Aug 28

James Walker back big on his Flyboy

Man it’s been crazy here at Flyboy this week, crazy decisions that need to be made and negotiations that we thought had been resolved three times before, keep coming up, like a bad penny! Tired of that shit as it’s never ending and also not our problem. Don’t you hate when folks MAKE it your problem? Three GD times! There is an old saying, you only get one trip to the well…well we allowed two extra. Just feels awful and devaluing and really out-of-control.


Anyway, we don’t have much for you today! So we thought we’d share a fun little stylized back big and some sequence shots. We used the “moon” filter on Instagram to make it black and white and that was fun. If you get a chance to go look at our Instagram page, it’s a fun little filter.

So here is that video snippet of James Walker landing a backside big spin.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that back big video if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

That was fun, if short.


We’ve also placed a group of sequence shots in a Flyboy Flickr album that you can study if you like.

Hopefully we’ll calm down around the Flyboy shop here in a day or two and we can get back on task! Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 27

Miscellaneous board building

We are sort of in the middle of a few projects and wanted to share where we are with those and then also share a process we are intrigued with.

The first is a little carbon wrapped skim project. You’ll remember we started that some time again and we are hoping to get that finalized this week and ready to test out. We left the board outside to cure last evening and just sort of forgot that Fall is in the air! It got really cold last night and there was some dew on the surface of our project this morning! We were heart broken for a moment because that can ruin the cure cycle of epoxy, but lucky for us, it was cured before the dew hit!


The first thing we did was run a hand over the surface to see if was tacky! Right? If it’s ruined might as well test it such that it would wind up a MESS and RUINED! :)

The second project is related to a process we want to test.


This is a little far out there, but that’s what we do here at Flyboy! We understand there is a place for traditional materials and methodologies, but just not here. :)

So this started with a tour of a friends workshop that is involved in the defense industry and they create composite structures that are designed to protect American service men and women. One of the things they do is create blast mitigation composite structures. No doubt you’re aware of IED’s used against American soldiers in the middle east. In short one of the products is a blast tolerant composite sandwich panel.

We want to share a few demonstration videos that portray the use of an elastomer called Polyurea. We won’t delve into the technical aspects because some yahoo will start playing some stupid-ass semantics game and confuse the shit out of everyone. The stuff is used, commercially as a garage floor covering. It’s very tough stuff.

So here is one advertisement video that shows all sorts of stuff shot at and blown up! Comparing Polyurea coated items to non-coated items.

Right? Gotta love shooting things with a 12 gauge!

Ok, this is a little more subtle, but gives you an idea of how the application of Polyurea can toughen objects.

Now we need to be just crazy-ass careful here because the semantics nazi’s will run around saying that WE SAID, paint your board with Polyurea and you can slam it with a sledge hammer all day long. We are NOT saying that (duely noted on August 27, 2014 at 4:30 am). That said, however, we have to wonder if the ability of Polyurea to help spread loads can’t be included in a wakesurf board composite sandwich.

But our buddy creates this blast mitigation composite structure that in fact uses Polyurea. Here is a link to a study that sort of explains the basic concept.

To summarize, what the study found was that a very thin layer of Polyurea close to the core of the composite sandwich used as an “interlayer” between the facing and core dramatically increased the ability of the sandwich to deflect blast loads.

That got us thinking about how we use wakesurf boards. We are always focused on two contact points on the deck that correspond to out feet, or thereabouts and on the bottom where we, or at least some of us, land from aerials and hit the wake. We started wondering if a simple coating of Polyurea, underneath a skin could assist in the deflection of loads in a wakesurf board?

Who knows?! But we’ll give it a test, as you can buy Polyurea coatings from most paint supply stores. We’re going to do some testing to see how it reacts with EPS foam and then also Divinycell. Imagine if a simple layer of the stuff could increase damage tolerance to the point you could hit your board with a hammer?! Ok, that will never happen, but maybe there is a simple and inexpensive way to use a paint like substance to coat the core and increase the toughness by some measurable factor?

Anyway, you’re up-to-date with the Flyboy Wakesurf labs! Thanks so much for following along we really appreciate it.

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Aug 26

Wakesurfing the repaired wakesurf board

We wanted to quickly show you the repair to the concave deck wakesurf board. You’ll remember that the rail had broken and there was a crease to the underlying foam core. We walked through the steps replacing the core material and then replacing everything from the inside out. Being careful to replace with material of identical properties. Well, at least similar properties.


Here is a quick video of James riding the repaired board and you can see that while it’s probably not high end contest material, it’s more than adequate for practice and most riding situations.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to James Walker wakesurfing the repaired board.

We wanted to share a few sequence shots also. The hardest impact or force on a wakesurf board, while wakesurfing, is landing from an aerial. The riders weight comes down on the board and the water below tries to resist that force. It all meets right in the middle and typically on the rail!

So we didn’t do a good job of placing the sequence shots in an album, but you can still visit our Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr page and see James landing from an aerial. But we’ve also swiped the two relevant photos here!

This is James in the air on the repaired board.


…and here is James riding away WITHOUT breaking it!


The take away from that is that virtually all wakesurf boards can be repaired and for the most part it’s cheaper to repair that break that buy a new one. There are exceptions, of course, price point boards are probably better off just being replaced, as shipping and repairing them can be more costly than buying a replacement at the end of the season when left over inventory is on sale.

For other high end wakesurf boards, that start in the $750 range and above are damaged it’s tough to think about throwing that out and plunking down another $750! We understand that there are folks that spend that much at lunch, we aren’t part of that group! Lord knows they aren’t hob-knobbing with us!

The point though is if you aren’t made of money, even the most severe damage, like the crease in this board, can be fixed and restore your pride and joy to operable condition! Most reputable shapers can repair a damaged board and all of the folks we know that do that sort of thing are really genuine and honest people. They’ll let you know if the damage is too severe to be repaired. So before you huck it in the trash, reach out to one of the folks that do repairs to find out if they can save your board and hard earned cash.

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 25

Stupid camera!

Actually it’s not the camera, but us. We did something to the video camera, the last time we were out.


The zoom kept changing in the footage. So 50% of the footage is of a little mini-me James doing something, but you can’t really tell what. Then probably 40% is super zoomed in, where all you can see is James’ knees or butt! THIS is the 10% we saved and hopefully we’ll figure out what we did to the camera!

Here is that video of the remaining 10%

For our mobile enabled friends, here is that remaining 10% video of James wakesurfing.

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 23

Flyboy Wakesurf as a case study on Facebook

We’re not sure if you saw us featured on Facebook as a case study for how to use that popular social media site for business purposes.


In case you didn’t, and most of you didn’t! So, here is a link to the Flyboy Wakesurf case study.

We were really pleased to be part of it. There are a number of case studies that Facebook has done and we’re happy to have been chosen as one of them. It’s there own promotional efforts, but still it’s nice to be part of that!

Social media is not really traditional advertising as folks seem to want to make it. You can’t really use your old school 4 color print ad and expect any sort of return on that investment. We’ve also watched dramatic declines in online contests that seek to use participants as part of a “pimping” operation to advertise for a sponsor. Folks aren’t stupid, well some are, but most just go on about their business.

The Flyboy Facebook page is what is referred to as a fan page and there are all sorts of useful tools behind the scenes that allow the owner of the page to see how effective their efforts are. It used to be that any posts on those pages would sort of migrate to the timeline of the fans, but then Facebook came up with some lame ass excuse as to why that wouldn’t work, BUT if you paid them then they could do it for you. Whatever! We don’t mind, Facebook has a good thing going and we enjoy the ability to get certain messages out there and let other messages just be found. AND we get to control that, of course via the almighty dollar!

Anyway, not that we are experts at any of this, but we’ve been effective and we love that and appreciate the recognition from Facebook!

Speaking of Facebook, our fan page is rapidly approaching 3,000 likes.


We hope to have reached that milestone in the next few weeks. When we do, we are planning a celebration with giveaways and prizes for our loyal Facebook fan base! You don’t have to be the 3,000 th fan, just BE one of our Facebook fans to join in the fun! If you haven’t already, please like our Flyboy Wakesurf Facebook page when you get a moment!

You can also use the little button over on the right hand side of the Flyboy Wakesurf blog where it says Follow Us!

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it!

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Aug 22

Are you ready for the weekend?

We thought we’d whet your appetite for some wakesurfing with a little snippet of a trick we just started calling a 5 x 5.


It’s a 1080 stalled in the middle that sort of creates a backside 5 into a switch revert frontside 5. Way too hard to repeat that name, so we termed it a 5 x 5!

Here is a video clip of the trick.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to the 5 x 5, in case the embed above didn’t work for you.

We’ve also created a Flyboy Flickr album of the 5 x 5 if you want to study the sequence shots to create your own surface rotation tricks that incorporate the stall and switch revert frontside rotations.

We’ve heard folks say that the future of wakesurf tricks are kick flips, which seems hard to swallow as we really only know of one person that has done one! But maybe those folks are right and we also hear folks doing shuvs on a surf style board and calling that surf style, it’s not…it’s skim style tricks on a surf style board. All that aside, one of the most fruitful areas of your development in wakesurf tricks can be in surface rotations. As seen with this trick, adding stalls and also from that Figure 8, combing frontside and backside rotations into a single trick will open up just a ridiculous amount of possibilities for your personal progression.

We hope you get a chance to go out and create new tricks that you can claim as your own over the weekend!

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 21

Crease repair, more rail work

We want to share a picture with you from a hike we made at sometime, in the back country of the El Dorado National Forest.

rail 1

It’s a dramatic testament to the tenacity of life and nature. There was enough dirt and debris for that seed to sprout and judging by it’s size it’s been growing out of that rock for a few years. It’s also probably not quite what it appears. Most likely there is a wide enough crack that allowed the roots of the sapling to actually make it to the soil underneath the rock, so it’s not really growing out of the rock as it appears.

Have you read those motivational quotes from sports that folks try to apply to business and life, in general? Like Vince Lombardi’s The only thing that matters in sports is winning. Lordy that stuff gets misapplied, the brutal inflexibility of those just don’t make sense in the real world. Looking at that picture, would it have been a better idea to maybe plant and grow a seed in the dirt right next to the rock?! If nature or the seedling could have made that choice. Yes of course, maybe there are ideas that just shouldn’t be subjected to that win at all costs or never give up mentality and maybe move 4 feet and try try again? We kind of think that makes more sense in business and probably life in general. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

So we are back to this crease repair, not because it’s never give up! We’ve sort of modified the plan for the one that is currently being built for James, but we can still fix this one! We also feel that try, try again adage is what is behind most advances in technologies.

So try, try again! You may remember we left off on the crease repair with the bottom and rail being rebuilt. So the next steps is to replace the skin of the board which is composed of a layer of the reinforcement under the skin and then also the skin itself which for this board is bamboo.

rail 2

We didn’t get a picture of the reinforcements going down, but they are matching the existing and surrounding material in weight and also orientation. The picture above is a little tough to make out, but we have gone outside the area of the repair so that we can grind it flush to the surface of the existing board. We did that bevel in the repair so that we would wind up with a smooth transition from UNBROKEN to FIXED.

So the next step is to, as carefully as possible, grind the patched materials so that we have a nice flat and smooth surface from the existing board to the repaired areas.

rail 3

That picture gives you an idea. It’s not quite finished, but you can see the process. Grind it flush and then also taper the repaired areas. One thing that we want to bring to your attention is that white area all around the bamboo. That is fiberglass from underneath the bamboo skin. We want that, we want the external fiberglass to mate with that internal fiberglass to create a stronger bond and repair. It will help strengthen that area and give us a little extra flexibility in that area surrounding the repair.

Now it’s time to flip it over! We had a little damage to the carbon fiber and fiberglass on the rail and it looked like there might be some weakness in the rail material with that flexing. We figured since we had already gone to this much trouble we would undertake a repair on the deck side of the rail, similar to the bottom. So we ground out the bad stuff, and cut a small piece of material to glue into the area we cleaned up.

rail 4

Next up is to grand, shape, smooth and taper that whole area!

rail 5

Ok, that’s enough for today, we’ll return to the repair and performing a cut lap with the carbon fiber when we return to the repair.

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 20

Power 360 tutorial

We know, crazy name! We’re sitting in this huge void when it comes to naming conventions. There aren’t any and well-meaning folks attempt to borrow names from other sports that don’t really always apply to wakesurfing and then there are others that try to broker deals in the “best interests” of the sport that are fully intended to diminish certain tricks or classes of tricks. No doubt all sports go through this phase until it is wrestled away from the vested interest folks and put into the hands of a larger more objective group.

Until that time, welcome to the awkwardly named Standup, no-handed 360 tutorial! As you know, most 360′s are initiated with a hand drag. If you are on a skimmer, no doubt you squat way down to initiate a 360. Most surf style riders also bend way over, because of the hand drag. This trick has none of those attributes, it’s done standing up and without using a hand to initiate it. Sort of a variation on a 360, like an ollie 3. Maybe one day we’ll come up with a catchy name like a power 3 or something, or better yet some unbiased objective oversight body will create a process that allows these variations to be adequately named! Until that time…you know, that power 3 sounds kinda catchy, lets use that for the balance of the tutorial. Sound ok?

Man that was a bunch of lead in! Lets jump to the video, so that you can see it. Here is James Walker doing that Power 3 on his Flyboy.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to James Walker landing that Power 3, if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

We’ve also created a Flyboy Flickr album that captures the sequence shots for the Power 3. As you’re learning this trick, those sequence shots will serve as an excellent reference.

This trick will be a great addition to your bag of tricks! You’ll want to have you regular hand drag 360 pretty much dialed and while it can be helpful to have your ollie 3 wired, also, this trick can help you bridge the gap between your standard hand dragged 360 and an ollie 3. It almost looks like a failed ollie 3, but of course it’s intended to be done this way. In short, you are going to coming into the trick with more power and speed, like you are trying to ollie off the lip, but just not enough to actually do the ollie! So you’ll sort of go into it with more speed and power than you want!

Here is the first real differentiation on the trick. Nose high, like you want to load up for the ollie. Lift your front leg, again like an ollie and keep that back leg straight. You’re going to be revolving around the tail of the board rather than have it follow you through the rotation.

Wakesurf 360 DSC05182

We’re going to show the next two picture together, as they give the best representation. It’s a weak ollie 3, where the board doesn’t leave the water.

Wakesurf 360 DSC05183

Wakesurf 360 DSC05184

Right? Sort of a failed ollie 3! It’s really not, but you get the idea, it has all of the same steps and motions, but more subduded so that the board doesn’t leave the surface of the water. You want spin just like an ollie 3, but without freeing the fins to spin the board in the air. If you are having trouble bringing the nose of the board around, because your tail feels locked down, especially if you are on a quad, yank the trailers out and try it like that. The Flyboy with it’s twinzer’ish fin pod doesn’t suffer from that malady.

James is just ridiculously stylish in the execution of his tricks and there is no “style” component in wakesurf scoring. You would think that style could be an individual scoring component, we obviously know it when we see it and when there is literally no way to differentiate tricks, but the push is to no names or only the chosen few get to name tricks, it just becomes this convoluted mess. Anyway, if you are competing, make sure you give the judges hell of they don’t recognize your individual style, if they try forcing you to ride like everyone else into a sort of generic skim run.

Where were we?!

Oh! Bringing the board around, James works the return very slowing, matching the exit with the entrance in terms of speed of the revolution. Don’t let the fins grab and throw you around, nice and slow, but also steady so that the entire revolution is balanced.

Wakesurf 360 DSC05192

So there you have it. Same entry as a really mild ollie 3, faster and more powerful than your standard hand dragged surface 360. It’s best if you have your ollie 3 pretty much wired, but if you are struggling there, for the time being, try this trick, the Power 3, first and THEN move on to your ollie 3.

Good luck and thanks for following along! We really appreciate it.

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Aug 19

Hope you did some wakesurfing

If you didn’t make it out to the 10K Lakes open, we hope you got a chance to do some wakesurfing over the weekend.


Here is a short video of James Walker on his Flyboy from prior to the 10K Lakes event, where James was testing out an old Flyboy before heading back east.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that video of James Walker wakesurfing his Flyboy, if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

We like that standup nohanded surafce 3, and we’re planning a tutorial on that here shortly, if you have your surface 3, with a hand drag down, you’ll want to add this variation to your trick bag!

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 18

James Walker and Flyboy win at 10K Lakes Open

James has been back in Minnesota for most of the week and took top honors in the Men’s Pro Surf division at the 10K Lakes open! It was held on the Mississippi River at the site of the 2010 WWSC, where James and Flyboy won the Men’s Pro Surf at the World Championships. Here is a cell phone picture of the podium, we stole from Ski Supreme Boats.

10k podium 2

That’s James Walker in First, Aaron Witherell in Second and Chris Wolter in Third. Congratulations to all the podium winners!

We have a really poor quality video, which we too off the computer screen, of the live feed…so we warned you! James’ run on the final day included a surface reverse, shuv to revert and a Korina 3. The venue is a little hard for folks, because of the massive flow downstream, we remember it as around 3mph. That tends to change the wake and also the formation of it. James was seeded first going into the final days run, so he was relaxed and confident with that position and then cumulative scoring.

So here is James run fro the final day at the 10K Lakes Open.

For our mobile enabled friends here is a link to James’ winning run at the 10K Lakes Open.

10K podium 1

So congratulations to James for another win in the World Series of Wake Surfing while riding his Flyboy.

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