Sep 02

First test of the Flyboy skim project

So we got a chance to head out over the long weekend, but holy crap the water was rough! We also screwed up the ballast for James’ riding. Somehow the offside bag started to fill up and we must have had 1,000 pounds of water on the offside when James on his surf style board! However, we did get a clean test on the skimmer project that we want to share with you today.


Here are a few pictures from James’ first ride on the board.





Here is a short video of James riding the board for the first time. You can see a front shuv and then also James mention how fast the board is.

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

We also want to share another video with you. This is of James friend from grade school, Josh L. Josh has never wakesurfed, wakeboarded or wakeskated before, but after 40 minutes of instruction with James and on the new Flyboy Wakesurf skimmer Josh went from this:


… to this:

Here’s a link for our mobile enabled friends, in case that embed failed on you.

We want to chat a little more about this board later in the week. We hope you had a great Labor Day weekend and getting back to school or work isn’t too tough on you!

Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it.

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Aug 30

Final touches on the skimmer

We are almost done with the skimmer project, all that’s left is to install the fin and attach the Agenda traction!

So we probably should have installed the fin before lamination and paint, but…we had our minds on other things! So now we are doing it post-paint! We use some blue painters tape to to mask over the area where we will be installing the fin, for a few reason. One is to save our amazing paint! The other is to give us something to write on as we align the fin and mark out the points we need to drill. Typically skimmer fins have three points that require drilling. The thru bolt and the two alignment studs.

skimmer 1

It’s a little hard to see, but we mark the three locations and then drill into the foam using the drill in the upper right of the screen. One thru and the other two just about 1/4 of an inch deep.

skimmer 2

On the deck side of the board we counter-sink the hole for the through bolt.

Next up is to attach the Agenda traction, one of James’ sponsor and makers of the best wakesurf traction EVER! :)

skimmer 3

You’ll remember in the discussion yesterday that we wanted the traction as far back as possible. This agenda traction is really easy to work with. Don’t be afraid to cut it to your particular needs. We took out a saw and then a pair of scissors to make the fit perfect!

skimmer 4

Ok, all outfitted and ready for a test run! We’ll hopefully get it out over the weekend.

skimmer 5

We are most likely going to take the long weekend off, we hope you folks can also! We’ll see you back here bright and early on Tuesday! Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Aug 29


We wanted to use gold leaf, but that is so crazy expensive and pretty hard to apply. So we just used gold paint! This is the final test board of our Flyboy Skim.


It’s not a very good picture, but the vast expanse is gold paint and then the red’ish color has hues of red and orange. You can’t really see the color changes in the picture above.

We wanted to talk a bit about the blunted off tail. We’ve used that in the Flyboy James walker signature model for years, in fact it existed in the TWP James Walker signature model long before it was sort of copied and used in other boards. The blunting concept started with Shoreline Lakeboards. Their initial purpose was to eliminate the pointed nose of the surf style board to avoid damage to boats or worse, a person!

But it does something else, too. It allows the outline of the board to be made such that it handles and behaves like a bigger board, then trimming the nose off makes the overall length shorter, but the board still handles/rides like a bigger board! It’s really genius. Bigger/longer boards offer more forgiveness in terms of offering a greater planing surface. In landing a trick, if it’s just a tad off or sketchy, it takes way more skill to land it on a smaller board. That’s not recognized in contests, it’s not a judging factor, but it’s a huge differentiating effect. More IS better in that instance.

Now the other thing that the blunt on the tail does is allow you to move your rear foot and traction backwards some. You know that the width of the kick pad is one of the limiting factors on your placement of the tail pad. As the tail of the board gets pulled in, at some point, the kick pad will be wider than the outline and so that becomes the effective limit on where you can place the traction. BUT, further back gives you more leverage on the tail of the board. It’s like a lever, the closer to the end the more pronounced the effect of the lever will be.

We hope to be able to get out on the board over the weekend, we’ll see. The drought is so severe in our state that the water level in our lake is just a fraction of what it should be. BUT, the boat traffic isn’t! More boats in less water and there are so many high spots and tree stumps that are showing up now, so it’s really even less effective boating area. Makes it hard to ride or surf. We hate surfing dangerously or swamping smaller boats, so we try to stay way out of the way…but now there is no way out of the way, we are all sort of just in what’s left over!

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it.

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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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