The New Surfboard Bug

These days, I’m so happy with the boards I have, and I feel good about my collection currently. I could even trim it to this one only:

Starr 7’0” FunJun Quad + Single Fin

It’s my favorite all around board, but a while back, I had put a deep gash in it from ditching it under my friend’s board to avoid a worse collision on a wave. SO freakin glad neither of us were hurt, only the board. Big whoop.

This repair has been awesome

The repair’s been great, and I dig my paint job over the repair, but once I saw my local surf shop post a pic of this longboard with an acid splashed deck, I knew I wanted this look for the funshape I have now- much like a new dress, only slightly more resinous.

I love this acid splashed deck- I’m getting this with blue rails and bottom on my funshape

I will trade in the funshape I use now once my custom order is complete (hopefully soon!), so that will offset some of the cost, especially since this “look” requires extra paint on the rails and bottom (mine will be blue), gloss and polish on the resin. Honestly, this is not a need. However, hurricane season’s coming, and well, sometimes slipping into a new pair of shoes is nice to get you stoked.

Shoes are part of the Whole Game, Player.

Tagua Nut Carving

I’ve always had a thing for palm trees, probably since they remind me of tropical places and surfy times.

It’s no surprise, then, that I freakin’ love Tagua nut anything, since it grows naturally from the Ivory Palm Tree.

Tagua was used in the old days like plastic would be used today: buttons, handles, knobs, jewelry, etc. were easily carved from this nut that resembles elephant ivory on the inside. So, after years of collecting various carved Tagua pieces, I had to try out carving some myself. Especially since non-biodegradable plastics seem to be forming islands in the ocean around us, it’s worth checking out for some hippie eco-fun.

I ordered some raw nuts from Etsy for about $1 each plus shipping, so it wasn’t a huge investment. Tagua nut harvesting is one of the few industries that encourages keeping rainforests around a little longer too….super hippie eco bonus.

One of the raw Tagua nuts I ordered

Tagua is supposed to cut similar to wood, so I used those type of tools for woodworking. I used tools like a scroll saw, sanding wheel, and drill bits that I already use for small wood craft projects:

My Dremel scroll saw

Since I didn’t want to saw my fingers off, using a vise was helpful- especially for cutting nice, even slices. You must either use a vise or glue the nut onto a steady block of wood to cut it. It’s just too small to try and line up under the saw with just your fingers….and keep ’em.

The hard rubber jaws of the vise are perfect for this work

Top view of the nut getting ready to be sawed in two

A nut slice…has a small void

Every Tagua nut potentially has a void at its’ center, which is something to consider when carving this. If the Tagua is dried properly during the harvest process, there is supposedly less of a void. So I’ve heard. This batch I received also looks a bit dark on the inside, so this Tagua might be older, but it’s still a beautiful color.

I made sure to cut and grind slowly, since Tagua burns very easily. And you can smell it when it starts to get too hot.

Sanding the exposed surface on the side wheel

Makin’ slices

I used a sanding bit to sand away the surface to make cool patterns

Tagua is delicate! I was too harsh with this piece

Some of the Dremel bits I played with

They polish up like little fancy bits o’ wood

Now, Tagua isn’t waterproof- it’s very porous cellulose, so it’s not a bad idea to coat pieces with a clear sealant. I like the paint-on varnishes better than the spray can type for these. When I tried using the spray can, the varnish left tiny little raised dots all over the surface. Bleh.

Here’s some of my sealed pieces using the better paint-on varnish:

Finished and varnished pieces

Since I already enjoy woodworking, I can totally see myself getting into this tropical craft that’s fun, sustainable, and reminds me of my favorite trees ever….

Christmas lights should be banned in Florida because it’s absurd

DIY 4Ocean Charm Earrings

Remember that necklace/wrap bracelet I made a couple of posts ago? I saved the little silver charms from the 4Ocean bracelets, and I wanted to use them to make some easy fun earrings with basic stuff from the craft store. Ear hooks, a few glass beads, and a couple of eye pins can make a fancy looking pair of earrings. You’ll also need a pair of small round-nose jewelry making pliers (here’s a link to some I found online).

All of my supplies

Adding a charm to the end of each eye pin

Sliding a silver bead, a glass fish bead, then a silver bead onto each eye pin

Preparing to make a loop at the top of each eye pin

I try to match up the same position when I make the loop on each

Done!

Ear selfie

These are a cute way to promote the 4Ocean cause of removing plastics from the ocean, and creating awareness of plastic pollution.

Honestly, though, for surfing the Cocoa Beach Pier, I need more useful earrings. I searched on Etsy and found my dream pair:

OFF MY WAVE WANKER

DIY Surfer Girl Necklace or Wrist Wrap

Sometimes people think of crochet as only hats, scarves, and shawls. Yawn. There’s always fun stuff to make with crochet that doesn’t have to turn out fuzzy and hot, it can even come out beachy and summery.

Bowling a perfect strike

That’s good for here in Central Florida, since it’s already getting up into the 90’s. Hurricanes, anyone?

I used my favorite macrame thread in the world- Linhasita– which is essentially nice waxed nylon cord for this project. I also prestrung all of the beads I wanted to use onto the spool of thread. I used these cool wooden beads from Hawaii (no, someone brought them to me from there- boo…) and various glass E beads, but I needed to decide on my pattern BEFORE beginning to crochet with the beads.

My supplies

Using a 2.5 mm crochet hook, I made a chain of 6 tight chain stitches, strung on a wood bead or group of glass beads, made a loop around them, then repeated the pattern for all the beads.

Chain 6, add some beads. Cooler than a scarf

I ended the necklace with a small loop tied off and melted and sealed using a lighter (outside!) since this is waxed nylon. The other end is a blue recycled glass button as a toggle, so it can also be worn as a wrap bracelet. It makes nice beach wear, since the wood beads are light, and the crochet loops make a lightweight cord.

The blue glass disk is the toggle closure

This is something boho-hippie stylin’ and fun to make using the most fundamental of crochet stitches. And it’s wearable when it’s 100 degrees outside.

Hey, I could have shown you how to crochet something else Ocean themed that’s a lot worse…

Just Surfer Girly Things

Since it’s almost the official start of Summer, I figured it’s a good time to share my honest opinion about Surfer Girl related stuff out there in SurfyLand that I’ve personally purchased and/or tried recently. As always, y’all know I’m not sponsored, a “rep”, nor am I worthy of touching Kelly Slater’s bald head. Just an average surfer chick with some info for ya.

N-Joy!

***

LOVE: Costa Bikinis

I recently decided to try this company’s swimwear since I really admire some of their team surfers like Keala Kennelly from Hawaii, and Kaydi Archer, who is an extremely charitable and talented local surfer lady who is VERY active with Surfers for Autism. Plus, their suits are made in Spain. You know, I went to a Tapas Restaurant once, so I’m an expert about Spain.

They have a sale going right now, so I picked up 4 pieces for $80 with free shipping. It took a while to receive my package, but the wait was worth it. Reversible construction, nice prints, comfortable to wear, and stays in place when I’m surfing- I’m sold. I can see paying full price for one of these instead of a poorly manufactured, pricier Roxy suit.

Their online shopping area was difficult to use on a mobile platform, however, so I hope that gets worked out soon. As far as sizing- if you’ve got some interesting curves, go for the next size up from your normal size. I was glad I did. On Instagram, they put “costafriends” as a 15% off coupon code- I’m assuming that’s open use, and not a one time only deal, but I can’t confirm.

LOVE: Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear Nail Polish

This is my #1 recommendation to all surfer girls who paint their nails or toenails. This particular line has been the ONLY nail polish that will stay on my toenails for a hot minute when I surf. I’ve tried OPI, Essie, Chanel, etc., and none hold a candle to this bargain. I can take the bits of wax stuck to my toes after a sesh, and the polish still stays intact underneath. Even after knee paddling, duckdiving, Rickrolling, etc. this polish can last me almost a week of surfing every day, and still look halfway decent afterwards. Amazeballs.

The best part is you can find it at the drugstore for cheap. Yeah, there’s not a huge selection of colors usually. Get over it. Just stick with lighter shades, use the matching clear topcoat, and stick to only 1 coat of each. Even makes my funky feet look passable. Don’t ever stare at your feet too long….trippy……

LIKE: Sun Bum Deep Conditioning Masque

This is the only time of year I’ll pick this up, since it seems to help with the summer heat and saltwater that dry out my hair. Honestly, I really dig the beachy smell of the conditioner, but it sucked 20 bucks out of the Surf Trip Fund.

This is great to use every Monday morning before work, so you can think of the beach and “bum” yourself out even more when you’re at your desk. Nice.

LIKE: Sand Cloud Towels

I finally broke down and ordered one of these towels. They are expensive for a beach towel (I ended up paying around $40 for mine total), but they are nicely woven and shockingly light.

The first time I used it was to watch a rocket launch on the beach. At first, I wasn’t too jazzed about the braided knotted tassels that finish off each side, but they seem to give the towel a little weight against a windy beach which was a nice bonus.

Mine seems to wash well in warm water even though the tag says hand wash only. Yeah, right. Make sure to use a 25% off coupon when you buy a towel online- it usually consists of a girl’s name (they’ve got loads of “reps”) and the number 25 (example: JANE25, MARY25). Check a coupon code site for one if that doesn’t work.

MEH: Pura Vida Bracelets

Ever since Pura Vida was found to be manufacturing their bracelets in other countries outside of Costa Rica (the whole basis of their sales pitch), they’ve sure had some backpedaling to do (read the Mia Culpa here). So with that, I’ve just been making my own, or opting for 4Ocean Bracelets this summer.

MEH: Rip Curl G-Bomb Front Zip Jacket

I was so disappointed about this one. When I first tried it on, I noticed I had to go waaay up in size compared to other brands, and it was still a bit difficult to get on and off, but the half front zipper’s teeth were covered well (protects from the surf wax). I really wanted that feature, and I was having a tough time finding it on other vests, especially on front full zip jackets.

If only this vest had a slightly larger chest circumference and a full chest zip like a true jacket did. Boo. Instead, I guess we’re supposed to pull our zippers down a little and let the tight torso give us cleavage whilst surfing like a pro, like freakin’ young Alana Blanchard. Mmmkay.

You know, if I ever make a surf wear brand, I’ll call it “Surf Cougar,” for all of us older surf chicks out there who haven’t totally blown out a knee or hip quite yet. Hey, it takes a certain degree of confidence to keep on surfing into the sunset. No apologies, brah.

Surfboard Fin Fun: Very Interesting….

This month, I’ve been doing the whole surfboard fin thing, and it’s been really fun and interesting. I just surf for kicks, but it’s crazy what I have collected over time for being a not-even-close-to-Pro surfer. Yep, if you tell me I’ll surf better with it, I’ll probably give it a go. Hey- so would you, brah.

Here’s some other fins I have (and no longer have) in my collection….

***

Proteck Fins

watermarked(2018-04-19-0922)

I think this fin might be ready to donate

watermarked(2018-04-19-0925)

These have saved me on more than a few closeouts 

Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of crap about these plastic fantastic fins, but they have been great for my safety. The one shown first is my well-used 7″ which no longer has the supple rubber edge on it. That’s the downside with these- DON’T keep them out in the sun, because the rubber edge will go brittle over time.

I use a 9″ one in my 9’2″ Stand-Up Paddleboard, and I have a small thruster set I used in my first surfboard (second pic). Great investment while learning, or for anytime. Prevented a lot of potentially BAD fin cuts at the beginning, leaving only bruising. Highly recommended- others in the lineup might thank you too.

 

Turbo Tunnel

Tease me all you want, but yes, I actually bought into this fad.

These fins will put a severe drag on your tail. The whole idea is that you can use this to your advantage when noseriding, but honestly, it just makes it super difficult to paddle into a wave quickly. Horrific for surfing in my opinion, but great for paddle practice if you’re building those killer guns. Gnarlicious.

Sold mine years ago. Bye Felicia.

 

RFC Wingnut Longrake 9.0″

Although this is a beautiful fin, it really seems better suited to glassier, better sized waves (and better surfers) with its’ extra long rake. If it gets like that– which is pretty rare in Florida-I’m on my funshape. So, this fin doesn’t see a lot of use from me, personally.

I wonder if, as an experiment, I should send this fin this out to my fellow members in the Big Stick Association in Santa Cruz for them to try in their waves. Like that Singlefin: Yellow movie that sent that surfboard all over the world. Except we’d be a lot less emo and weird about it.

***

I’m still learning about surfing all the time, and I know I’ll still go for whatever the fads are, and fail and try again, I’m sure.

Ok, so I’ll never learn.

img_0743

Can’t I do both???

Surfboard Fin Fun: Longboard Picks

I wanted to share some of my favorite fins that I use on my frequently surfed longboards: my 9′ Starr Longboard, and my 9′ Dewey Weber Performer.

watermarked7(2018-04-13-1811)

Love these longboards!

By the way, these are boards and fins in my own personal collection, I don’t rep for these companies. I pay through da nose like everyone else. Yeah, yeah…they tell me it’s “ART” though. Whateves. Just help me surf a little less badly, ok?

Da Fins:

RFC Garrett Spencer Model 10.25″ Pivot Fin

watermarked2(2018-04-13-1810)

I have it in the middle of the fin box now, may move it to the back for more stability 

I was given this fin as a gift from my friends this past Christmas, and it’s sure been schweet. In combination with the style of my Starr longboard, this will let me turn easily from just about anywhere on the board, which can be good and bad. It’s great when I need to prevent a near-wipeout. However, if I get used cheating too much, well…my terrible surf style can’t afford another hit.

The benefit of this type of fin is that it has some surface area to hold you up if you try to cross step or nose ride. I’ve personally found it very forgiving and good for that.

 

RFC Core Surf 7.5″

watermarked1(2018-04-13-1936)

Very versatile fin, I even use it in my funshape

This will probably be my longboard fin this summer. The waves get so tiny here (but fun) that it’s very easy to run aground whilst surfing. Having a couple of extra inches of draft isn’t bad. Bonus that this fin is shaped much like a classic longboard fin, only mini-sized…for our miniature summer waves.

 

RFC Justin Quintal Straight Back 10.25″

watermarked1(2018-04-13-1810)

Soooo freakin’ nice

Yes, I loved this for the template, but, I just had to have it in PURTY yellow to coordinate with my Dewey Weber Performer. Totally kooky and spendy, but I’m McLovin’ It anyway.

It’s a LOT of fin for me, but the classic, “old school” template truly forces me to use longboard techniques, such as turning from the tail of the board, walking to the nose, and correct positioning on the nose (still working on that). This fin reminds me that I always need to be aware of longboarding style, not just riding a wave.

 

Captain Fin Co. Mitch Abshere 10″

watermarked(2018-04-13-1940)

Each side of the fin has a different graphic. Trippy, brah

With the wide base and slight rake, this was the fin I used in my Starr board for the majority of the time. It’s been an all around great fin, very durable and stable. I’ve been able to become more comfortable practicing cross stepping on my Starr board with this fin’s hold in most types of Florida waves. I consider this kind of a good all-around fin.

 

Island Fin Design Hawaii 7.0″

watermarked2(2018-04-13-1936)

Well loved fin

I’ve had this fin forever, hence the rust around the pin- yikes. It has been another great fin that I first used in an 8’6″ “Big Hipped Mama” Natural Art longboard, in a 9′ SUP, then again in 2 more longboards. It’s not too big and doesn’t have a crazy template, so it goes with everything for a majority of our small, beach break waves. One of my first fin purchases- other than the ones always that came with the surfboard.

 

***

I’ve got a little hack for you next time that might save you some cash on a handy thing to have for your longboard’s single fins.

I mean, this hobby can get pricey if you let it, obviously. The fins alone can typically run from $50-$150 each. Sometimes, surfing tools and accessories can get their prices marked up more than wedding dresses and funeral caskets.

But I say…Splurge now, Save later.

img_0666

Everyone loves confetti