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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Aug 16

Crease repair, rails

We don’t have any real news from the 10K event. We couldn’t get the live feed to work for the longest time and then when we did! James went up for his surf run, and it went black for the rest of the day. So James said he rode ok and thinks he has the wake figured out for tomorrow. One of the big issues for folks at these contests is figuring out the wake, riding behind one for any length of time is a tremendous advantage.

So we are back to the repair of the concave deck board. We left off with the rail work undone, and in this section we’ll show how we managed that. It is a high density piece of corecell. We did the same steps as with the core, cutting, sanding and mating to the void. If you look at this picture you can see the rail material replaced in that section. Most boards do NOT have the high density rail material and for this board, it’s probably what saved it’s life allowing it to be repaired!

rails 1

Now we used a regular laminating epoxy here, because we want it to be stiff and rugged. Then allowed that to dry, under vacuum. Once it was out, we used a razor, sanding block and elbow grease to match the rail replacement to the existing rail.

It’s a little hard to see, but we’ve shaped the replacement material to the rails, if you look closely.

rails 2

So that’s it! Let’s wish James more good luck for tomorrow. He’s hoping he has the wake figured out and can improve upon his first day scores in the final day of the 10K open.

Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it!

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Aug 15

The Figure Eight

To get your weekend started off right, we thought we’d share a trick that we started calling a Figure Eight.


It’s an ollie 3 into a surface reverse. Here is the video so you can watch it.

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

This week has been eye opening for us in terms of naming convention. Where other sports have this infrastructure and a means of identifying and defining tricks, it’s probably part of what turns them from being a quirky little hobby into something to be taken seriously. Anyway, that ollie 3 is really an interesting concept. Most sports that recognize the alley oop define it as spinning 180 in the air. We don’t really have that criteria. Actually we don’t have any criteria for anything! Right? So realistically, how do you compare two different alley oops in terms of quality? …when nowhere is that quality defined? If a properly done alley oop really should be an 180 in the air, then if the rotation wasn’t a full 180 we could say – ehhhh crappy oop :) But you get the idea, most folks when doing that trick really don’t intend to go 180 in the air. It’s not that they do it poorly, they only intend to do about 90 in the air, or maybe not really any revolution in the air!

It’s sort of just an ollie up, the the rest is spun out on the surface. That’s why we like to call it an ollie 3. Anyway, it sure would be good for everyone if we had some unbiased source of definition and a place to refer to.

Where were we? Oh right, a backside rotation into a frontside rotation…ollie 3 into a surface reverse. Combining frontside rotations and backside rotations is nothing new, James Walker has been doing a Blender for years, but this is sort of inverted from that. The backside rotation is first in the sequence and then into the frontside rotation. We love the potential that surface rotations offer. Putting together the opposing directions really opens up a ton of unique tricks. We are waiting for James to toss a frontside to backside to frontside combination. It would take all of his speed and perfect timing, but it opens up so much of the wake and variations on tricks! Oh…but it’s not one of the four shuv variations. Never mind then. :)

Thanks so much for following along! If you are in Minnesota, good luck today and we are wishing James great luck back there! We hope having a few days on the old board will be enough. The competition will be stiff and we think only one person in the pro divisions has access to the Natigue G for practice. So GOOD LUCK James, do your best, we know you will! We aren’t quite sure when James’ rides tomorrow, it sounds like there was a mix up with the scheduling and James was put almost back-to-back between skim and surf. We understand that they will try and change that around some. Be sure to tune in to the live feed bright and early to watch James at the 10K lakes open!

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Aug 14

Crease repair rebuilding

We should stop at this stage and note that the core of this board is Marko Foam. It’s a super high quality EPS foam. It’s a much higher quality EPS that you’d find at your local big box store, which also sells EPS sheets. We are horders! We save all manner of foam and reinforcement off-cuts. We dug out the small sheet we had left over from a long board project, and used THAT foam for this. That blank was also from Marko. There simply wouldn’t be any reason to use crappy foam after all of this work.

So the next phase is the rebuilding, we want to replace all of the stuff we ground away with new material of the same quality and makeup. The next step is to shape a section of the EPS to fill that void we created! We start with the outline. We just use the old first grade tracing method, using a sheet of copier paper and a number 2 pencil!

repair 7

We used a felt tip marker to trace over the pencil and make the outline easier to follow. We cut that piece of paper out and then traced around that on the piece of foam off-cut. The next steps are slow and painstaking. Sanding block and some hand saws we then just gradually shape the foam to fit the void. You want it to be a perfect fit, so we just spent a bunch of time making sure we had contact all the way around. Sanding imperfections and testing by hand, over and over again. What we are trying to achieve is continuous material, almost like the stuff we ground away was still there in perfect condition! This is at the start of the process!

repair 10

It took us a few hours, but we finally got it to fit perfectly. We don’t trim at the surface or the rail just yet, we’ll do that later with a saw and sanding block. Instead, we just worried about mating the internal shape and outline to the area we routed out. Now we need to glue the foam we just shaped to the void we routed. What we want to do here is keep the material the same, or as close to the same as possible. Obviously we are going to be using a glue which will be different than the EPS itself, but we have to stick it together! We use a 5 minute epoxy for this purpose for a few reason. One is that it cures without a great deal of exotherm. We don’t want to use an epoxy that generates enough heat to melt the foam. We also used a really thin layer, just enough to hold the two pieces of foam together. Lastly, the 5 min epoxy, doesn’t cure very stiff. It has about the same consistency as the low weight EPS in that really thin layer.

We also mixed in a handful of micro-balloons to fill any gaps that we left over from our sanding. We glued it up and left it to cure. We tested the glue up the next day.

repair 12

The next step is more hand shaping! We used a hand saw to bring the foam down close to the surrounding area of the board. Then used sandpaper and a sanding block to level out and smooth the entire area. The last part is a little hard to see, so we’ll explain. You can see the single edged razor, and if you look closely at the rails, we’ve cut through the foam to create like a little step. The rail material of the flyboy is a higher density foam. In this boards case it was Corecell A550. We’ll need to replace that also, with similar material and glue THAT to the core that we just replaced. So, we cut the interior foam repair vertical so that when we fit the corecell rail replacement, it will mate to the inside of that corcell rail replacement piece.

We’ll stop there for today. If you are fixing a crease in your EPS board, you have the basic steps to replace the damaged areas. We’ll get to the external lamination in a few more posts, for this sandwich board, the next steps will be in rebuilding the rails.

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

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Aug 13

Crease repair

We’re going to spend a couple of posts showing you how to repair a sandwich board, or really any board that has a crease. We haven’t finished the repair just yet, but hopefully by the time we catch up to our progress, in the blog, we’ll have it complete!

But before we launch on that topic, do you follow us on Facebook? We’ve had some really good conversations on naming convetions. We are fortunate to have several very knowledgeable folks that read the blog and also have some pretty intense knowledge of other sports. We talked about that ollie 3 the last few days and then we were corrected by some folks to call it an alley oop. We’ve never really liked that name, because in other sports like surfing and snowboarding an alley oop is really closer to what WE, in wakesurfing, call an air 3. Plus where the hell is that oop part! So some of the snowboarding experts Marie-France Noel and Daryl Lussier (thanks guys for taking the time to read AND comment!) pointed out that what we are referring to as an ollie 3 is probably referred to as an air to fakie to surface 180 elsewhere. Also, in surfing and snowboarding an alley oop is very particular about the landing, the shoulders and board have to be 180 to the original direction of travel.

Anyway, how do you judge the quality of a trick when we really don’t have a clear definition of it, we call it something that no one sport does and what other sports call the actual trick name, we don’t do? It really comes down to “I like that” or you’re the most promoted athlete in this division, I guess you do it best. Have you seen those commercials for Vivint, where they proclaim your home is dumb? Exactly!

So to us, this trick really isn’t an alley oop as it’s commonly called, but something else. We like the name ollie 3 and we also like the idea of some standardization in naming, defining and expanding tricks. We aren’t trying to convince YOU to call it an Ollie 3, just defining our position in this regard.

So back to the crease repair. Principally, what we are doing is digging down to “unbroken” material, replacing that material with the same stuff and then rebuilding the area exactly like the original. The reason that we use all the same materials is so that we don’t create an artificial stress point. You might think that it would be BETTER if we replaced the broken area with a stiffer, stronger material, but what happens is then directly outside of that stronger material becomes the focus for all stresses in that area. The area all around it flexes and bends at a specific rate, if you will, but the striffer area doesn’t so stresses travel to that area and BAM, stop! When replace all of the broken material with the same stuff, the stresses can travel further and then have a chance to dissipate.

Anyway, we dig down to find unbroken material and then replace what we dug out!

The first step in the process is to clean up the surface area, so we remove dirt, wax, grime and sponsor stickers!

repair 1

We use a small laminate router to sort of just barely remove the bottom skin of the board. The depth, in this case, was set to about 1/10 th of an inch…

repair 2

It’s a little hard to see, but if you look closely in the center of the routed area, you can see the dust that gathered in the crack in the eps foam. So that area is still damaged. We actually can measure at this point and get a really good idea of how deep the damage went, but we did a few passes to not go too far past the damage to fresh foam. It wound up being about 3/8 of an inch deep. When you can’t quite tell how deep the damage is, we just do several passes taking away just a little bit and then inspect to see if we’ve removed all of the damaged area. If not, another pass. If we got it all, time to move on.

repair 3

Undamaged! Finally.

repair 5

The picture above was taken after a few passes of the router, we think it was 3, adjusting down about 1/8th of an inch or so with each pass. Just prior to that we did a quick test for water. One of the biggest problems with surf craft if there is water inside, is that it’s impossible to get a good glue joint. Epoxy won’t really adhere well to wet foam, plus the water is then trapped inside waiting to heat up and delaminate. The easiest way to test for dampness is to press a sheet of paper up against the exposed foam. If there is water or dampness in there, the paper will come out blotchy or spotted.

repair 4

The paper pushing test didn’t result in any stains or wetness, so we went ahead and routed the bad material out. If we had found water, we would have dried the area out before doing anything more.

The next step in repairing the crease is to bevel the area so that the side of the repair aren’t totally vertical. We want to create a gradual transition to the new lamination and material, rather than an abrupt change from old to new. We’ve sort of bevel ground the whole area to achieve that gradual transition.

repair 6

Ok that’s the preparation phase of the repair! We’ve identified the damaged area and then dug down to remove it all. Then finally bevel ground all around the area to be repaired so as to create that gradual transition from old to new material. The next phase will be to rebuild it all using the same materials as the original!

Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it.

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Aug 12

Tail carved ollie 3 tutorial

We love this variation on the standard ollie 3. We also know what an alley oop is called, we just can’t find the “oop” part of that in the trick, so prefer to call it an ollie 3, because well, it’s a 3 and not an oop. Reminds us of the old Burger King commercials when they introduced the chicken strips, to compete with chicken McNuggets, and they posed the question, what part of the chicken is the nugget? :) It’s funny, we posted this trick on our Flyboy Wakesurf facebook timeline and had folks correct us on the name. We guess maybe they thought we didn’t know the phrase alley oop and wanted to be helpful. And some that just wanted to say they were smarter than us. Really the point in that, is that we all recognize tricks, we call them by names, right? There ain’t no oop in that trick at all, so the concept that we need to have only the component parts of the tricks describing and no names used at all, for them is total bullshit. But did you also pick up on that discussion? It’s how we all think and ride.

We think in discreet units. We go out to learn and practice tricks, we don’t learn a new run. We go out to learn a back big, or at least some of us do! We really need to judge and name tricks consistent with how folks are and behave rather than forcing them to be something that they aren’t. Folks are good and should be celebrated for all they do and are. Not judged to be inadequate as deemed from on high and then forced to do things differently as determined by individuals who “KNOW” better than them. It’s just as bad as that sounds.

Anyway, back to this trick! We call it a tail carved ollie 3, watch the tail of the board as James brings it around with this styled-out carving sequence. First up is the video clip of just this trick.

For our mobile enabled friends here is a link to that tail carved ollie 3, if the embed above didn’t work for you.

We’ve also created a Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr album with sequence shots of this trick, you can view it by clicking this link or double clicking any of the pictures.

For this trick you’ll want to be proficient at stalling your revert tricks, like an air 180 or the ollie 3. You’ll also want to be able to land an ollie 3. In fact, it will be your normal ollie three, except as you lean on your trailing foot to stall it, you won’t shift your weight back, instead you’ll let the water flow coming UP THE WAKE, bring the tail around. Don’t worry about the water flow from behind pushing you from behind, that nonesense will make it impossible for you to progress.

So we’ll skip the entry into the trick, you’ll already have that down at this point, and instead you’ll start this lesson where you would normally shift your weight forward after the stall. Here is where we’ll start!


You’re surfing backside switch with the board revert, weight is shifting MORE on your trailing leg. Continue to shift more of the weight on to your trailing leg, it’ll look like you are wakeboarding!


Stuff the tail deep into the rising water coming up on the spine. If you don’t get the tail headed up the wake, like you’re still believing in “push” put more of the tail forward into the wake, surf it forward more by waiting for the lift up and around. You WILL feel the tail being lifted up and towards the top, if you don’t, you started to spin too soon. IF you go out and across to the other side, you placed too much of the tail into the wake, back off just a tad.


Once you feel the tail heading up the wake, be prepared to shift your weight forward, you want to spin around your front foot. That weight transfer may prove tricky for you, so don’t get upset if it takes you awhile to get that wired. In fact this is part of the trick that you can practice with the rope. Pull yourself up revert and then practice on drifting the tail around until you get it perfect, with the rope, then do it with slack in the rope and finally do it without the rope!


Once you have the tail up at the lip, slide back down into place and you’re good!


That is such a sick embellishment to a surface rotation. Sadly competitive wakesurfing in the surf divisions is ridiculously focused on anything shuv based and with a body varial. There is a whole world of surf rotations that will fill out your bag of tricks faster than you can imagine. In fact come back later in the week for a backside into a frontside rotation that will inspire you! Also, don’t let the myopia of competitive wakesurfing prevent you from thrashing every part of the wake, or the progression that you are capable of. Focus on your surface rotations both frontside and backside and also, like with this trick using the tail to carve the last part of your rotations. There is a whole wide world of carving and surface rotations that you can conquer and also make your own.

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


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