Jul 30

Ouch!

So we finally got to see the damage done to James’ contest board! Here are two quick cell phone pictures. This is of the crack on the rail and you can sort of see where the impact started with the white damaged epoxy.

crease 1

Here is a picture of the bottom of the board, you can see the damaged rail at the top of the board in the picture. If you look straight down from that ding, you can see a vertical line, that is where the board was creased from James riding and falling on it.

crease 2

Interestingly enough, when a board creases like that, it always starts at the rail. The same is really true of all cracks that migrate from the perimeter. We talked about anecdotal evidence yesterday, in the sense of casual observations. When a board folds, and Lord knows we’ve folded a bunch over the years, until the rail breaks, the center of the board retains it’s shape, but once the rail gives way, the center is free to just fold over like a big old wet noodle.

The rails of our boards have to handle the most forces and typically are the strongest and stiffest parts of our boards. In order for a board to crease or fold like that, the rail has to give out and crack or break.

James indicated that when he picked the board up after the flight from California to Texas, the TSA had placed a note in the board case that they had inspected the boards, but they didn’t replace the bubble wrap around the boards. It just bounced around inside the case from the handling and no doubt on the flight from California to Texas! It looks like the board held together for the Texas contest and then the riding afterwards in Texas and the few days in Washington, finally giving way when James fell on it hitting his head. The board, held together it had definitely lost most of it’s effectiveness!

If the ding had been found right away and repaired, the board could have been saved, but this one is definitely a goner for competitive purposes!

Time to make a new one!

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

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Jul 29

Water flow

We have no fresh video of James and his Flyboy to share, as James has been away at contests and giving lessons for the past two weeks, so we wanted to revisit an old concept that deals with how our boards interact with the wake and the hydroplaning. BUT forst we sort of need to deal with the concept of materiality or maybe it’s relevance. We’ve always termed it materiality, but we’ll let you decided have we finish this post which term makes the most sense to you.

We have a HUGE accounting background in the Flyboy Wakesurf shop! One of the terms that is used frequently in accounting is materiality. Normally auditors test or sample accounting records and look for errors. They may find some, but the error only amounts to say 2 cents. Everyone has their 2 cents worth, but is it meaningful? Well it could be. If the total value of all the records amounted to 3 cents, which we see lots of these days, then the 2 cents worth is about 2/3 of that total value and WOULD be material. Although, lets be honest, no one is going to test a batch of records that support a total value of 3 cents, you’d give that money away before you’d pay someone to test it!!! But if the total value of the records being tested say was 4 million dollars, then we probably don’t care about those 2 cents, do we? We might do a little extra checking to make sure it’s not some systemic problem that allows the records to be total crap.

For the most part if the only error we found was 2 cents, we’d just ignore it and call that 2 cents worth error immaterial. Right? 2 cents worth in a sea of millions, just doesn’t mean anything.

The other term we’ve heard folks use is relevance. We don’t like this one as much, for this purpose, but some folks do, so we’ll present it here for completeness. A contest with only two entries, probably isn’t real relevant, is it? It’s like playing tic tac toe, it’s just one player against another, certainly not worth all that much in the grand scheme of things and doesn’t determine global domination or anything like that. Anyway, you get the idea, we hope we didn’t offend anyone, we know you’re bright and didn’t really need those explanations.

So we tried to share with you a video taken by Jon Shields of James wakesurfing behind that 60 foot yacht up in Washington. You’ll remember that the wake height was around 6 feet high from the flats and the yacht was traveling around 17 mph. Fast and tall! Jon posted the video to his Instagram account but many folks couldn’t access so, kindly, Jon posted the video to his YouTube account and we can embed that for you here now.

Here is that video and thanks Jon Shields

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that Yacht wakesurfing video if the embed above didn’t work for you.

We wanted to bring your attention to just somethings. Go ahead and watch the video, it’s a blast. You’ll notice at the very beginning, there are two riders on the wake, but the port side rider falls which gives James the opportunity to do the wake transfer.

But did you notice that James is on the brakes most of the time on the starboard side? Big powerful wakes allow us to wakesurf at much higher speeds. If you watch at the very beginning of the movie, James is hydroplaning on a very small portion of his board and what happens when he sort of slams on the brakes, sending spray forward? The spray hits the water in front of James and then he passes over it doesn’t he? So that spray that is shot forward and seems to go backwards past James, is that what is happening? It’s not is it? James is moving forward, we can’t really document that all that well, but we understand that intuitively right? There isn’t any ambiquity that needs clarification? Maybe there is, but it sure seems obvious that is what is happening. That that spray is not moving forward after it hits the water, it’s movement in the direction of travel of the boat is: none. The boat and the wake sort of pass by. But the water that James is hydroplaning over is not moving forward or backward.

You can test this on your next trip out, toss something that floats out in the flats, it has momentum from the boat traveling, but once it hits the water, it just stops. If you watch James, though, he has enough speed and his board is hydroplaning enough that he can sort of zip across that water that isn’t propelling him forward.

Ok, one last clip, this is of James doing a little bottom turn snap combination. He powers down the face of the wake out into the flats and then turns back up towards the wake and snaps the tail of the board to shoot some spray forward towards the boat. Now we’ve cut and spliced a few segments together and we really suck at video presentations and play acting. So, hopefully, it’s ok enough that you can see what we are trying to convey.

So here is that video, it’s broken up into three segments, if you will. The first is the move altogether at normal speed. Then we break out the part of the trick just after the snap and the spray so that you can see the water pattern as it moves up the wake, and we reverse it so that you get a really clear idea of the water flow from below James’ board, up and what looks to be past him. The final section is just to clarify what happens with all that spray as it sort of gets behind James in the video, where it’s somewhat obscured by James and his movement. Anyway, as you watch it, watch for the spray pattern on the face of the wake, where we wakesurf. OH! And we slowed down and repeated sections, we’re not sure about the video quality, but hopefully you get the idea of the water flow patterns from it.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that water flow video, if the embed above doesn’t work for you!

Were you able to see the spray patterns? They looked to be sort of traveling in this curved patterned up and away from the rider, didn’t it? It’s a really nice graceful curve in what might be described as a clockwise rotation. At the very end, you have probably seen the gouge we make in the wake face when we are riding. That gouge also seems to travel UP and away from the rider. It would be impossible to create that gouge from behind, wouldn’t it?

Ok, so is that water actually flowing backwards? We know for certain it isn’t flowing forward at all. That’s a good thing isn’t it? What would happen if there was water flow forward and we did something like that snap where we screwed the face of the wake up? It would be a mess forever, wouldn’t it? If the water flow was at or about the same speed of the boat, that messed up face would just stay with us until we stopped doing anything and gravity sort of settled the water back down. Thank God that doesn’t happen! But is that water pattern actually flowing past James, backwards? It’s not is it? It looks that way, but what it’s doing, is just moving UP and James is moving past the spray pattern. It’s sort of an illusion. The water on the face of the wake, doesn’t really move laterally or along the boats path, at least in any “material” sense. In fact, it makes the spray pattern actually look like it’s moving away from the rider, doesn’t it? Towards the opposite side of the wake!

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It’s just the shape of the ramp, isn’t it? That curve from the flats up to the lip. That spray pattern is following the curve of the ramp, up towards the lip and then once it reaches the top, it basically just stops. Well, it flows down into the depression made by the board, that gouge, but after James gets out of the way, you can see it is still up at the lip and away from the boat. That’s again, what it looks like, it’s actually not moving away, it’s stationary as the wake we form moves past it. Anyway, the point being that there isn’t any flow forward and things don’t always look like what they seem to be!

If there were flow forward, what would that actually look like? Assuming at or about the speed of travel of the boat, that spray pattern would sort of look stationary on the face until it settled down, wouldn’t it? Like a rider in trim. If the flow was going faster than the boats speed, like what would be necessary to sustain a rider with strictly water flow forward. The spray pattern would seem to be cascading forward, maybe eventually colliding with the prop wash and creating a huge splash upward! Thankfully, it just goes up. Well except once the lip breaks over, at that point it’s just a chaotic mess and anyone’s 2 cents worth is as relevant as the next.

Ok, so that is all for today! We’ll talk more about how our boards sort of hydroplane on this weird step in the wake, and how that’s possible, at some point in the future. Also, why we sort of all have the same basic width in our boards and why that is!

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

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Jul 28

James Walker podiums twice at NWWSA

If you’ve followed along, you know that James broke his contest surf style board on the evening before the contest and after he had already practiced behind the Supra, so he entered the contest having not ridden the production model in about a month and then also, having never ridden the wake on the board he had to use for the contest! To make matters worse, James broke his contest board with a blow to the head! He thinks he may have a mild concussion, so hopefully he’ll get that managed when he gets back home and has some rest.

With all of that James was able to lock down second in Men’s Pro Surf and third in Men’s Pro Skim.

We were on pins and needles over this one, it was a challenge! Congratulations to James and Flyboy for pulling down another podium under difficult circumstances. You pulled that one out, son!

nwwsa 1

Congratulations to Parker Payne for the win and Jimmi Sparling for a hard fought third in surf, that was a close call.

James took home third place honors in Men’s Pro skim.

nwwsa 2

Congratulations to James for his skim podium and to the Witherall Brothers, Aaron for the first and Grant for second in pro men’s skim. We swiped the pro surf picture from Mark Payne and the pro skim from Tammy Witherall.

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

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Jul 26

Big boat wakesurf

UPDATE: James broke his board last night while out wakesurfing with friends. It seems he took the board to his head and the rail is cracked. James says he’s ok, but he ran off to the store for some pain meds, so hopefully he’s well enough to ride today. We are wondering if the damage possibly started while transporting the board in travel. We noticed that some pictures of James riding looked like they were diminished or something. Possibly started by the airlines and finished with a shuv to revert to smack upside the head! James will be trying to borrow a production flyboy for the actual contest. He’s practiced on his contest board for the better part of two weeks, so lets give him TONS of good wishes as he now SWITCHES over to a production board for the actual contest. It’ll be a challenge, to say the least.

James is up in Washington for the NWWSA event being held on Lake Tye. It’s being pulled by Supra this year, which is a change from years past when it was pulled exclusively by Centurion. One of the hallmarks of the World Series of Wake Surfing is that there are a few different boats that are being used in the series. We’re not familiar with any other wakesurf event being pulled by the Supra. James hasn’t ridden one since he was like 12, so this will be interesting! In the past, the pros that were giving lessons, as part of the NWWSA, didn’t really get to ride much behind a similar boat as the contest boats, we’re not sure if that is still in effect. It’s such a decided advantage to get practice time behind the contest boat. Speaking of which, the NWWSA holds a full day of practice, first come, first served where EVERYONE gets one chance to ride.

It’s really the only fair thing to do, at least in a contest setting. By the time you read this, practice and prelims for the pros will have been completed. The pro divisions only advance 3 riders into the finals so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for James that he makes it to the finals on Sunday!

Anyway, James isn’t behind a contest boat, before the event, and he never would try. Instead, he was behind a 60 foot yacht! Here is a quick cell phone picture of the bow of the boat, check the fat sacks! This wakesurf session was organized by Jeff Page of Inland and all of the Inland Team riders that attended this event seem to have made it out on the boat.

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James was telling us that there is something like 4,000 pounds of fat sacks on the swim deck! PLUS it’s a 60 foot yacht! It looks like there were two folks out when this picture was taken, that we stole from James’ Instagram page.

photo 1

James was telling us that from the flats to the top of the lip is head high and they run at 17 mph! It’s a little fast for James’ signature board, but he went out and had a blast.

photo 3

We couldn’t get this video by Jon Shields that shows James doing a backside wake transfer behind the yacht at 17 mph. We’ve included a link, HERE so you can see the video. We just couldn’t figure out how to embed Instagram videos!

Everyone seemed to have a blast behind the huge boat and the tall wake. If you watch the first part of that video, that is if it works for you, it brings up a great topic we want to talk about in terms of planing surfaces and how water flow affects that. As you see in that video, James is able to surf the little Flyboy board at 17 mph. When a board is planing on the surface of the water, like that, how do you suspect lateral and parallel water flow impacts the board? We’ll take a look at that and dispel some myths in a future post!

Anyway, James was enjoying the big boat surfing and having the opportunity to visit with the Inland Surfer team. The contest runs Friday thru Sunday. The scoring is NOT cumulative, so you qualify for the finals being in the top 3 and then your final run determines your podium placement.

This contest is also in conflict with the Canadian Wakesurf Nationals. It’s been a tough year for date conflicts between tours, but now also between stops in the same tour! The Canadian championship is being pulled by a Centurion, so most of the Centurion riders migrated up there, the non-Centurion riders seemed to congregate here at this Washington contest. We are still undecided on this situation. Does it spread the talent a little too thin? Or does it break up a rather boring pre-determined outcome? It seems like there won’t have been too many people that have ridden behind the Supra, other than the one practice run, so that will help level the playing field some and no doubt diminish the BORING factor a bunch. Back to that date conflict, last year the Calabogie event was on a different date and changed it to conflict with the NWWSA event. The season up in Canada is crazy short, but you also can’t expect an established event to change it’s dates. Last weeks TWC conflicted with the WTD event which has been held on the same date for ages and ages. Is that the deciding factor? Whomever stakes their claim first gets that weekend? We don’t know, obviously location is going to be a consideration also, North East vs South West might be responsive to the needs of participants. Obviously not everyone can travel all over for these events, so having one locally, as opposed to across the country would benefit those that aren’t able to travel everywhere.

Anyway, we don’t have the answer there, so we’ll wish James a ton of Luck, he’s been living out of a suitcase for a week and hasn’t seen this wake before, so hopefully he’s able to bring it altogether to make it to finals and a podium spot! He’ll be up against some of the best pros in the sport: Chris Wolter, the new kid Parker Payne and a host of others!

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

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Jul 25

Thermoformed rocker

Well we had planned to go back and bring everyone up to speed on how we got to yesterday’s post on the outline, rail shaping and skin glue up, but we did something different. We thermoformed the rocker on this skim build.

Thermoforming is pretty much just like it sounds, we heat the foam up and then bend it to shape, or form it and then allow it to cool into this new and different shape.

It’s a tad of an over-simplification, but all foams used in wakesurf board construction are a form of plastic. There are very esoteric foam made from aluminum and carbon, but we have never seen them used in a wakesurf board. So, if we look at the most predominant; EPS, XPS, DCell and Corecell, all of those foams are a form of plastic. If you’ve dealt with any plastic, you know that they melt with a certain amount of heat. There are different temperatures that might be best understood as one where the material gets soft, as oppossed to melting and turning to liquid. So in the thermoforming of Divinycell, we want the material to remain a solid! Just get to a point where it becomes pliable. Divinycell is excellent for this purpose, in that there is a fairly wide temperature span between those points. Foams like EPS, don’t have such a large span and it’s really easy to get from pliable, to liquid with EPS.

Ok, so changing the core material from a flat sheet into a melted and bent curved piece, or pieces is different than the current state of the art for making skimmers. Current, the flat sheets are bent during the lamination process. But they are still wanting to sort of bend back to their original flat state inside the lamination. We really have no idea if those forces are “material” meaning that they make a difference, but we thought we’d try it to see. The process was interesting, we applied the epoxy to the inside of the thicker piece of the core, the aligned the thinner piece of the core to the bottom and sort of “attached” it. Next we placed the two pieces on top of our modified rocker table and pulled a vacuum. Once the two pieces were in bent into the appropriate shape we started heating the the core up to it’s softening point of 212 degrees. So at this stage, we achieved a couple of note-worthy things. First is that we bent the core by thermoforming.

Second, we also cured that epoxy like a scalded cat! Epoxy normally cures in terms of hours. Most epoxies are room temperture cures, meaning they don’t require elevated tempartures and a normal cure cycle is around 2 to 5 hours. We had final cure around 30 minutes. From a production standpoint, that is comparable to using polyester resin. We’re not sure if the bond strength was negatively affected with that high heat, but it will be a fun test! Potentially, that is a way to affect a few changes in working with epoxy and these divinycell core skimmers, creating a female mold, or half of a female mold and heating the sheet foam, plus say an external lamination could create a co-cured bent rocker, sandwich structure and possibly the bottom lamination, lapping the rails somewhat.

Definitely interesting! If the epoxy isn’t overly brittle from the high heat, we are liking this concept for reducing working times, without having to step down to a lower quality resin, in the form of polyester, simply to reduce processing time.

So here is the one picture we have of the thermoformed board after the cure cycle. It’s a little hard to see and we were busy during the heat and bend cycle so didn’t get any pictures. But you can see below the nose rocker and the two layers of foam bent and attached. Oh huh and a nice grey pinstripe suit!

bent

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

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Jul 24

Skim skin

We want to skip ahead on our R&D skimmer build, to talk about a concept we wanted to try. We had this idea of creating a multi-density foam skim board, not like on a surf style board with a low density core material, but with a normal higher density core and then an even HIGHER density skin on the deck side, thermoformed over the rails and bonded over the entire surface.

Our thought was that we could improve the durability of the deck side where most heel dents and the like occur, plus by wrapping the skin over the rails where it would curve, we could increase the stiffness our along the rails. We’ve talked about how “grab rails” are actually a means of stiffening the rail out along the perimeter similar in function to the folds and indentations on your cars door skins.

So…we didn’t do that! We’re sorry! We had PLANNED to, but never got around to buying the material and supplies we would have needed to make that deck skin. Part of the planning for that build, was that the remainder of the core is about 1/8″ thinner than the final overall thickness that we wanted to achieve. So we had to add something to structure to get it back up to the thickness we want. We opted out of the more difficult wrapping the rails, since we are going to be using the same density material for this skin, as the rest of the core. So wrapping would have just increased the complexity without really giving us a true test of the increase in stiffness out along the rails due to the wrapping. So, instead we will just glue the skin to the bottom and call it good.

We want to go off on a tangent for a moment. There are, in our minds, six sort of pillars of ethical behavior: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. We are pretty sure that most folks would agree that ethical behaviors are preferred, what’s the opposite? It’s better to be unethical?! No one would publicly say that, although their behaviors may indicate otherwise. So we all sort of publicly or openly confirm: Be honest, don’t deceive, cheat or steal. Treat others with respect. Play by the rules, don’t take advantage of others. So when we show you stuff like this, where we wind up changing something because we forgot to order materials or just got impatient or lazy, we’re being straightforward. It’s not some test of how this arrangement would work compared to the deck skin arrangement, we just got lazy. There you go! So, we do that, because…well it’s easier and also, it’s honest and ethical. AND that gives you reason to trust what we are saying elsewhere. We’ve seen unethical behaviors and you simply can’t ignore them and think those folks are ethical elsewhere. If you lie, cheat, steal, mislead elsewhere, you’re pretty likely to do it everywhere. We really value your ability to trust us, so when we say we’re lazy it’s honest!!! :) And you can trust the rest of what we are saying, too.

Ok, so back on track.

Since we needed to increase the thickness and we didn’t want to mess with wrapping the rails on the deck side, that really only left gluing the skin to the bottom. We’re kinda hoping that adding the skin to the bottom with help the flat sheets retain some of the rocker that we’ll glue in, but as we’ve mentioned before, it really takes 3 layers of “whatever” to achieve that.

So the first thing we do is trace the outline of the core onto the skin, flush around the outline.

skin 1

This skin is 3 mm divinycell H80. It’s a 5 pound density, as opposed to the 8 or 10 pound we wanted to use. It’s relatively stiff, but at this thickness cuts with a pair of scissors, somewhat like heavy construction paper.

skin 2

Then we sort of match it to the outline of the core, which we haven’t shared with you as yet, but we’ve shaped the outline and also the rails.

skin 3

Had we gone ahead with out original plan, we would have cut the outline 1/4″ narrower than planned, so that when we added the deck skin, the structure would have filled out to the final measurment.

Ok, so that was what we wanted to share, best laid plans, huh? We’ll most likely back up and start where we left off before this post to bring everyone up to speed. Thanks for following along and being patient with this convoluted presentation!

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Jul 23

Wakesurf athletes taxation

We were just talking about the most recent contest in Texas and a question came up about deducting the various expenses associated with these contests. As we got involved in the conversation, it became obvious that some folks may not be aware of some of the reporting obligations or what can be deducted.

So first up, is filing requirements when you are away from your tax home. Remember a few years ago when the WWSC was held in Arizona? Well, if over the course of the year an athlete had more than $5,500 from Arizona sources, they should have filed a non-resident income tax return for that state. To further complicate the matter, each state seems to have different filing thresholds and many cities have filing requirements also. The best thing to do? Keep track of your winnings and expenses by event and then do some quick research to see if you have a filing requirement in that state. It’s not uncommon for professional athletes in various sports to file 10 and 12 individual state and jurisdiction returns.

Yikes, huh?

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The next question that comes up is the deduction for the various costs of competing. Some are really clear, the entry fee for a contest where you can win money is a direct expense of your income as a professional athlete. What about the travel to and from? There are a myriad of rules surrounding the cost of travel. One of the factors is your tax home. For IRS purposes that is usually your regular place of business. Uh oh, huh? Most traveling athletes don’t have a main place of business. This is one reason James established the Flyboy Store, it clearly establishes his place of business. Anyway, the IRS hates travel expenses and if you don’t have a main place of business they can consider you an itinerant and as such, you have NO deductible travel expenses! A little planning can really help here.

Also, the question the IRS always asks regarding travel expenses is whether the main purpose of the travel is business related. You ride for 2 minutes and there is no pay out, think those travel expenses are deductible? What if the vast majority of time you are out sight seeing, or just having fun, unrelated to winning money? Yeah, the IRS is probably going to tell you that your primary purpose of travel was to go have fun! Not the 2 minutes of riding. The primary purpose of a trip is determined by looking at the facts and circumstances of each case. An important factor is the amount of time you spent on personal activities during the trip as compared to the amount of time spent on activities directly relating to business. If the trip is primarily personal in nature, none of your traveling expenses are deductible. This is true even if you engage in some business activities while you are there. Oh and if someone PAYS for your travel and you just show up, that’s still income to you. The IRS considers that to be just like you were paid and then used the money to buy the travel. Are you recording that income? Most folks don’t!

In front of all taxing authorities, YOU have the burden of proving your deductions are allowable. It’s not like criminal law where you are presumed innocent, you are presumed GUILTY until you can prove yourself innocent. The IRS doesn’t need to do anything more than say – prove all of those deductions are allowable. If you can’t, kiss them goodbye, along with your tax dollars.

There are ways to help insure your deductions are allowable. Contractual provisions from sponsors, ridiculous amounts of documentation showing you’re selling products or fulfilling the requirements of sponsor/clients and, of course, actually doing business!!!

Not making money? That’s not uncommon and it’s a hobby. The IRS has limitations on Hobby Losses. You may have enough allowable deductions to offset your income, but the IRS won’t allow you to deduct a loss on your taxes.

What about the cost and operation of the boat? Is it yours? If you’re a minor, it’s probably your parents and so those expenses aren’t yours! Not deductible. But there are ways to take those, within reason, and insure they are deductible. Training is a huge expense and shouldn’t be overlooked, but you have to structure them and make sure they are obligations OF and paid by the person/entity that has a business operation. Mom and dad, typically don’t.

We’ve also seen a lot of contests that don’t issue 1099′s. Does the mean you don’t have to report it? Nope! The failure of the contest to issue a 1099, doesn’t exempt that income, you still need to keep track and report it. The contest may be in for trouble for failing to issue information returns, but that doesn’t change your basic requirement to report the income.

So, lots to think about in there. Your status as employee or self-employed or as a corporate/LLC owner, your tax home, the winnings in various states and cities, are you doing business or just having a blast (check your FB posts!) and do you have piles and piles of documentation to support your deductions. You’ll certainly want to consult with your tax adviser and get those transactions structured appropriately.

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it!

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Jul 22

James Walker hits 11 years of contests

James Walker with his Flyboy, made another podium at the TWS – FFDI held at TSR. It marks 11 straight years of contests and podiums. James is one of the pioneers in competitive wakesurfing, back when there weren’t any tours and the only thing available was the amateur INT League contests. He’s continued on in the competitive wakesurf contests for over a decade! Something like 77 podium spots.

ffdi

The NWWSA event will be held behind a Supra with their surf system, on Lake Tye which is a nice lake that has fairly good depth across the majority of the lake. James will be in Texas for a few more days before heading up to Washington, hopefully he’ll get the chance to get a few days of practice in before the NWWSA event! Also, the folks at Inland are attempting to schedule a big boat surf trip that we are hoping James will be fortunate enough to participate in.

Congratulations to James for yet another podium and for being the most decorated pro male surfer in the history of the sport!

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Jul 21

James Walker and Flyboy compilation

James is away for the next two weeks at contests, this weekend he attended the TWC – FFDI held at the TSR in Austin and then next week he’ll be in Washington at the NWWSA.

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We normally post some raw footage of James Walker wakesurfing his Flyboy from over the weekend, but we don’t have any and won’t for another two weeks, so we put together a few clips to tide everyone over for a few weeks.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that Lucky 13 video, if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

Thanks so much for watching, we really appreciate it.

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Jul 19

Skimmer build, the core

James is off in Texas staying with the Montgomery’s. He will be there for the week before heading to the NWWSA event in Washington, next weekend. They are all at the Texas Wakesurf Championship this weekend. Early reports from the Texas Wakesurf Championship at TSR are less than favorable. This is a picture of the new Centurion “mushball” hull, estimates are of a pocket length in the 1.5 foot long area. :) Oh! and the course has a shallow spot that is 3 feet deep…wait for it…right smack dab in the middle. Well it will be fun at least and for James it’s better than working two shifts each day! Good luck with that James, we feel for you son!

We’re teasing, somewhat.  It sounds like folks are having a good time, despite the ski lake being used for the contest. We’ve heard the depth ranges from 4 feet to 8 feet, which can mess with the wake. The TSR does have a cable park, not sure if it is running. We did see pictures of folks on kneeboards wearing helmets. Man why does looking at that tall frothy wake make us want a beer? Anyway, after the first day we understand only one of the pro riders can actually ride it successfully! Guess what boat WE aren’t getting! That FX44, that seems to only work for one rider in the world! :) Man, that really is a good barometer isn’t it? We’ve mentioned that a bunch last year, if some of the best riders in the world suck behind the wake, it’s the WAKE not the riders. AND a good wake would allow everyone to ride well, not just those that practiced behind more than anyone else.  I sounds like there were also issues with extra practice sessions for a select team rider, and the weather has been crappy with rain and hail.  No doubt all of that contributing to a rather lack luster competition.  Anyway, we hope that today that the environment affects everyone equally and hopefully some of the other pro surf riders can land some of their tricks.

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So lets turn our eyes away from that so they don’t get all teary and bloodshot! :) We mentioned that we would be using a production quality rocker table and apparently; we lied! We had planned to build a separate table, but honestly we got lazy! We have a gorgeous rocker bed that is the correct rocker and we just opted to use that. This is an off cut from a early skim project that we glassed over and we will add a layer of mylar on the top to help us with the finish of the final board.

skim 1

We also are really loving the general shape and rocker of this old IS skimmer, so will use that as sort of the general shape. We will be adjusting the nose rocker some and then also the tail shape.

This next picture shows a few things. One is the core material that we are using. It’s Divinycell H80, which is a high density 5 pound density foam. It’s also closed cell so it won’t uptake any water in case of a ding. Most high end skim style boards use this material or an equivalent to make their boards. You’ll also notice a fun little modification we made to that IS skimmer, we cut off the kick pad on the original board and placed an after market kick, that is about 2 inches further back on the board. It gives a ton more leverage for any IS board with a kick. The lastly, we trace the outline of this board, because we really like it. We are going to be reworking the tail area some, but want to get the general shape down on the foam. We use a sharpie and just run it around the existing board.

skim 3

We are using a smaller section of the H80. It’s 4 feet long, so a little shorter than the length of our project board. We place the outline sort of diagonally across the length of the foam to get the full length in. We run the outline way out towards the edge of the section of foam so that we can get the whole length in!

skim 4

Ok, so we have the foam marked up, but we are going to rework the outline at the tail, so our next step will be changing those lines before we finally start cutting.

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

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