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

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.

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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.

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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.



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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.



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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



My Car’s Summer Surf Kit Stuff: DIY Rinse Off Station

So the next thing I keep in the back of the Mirthmobile is a Pressurized Sprayer filled with water to rinse off with after surfing. I made this smaller 2 gallon size to fit in this model hatchback. See how to make your own in this DIY project, where I refitted a 5 gallon weed sprayer like this.

I also used an old plastic paper filing container (without the lid) to put the portable surf shower into just in case the nozzle leaks a little water. The bin also serves as a catch-all for those lovely bits of treasure people leave behind on the beach. Pick up your damn trash, people.



I found this red Solo cup floating in the water when I paddled out yesterday, at least now it can be recycled.

So here’s what the trunk ends up looking like so far with my surf gear:


Still plenty of room for lots more surf crap. I just wish we’d get some waves. We’ve had a solid few days of some dismal flatness.

My Car’s Summer Surf Kit: A Series

Every Summer, I like to put together a kit to keep in my car with stuff that can be helpful when I go surfing, or when I’m finished surfing and need to go somewhere afterwards. I never want to pass up a chance to surf or paddleboard if I’m feeling good (chronic headaches, boo), AND it’s Summer, so I’d better be prepared like a Girl Scout when those stars align.

Not my car, but nice paint job

So, I thought it would be fun to share what I typically throw into My Car’s Summer Kit to prepare for pre-surfing, surfing, and post-surfing. I’m also going to include some new little projects and hacks I’ve added this Summer to upgrade my kit without spending a ton of extra cash. 
Anywho, I hope you enjoy this upcoming little series about the surf crap in my car. Really.

I’m SOOOOOO much better now, I swear

Have I told you lately how much I really appreciate you folks reading this? You’ve got patience. Go ahead, buy that Meyerhoffer you’ve been eyeing. You deserve it.

Glad you don’t take yourself too seriously either. It’s a good thing.

This looks like my setup!

Upcycled Surfboard Car Rack Pads

Flashback Post!

Originally Posted 1  February 2013.

OK, so I broke down a bought a new car after 11 years and nearly 225,000 miles. It was about time. One requirement was that I had roof racks installed on this vehicle, of course. I had to get the Yakima permanent mount type, so I paid through the nose to get them installed. I at least could save a bit my making by own rack pads to go on the bars so it wouldn’t damage the boards. Ok, like $40 bucks, but hey, better than nothing. I thought a lot about the materials I could use to make the pads out of, and I decided on using an old yoga mat I didn’t use anymore since I got a new one. For the sides, I had some flag fabric, which is essentially heavy duty nylon cloth, used to make those outdoor decorative flags. It can be found at any fabric store, but I already had some in my fabric stash.

First, I measured the width of the bars across. I came up with about 27 inches. I decided to round this down to 26″ for my pads to leave a bit of room. You will have a different measurement depending on your racks.

Next, I took a pool noodle and measured the circumference using a tape measure. I came up with 8 inches. Since I’m going to use Velcro as a closure, I added 1 inch to each end, to make it 10 inches to make an overlap. This made the dimension 26″ by 10″. This is what I cut out twice from the yoga mat for each pad.

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I was going for pockets on each end of the yoga mat to fit the pool noodle into- therefore, I cut four squares of the flag fabric into 10″ by 10″ squares using a rotary cutter on a cutting surface. The width is the same, but I wanted some space inbetween to fit the pool noodle into.

I then overlocked each edge of both squares using a standard overlock stitch on my machine set at 5.0 width, and 1.0 wide. I used a J foot on my sewing machine, used for overlocking.

Next, I stitched the stitched the squares to each end of the yoga mat, placing the squares ON TOP of the mat. Here’s a diagram of the stitching pattern and the layout on the floor:


When you stitch, keep the edges *just* overlapping- try not to overlap too much. Use a straight stitch and preferably a roller foot to make the pass.

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When you’ve stitched both squares down, lay the piece down right side up and fold each half toward you.

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I acquired some blue 3/4″ Velcro from the store to use for this project. Laying it up against the long edge, STAPLE it (no pins, Ma!) along this edge to secure it for sewing. Sew lengthwise along the edge of one side of the Velcro, then sew another line along the other side of the Velcro lengthwise. Here’s a sewing guide for this stage, also:

FLIP the piece to the other side and do the same thing. Don’t forget that the Velcro needs to be on opposite sides since the piece will be wrapping around a cylindrical piece.

Finished!

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Now, I’ve got to cut the foam noodle. I’m cutting it to 26″ inches. I mark the point with a pen.

For cutting foam of any kind, I use a electric knife like for cutting turkeys. Yep, they work great. They cut though foam like butter and make a mean turkey sandwich (well, when I used to eat meat).

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I need to cut the foam noodle down the center (but not all the way through, just to the hole in the center). To help keep it straight, I chocked the noodle with a couple of heavy books:

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Once the noodle was cut lengthwise, it was placed into the yoga mat pocket.With the noodle cut side up, I tucked the flag fabric into the slit.

I did not close the Velcro yet until I got the pads over the rail.

Slip the pads over the rail slit side down and with the fabric tucked in. Close the Velcro around the rails. The nice thing about these pads is that they have a slight sticky quality, which helps to keep the board from moving around.

watermarked-photo-2016-09-18-1406

Spiffy! Now my rail pads match my seat covers. I’m officially a total kook. Here’s to sorta keepin’ it real….kinda.