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



3D Printed GoPro Wrist Mount

So this is my 3rd GoPro camera. Honestly, I’m not all that stoked on GoPro, but it takes passable pics in the water, and I like taking pictures for fun. Especially of my talented surfer friends. Me….not so much. Yikes.

I replaced my broken GoPro Hero 3 several months ago with the newer Hero Black Edition. It’s much smaller, lighter, and doesn’t require the pain in the ass housing.

However, the GoPro remote I had bought only a year ago had also given up the ghost. And I was NOT about to buy another remote, nor was I going to pay $50 bucks for a wrist strap mount that I knew wouldn’t be small enough for my wrist.

Luckily, we have a 3D printer, handy for printing out custom bits of plastic (PLA). But this plastic is made from corn, AND is compostable. Super gnar.

I put my “custom order” in with my husband, who drew up what I wanted for this project in

Funky green prototype

Creo Parametric, a digital drawing program. The file was exported for use in our MakerBot 3D Replicator. The original prototype- a custom-sized wrist mount with 1 1/2″ wide slots for a wrist band to pass through- was printed in low resolution (the surface was very grainy when completed, but it printed in less than a 1/2 hour). This prototype was made to check sizing and fit with the camera.
Once that checked out, a final version was printed in black using a much higher resolution. The underside of the mount was still very rough, due to how the item is printed. Since I had already intended to cover it with a scrap piece of wetsuit from a chest piece (where the rubbery grip is), it didn’t matter. The small piece of neoprene foam was going to be a cushion for my wrist. I used my quilt clips to make sure the glue made a good bond between the pieces.

The finished 3D printed mount

The unsanded underside of the mount to be covered with scrap neoprene foam

My scrap piece of rubber grip neoprene foam, the underside of the mount, and some glue

Clamping the scrap neoprene under the mount after placing the glue

Because I thought it would be EASY to find 1 1/2″ wide Velcro that would be suitable, I wanted the opening for the strap that wide. Also, the strap needed to be wide enough to prevent the camera from sliding around. But, alas, I had to make do by sewing two strips of 3/4″ Velcro side by side to make a wide strap since 1 1/2″ couldn’t be found readily. Good gravy.

This type is EXCELLENT for this purpose, and only costs a few bucks

Measured out the length I needed- make sure to flip the Velcro and re-sew it, or it won’t stick to itself!

Ready to try out for reals

The neoprene rubber inside keeps it from slipping


With the floaty on it

It turned out to be very comfortable to use, and I could easily paddle with it on. Here are some pictures from the other day using the wrist mount in the water.

Glad I got a few pics. The GoPro camera’s broken now, but the mount held up great. It was fun while it lasted.

Wetsuit Recycling Project Wrap Up

Going back over my old Blogger posts I FINALLY imported into this WordPress blog, I noticed I really do like recycling and upcycling this cool material, and there’s lots of projects you can do. There’s absolutely NO excuse to toss out that holey wetsuit- there’s always something that can be salvaged from it.

Here’s a list of all the Projects from this series of the Wetsuit Recycling Project:

At the very least, I hope it gave you some ideas, and keeps you from ditching your old non-degradable wetsuit in a landfill.

On to Summer! Gnar!

Cocoa Beach is servin’ it up…


 

 

 

Wetsuit Recycle Project #7: Neoprene Sunglasses Pouch with Lining

I will never judge someone else’s taste in collectibles, because we all collect/hoard something. I used to think that collecting cars is ridiculous and pointless, but that same crowd would look at my collection of surfboards and think the same of my collection, so how could I judge? I do believe your collections also change with your surroundings. The collection of John Deere tractors that a man enjoys on his farm in Iowa now may need to morph into a different type of collection for his retirement to a condo in Boca Raton. Hot Wheels, perhaps?

Down here in Florida, I have become a “collector” of flip flops and sunglasses. Some women dig the Louboutins, I’ll take some nice waterproof Reef’s…and Olukai’s, and etc. I’ve managed to stay under 10 pairs of flip flops, but my sunglasses collection has now hit about 5 pairs. Only 2 of those are in scratch free condition, which is really shameful. They give you a little microfiber pouch to put your glasses in to keep them clean, but these are a pain to get open and put the glasses in, and there’s no cushion. So, I usually don’t bother with them. Hence the scratches, eventually.

That’s when I looked to my scrap pile of neoprene and picked out a nice sleeve piece with some color. Since using the neoprene foam fabric as a pouch alone may be too scratchy for my glasses, I’m going to use that flimsy microfiber pouch as a lining for my pouch, counting on the neoprene to give the pouch some structure.

A short sleeve scrap of neoprene

The microfiber pouch I’m going to use as lining

The shape is a little trapezoidal, but that’s not a big deal. 

I checked it again by slipping the microfiber lining pouch into the sleeve.

Cutting the bottom off straight across

From here, I just needed to close up the bottom of the pouch. I could have used my wetsuit adhesive that I’ve used before, but this time I’m going to blanket stitch it closed.

Small seam allowance at bottom

I’m using C-Lon poly thread, heavier than regular thread

 

Blanket stitched along the bottom

Once the bottom was sewn closed, I inserted the microfiber pouch into the neoprene pouch. I lined up the drawstring on the microfiber pouch so it was ABOVE the top seam of the neoprene pouch. This way, when I tacked down the opening of the lining to the neoprene, the drawstring would still draw up easily.

Sewing the lining in by hand with a smaller needle, and regular thread

That’s it! This pouch has some shape, so I don’t have to wrestle my glasses in and out of just the thin pouch, so I may actually use the thing now. Score.




And I’m within warranty, yo. 

This pair might be sacrificed back to the BROcean….

Wetsuit Recycle Project #4: Handplane Leash

I STILL use this handy little thing when I take out the Handplane I made a while ago. Enjoy this flashback project that proves I’ve been recycling from da way back, yo.

Originally Posted April 4th, 2012.

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Since Summer’s in the air, I figured it was time to pull out the poplar wood handplane I made and make some things for it I’ve been meaning to in time for warm water bodysurfing season (with a hope for some hurricane swells!).

I haven’t lost the handplane yet out in the water, but I thought it might be good to have a little insurance. I wanted to make a leash, but nothing too obstructive that would get in the way. Around the house, we had one of these coiled cord keychains.

For back when I had to be Keymaster for a wild night at the Bar. Sucks.

I just needed the coiled cord, so I removed the key ring from the one end and used a pair of tin snips to cut the hook end free from the cord.

I have the rustiest snips ever

Next, I made a wrist strap by cutting off the last 2 inches of an old neoprene wetsuit sleeve.

No sew, ready to go

If you need a bigger cuff, just cut a two inch section higher up the arm. To attach the cuff and leash, I used pieces of kumihimo cord I made before (or you can use paracord), and an overhand knot tied off to one side of the hand hold. I also made a lark’s head around the neoprene cuff to secure it.

No metal on this leash

That’s it! I’m going to leave this leash attached to my board, but I can cut the tie off if I want. A plastic zip tie would work great also, but I just wanted to avoid using any metal that could scratch up the board or get rusty over time.

I wouldn’t expect this to hold in super heavy waves, but then if I get into a super heavy wave and get tossed, I don’t want a square foot of poplar within close proximity to me anyway….

They force dogs to do this competitively in California. That’s puppy abuse right there, yikes-a-rama.

Wetsuit Recycle Project #3: Neoprene Bikini

So technically, this is kind of a mod instead of a craft, but I felt I should include this. I picked up this 0.5 mm Rip Curl hybrid spring suit/swimsuit a couple of years ago. A friend of mine got one, and I thought it was a great idea- neoprene instead of thin Lycra! Warmth! I was sold.

I’m SO NOT modeling this on a public blog….


Problem was, after I wore it surfing a few times, it became quite clear my torso must be longer than Rip Curl Model Alana Blanchard’s, since I would suffer constant Wipeout Wedgies in this suit. Thank goodness I still wore a bikini beneath.

The top wasn’t coming up quite high enough on my chest, so I was pulling the straps up constantly, forcing the body of the suit to come up as well. Not a good look for anyone. Except maybe this guy.

Enjoy…..


So it was time for a mod.

First, I made my chalk marks at a little higher than the true waist on the suit. I didn’t cut any material away, since I intended to put hems in each piece. Since this is neoprene foam, however, it’s not really necessary. But, I felt having a hem would give each part a little “binding”, and a place to put elastic in the casing created by the hem, if needed. Just trying to make it last longer, and stay on during my frequent wipeouts, ya know? Of course, I weighted everything down before making my cut with my rotary cutter and a straight edge, since neoprene can be SLIPPERY.

Where I’m going to make my cut

Getting ready to make my cut

Bisected!!!


Now I’m ready to fold down my hems on each piece. No edge finish needed, no fraying, works for me.

I used my quilting clips since they have a measuring gauge built in. I estimated about an inch, so I’d have plenty of room to work with under the presser foot on my sewing machine. Folding the hem over will make 1 mm of neoprene foam total thickness being sewn under my home sewing machine- I’m safe. I did fold the hem to the inside, the material is soft enough to be pretty frictionless on my skin. I clipped down the heck out of both hems.

About an inch…

Handy gauges on the clips

Clipped to the hilt


I actually had some freaky neon yellow thread in my stash, but it was “poly sheen”, which means it’s slippery embroidery crap. That’s why I had some. It’s ALWAYS on sale since sewists hate it. Instead of trying to use it as a top thread, I put it in the bobbin, used white standard thread on top, and sewed my piece inside out. Much easier, less tangles, I’ve found.

Decent match for the top thread


After I did a round of zig zag stitching at 2.5 width and 2.5 length (this neoprene is very stretchy!!!, using a walking foot, I did a test fit. But, I was worried just one line of stitching wouldn’t be enough to hold up to the vigors to surfing.

Worried about just one line of stitching holding up

 

So, I did a few lines of zig zag stitching around each hem. I’m not too worried about extra holes in this neoprene foam at the hem, since this is more like fabric, and the stretchiness absolutely merited the extra insurance.

The fabric will distort a little under the presser foot while sewing, it’s all good


Complete!

Extra room


I finally have extra room now for that morning muffin top to hang out after having my donuts and Diet Coke before surfing. Breakfast of champions.

Almost there….

Wetsuit Recycle Project #2: Surf Fin Sock

I have more than a few “wall-hangers” in my crib. For non-surfers: wall-hangers are boards too pretty to actually ride, but are works of art to surfers. They hold a revered spot in the apartment, condo, or house, and are massive dust collectors. But they are soooo much better than framed pictures of your family posing awkwardly at the Wal-Mart Studio.

Since I grew up in Kentucky, hundreds of miles from a beach, I guess I’m making up for lost time with the beach theme overkill. I have a 10′ Dewey Weber I bought from a friend a while back. It’s not a mega priceless surfboard, but I really love it. Problem is, it’s got a HUGE glassed-in 10″ fin that cannot be removed, and it has poked some guests on occasion…yikes. I can’t flip the fin side to the wall (it’s too big), so now I have a little safety hazard to contend with in the hallway.

My husband’s solution is just….yeah.

Not the aesthetic I’m looking for

Glassed in fin- can’t be removed in a pretty way

 

I thought this would be a good time for those squishy soft 3 mm neoprene foam leftovers from my last post.

Since the fin could not be removed, this made it a little tricky to draft a pattern for the cover. Not to mention, I didn’t want to move around the 10 foot surfboard if I didn’t have to since I’m just that lazy.

So I used a piece of card stock and put it under the fin and traced it, all the way to the base. The whole fin profile didn’t fit, so I traced the top part of the fin on a separate part of the sheet- I pieced these together later to make the whole pattern.

Tracing the fin

Tracing the end of the fin

 

For this cover, I wanted a seam allowance of 1/2″, since 1/4″ of the outer edge of each side will be adhered together with neoprene cement. But you also need to take into account the thickness of your fin. This fin has a heavy duty glass job, so it’s got a lot of meatiness. That’s why I allowed for the extra 1/4″ on each half (total of a 1/2″ ease all around). Of course, I will cut the cover flush with the base and leave it unsealed, so I can slip in over the fin.

I prepped my pattern by tracing a 1/2″ additional seam allowance around the trace I made. It’s like connect-the-dots.

Marking the seam allowance


Cutting out the two pattern pieces

Lining up the two pieces up the pattern trace and taping them together

Since this is a custom made fin sock, I go back and double check that my pattern is in the realm of reality before I cut out any fabric.

A little extra at the top, all the better

Now, you can make YOUR fin sock all black (or whatever the outer color is) by adhering the seam allowances with the “right side” out, wrong sides together. But, I wanted the bright sealed seams to show, both for safety and for the cool factor, yo.

Here’s the original scrap pieces from the last post, cut open at a side seam on each leg to maximize the amount of “open” area of fabric. Check out the wicked yellow taped seams on the inside:

The pattern for size comparison


This is a good time to use staples when cutting out your pattern piece. A large rotary cutter would be difficult to use for a couple of odd shapes like this, so I’m using the thick fabric scissors again. If I puncture a tiny hole in the neoprene foam by stapling my fabric to my pattern, who cares?? This is a fin sock, it’s no longer helping to regulate my core temperature. I’m just using the squishy property of the neoprene foam to protect the fiberglass fin. Stapling it allows me to lift it off the cutting board to get a precise cut.

I had to get creative with the layout of the pattern on the fabric! Luckily, neoprene has no nap (direction) to worry about, so I can have fun with where I want to place my pattern. Just remember to flip your pattern over when cutting the other piece!

Get a good stapler that doesn’t require much pressure- they’re not much more expensive

These staples don’t dig in far- just enough to hold it long enough for you to cut

A piece cut out


I used sealing cement in black to adhere the long curved outer edges together, wrong sides together. The sealing cement comes with a little paintbrush, which is okay. I think next time I’ll use a q-tip to paint the cement on.

This stuff comes out fast and goopy, use the plastic packaging as an inkwell

A skin develops quickly- keep stirring it

 

This stuff sets up fast out of the tube, so work quickly and don’t squeeze out too much at once (lesson learned). 

I painted the outer wrong side edge around each piece, NOT sealing the bottom. The first coat you should let cure for 5 minutes, then paint a second coat and let that cure up about 10 minutes before adhering the sides together. 

NOT crazy about the paintbrush applicator it came with

I used my plastic clips to hold the sides together for another 1/2 hour in the garage outside. This stuff SMELLS AWFUL, and should be used in a ventilated area, preferably with a mask.


Once it cures, DONE! It was a decent fit, with a little extra room. Much better than a tennis ball.

Safety First.


I hope this kid would give me a thumbs up too…