Trying Out Spoonflower.com Fabric for Surfing 

It’s amazing all the various crap you can put a digital image onto now. And for fairly cheap. It used to be limited to posters, cards, keychains, and mugs at your Office Depot. Now, pretty much anything with a surface can be etched or covered with a digital image, and you don’t need to pay for a run of 5000 units to get a custom one made.

Spoonflower is yet another company in a growing market that specializes in using digital photographs to create customized fabric prints. This isn’t an endorsement, just a review of my own thoughts about the trend and their fabric, so it’s just info for ya. Yep, I paid for the stuff myself. Boo.



Love this, my 6’8″ Neilson Blue Hawaii Elvis

I’m really interested in this type of service, since fabric inlays are done all the time on custom surfboards. In fact, I have some Elvis fabric (purchased at Graceland- the Holy Zone- many years ago) glassed into a 6’8″ Neilson. Wouldn’t it be cool to pretend I’m a real photographer and have MY wicked awesome pic glassed into my next surfboard?? Neato. In fact, Swaylocks.com had some discussion on this topic a while back about printing on custom fabric for use in surfboard designs and art.

I wanted to try this digital fabric printing company out for myself. When I noticed they had not only a variety of cottons, but Lycra available to be printed on, that’s when I knew what I wanted my next surfy project to be.

I used this photo of some beautiful orchids from the Florida Keys my friends got me as a gift a while back. I wanted the Lycra to have a black background, so I did a dark vignette filter on the pic.

Original photo I took

Did the vignette filter on my iPhone, nothing fancy pants

The design upload and selection was pretty easy, and I sized the pic to be tiled onto 1 yard of fabric. One yard with shipping came out to around $35, so it wasn’t THAT cheap. But, relatively speaking, it’s not so outrageous compared with the cost of printed Lycra swimwear these days. I just hoped I wouldn’t mess up sewing, or this would get VERY expensive.

The yard came with a nice wide border around it

The fabric arrived in just a few days. I was happy with the heavy weight of the Sport Lycra. I did wash it twice in the laundry- on its’ own- to ensure no problem with color bleeding. I didn’t notice any fade after these initial washes.

Closeup of the tiled image

In my next post, check out what I made with my yard and if it held up to my style of surfing!

Bieber!!!! Shreddin’ gnar

DIY Shark Repellent Band (*Results May Vary)

It’s amazing how many surf gadgets and gimmicks have come and gone. And I’ll be the first to admit I totally have given in to the sales pitch from time to time. The Turbo Tunnel fin with the hole in it, the Wax Grater, the bottled “Special Surf Wax Remover” from Ron Jon’s…..Guilty.

The latest one making the circuit is SharkBanz, which is based on an idea that was shown on a video during Shark Week several years ago. I thought the people in the video were aiming to sell some type of anti-shark cage, they put a briefcase-sized piece of neodymium into a small tank and baited a couple of sharks in crystal clear water. The sharks did turn away, but they had to get CLOSE. With A LOT of magnet.

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SharkBanz. Not for timekeeping.

Discovery Channel Video Showing Sharks and Magnets

So, essentially, the SharkyBands idea is if you pick up some of those neodymium magnets from the craft store or the hardware store, encase them in some silicone, you can charge $65.00. That’s it.

The problem is that 5, 10, 40 SharkBanz aren’t enough to deter a hungry shark. If YOU hadn’t eaten in two days, and someone barely pinched YOU while you were reaching for that last piece of Meat Lovers’, would it stop you? Didn’t think so.

But, if you need piece of mind, here you go. For a heck of a lot less.

imageI picked up a package of neodymium magnets, some 1/4″ ID clear flexible tubing from the hardware store,  and I already had a bit o’ leftover caulk from a bathtub recaulk recently.

So, I put the magnets in the tube sleeve, and sealed each end with a dab of caulk, so no water can intrude into where the magnets are.

 

Both ends sealed.


 

Next, to make something that would be stretchy, waterproof, and could be attached to the magnet securely, I looked to my fad collection of those silly Rainbow Loom rubber band loom things. Confession day. Sad.

imageSince this is silly and stupid from the get-go, I’ll add a layer of crazy. I think it was around that same year that somebody found that sharks are fearful of poisonous sea snakes. That’s like the elephant and the mouse. So, the next gimmick was black and white striped wetsuits, surfboard stickers to cover the bottom your board, blah blah blah. So, I’ll use black and white rubber bands for this project to make snakey-poo.

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Ooooooh. Sooooo scared. Not.


I did a 5 pin fishtail on the Monster Tail loom (they’re cheap right now since the fad is kind of over- you could probably score one off a teenager in the family, or at a Goodwill. I used 8 white rubber bands, alternating with 6 black rubber bands. I made a imagelength of about 10-11 inches to go around my ankle.

Since this design is like a tube, I can insert the little sealed case of magnets inside, like  the “head” of the snake towards the end of the ankle bracelet.

I did a few more rubber bands to encase the magnets, then finished off the end, and attached it to the other end using one of those plastic loops that come with the bands.

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“It looks so….real…ly creative.”

Time to test!

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I went out, about 7:45 AM at the notorious Cocoa Beach Pier, at a spot that had a imageparticularly active bait ball of fish popping up like water fireworks. Yay! Maybe there’s something out there. I am wearing my shark covered swimsuit, and I painted my toenails a nice metallic green. The anklet held up just fine for about 2 hours of surfing little waves, and even with a lot of fish movement around me, I didn’t even get imagebumped. Well, can I sell these now? It’s not EXACTLY like the other guy’s, it’s just more stupid. One data point should be ok. As long as you haven’t gotten attacked, it’s 100% effective. Was this on Shark Tank? Please tell me Mark Cuban laughed at this.

I was more interested in whether or not the caulk held up and kept the magnets dry, so I cut the anklet open, and gave it a good inspection. I only let the caulk cure for 24 hours, and it held ok.

Woo Hoo!

The truth is, there’s sharks in the ocean. At least you hope there’s still some.

I’m gonna eat ya….