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.

Surfboard Fin System Blues

I’ve never been a huge fan of the current surfboard fin systems available.

Everyone’s got a favorite

To the uninitiated, there are basically two big players in the “fin system” market currently: FCS and Futures. They are the iPhone and Android of the Surfboard Fin World, and have superfans who are just as rabid. Once you pick a fin system to go into your board, you’re stuck with fins made for that system. It’s like only shopping at Google Play for eternity. Great.

 

FCS has upgraded their systems recently to allow you to snap in your fin without needing the tiny screws anymore. Supposedly.

img_1831

img_1821

Lost one of my special FCS II compatible quad fins that way during a surf, so now I’m back to the tiny freakin’ screws set into the old crappy plastic box. And these other quads STILL back out on me, causing the fin to begin to lift out of the box. I discovered this happening again the other day:

watermarked1(2018-06-02-1350)

This keeps on happening

It’s absolutely absurd to pay this much money for screws that back out, systems that don’t latch, plus the cost of lost fins, which get hella pricey. No wonder FCS has a whole page dedicated to replacement FCS fins. Hmmmm….it’s not because yer a gnar shredda, brah.

Once again, I went back to the online hardware store to find some screws- some call them “grub” screws- a bit longer than the others made of quality 316 stainless steel that are MUCH cheaper than what FCS and Futures sells these for in surf shops.

Link to the screws I bought online here– I don’t get anything for this, it’s just info.

watermarked4(2018-06-02-1350)

The ones I ordered are da best since they’re not marked up 1000%

watermarked3(2018-06-02-1350)

Share with ya friends, wanker

These still sit flush when screwed in, and maybe they might have a better chance of staying in. And now when I lose one, it won’t cost a fortune. I have some boards that use Futures Fins, which only require one screw, but it’s the same length as the one I ordered, but I believe these are better quality for approximately 10 cents each. Sooooo much cheaper.

watermarked5(2018-06-02-1350)

Doesn’t stick out

watermarked6(2018-06-02-1350)

I replaced all eight

I really wish these companies would step up their game since they seem to be monopolies in the surfing world, much like Clark Foam was years ago.

The Surf Industry is just like any other industry, though….

img_1832

And people take me to the cleaners daily

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.

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.

watermarked1(2018-05-09-1533)

These things usually rip my hair out

watermarked1(2018-05-03-1730)

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.

watermarked2(2018-05-03-1730)

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.

watermarked3(2018-05-03-1730)

Going around the silicone band- this takes a while

watermarked2(2018-05-09-1533)

Another scrunchie I made from custom printed  fabric

watermarked4(2018-05-03-1730)

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.

watermarked5(2018-05-03-1730)

I went super slow

Done!

watermarked7(2018-05-03-1730)

It’s the 80’s Way

watermarked3(2018-05-09-1533)

Went nuts making some

watermarked4(2018-05-09-1533)

Doesn’t come off as a scrunchie 

watermarked5(2018-05-09-1533)

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:

img_1124

Man Buns will make you a Conehead

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: Hack Attack

Here’s a little hack attack to save some cash on what I consider to be a VERY handy item for single fins and longboards.

A typical single fin screw requires a flathead screwdriver or Phillips head to get out. What a pain in the ass.

Some time ago, a fin company carried a special “longboard fin screw” that was a thumbscrew, so you didn’t need the screwdriver. Also, you could move the fin in the box on the fly. Nice.

Problem was, they wanted $12 PER SCREW and NUT set. REALLY???? Screw you.

I’ve got a simple cure for that- buy it directly from a hardware store. I order what’s called a 316 Stainless Steel Thumbscrew. Stainless Steel is important for it to hold up in saltwater, yo:

watermarked1(2018-04-16-1416)

Get the good stuff for saltwater

Here is a new one in 316 Stainless, next to another one that’s been surfed for about 8 months on the regular:

watermarked8(2018-04-16-1417)

Not significant amount of rusting for so much use

I’ve found that the 8/32 thread size fits most single fin box  nuts that usually come with the fin, or also the surfboard itself. I only get the 3/4″ length to fit the depth of most single fin boxes.

 

watermarked5(2018-04-16-1417)

Shareable Size

Here’s a link to the place where I got mine:

McMaster-Carr (I don’t get anything for this, it’s just a link to the page)

Remember how I said I wanted to move my fin to the back of the fin box? I used the nut I already had that was in the box, but I can just switch to this type of screw:

watermarked2(2018-04-16-1417)

Moving the fin to the back of the box

watermarked3(2018-04-16-1417)

No screwdrivers!

watermarked4(2018-04-16-1417)

Ready to go and secure

That’s it, Bro-licious. And they’re FIVE screws (no nuts included) for $6.50, plus shipping. Mark ’em up and sell them to your friends, or give them away and score some surf cred. They’re super mega handy, believe me.

And if you’re going to bitch about the thumbscrew affecting the flow of water over the foil of the fin, thus creating vortices of instability, well, “bless your heart.”

img_0698

All. Da. Time.

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