DIY Surfboard Leash Cord Mod

The surfboard leash, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Have them pull a sled next time

Talk to some “old school” surfers, and they’ll call it a Kook Cord, meaning that only newer, clumsier surfers require being attached to their surf craft. I say leashes are litigation deterrents- a little insurance in a crowded lineup of surfers and swimmers. If I’m alone and the surf’s small, okay, I’ll skip da leash. Otherwise, better to be safe all around.

My issue has been finding a decent lightweight leash that’s 9′ long to use with my longboards. The Comp weight doesn’t seem to tangle as much as the thicker cord types, but the 9’+ length can be tricky to find. I’m never going to surf Pipeline, so I don’t need the reinforced titanium nitro supa thick variety. Also, for longboarding, I like to use a Knee Leash as opposed to an Ankle Leash to help keep it from being tangled around my feet. Hopefully.

I ended up buying an XM 9′ Comp leash I found and just wrapping the ankle strap around my knee instead.

Freakin’ hurts

Ow. The exposed edges of the Velcro raked the heck out of the back of my knee after a few weeks of use. Since open wounds and ocean water make for a doctor’s visit, I decided to make the strap a bit more comfy.

First, I took off the side of the strap with a seam ripper.

It came apart pretty easily

I saved the pull tab to reattach it later

Using some scrap neoprene taken from the chest panel of an old wetsuit, I made an extender strip as wide as the original leash strap.

I used the chest panel since it’s got a rubber layer over the neoprene

Once I had my new longer neoprene strip ready, I glued it back into place using E6000 industrial glue. I had some nylon thread as a backup, but I didn’t need it! Woo Hoo!

I sandwiched one end with glue on both sides

I used quilting clips to hold everything in place while it dried

Next, I took a bit of the loopy side of some 2″ Industrial Velcro and used glue with the adhesive on the back of the strip, similar to what I did on the Board Bag mod.

I used a lot of glue

Clamped and drying

I gave the leash about 48 hours inside to fully cure, since the weather’s been so hot.

Much better!!!!

After surfing with it

It feels MUCH better on my leg now, with no more burn. Hey- if I’m going to get rug burn from Velcro, I’m going full YOLO….

Aim high kids

Felt Fin Fun!

Like most crafters, I’m on Pinterest a lot, and not just for the hella dank memes. I’ve been clicking around some of the neato felt embroidery I’ve seen pinned lately, and decided to make a fun felt stuffie from a tracing of one of my longboard fins.

Certified DANK

Acrylic felt is pretty cheap, and if you can find the type made from recycled soda bottles, extra eco-hippie-surfer cred points for you. I also used basic embroidery thread and some poly stuffing. All can be found at any local craft store.

My supplies

Tracing the fin template

I went crazy cutting out shapes to sew on

Makin’ flowers

Adding in detail

Chain stitching the vines

I even added beads!

Blanket stitching the two sides together

I didn’t overstuff

I crocheted the edge and added a hang loop

Finished edge

Completed Stuffie!

So this is purely for fun, so I’m going to put it on the cool felt Lei I made for TikiMan a while back. It’s like a funky fresh headpiece:

Can you dig it???

I can see myself making a few of these little felt stuffies for kicks, especially in the afternoons since it’s been so freakin’ hot here. I mean, I did find an image on Pinterest that sums up Florida surfing perfectly…..

Do you think the wax is still good???

Surfboard Bag Rehab

While we were sifting around the junk in the garage last week, I noticed an old longboard travel bag that I won at a surf event several years ago. I’ve loaned it out many times to my friends who go on trips, so the bag is more surf-travelled than I am.

Might still have some life yet

The zipper pull is stuck and crusted from salt, and the plastic zipper teeth themselves have started to deteriorate.

It’s stuck

That’s just nasty

It’s not currently usable with the zipper almost completely disintegrated, so it had to be removed.

Seam ripper- this was a good section

Taking out the zipper took a while!

Unfortunately, a replacement zipper must be at least 10 feet long for this particular bag, and I cannot sew it in with my home sewing machine. Nor would I want to.

Enter Industrial Velcro. You can pick it up at most big box stores or hardware stores for less than 10 bucks for 10 feet. I used titanium scissors to cut 2 inch strips of the soft loopy side of the Velcro first to put on the sides of the board bag.

Just cutting the soft loopy side of the Velcro- keep the adhesive backing on

I placed one of these squares around the sides about every ten inches or so

I needed to put additional E6000 glue under the adhesive Velcro since Florida’s so freakin’ hot that I thought the Velcro adhesive would melt. I was right.

Next, I made straps for the top cover of the bag by cutting 8″ strips of 2″ wide webbed nylon strapping, turning one edge under and gluing it with E6000. This makes a sturdy edge to pull on.

My supplies

I turned the bottom of the strap up about an inch and glued it, holding it in place with clips

I cut 2” squares of the hook side of the Velcro to go on the underside of the straps

The straps glued up and drying

Once the straps were dried and the loopy patches on the board bag were dry, I was ready to affix the straps to the cover. At this point, I put one of my surfboards in the bag to fill it out properly for correct strap placement.

Once again, I used plenty of E6000 glue…

If it goes out to the edge, all the better

Glad textbooks are still good for something

I had to take everything indoors to allow the glue to cure properly since it’s a million degrees outside. I just made sure to keep everything ventilated. I also allowed everything to dry for over 24 hours since the bag will be taking a lot of stress.

Done!

Peels right open like a banana

Good enough for a trip up the street

Although this bag may not be suitable for plane travel anymore, it’s good enough for local travel. This may help keep some of the nasty sand, salt, and wax off of the roof of my car as a bonus. Since the cover just peels off and peels back on easily enough to load it in and out of the bag, it may actually get used now.

Hey, I’m might be a hick, but even I don’t want my little car to get THIS bad….

Hillbilly Surf Shop sounds like they know me well

DIY 4Ocean + CapeClasp Wrap Bracelet or Necklace

This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a while. I had a couple of 4Ocean recycled glass bracelets and a silver shark toggle from Cape Clasp I’ve been wanting to combine into something FUNNER.

Wave at da haters

Both of these companies raise money for ocean related charities, which is always a good excuse to buy pretty things, ya know. And by the way, I don’t shill for these companies, I had to buy ’em just like everyone else.

For this project, I used my two 4Ocean bracelets, my Cape Clasp Hammerhead shark toggle (removed from the paracord), scissors, and some Chinese Knotting cord (I used dark green), which is essentially VERY thin nylon paracord. I used a little over 3 yards for this, folded in half. Glue may be handy to secure the finishing knot.

My supplies

Recycled beauties!

Saving the charms for another project

I made a lark’s head loop over the tail hole and made an overhand knot. I slid a recycled glass bead over both cords, and made another overhand knot, snugging it up against the bead. Repeat until all the beads are gone.

Lark’s head loop over tail

Overhand knot between each bead

For the loop, I took the cords and made alternating half hitches until the loop was long enough to secure over the toggle, then I secured it with a square knot and melted the ends with a lighter (outside!).

Alternating half hitch knots

Toggle secured

Done! It came out to around 20″ when it was complete, long enough for a necklace or a wrist wrap.

The Country Club Surfer

A halfway decent strand of Mikimoto’s will set you back several grand, but I figure this hundred dollar DIY set might help out a bit more.

I let it all go a looong time ago, kids

The Problem with Single Use Plastic

Unfortunately, I end up snagging some form of plastic trash from the water or off of the beach just about every time I go for a surf. In fact, last week, I pulled an empty bottle of bleach completely labeled in Spanish that was covered in barnacles. I wonder how far that may have travelled. If there was a note inside, the bleach ate it up.

My good friend Scrappy Yoga works with

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This is just a trashy issue, no matter what party you’re in

environmental groups and surfers trying to eliminate single use plastics from the chain. They just had a Press Conference in Santa Cruz, California, and it is one of those issues we can all get behind:

SURFERS AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS URGE CALIFORNIA LEADERS TO REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC POLLUTION

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I get this filled for only a buck

Being a Southern Girl, I am a rabid Diet Coke drinker, but I use a large reusable Big Gulp container with a reusable straw. Not only is it MUCH cheaper to get a refill at a convenience store, I never have to worry about throwing away straws or cups EVER. Most fast food places let me use this too, I just pay for the large drink, and fill ‘er up. There’s really no excuse, kids. And now I’ve got a place for all my Gnar stickers that no longer fit on the surf mobile. More surf cred??? Schweet.

On an old blog post, I made some surfboard art out of bits of plastic I found all over the beach,

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Shades of eternity

mostly around Cape Canaveral, even up into the Canaveral National Seashore unfortunately. Just that little project alone reminded me that just because I put that little plastic straw or fork in the wastebasket, doesn’t mean it evaporates into thin air…

 

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Or a cockroach 

Upcycled Surf Scrunchie

Yes, I’m guilty of STILL liking the idea of scrunchies. Fortunately, it’s a trend right now. Good- I could really use a good waterproof scrunchie to keep my freakin’ snapback on my head while I’m surfing. I’m really addicted to wearing a ball cap when I surf now. Helps me ignore the wave snakin’ wankers.

So, I usually pull my hair back in a ponytail and though the cap’s back hole. I like the newer silicone hair ties since they stand up to saltwater for far longer, but they absolutely tear my hair out when I get out from surfing. Enter the brilliant scrunchie.

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These things usually rip my hair out

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Scrunchie makin stuff 

I got out the remainder of the rash guard I used for another project, and cut a 4 inch wide strip from the waist area of the former rashie. I didn’t cut the side seams.

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Using a rotary cutter helps

Keeping it as a continuous loop, I pinned the edges together, lining up the seams on each side with the pink elastic encased.

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Going around the silicone band- this takes a while

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Another scrunchie I made from custom printed  fabric

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All pinned up

I could have whipstitched these edges together, but I serged them instead. I went VERY slowly around the piece, making the Lycra as straight as possible for the machine without overstretching it.

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I went super slow

Done!

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It’s the 80’s Way

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Went nuts making some

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Doesn’t come off as a scrunchie 

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Hurricane Hair

So the silicone band inside should last a lot longer than the traditional ones that seem to break on me CONSTANTLY (what a waste.) Plus, this is a perfect way to recycle gnarled Lycra from a rashguard.

Worked super well during this evening’s surf session. I never lost my hat, and that makes me happy. Bonus that it doesn’t rip my hair out after I get out.

While I don’t judge here at Crafty Surf, if you’re a surfer dude considering the Man Bun option, please consider this image first:

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Man Buns will make you a Conehead

Surfboard Fin Fun: DIY Roundup

I’ve done several DIY’s and crafts related to img_0857fins, so I wanted to round up a few fun posts to share during this April’s fin madness here at Crafty Surf. I just can’t handle the craziness.

Cheap DIY Fin Covers

I still use these craft foam covers- they’re better than the plain black ones they usually come with, and labeling them yourself just keeps things organized. For the surfer with a hint o’ engineer quirkiness.

Surfboard Contact Info

This is a handy hack using the single fin box to put some stealthy contact info if your board is ever stolen. Happens often around here, unfortunately.

Single Fin Thumbscrew

Great item to have if you’d like to get rid of a screwdriver in your surf gear. Check out the link to see the specs on what you’ll need.

Recycled Neoprene Surf Fin Sock

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In this project, I needed to make a soft cover for the glassed in fin on my wall hanger surfboard. An old wetsuit was perfect. After a good washing, of course.

Lovin’ The Nubbin

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I had a good time with this project. I took a plastic fin and mowed it down with the scroll saw. Then I attempted to sand some semblance of a foil into it. Silly and crazy, and mega fun to surf with. Fools have the most fun, right?

***

It’s been mucho fun learning about fins, and since new fins and fads keep popping up all the time, I know there’s more to see and learn.

I’m still upset at myself for letting my holy grail fin get away. I wanted this one for the uplifting art alone, since it speaks to my soul on so many levels….

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The Shaka and Beer. Like the Old Man and The Sea, they are forever entwined