FYI: Outerknown Black Friday Sale

Hey, I don’t freakin’ work for Kelly Slater, but he IS da MAN here in Cocoa Beach, and a nice dude, so I’d thought I’d give a plug for his latest clothing endeavor, Outerknown. They’re having a Black Friday Sale, so if you’ve ever wanted to check out the brand, this is a good time. This is just info, I wish I got free stuff from them, but no, I just keep watch on da sales.

Their clothes are usually CRAZY expensive, but on their website, I just picked up a pair of boardshorts for $30.

I’ve checked them out in person before, and they were extremely well made, but I couldn’t justify the original price of $75. Yikes. Currently, the boardshorts are the best bargain on the website, in my opinion.

Guess he’s gotta pay for that new wave pool.

The Latest Surfing Gimmicks and Fads

Like I’ve said before, I’m a total sucker for new little surfy inventions and fads. But, like anything, some are good, some are….interesting. I’m not a sponsored surfer by any means (still waiting to get sponsored by KFC so I can get my free biscuits), so these are just my random, average surfer insights. N-Joy.


Dry Start Wetsuit System

Dry Start

Of course, this invention on Kickstarter is from San Diego- the land of chilly water. It’s a solution to dry your Wetsuit fast by using an attachment to the roof of your car. Then, I guess you drive like a maniac until your blow-out of your suit is complete. I can work with that. Also doubles as an impromptu body bag. Yikes.

Pros: Fastest way yet to dry a wetsuit and get out some road rage.

Cons: Bad news if the wetsuit bag flies off the roof of your car and finds a lawyers’ windshield.


The Orange Peel Wax Container (Peel Surf Co.)

Peel Surf Co.

I’ve used silicone molds a lot for making my own wax, recycling wax, etc., so this is not a new idea. However, it’s a mold with a wax “break” line that fits into a car’s cup holder. Smart. Wax melts everywhere here in Florida, where it’s 90 degrees consistently every Summer day. But it’s microwaveable too, so you can whip up a batch of wax without a double boiler. Gnar.

Pros: Will save the inside of a surfmobile, might make you feel all crafty if you make your own wax

Cons: A little pricey at $12, but then, it’s kinda a specialty item. Good for Crafty Surfers- full disclosure: I totally backed this on Kickstarter since I love making wax. Just hope I don’t accidentally take a sip from this on a hot day.


Fashion Color Wetsuits

Roxy, Billabong and XCel have reintroduced color back into neoprene again. This time, there’s less neon green and hot pink, and more modern colors and prints. However, sometimes I feel like I’m doing cosplay at the local Trekker convention in the current designs offered.

Pros: Some style in the water, bright Neoprene always improves the look of your surfing photos.

Cons: You may have to report to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Number Two.

Quiver Grip Surfboard Rack System

Quiver Grip

This was a new product I found out about recently, and the inventor is from Brevard County, Florida. This rack system uses plastic grips to corral your surfboards upright- like pulling a book from a shelf. It reminds me a bit of an IKEA solution to surfboard storage. It seems easy to install, and it’s cheap (less than $50 for a 3 board wall mount kit). Not crazy about the plastic beer-can holder look of the grips, though.

Pros: Like Huggable Hangers for your surfboards, inexpensive, easy to install and move around on the rail

Cons: Aesthetics of a frat house

Keep on trend, brah!

Ask Mr. Spicoli

3D Printed GoPro Wrist Mount

So this is my 3rd GoPro camera. Honestly, I’m not all that stoked on GoPro, but it takes passable pics in the water, and I like taking pictures for fun. Especially of my talented surfer friends. Me….not so much. Yikes.

I replaced my broken GoPro Hero 3 several months ago with the newer Hero Black Edition. It’s much smaller, lighter, and doesn’t require the pain in the ass housing.

However, the GoPro remote I had bought only a year ago had also given up the ghost. And I was NOT about to buy another remote, nor was I going to pay $50 bucks for a wrist strap mount that I knew wouldn’t be small enough for my wrist.

Luckily, we have a 3D printer, handy for printing out custom bits of plastic (PLA). But this plastic is made from corn, AND is compostable. Super gnar.

I put my “custom order” in with my husband, who drew up what I wanted for this project in

Funky green prototype

Creo Parametric, a digital drawing program. The file was exported for use in our MakerBot 3D Replicator. The original prototype- a custom-sized wrist mount with 1 1/2″ wide slots for a wrist band to pass through- was printed in low resolution (the surface was very grainy when completed, but it printed in less than a 1/2 hour). This prototype was made to check sizing and fit with the camera.
Once that checked out, a final version was printed in black using a much higher resolution. The underside of the mount was still very rough, due to how the item is printed. Since I had already intended to cover it with a scrap piece of wetsuit from a chest piece (where the rubbery grip is), it didn’t matter. The small piece of neoprene foam was going to be a cushion for my wrist. I used my quilt clips to make sure the glue made a good bond between the pieces.

The finished 3D printed mount

The unsanded underside of the mount to be covered with scrap neoprene foam

My scrap piece of rubber grip neoprene foam, the underside of the mount, and some glue

Clamping the scrap neoprene under the mount after placing the glue

Because I thought it would be EASY to find 1 1/2″ wide Velcro that would be suitable, I wanted the opening for the strap that wide. Also, the strap needed to be wide enough to prevent the camera from sliding around. But, alas, I had to make do by sewing two strips of 3/4″ Velcro side by side to make a wide strap since 1 1/2″ couldn’t be found readily. Good gravy.

This type is EXCELLENT for this purpose, and only costs a few bucks

Measured out the length I needed- make sure to flip the Velcro and re-sew it, or it won’t stick to itself!

Ready to try out for reals

The neoprene rubber inside keeps it from slipping

With the floaty on it

It turned out to be very comfortable to use, and I could easily paddle with it on. Here are some pictures from the other day using the wrist mount in the water.

Glad I got a few pics. The GoPro camera’s broken now, but the mount held up great. It was fun while it lasted.

There’s a time and place for wax in your zipper

So I have this front zip surf vest I bought a while back by Billabong that I just love because it can zip on and off like a jacket- no over the head removal. This helps my sore neck greatly.

However, it has a horrible design flaw. At least for a frequent surfer like me. Its’ zipper teeth and zipper pull are completely exposed. Cute fashion look, but bad for function when I’m accumulating surf wax on my chest, lying on my board belly down, paddling into waves. Now I’ve got crazy wax buildup on the zipper, and it actually doesn’t make the zip-up any easier. Plus, the clean-up is going to become a nightmare.

This vest gets a lot of use- even in the Summer. But so much wax!!!

Not going to be fun to clean


So, to help start this process, I put the vest in a Ziplock bag and put it in the freezer overnight.

Didn’t want to get the nasty wax all over my somewhat clean freezer

Clean eating. By the way, Mini Eggs are EXCELLENT frozen.

After taking the vest out of the freezer the next day, I immediately began to remove the hardened wax while it was frozen. I used an old toothbrush that I had cleaned off well beforehand.

I tried not to scrape the material

The bristles helped clean the teeth


Since there was still some wax deep in some crevices, I had to use an alcohol wipe to wipe down the plastic teeth to try and dissolve the wax. That seemed to help quite a bit too.

Wiping down just the teeth of the zipper and zipper pull

An improvement

Now, I was ready to make a little zipper placket so I could save myself this cleaning pain in the future, hopefully.

For this zipper placket, I used some fun Lycra I bought ages ago on clearance, but you could also recycle an old rashguard for this project too, since it’s the same material.


I measured the zipper on the jacket vest, wanting the placket to end up being 1 inch wide by 19 inches long.

Measuring across

About 19″

To make this strip, I needed to cut a piece 2 inches wide by 20 inches long, since I’m going to fold it over. I inferfaced this with light iron on interfacing. I just find it makes sewing with knits a lot easier, and it will give the placket a bit of structure.

I use this all the time with knits

Hemming each end

After that, I hemmed each end a 1/2″ inch and turned the ends right side out, then stitched down the placket on the outside raw edge to stabilize it some more.

Turned right side out

Light iron

Making sure the edges don’t move around

Then, I sandwiched the raw edge of the placket between the zipper teeth and the scant edge of the neoprene on the side of the fabric of the zipper. I clipped this all the way down, putting this placket on the zipper side where the zipper pull is.

I had to move the pull out of the way

It ain’t movin’

I used a needle a poly thread and hand tacked the layers together, since they were just too bulky for the home machine. Even with small tack stitches, it didn’t take long. This is also a good use for old fishing line, but the lighter, the better.

Hand sewing the placket in


The placket won’t get in the way of the zipper

This will help to prevent some wax from getting on the zipper in the future. It was easy enough to do, and I’m glad I didn’t have to scrap the nice vest.

Bonus tip: 

Don’t forget to store the toothbrush with your cleaning supplies. If you wax your teeth up, you’re going to freak people out in the lineup with a permagrin.

Although that’s not a bad idea.

Not much longer until I’m sporting this look

Wetsuit Recycling Project Wrap Up

Going back over my old Blogger posts I FINALLY imported into this WordPress blog, I noticed I really do like recycling and upcycling this cool material, and there’s lots of projects you can do. There’s absolutely NO excuse to toss out that holey wetsuit- there’s always something that can be salvaged from it.

Here’s a list of all the Projects from this series of the Wetsuit Recycling Project:

At the very least, I hope it gave you some ideas, and keeps you from ditching your old non-degradable wetsuit in a landfill.

On to Summer! Gnar!

Cocoa Beach is servin’ it up…




Wetsuit Recycle Project #7: Neoprene Sunglasses Pouch with Lining

I will never judge someone else’s taste in collectibles, because we all collect/hoard something. I used to think that collecting cars is ridiculous and pointless, but that same crowd would look at my collection of surfboards and think the same of my collection, so how could I judge? I do believe your collections also change with your surroundings. The collection of John Deere tractors that a man enjoys on his farm in Iowa now may need to morph into a different type of collection for his retirement to a condo in Boca Raton. Hot Wheels, perhaps?

Down here in Florida, I have become a “collector” of flip flops and sunglasses. Some women dig the Louboutins, I’ll take some nice waterproof Reef’s…and Olukai’s, and etc. I’ve managed to stay under 10 pairs of flip flops, but my sunglasses collection has now hit about 5 pairs. Only 2 of those are in scratch free condition, which is really shameful. They give you a little microfiber pouch to put your glasses in to keep them clean, but these are a pain to get open and put the glasses in, and there’s no cushion. So, I usually don’t bother with them. Hence the scratches, eventually.

That’s when I looked to my scrap pile of neoprene and picked out a nice sleeve piece with some color. Since using the neoprene foam fabric as a pouch alone may be too scratchy for my glasses, I’m going to use that flimsy microfiber pouch as a lining for my pouch, counting on the neoprene to give the pouch some structure.

A short sleeve scrap of neoprene

The microfiber pouch I’m going to use as lining

The shape is a little trapezoidal, but that’s not a big deal. 

I checked it again by slipping the microfiber lining pouch into the sleeve.

Cutting the bottom off straight across

From here, I just needed to close up the bottom of the pouch. I could have used my wetsuit adhesive that I’ve used before, but this time I’m going to blanket stitch it closed.

Small seam allowance at bottom

I’m using C-Lon poly thread, heavier than regular thread


Blanket stitched along the bottom

Once the bottom was sewn closed, I inserted the microfiber pouch into the neoprene pouch. I lined up the drawstring on the microfiber pouch so it was ABOVE the top seam of the neoprene pouch. This way, when I tacked down the opening of the lining to the neoprene, the drawstring would still draw up easily.

Sewing the lining in by hand with a smaller needle, and regular thread

That’s it! This pouch has some shape, so I don’t have to wrestle my glasses in and out of just the thin pouch, so I may actually use the thing now. Score.

And I’m within warranty, yo. 

This pair might be sacrificed back to the BROcean….

Wetsuit Recycle Project #5: Neoprene Bean Chillaxin’ Cushion

So, if you start saving your old neoprene, you’ll end up saving your scraps too. Neoprene’s an expensive material, and the surf and SCUBA wetsuits have a lot of good pricey bits left over in addition to the neoprene, such as zipper pulls and the durable zippers themselves. I’ll scrounge the wetsuits until the bitter end, using every bit that I can. Hey, this stuff can be expensive if bought individually at the craft store. This is especially true for quality stuff that holds up to saltwater and the outdoors.

Sorry to say, I have even more scrap than this

Try to save up your larger fields of neoprene for other craft projects. The rest of the little scrap (e.g. trimming bits, scrap, old test sewing/serger scraps) will be chopped up into a “bean bag” like stuffing for a great little foot pillow to put my feet up on after a long surf session full of wipeouts. Keeps my nasty feet directly off the nice wooden coffee table too.

This project is also great for neoprene that’s full of holes and tears, since you’re going to slice, dice, and julienne it anyway. Rip Curl used to do their Wetsuit Recycling Program by making bean bag chairs from old wetsuits using this method, which is where I got this idea.

I love to use a rotary cutter with a blade that’s got some miles on it for this type of project. By the time I’m done slicing this stuff into bits, the blade will be pretty much dulled out. Of course, you can use scissors for all or some portion of this job. You’ll need scissors to cut away stuff like zippers that you’ll be saving, hint, hint…

Making cross-cross cuts

Don’t cut it up powder fine- this is just a bean bag

Oh, Wilbur!!!!

Just a few more pounds….

Once you’ve got enough for pillow stuffing, collect them and set them aside. And don’t accidentally knock the bag of bits onto the floor of your sewing room. It sucks. Trust me.

For the pillow form, I used an old bed pillow protector I bought a while back. I didn’t care for this particular pillow protector since it was kind of a crunchy material to sleep on. But, since I had used and washed it, I kept it. Perfect for this use as a foot pillow, and I can always add more bits later for more pillow loft if I want. Bonus.

Old pillowcase protector is now a fillable pillow form

I trimmed down the sides I needed to be narrower (it’s for a coffee table, after all), and sewed it up on the machine. Easy. Now I can throw all those bits of neoprene into the “bag”, zip it up, and I have a pillow. Boom.

Chock full o’ neoprene

Now to make it pretty.

I used another old pillowcase that was threadbare and made it into my scrap pile, of course. The nice thing is, there’s less sewing since it’s already a pillowcase. Sew up the sides, that’s it.

But, since I must get all artsy-fartsy, I got out my surf t-shirt scraps, some Steam-A-Seam Lite (iron on adhesive sheet), and a fin for a template. The iron on double stick adhesive sheets can turn any fabric into a sticker appliqué onto another fabric. I love the stuff.

I’m using the small pocket graphics for this project

It’s like cool fabric sticker making awesomeness

I traced some fins onto the sheets, cut them out, then placed them on the graphic bits of the t-shirts I wanted to highlight. I also cut a few out from solid color sleeves from other t-shirts for contrast.

Tracing the fins

Using a sleeve from an old shirt

I apply just a bit of heat with the iron to each cut piece before peeling the backing away

I peeled off the backing, and placed the fins wherever I wanted. I kind of copied our local Florida Surf Museum‘s logo, and tried “waves.” 

You can move around the pieces until they’re where you want them

My final layout


If you iron the pieces down well per instructions, you don’t have to do appliqué stitching around each piece since it’s permanently fused to the cloth. However, I never pass up an opportunity to use up any of the craft stash. There’s really not a lot of stitching here, so I’ll use up some crazy colors, or tail end of spools I need to clear out.

Use it or lose it

Like my T-Shirt Pillow Project, I’m going to have fun with the stitching, and use some of those 101 stitches I never use on this machine. I did cut open another side of the pillowcase to make this work easier under the sewing machine. This is no biggie, since I want to line it anyway after I’m done with the appliqué using another old pillowcase.

Ok, this was a boring stitch photo

Once I lined my pillowcase, I popped the Neoprene Bean bag into the case, and I’m done!

Neoprene bean bag pillow form

With the pillowcase on

Better than stanky feet on the coffee table

You can add more neoprene beans


Crafty’s Final Thought:

Remember kids-

Me with IKEA furniture