is mostly my babied wall hanger these days since it already has more fixed dings than I would like.

I’m truly not a materialistic person, but I know how Wayne felt seeing his Fender Stratocaster in the shop….

It DID become MINE


My Recent Surf Lesson

So usually, I try to stick with surf-crafty things on here, but hey, it’s my blog, so I do what I want.

Damn right

 
So, lately, I’ve decided to take up surf lessons again. I feel I’ve hit a plateau (going on about 5 years now, sheesh), and I wanted to try and improve.

The difference this time is, it’s just for me. No particular goals. No contests, no sponsorships, no accumulating gnar gnar photos of me ripping. After all, I’ve reached middle age, and my need for others’ approval has greatly declined.

If there is a goal, I’d just like more of that momentary feeling of glide on a wave, more often, with a better understanding of how to get there again and again. One day, I won’t be able to surf anymore, so I want to have as many memories built up in my head to replay over and over, good and bad.

My new coach is an interesting guy to say the least . He’s well known in the surfing community, and he has earned his “cred” on massive Hawaiian waves I’d never dare to surf- and lived. If you’ve got the time, read his stories. They’ve definitely given me a new perspective.

In my first lesson this week, the waves were near flat, so he talked to me about mindfulness. This applies to anything you wish to learn, not just surfing. I tend to joke around and laugh a lot, because things are just NEVER as critical as people create them to be. However, I should resolve myself to focus more on learning than being silly and goofy when trying to improve my surfing skills.

Ok, I’ll still do a little of this

 

With the improvement in surfing, the fun naturally follows. He told me an example of a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall performing solemnly, intently, to his audience, yet to him, he is experiencing he height of enjoyment. He becomes fully immersed in his passion.

No, I’m not aiming for Carnegie Hall level mastery of surfing. Perhaps more of a regular late night soul jam session in the garage on the weekends, but I’m not quitting my day job.

In the second half of my lesson, he actually pushed me into waves so I could learn how to angle into a wave better- no paddling- just a focus on ONE cross step. It was a humbling experience to be pushed in, but did it ever work. When I popped up, I was able to crosstep easier than I had in my many attempts over the years. Wave after wave. Focused on the task. I’m beginning to see what he’s talking about. I’m already stoked for my next lesson.

Walking up the beach, some random guy on the beach walked up to me and said, “You surfed really good.”

Oh. Sorry, I didn’t even realize there was anyone there….

Keepin’ it real

Say It Like You Mean It…Woo Woo

I will admit I’m a total kook. I don’t surf well consistently, I don’t look before I take off, I wipe out in front of people, etc. I’m a general hazard in the water to all who dare enter it. Even the sharks worry about getting nicked by my fins (that why this worked so well).

To celebrate this fact, I decided to make my own supa cool surf cred t-shirt. I started imageout with a blank one that was a medium blue, not really light or dark. And I washed the heck out of it. On hot, with the towels, no fabric softener. I actually put it through three cycles before even starting my little project. These t-shirts always have sizing all over them, so it’s best to get rid of any of that before trying to iron anything on to the shirt.

I found some iron on printable sheets at the craft store, containing 5 iron on transfers for light fabrics, and 5 for dark. I wanted to experiment with this, so I decided to use the transfer for light fabrics just for fun. This means I will need to mirror flip my image once I complete my edits.

imageFor a background, I decided to use a collage I made years ago using collected surf stickers, wood, and paint. I used my Scanner Pro app on my iPad instead of taking a pic, because I thought it would make it a bit sharper, even bring out some of the texture better.

I brought the image into the scanner app, adjusted it a bit using the controls to make sure the logos were fairly distinct.

I also wanted to make sure the colors were pretty strong as well, knowing that I’m using a light fabric transfer.

Next, I imported the scan image into ANOTHER app called Over. This is a pretty neat imageprogram that has a lot of cool fonts you can superimpose over photos. I chose one that was kind of stencil-y looking and used a deep blue. I did fade the background just a touch to make the font stand out, but kept the strong colors.

Like a Rube Goldberg device, I finally brought the image into iPad’s Pages, resized  the image to 8 1/2″ by 11″ size, and flipped the image backwards. I then printed it out on my HP Envy, which is an InkJet printer. I knew I kept it around for something.

I put the shirt on a hard stable surface (my cutting table), with a small square of cotton fabric covered wood in-between the front and back layer of the shirt, then ironed on high the front where I was going to place the iron-on. After ironing for a few seconds, I laid the iron-on printed side down and quickly began to iron back and forth over the sheet pressing down hard, making sure I really got the corners. It takes a few minutes to get the iron-on hot enough to melt into the shirt. Just keep moving the iron, and press down HARD.

Don’t wait too long to peel off the backing- if you try to peel it cold, it will be a mess. I thought the light transfer had a neat-o effect on the blue shirt!

image

 

I wanted to vintage up the shirt a bit, so I got out a little 220 grit sandpaper in the garage and scratched some of the sheen out of the iron on, then sanded up the seams a bit for X-tra cred.

Kookarific kiddos!

image