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.

photo 2

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!


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?


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.


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.


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.


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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Jul 18

The world is a dangerous place

Are you familiar with that quote attributed, by some, to Albert Einstein? The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. It’s disputed that Albert ever said that. And we get that, it sounds a little too new age’y for the brilliant scientist. And lord knows the internet is filled with crap. BUT there is wisdom in there, nonetheless.


Recently a local bank was robbed and there was an ensuing violent chase and at least three people are dead from the incident. Two of the dead were “the suspects” and isn’t that just awful how we bend over backwards for what is obviously a criminal? Spent shells in the car, live ammunition strapped to their bodies, a dead hostage and we must call them “alleged” bank robbers. Anyway, in short three men hold up a small branch of Bank of the West and take three women hostage. Two of the hostages escaped, it seems they were thrown from the getaway vehicle and at least one had some form of wound caused by a bullet. The robbers, c’mon we know this already, attempted to ambush the police and during the ensuing high speed chase and final shootout two of the robbers were shot and died from their wounds and one survived, but was wounded. The final remaining hostage was used as a human shield by the robbers and was pronounced dead at the scene. A 41 year old mother of two and a wife.

Tragic and senseless.

misty holt-singh

We sometimes try to make sense of crazy stuff like that, so that we can move along with our lives. So we say, gang affiliations or what do you expect in that neighborhood. But the reality is that wasn’t rational! Who wakes up and says man seems like a good day to strap a few hundred rounds of ammo to my body, rob a bank, take a few hostages and lead the police on a wild high speed chase! Who’s in?! AND then have two buddies jump on that opportunity! So when you don’t posses the faculty for rational thought, you probably also feel invincible, like you can outrun 30 police cars and a helicopter, or kill all of the officers chasing you. The reality is it’s just crazy and we really can’t make any sense of that.

So we sort of have this denial, it’s really the only way that we can leave our houses in the morning. If we stopped and thought about the fact that we could be taken hostage by three men with semi-automatic weapons who think it’s a good idea to rob a bank and lead police on an hour long high speed chase, we just would stay indoors!

We really feel for Misty Singh-Holt, the mother of two and wife that was killed in the incident, no words can describe the tragic nature of that event. We’re also sort of glad that two of the robbers didn’t survive the incident. It’s probably politically incorrect, but there you have it, we’re glad. You used a young innocent mother as a human shield and tried to kill police, you deserved to die. Maybe that was part of their mindset? We are sure grateful for the police effort, that two of the hostages were saved and hopefully folks will not choose this community for their crimes. We’ve read spoiled kids talked about excessive police tactics, easy to say when you are living a charmed life far away from the realities of the world. That’s the worst job in the world, protecting a community from desperate criminals, while trying to save the lives of hostages and really the entire community where this chase took place. We’re damn glad we have folks that step up like that!

The lone surviving bank robber is a 19 year old, kid really. Gang affiliation and we’re sure soon to be a long time member of a correctional facility somewhere. We think of the juxtaposition of our wakesurf community and the one where this young man came from. One where your future is to die in a hail of police gunfire or spend the rest of your life inside a prison. Also, where there is some form of acceptance of taking innocent people hostage to do something. Perhaps we are blessed, where our 19 year old’s biggest problem in life is if the lip is solid. Certainly better than facing being shot or shooting and killing folks. Nothing wrong with that sort of naivety.

And how do we as a society, sort of develop these people that can dehumanize a wife and mother so much as to turn her into nothing more than a shield?  There is a theory of disenfranchisement that the “haves” and folks in power have so much more opportunity and special treatment, so of course the “have nots” will steal from them and kill them.  Do we as a society have a responsibility to develop opportunities so that folks don’t feel helpless?  We’ve talked before about how life isn’t fair and we see examples of special treatment, all the time, but the vast majority of us don’t rob and kill.  We also can’t ignore the facts, something needs to be done.

In that opening paragraph, where that quote talks of folks that do nothing. Perhaps that is our lesson in all of this. We all have been impacted by folks with a mindset of it’s easier to ask forgiveness after the fact than to ask permission before the fact. Maybe our job in this crazy world is to not allow those folks to terrorize the rest of the world. Where we acknowledge that there is craziness in the world, folks out for their own personal agenda, to the point where they don’t even consider other folks, and the rest of us need to recognize their craziness and take action?

We wish we had an answer. We know that we are thankful, as that chase and the gunfire went by our office, within 50 feet. We witnessed the chase and at least one gunshot. Blessed that there wasn’t an errant bullet that hit our office. Shaken and angry that a local resident was used as a human shield and died in a senseless crime. We are saddened that children have lost their mother, a 12 year old witnessing the abduction and a husband and father will now finish raising his daughter alone. May we all find solace in the knowledge that criminals didn’t escape and at least for us, we find some solace that two criminals didn’t survive their heinous acts of violence. Also may we find a way to heal this community, may we focus on stopping crazy people from destroying the lives of innocents and preventing self-focused individuals from using or destroying communities for personal gain.

Thanks so much for following along and if your life was touched by this senseless tragedy, we feel for your loss and you will be in our prayers.

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Jul 17

Ollie 3 tutorial

We grabbed a short little snippet of a video that shows James Walker landing an Ollie 3, and we’ll use that as a basis for a short tutorial on this trick. We also have a small Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr album on the Ollie 3, that you can use to study the sequence shots. It’d a great process if you can compare your own set of sequence shots to the ones that we publish, so that you can self-diagnose. If you have someone in your boat do the same thing, then sort of compare frame-by-frame, you can often really quickly see what your’re struggling with on this trick.

So first up is the video.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to the Ollie 3 video, if the embed above didn’t work for you.

This will be one of the tricks you’ll want to work on AFTER you have two other tricks on lock, a surface 3 and either an ollie or an air.

We started the sequence shots a little late, but if you watch the video at the onset you’ll see James carving to the top and bottom of the wake. You’ll need some speed in order to do this trick, and the up and down carving is the process that James uses to create that speed. There isn’t any push that drives you and your board at 12 mph, we are always falling down the face of a wake in some fashion or another and by repeatedly climbing and falling, James is able to generate the speed needed to perform this trick. So from there, we can start the individual steps.

The entry into this trick is what will make or break it, once you land from the ollie part of the trick, the rest will be your surface 360 out. Now if you have your airs and/or ollie down, the entry will be very similar, but you want to turn your body and the board in a backside rotation, as oppossed to the frontside rotation you are used to. It takes some getting used to, but just keep your body closed to the wake at the beginning of the entry.


You can see that James’ shoulders are still closed to the boat and wake.

The next step is very similar to an ollie or an air, push down with your rear leg and pull up your front leg, while driving the board up and off the lip. Remember, shoulders closed to the boat!


You can see James is starting the rotation in this next shot, it’s before the board is completely free of the water, so that will become key, your timing for the start of the rotation is BEFORE the board is fully in the air.


The next step is your regular part of an air, where you pull your rear leg UP and sort of push the front foot out to bring the tail of the board up. The only part of this that is weird is that you are spinning away from the boat, so your refernces are different than with an air.


You’ll want to land with about 3/4′s of the board on the surface of the lip. You’ll have almost no forward momentum and there isn’t any push forward or laterally in the wake that will allow you to continue hydroplaning.  If you miss this trick, by sinking off the face, stuff more of the length of your board into the face. Those forces will give you enough energy to help spin the board around.


Virtually all sports recognize the concept of falling to gain energy and speed. We drop in to waves in surfing and on a half pipe on skateboards and snowboards. Half pipes are designed specifically to generate that speed and energy, you want to use the wake in the same manner. James is a master at very slowly sliding down the face of a wake, but it’s always falling down using gravity and the act of falling to generate speed for the hydroplaning effect we need to prevent sinking! You can see it here in the next 3 shots, if you compare James location on the wake.




You can see the drop in elevation, if you will, as James starts the spin out of the ollie onto the table.

The rest is really pretty much just the second half of your surface 3, you’ll bring the board and your body around into the pocket of the wake.


So there you go! That will give you the information and resources to get you on the road to landing your first Ollie 3!

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

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Jul 16


We found a meme sort of poking fun at our wakes by the folks at CIE and we thought we’d answer back with a fun video.

First the meme

wakesurfing vics

If you’re a wakeboarder, especially in NorCal, you probably laughed, if you’re a wakesurfer not so much.

Next the video, we think that wakeboarders that don’t like our wakes, need to adjust their attitude and view our wakes as an opportunity. Wait til the end.

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

Anyway that was fun! Front roll over a roller. BUT, we are making excuses on our skimboard project. We got busy gathering all of James equipment and the hard case and didn’t get to our project! We promise we will! You can also see how busy our lake is these days, rollers and boats everywhere! We should be aware of the secondary roller that we throw that sort of disturbs the water in a linear pattern down the boats path. We can all share the water and probably not wakesurf Vics.

Thanks for your patience.

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