Oct 30

Nose riding

Have you seen it out in the ocean? Huge longboards and the rider walks the length of the board and then rides for a short period of time standing on the last 2 feet’ish of the board. Like this!

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If you look at that picture, it’s very similar to how we would ride a surf style wakesurf board revert, well except for the direction of travel!!! Such a minor detail!!! :) The fin is out of the water, the nose of the board is in contact with the upward flow of the wave, the board is falling down the face of the wave AND there is this apex that is sort of lifting the back…what 2/3’s of the board out of the water?

This is nothing new, it’s been around for about as long as longboards have been around! If you haven’t ever seen a noserider up close, MOST have a huge concave on the bottom of the board at the nose to create lift. Here are a few pictures that give you an idea of the location and size of a noseriders NOSE concave.

This is looking down the length of the board from the tail towards the nose. That dark oval at the opposite end is the nose concave.

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Here is another picture of a different board, this is up close and from the right side looking across and forward. You can also see what is referred to as chines up at the nose for more control of the board when it’s being ridden from the nose.

nose concave 2

That section is huge. It needs to be a huge ass concave to be effective at all. Smaller dents or tiny little channels don’t really produce any useful lift in a board, especially when it is ridden revert. They can do other things like create a stiffer section of the board, though.

Now don’t go running off thinking nose riders are the answer to your revert riding. That isn’t our message! Nose riders are a funny sort of board. They are intentionally shaped to create drag when the rider is up at the nose, so that the board doesn’t outrun the wave. So huge single fins and typically a rounded belly plus rounded rails all create tons of drag to help slow the board down as the rider gets up on the nose.

You don’t want that! But remember how we talked about creating lift off the nose when the board is revert and the nose is acting as the tail? Right? Just shape that sort of concave in the nose, but turn it around so that it’s employed when the board is ridden revert and for the most part isn’t ever engaged otherwise. The rest of that orientation, as we described above where the fin was out of the water, etc is what we want or what we are doing when the board is being ridden revert.

Again, this weird sort of judging mechanism that rewards riders for riding boards differently than what they were designed for – like mudding your Ferrari – dictates that we ALL start shaping for that weirdness. Kinda like lifting your Ferrari and slapping on a set of mudders. It’s dumb, but it’s what the judges are all googoo over, what are ya gonna do? Anyway, we understand that revert riding is a significant part of any surf style division, now. Shuv based tricks, are also part of that division. Time to shape for them effectively, rather than clinging to what we felt was surf style or how surfboards are ridden elsewhere.

Remember yesterday where we talked about changing the Center of Mass of the board? Wakesurf boards are funny things, you change one aspect and something else gets impacted! As we tried to change the center of mass, by shifting volume and the related weight, we wound up with this sort of nose heavy design. Oh great! Now we had too much weight forward, it was like we just switched the tail heavy design of surfboards into a nose heavy arrangement!

So what could we possibly do to fix that? Really just two options, lighten the tail so that we could remove some weight from the nose, or…right? Lighten the nose! Now we were consistent with the need for surf style boards to become non-directional. We knew how nose riders created lift via large nose concaves, which removed foam and associated weight! We needed lift in the nose when the board was revert AND we need to lose some weight up there also. It was a match made in heaven! So with those two combined changes, we’ve done a few things. Created a center of mass that is closer to where we wanted the board to rotate during shuv based tricks AND now we’ve developed lift when the board is ridden revert, which is where the current judging mechanism forces riders to develop their tricks. We think, but haven’t achieved it just yet, that the design changes will allow James to do revert surface 360’s. Now, competitive surf style really seems to only recognizes shuvs and body varials as tricks, but imagine your riding, if you have the control to spin a surface 360, revert or fins first? Spinning 180 revert is almost pedestrian at this point, but imagine bringing it around again for a full surface 360, revert. That’s certainly closer to the non-directional riding that the current judging system is forcing on riders! But think of how YOUR riding will improve, the style that you can add to your tricks.

So, that’s about it for the MAJOR changes in the shape for the current Flyboy that James is riding, so you’ll understand the shaping issues as we start this next build thread. Now, we didn’t create a noserider, that’s just the concept and no doubt you’re familiar with noseriding and have seen it in print, videos and maybe in person, but possibly not the underside of the board. That was the easiest way that we could communicate the idea!

We think we are now about ready to start into the build at least we’ve touched on the some of the most significant changes and improvements to the shape and overall design!

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it!

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Oct 29

Center of Mass

We want to jump ahead in our build discussion, for a moment, just to keep you on your toes! Actually, no, we ran across a discussion about the concept of the center of mass over on Swaylocks, and we thought it was timely. Surfboards, from which surf style boards were derived, have always been tail heavy. The fins are back there, traction pads are back there and the nose of surfboards are thinned out and then curved to a point. We say “always” but that isn’t true, lets say the modern high performance shortboard that most folks are familiar with. More weight and volume in the tail and less weight and volume in the nose, would necessarily, shift the center of mass or the balance point back behind the mid point of the length of the board.

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Now that isn’t a bad thing. The most common length of an ocean surf board is 6’2″. AND there was a tendency for that balance point to fall somewhat close to the rear foot. Not right under the rear foot, but closer to the rear foot than the front foot.

As wakesurf boards developed and we took our basic shapes from those ocean boards, that center of mass or the balance point shifted even further back towards the rear foot, as we shortened the length of our boards. Less length and less mass forward, would cause that balancing point to wind up way back by the tail and the fins and boxes and traction pad. Again, that isn’t a bad thing until you are forced to ride it like a non-directional skimmer.

Skim style boards, almost by design have a center of mass and balance point that is almost perfectly centered between the riders feet. The construction is uniform through out and so the weight or mass is distributed evenly. Out in the ocean skimmers are tossed along the inflow of the waves basically in just a fraction of an inch of water and are sort of slid out into waves in all manner of directions. Nose first, sometimes sideways we’ve even seen shuvs into the wave before it arrives. That’s how the boards were designed. Surfboards don’t have that uniform construction. They are foiled with a thin nose, thicker tail, plus the entire fin pod hanging off the back. We want to show you some amazing artwork! We know it’s been ages since you were treated to this stuff, so here is a visual depiction of the balance point or center of mass of a typical surf style wakesurf board.

balance point

We TOLD YOU it was amazing! You can see the black areas represeting the fins and kicktail of the traction. Under the fins are also fin boxes and the attendant resin to stick them in the foam. Also, the tail is typically thicker than the nose and while you can’t see the outline, you know that the typical surf style board has a directional shape with a point nose and a wider’ish tail. Not a non-directional skimmer sort of design.

We had wanted to reference the discussion over on Swaylocks, but that site seems to be down at this moment. If if starts back up, we’ll revise this article to link to that discussion. Anyway, in short someone was asking about the center of mass and where other shapers tried to locate it. One knowledgable shaper chimed in, don’t worry about it, because…you will ALWAYS be ON THE BOARD and since it’s light weight, the rider can just change the angle, or direction and not have to worry about where that center of mass is. AND that is the general assumption of surfboard shaping. YOU as the rider are on top of the board at all times and so it doesn’t matter where that center of mass is, because you clearly outweigh the board and can just shift your weight.

EDIT: Sways is back up! Ok, so here is the link to that thread.

Here is the quote we referenced and THIS is generally accepted within the surf community, it’s not a singular opinion nor was this questioned by anyone:

I don’t think you should go crazy over the CoM location. It’s not a plane. The board isn’t really massive; you’re not fighting the effects of mass on a shortboard. The nose is light, and it’s short so the torque/moment isn’t an issue. You’re not trying to balance anything. You’re on the board, so you’re gonna force it into the proper orientation regardless of where the CoM is.

Right? EXCEPT when you’re forced to ride your board like it’s non-directional, right? Because then you aren’t always on the board. In fact when the focus of the tricks on your surf style board HAVE to include a shuv or shuv variation tricks, you damn well better be concerned with the center of mass and the balance point. Counter to the author where he says your board isn’t a plane, mid shuv it IS a plane!

Do you flowboard, skateboard or wakeskate? All of those sport disciplines rely in non-directional boards and the basis for their tricks are shuvs and variations. Does the equipment used in those disciplines have weird and wild weight distribution towards one end? No of course not, for the most part all of the equipment is pretty equally balance. There are deviations, longboard skateboards for example, so lets refine that statement to that equipment where shuv based tricks are predominant. That equipment is pretty much 100% uniformly balanced in the middle of the board.

It makes sense, the designers want to boards to rotate in a nice tight uniform pattern. What would happen if there was significant weight distributed towards one end or the other in that equipment? The shuv based tricks would sort of wobble as the heavier end would pull the rotation away from the rider. Also, there would be a tendency for the heavier end to want to hang down, preventing a flat rotation, due to the effects of gravity. Unless of course you think gravity doesn’t exist.

Let’s just accept that as anecdotal evidence for this discussion, other sports that focus on non-directional riding and shuv based tricks TYPICALLY use equipment that is unform in weight distribution creating a center of mass or balance point that is between the riders feet.

Surf style boards sure as hell ain’t that! BUT and here is the kicker, some folks that couldn’t tell you the difference between a chunk of PU foam and a chunk of XPS foam, decided that riding surf style boards like they were non-directional was the SHIT! Lordy.

Now that we it’s purely evident that you simply have to ride your surf style board like it’s non-directional, you damn well better have one that helps you ride that way! If you don’t have a back big, and shuv-in, shuv-out combo, you’ll always be in the audience looking up at the podium in the surf style divisions.

So we made some revisions to the flyboy over the last few years. We started the process way WAY back in the day with Dennis Horton, and we think it was his idea. He is the current EWT chief judge and we think that he is in charge of sales for The Walker Project. He has some offical duty there.

What we did, way way back then was attached some wheel weight to the nose of the board to try and affect the balance point. We didn’t realize at that time, that wasn’t the point. It wasn’t add just enough weight to change that balance point. It was this concept of the center of mass. Wakeskates, flow boards, skateboards, skimboards all have it, because of…uniform construction and uniform distribution of weight and mass throughout the equipment. Skateboards are a little off, because of the trucks and wheels, but they are uniform in that they have an offsetting pair on both ends. What is useful is that mass winds up being uniform over a very small piece of equipment.

When we did our experiments, placing the wheel weights way out at the end sort of balanced it lengthwise, but not sort of widthwise, nor was it in close to where the forces applied would act on that weight. It reminded us of that olympic sport the hammer. All the weight way out on the end all the force way out on the other end!!!! So what we found, to get a more uniform rotation was to shift some of the mass under the riders feet. Here is MORE AMAZING ARTWORK that sort of gives a representation. It’s not really what we are doing, but it gives you the concept.

balance point revised

It’s creating more uniform weight distribution towards the middle of the board, between the riders feet. The idea being to create a center of mass and balance point such that when the surf style board is forced to be ridden non-directional, you get that rotation where you want it! Not spiraling way out of control.

Short video of James landing a front big and back big from an IG edit and a week or so ago.

For our mobile enabled friends here is a link to that video of James Walker landing the front and back big on his newest Flyboy, if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

Ok, we should add that you can sort of move the center of mass with stumpy nosed boards, It leaves volume and weight way out at the nose. It still requires that they be shaped like bigger boards and they ride that way. The concept is shape a 5’4″ board like a normal surf style board and then hack the last 6 inches off. The rest of the outline is still that 5’4″ board. BUT, it is effective in shifting weight forward and changing the center of mass along with it. We made shorter boards, to beign with, because we thought the 5’4″ boards rides sucked out loud and still do.

So we had to address this forced requirement where judging in the surf style divisions only rewards bards for being ridden against what they were actually designed to do. They have to ride more non-directional, against their very design! But we also didn’t want to give up the quality ride associated with a surf style board. Longer and stumpier reduces that, in our opinion. They ride like longer boards and as we mentioned the other day, prevent you from tucking in closer to the wake face.

So, we balanced the mass instead! That was a bunch to read! We really appreciate if you made it through all of that, it was a lot to take in. We’ll talk more about all of this, is smaller bits, we promise, as we begin documenting the build.

Thanks again for following along, we really appreciate it!

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Oct 28

When frontside is actually backside

We sure hope you had a great weekend. We actually got some rain here in Northern California, not much like about 1/4″ BUT it’s a start!

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So that isn’t what we wanted to talk about. The naming conventions in wakesurfing is a little convoluted. There is a lack of consistency and often times, some tricks are named and others aren’t. Anyway, it sure seems messy to us. One of the areas that is tough is front side rotations, We watched someone do really well without doing a single frontside rotation and we struggled with how their variety score was anything more than a 2! Maybe judges don;t like frontside rotations?! So, make a frontside rotation a backside rotation, right?

We want to show you just that, it’s a great example of how this newest Flyboy Wakesurf branded board is working for James. He does an ollie 5 into what you’d normally call a frontside surface 180 out, but because he is switch and revert it’s actually a switch revert backside surface 180. We’ve solved the problem of judges not liking frontside, just make it a backside rotation! :) Pay attention to what looks like a nose press on a skateboard or snowboard, just before that final backside rotation out.

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

Did you see it? As we’ve said, scoring and naming conventions simply don’t exist, so who knows how that would be defined. Let’s walk through the most basic naming. It’s this ollie 3 (we hate to call it an alley oop because every sport that has that trick, requires the board to land at 180 from the original direction of travel and wakesurfing doesn’t, so we term that an ollie 3) into another backside surface 180, where it stops and then James does this nose press, riding on the nose using the water flow up the face of the wake. Then the board and James’ orientation is switch and revert. That makes that counter clockwise rotation out a backside rotation! The trick is comprised of 540 degrees of clockwise rotation and 180 degrees of counter clockwise rotation, but it’s all backside rotations, with changes to switch and revert. So let’s try and call it an ollie 3 to a surface 180 to a switch revert backside surface 180 out. Huh, that just occurred to us, we wonder if that would be a better reference – clockwise and counter clockwise rather than frontside and backside with regard to rotations? They would always be the same regardless of rider orientation. A switch revert counter clockwise surface 180 still communicates clearly the trick so that it isn’t something like a gobbled-gook spin. Anyway…

Seriously wicked cool. The take away, is that rotation control. Have you tried to stop your 360? Probably not on purpose, but you get that it’s crazy hard. Then bringing it back around in that counter clockwise direction without the aid of any fins. James is a ridiculously amazing rider and has incredible balance and control of his board, but this latest development and the changes in the nose to improve control while revert is something that will directly translate to improve your riding.

Plus, if the judges in your division don’t like frontside rotations, you have the answer! Make your frontside rotations switch revert backside rotations!:)

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

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Oct 27

Missing Summer series – March Mish Mash

The next episode in our Missing Summer series is this Mish Mash. We gathered together a bunch of clips from back in March and edited them together into a single video.

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Here is that Mish Mash edit to help you remember your spring and summer filled with wakesurfing

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

Thinking of early spring, yet? We sure hope so! Be honest you loved seeing the finger tips overlapping the lens, didn’t you! That’s the level of skill we possess with a video Camera! Anyway, every Sunday we post another in our Missing Summer series on our Flyboy Wakesurf Facebook.com Fan Page and then that becomes our Monday post here on the Flyboy Blog. When you need your Wakesurf fix in the dead of winter, be sure to check back here at Flyboywakesurf.com to help you get through!

We have another little clip we want to share with you. James was providing coaching for two of his clients that are down from the Washington area. We want to show you some revert control this new board that James is riding, displays and why you’ll want this very board.

Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it.

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Oct 25

Wakesurfer design theory

So we are going to be talking about some theoretical constructs that we used to build the current version of the Flyboy Wakesurf James Walker signature model. The Flyboy Wakesurf branded version. As we delve into these topics, we’ll relate them to the underlying construction or shape. The first thing we want to talk about is the concept of water flow up the wake face. Here are two pictures and we’ll be referring to them a LOT during this discussion, we’re sorry to make you jump back and forth and we don;t blame you if you don’t!

So the first picture, we will just label Picture 1. This was from that air 3 to floater to submarine video we showed earlier in the week.

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The second picture, which is how we’ll refer to it, follows:

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Those pictures are presented in the sequence order they were taken. That is to say, the first picture happened before the second picture.

If you look closely you’ll see a change in the orientation of the nose of the board to more vertical in the second picture. If you will, the board is rotating very slightly in a clockwise orientation. It is due to the board capturing more of the lifting forces off the wake face and actually creating lift in the nose.

Now we don’t care if call those forces in the wake “sweaty monkey balls”, as long as you understand the flow is upward and it interacts with the bottom of the board, it’s NEVER EVER from behind the board flowing forward. Look at the water flow that is visible off the nose of the board, it’s all straight up. Any directional flow forward would show spray forward. It doesn’t, ever.

Now if your wake has sweaty monkey balls going forward, this board won’t work as well with your sweaty monkey balls, but for everyone that has water flow UP (everyone) the wake face, your board should be optimized to work with that flow.

Current surf style design either completely ignores the need of wakesurf boards to ride revert, OR elongates the design and stumps off the ends to give more surface area engaged in the wake.

So first off, how do you think a stumpy nose would manage the submarining above? It would just act like a shovel, wouldn’t it? But, more area, longer boards with a straighter outline will capture more of the sweaty monkey balls forces traveling up the face of your wake.

We are NOT fans of the stumpy nose for a few reasons. One is this, we like the ability to recover. We also think that for most folks, it makes it harder to get tucked in tight to the wake face. There are others, but for now, that is the concept. Stumpy noses are basically longer boards, hacked off. We like shorter tighter riding boards.

So, now we have this weird sort of issue. Surf style divisions, require that the boards be ridden like non-directional skimmers, to score well. It’s not the way the boards were designed to be ridden, so it’s just odd. NOT that it can’t be designed for, but ONE of the major differences between surf and skim is directional vs non-directional. Skimmers and shuv based tricks are non-directional and surf style boards with huge ass fins out the back are directional. Somewhere someone thought forcing boards to be ridden against their design was state of the art, which is really dumb. Like taking your Ferrari out in the mud. Sure maybe you can do it, but it’s not designed for that! Why would you even consider it? Anyway, if we ruled the world things would be different! But we don’t so you just have to build for the dumbness.

Ok, so now we have to make competition level surf style boards more non-directional. A longer nose, as is achieved with stumpy boards, then places the fins further out away from the wake face when the board is revert.

We took a different approach, not wanting to go the stumpy route and instead worked on the nose area of the bottom of the board. Recognizing that the wake energy is flowing upward on the face of the wake, it was a fairly straight forward adjustment to create a bottom contour that helps create lift in the nose, when it’s actually the TAIL! Control surfaces along the rails are added also, so as to allow this most current Flyboy Wakesurf banded board to be ridden revert better and also as a fun side benefit, reduces your sinking ability!

Normally the nose area on the bottom of a wakesurf board is just flat and it leads into concaves of some kind. This new Flyboy actually has a bottom shape in the nose. Channels in the nose don’t do anything. Sorry, that isn’t how your sweaty monkey balls are working. The water flow is up, capture MORE of that and you’ll gain lift.

It’s straight forward, really, but for the most part all surf style manufacturers were manufacturing surf style boards that rode like surf boards (huh imagine that?!), no one realized they had to ride like non-directional boards, because no one said that and in fact most probably were fearful that they’d spend countless hours developing one and then be told, NOPE can’t use that! So development sort of stagnated.

Anyway, you get the idea, we’ve change the bottom shape in the nose area to better capture the water flow up the wake face and to create lift in the nose, when it is being ridden revert. When the nose is actually the tail it’s pulled in more, away from the upward flow of the wake, so we had to redesign the bottom to work more effectively when the board was being ridden revert.

Ok, that’s the first of many design changes and attributes that we created with this newest version of the Flyboy Wakesurf branded James Walker signature board. As we go to shape the board, you’ll see that we extend the shaping through the nose, rather than stopping at the nose. It also creates this funny looking two sided bottom structure. One for riding like surf style boards are supposed to and one for when they are forced to ride like a skimmer!

We’ll share more as we get into the actual shaping of the board in a future installment.

That’s all for today, man that was a lot of typing! Thanks so much for following along and even more if you stayed awake for the whole post! We appreciate it.

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Oct 24

Are you ready for the weekend?

We sure are! Although it’s turning to winter here pretty quickly, so there isn’t much riding time left without a full suit.

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We thought we’d share a little edited video with you, that hopefully gets you thinking about wakesurfing again and if you live in a part of the country where you can wakesurf all the time, we hope you are out taking a few sessions.

James Walker from earlier this month with a front big and a back big that we edited together.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to James Walker landing both a front big and a back big, in case the embed above doesn’t work for you.

We hope that you have a great weekend and that you’ll come back as we start discussing wakesurf design and construction.

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

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Oct 23

Turn your frown UPSIDE down!

Right? We understand the post title is cliche, but it was soooo apropos! Revert lift on the New Flyboy Wakesurf signature model will change your attitude from THIS:

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To THIS:

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Too much fun! Some of the contests are cutting back riding time with a reduction in a fall count, we’ll betcha that saving yourself even 1 fall, like in that video from yesterday and the pictures above can make the difference between a podium for you. Let’s be honest, you aren’t riding behind most of the contest boats, so you have 2 minutes to sort it out and then do all your tricks. How likely is that? Not very, right? Check any podium and the folks that are there, mostly practice behind the boat all damn year long. You’re gonna fall, because you don’t know how that wake works.

It reminded us of an old Beastie Boys line in a song, we think it was 3 MC’s and 1 DJ, circa 1999 – my beats are sick like Malaria! Not sure that being able to do a “submarine” is worth anything in a contest, after all it’s neither a shuv NOR a body varial, but what if you could save a fall in a contest run? What if that put you on the podium, because it gave you an extra 3 tricks in your run? Isn’t that about what you lose in your run with each fall, you lose the trick you fall on, plus the boat has to get back up to speed and burns course like it’s going out of style, plus, you’re down 1/3 of your total fall count. What if it was number 3? What would you give to save just that one? :)

Sick like Malaria! Right?

So, it’s just about building season for us here at Flyboy. The winter here in Norcal is not brutal like many parts of the country, but it gets uncomfortable and makes you want to NOT fall. The other thing with our local lake is it’s almost empty. The water level is so low that the one ramp that was left in the water ran out of cable to hold the dock in place, so we have a concrete ramp, but you have to swim to the boat after launching and putting away the truck and trailer.

We are a little worried about the 2015 season, because most of our local lakes and waterways are in the same bad shape. It’s going to make the 2015 wakesurf season pretty tough to practice. Less water will mean more boats in what water IS left. Lets keep our fingers crossed that we have a wet winter and at least the start of the 2015 season has some build up in the lakes.

So that said, lets talk about our building for the winter.

We are going to document the build process of the new and most advanced version of the Flyboy Wakesurf James Walker signature model. We have our supplies in!

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And cut file for the board is done, mostly. Maybe a tweak or two left.

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So we’ll show you the process we go through to create the “fall saver” :) No, it’s the board that James Walker rides in contests. We’ll hold back a few things, at least until the end of next year, but we want to share with you how these boards are made. While there is some machine shaping in involved, there is just tons of hand workmanship. We think we have a really good design and product that quite frankly will help you ride better. BUT it’s feaking laborious to construct.

We are not fond of the lack of transparency that seems to exist in the world today, so we’ll show you how we build this board so that you can better understand how it works and also see the time and effort that goes into it.

Thanks so much for following along and watching our rather rough n’ ready videos. We really do appreciate you!

 

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Oct 22

You HAVE to watch this

We have a short video that we want to show you, because you won’t believe your eyes. Ok, we’ll jump to two pictures that we want you to see then to the video.

Have you ever found yourself in this position? Up on the table, sinking ever so slowly as the boat races away from you? Of course you have, we all have. Your board is completely underwater and you’re done right? Just like on James’ expression.

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Ever start in the position like in the picture above, with your board completely underwater and you’re sinking down…and wind up like the next picture?

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Right? Are you skeptical? We don’t blame you, there is so much bull in this industry you’re wise to question EVERYTHING! What is that saying, show me the money! We will do just that! Next up is the video segment, but we’ve also posted all of the sequence shots into a separate Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr Album, we called it Air 3 to Floater to Submarine. :) Just for fun.

Ok, now the video. Air 3 to floater to submarine to recovery

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that air 3 thru sumbarine video, if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

Ok, so now the back story.

Yesterday we mentioned the incredible maneuverability of the newest Flyboy design. We’ve been working on it for years and years and finally have it ready for prime time. So we said, lets do something fun, lets have James do an air 3 to floater. That last turn up and into the table will be ridiculously tight, but will really demonstrate how effectively this board can turn, without being out of control, in a really fun light-hearted way. What we haven’t shared with you yet is the ability of this board to ride even BETTER revert.

Competitive wakesurfing in all contests and all tours is sort of schizophrenic. Surf style boards are directional. Doesn’t matter what your outline is like, we have huge ass fins. Anyway, skimmers aren’t directional, twin tip, tiny little barely there fin. Skimmers are designed to be ridden both forward and revert. So what gets rewarded heavily at all those contests in the surf style divisions? Non-directional tricks. Shuvs, etc.

Dear God, it’s like showing up for your first day of college and the course you’ve enrolled in is American History. You have your history book and note pad all ready and when you get to class, there are 50 easels spread around the room and the professor has on the overhead projector, Oil Painting 1A. You are sort of all weirded out, checking your class listing, checking the classroom number and the building and finally you approach the professor with a puzzeled: sorry to bother you prof, but the University has me attending American History at this time and in this room. AND he says, It is american history, I just prefer oil painting. Now sit down.

So the oil painters in the classroom excel and the rest of the class is all – wth? It’s a convoluted mess, right?

If you are riding in a surf style division, without any definition or judging criteria, you’re foolish to just assume riding your surf style board like a well…SURF F’ING BOARD, would be the right thing to do! You silly goose! It’s Oil Painting! The scoring criteria, fully subjective is your clue. Find what the judges are preferring, because it’s not based upon how well you ride YOUR style, it’s how well you ride to THEIR preferred style. If you aren’t doing that…If you aren’t becoming a homogeneous ME TOO! Knockoff, you aren’t going to score well.

Fact of life.

So, shuvs and body varials and those combinations are about non-directional riding. Makes sense that if that is the style you have to ride too, that our board needs to be more non-directional.

So we did that.

It would have been so much easier if the powers that be had just said that, rather than being vague and without any accountability. Just say it, we prefer all these skim tricks, design for that. So, your surf style board needs to ride revert, better. Right? So, that’s easy to fix. It just would have been so much better if it wasn’t this weird secret like dealio. Maybe folks like secrets?

So like we said, we did that. BUT, you know what else that did? It’s so wild, it generates lift not only when being ridden backwards/revert, it does it as the board is sort of sinking. It captures more of the lifting forces from the wake and creates a form of lift and allows the board to be driven, or ridden out of just the wildest situations.

Guess what that means for you?! C’mon guess! This new Flyboy is HARDER to fail on! WTH?! It’s just a side benefit of what we were trying to achieve, but think about your riding. Right? That’s how you fall all the damn time isn’t it? Slowly drifting out the back until you sink. What if, as you started to do that, you actually started generating enough lift that you could power out of the wake? Be honest, that’s the most cool thing ever! Now James is one of the best riders in the world, but this board generates lift in revert and also sort of when sinking. YOU can use that.

Let’s revisit that first picture. What do you do from THAT place? Most just give up and sink, right? Been there done that a BUNCH of times. If you had your Wheaties for breakfast and are feeling super spunky, but your board is really sllloooowwww maybe you can drop and paddle back out, but as far underwater as that board was, when you dropped you’d probably just sink, everything. OR…with this new Flyboy, how about just hanging on and punching through the wake back into the pocket?

Hell Ya! to that last option!

From Damn it!

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To wait, what?

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You’ve got to be kidding me, right?

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Oh hell yes he did!

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Did you see it? Yeah, it’s hard to see. We really envy those folks with several thousand dollar cameras and flying whatchamagiggies, but we’re just us. We’re lucky to even get the stuff on a video, yet alone mega dollar productions! Anyway, so we took the pertinent segment out and repeated it 3 times, hopefully that makes it clearer. Watch the board sort of buoy up.

We didn’t forget out mobile enabled friends!

Is that the coolest thing ever? Now remember, this isn’t FLOAT. Once you add a rider to a wakesurf board, they sink. There isn’t enough buoyancy to float a rider and the board…well maybe if it was a SUP, but this is a tiny little board. Also, those crazy thick super buoyant boards are impossible to sink a rail with unless you’re on a steady diet of steroids. Who needs a board fighting you to lay over into a turn. As you saw, this board sinks just fine and dandy! :) You’ll have no trouble laying over a rail, rather than cursing the damn corkiness of a too thick board.

It looks like James is sort of wakesurfing backwards, but what’s actually happening is that he is sort of just staying in one place. He caught the lip going around and stalled it…then, he started to sink and did you see it lift back up???!!! How would that help your surfing if when you started to sink, you generated enough lift to save your trick? Is that money, or what? Hell, do a shuv and body varial after and call it a new trick!!!! Ok, there are some other changes going on in there also, not like anti-gravity or anti-matter or anything, just shaping for what is required of surf style riders and we came across this side benefit!

So anyway, we figured you might prefer a board that you can just ride out of awkward positions, we know that we do. Sinking is all well and good on hot days and who doesn’t like getting prone and wallowing around in the water from time to time, but for the vast majority of time, we kinda like just riding away from it.

We’ll be bringing you more about this new Flyboy Wakesurf brand signature model in the coming weeks, but we wanted to share with you this fun little vid…air 3 to floater to submarine! Oh! and to recovery!

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

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Oct 21

AND fin pod changes

We wanted to share with you some of the fin pod changes that we made in concert with the rocker changes that we discussed last week. That old and tired rocker from the original Flyboy needed drastic revamping and we have been working on that for about 3 years or so. It’s major, but in terms of layout it doesn’t look all the different. So, we’ll offer up some video evidence to help explain the change and also the result of those changes.

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So we have to show you a short little video clip of a trick that we call a better widow maker. It’s an air 3 to a surface 720. Virtually all combination tricks you want to perform will have surface rotations either into the trick or out of the trick. Typically, it’s out of the trick, because all of the older designs for boards scrub speed in surface rotations. We wanted to be able to offer James the ability to generate speed through the rotation, so that it would be possible to do a surface rotation INTO some above the lip trick, NOT a shuv. Shuvs are fine, but they are seriously boring at this stage. So we wanted some new and fresh in the surf style arena and we saw one potential as being surface rotation INTO an aerial rotation.

BUT, here is something unexpected that resulted from that.

Have you mastered your surface 3 yet? It’s freaking hard isn’t it. IF you get your surface rotation down, what typically trips you up? You float out the back don’t you? What if while doing your rotation, you didn’t scrub any speed and could spin so tightly, that you actually started driving forward on the wake?

Heavenly, right? Behold.

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

Did you notice it? It’s a lttle tough to see, so we grabbed a few frames from the video. Not the best quality pictures, but enough to document what we are saying.

Here is where James started the ollie 3, down low on the wake face and heading up around the very beginning of the table.

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Now compare the start of that 1080 to the start of the final rotation, below.

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Do you see that James is actually forward on the wake, in comparison? He has driven forward, but also can you see how high up on the wake face he is?

Two things going on. One is ridiculously tight surface rotations, half the vertical height, but also, James is able to actually drive the board forward. We get when you stall a trick and surf the board revert forward, THAT is not this. This is James driving the board forward as part of his surface rotation.

It’s sad that surf style competitive scoring only recognizes a shuv and body varial combination, virtually ignoring everything else, because it creates this horrifically limited set of tricks. Progression dies from atrophy and board design starts morphing to skim boards. Reap what you sew, we’d guess.

But for you, for folks that want to ride how you LOVE to ride, rather than the 4 tricks the powers that be seem to dream of, drool over and fantasize about, this new fin pod on the Flyboy, combined with the improved rocker will give you the ability to land your surface rotations, while actually driving the board forward. These changes are only available on the Flyboy Wakesurf branded boards. You CAN’T find them anywhere else.

This design will, simply put, make you ride better.

We want to clarify something, it’s not just twitchy, where the board is wildly out of control. We’ve tightened the boards turning radius if you will. If you are of the “push school” of wake energy, you’ll want to ignore the rest of this post, because you’ll just have to develop arguments against what you just saw. For the rest of you that don’t need that conceptualization OR are simply open, what we’ll tell you is that we changed the rocker and the fin pod to work with the upward flow of water forming the wake. For sake of argument, assume that the flow of water is strictly up and what you are planing on is a continuous flow of water up against the bottom of your board. Even as you drive forward, the leading area of your board is always intersecting fresh upward flow.

If the bottom of your board can grab that, harness that energy, no matter what orientation it is in, forward, revert or even sideways, you have the ability to sort of continually move the board forward, regardless of orientation. We’ve changed the bottom concave to not grab the water flow as it is lifting the bottom of the board upward. We’ve also shaped it such that when the board is sort of sideways at 90 degrees to the travel of the boat, it’s not acting like an anchor. Lastly, we spent what seemed like eons playing with the fin pod itself. The fin pod refers to the location and number of fins on the tail. Quad like boards with nubs for fins, rely on break the rear trailers free for surface rotations and rotations beyond 7 sort of require this stalled revert surf forward. That’s not a surface rotation, or typically isn’t allowed or counted as one. So, what you want is like what James is showing, the ability to drive forward as part of the rotation, so that you don’t have that momentary hesitation.

Also, for you, for all of the riders working on become a pro, this change in the fin pod, will have you spinning easily, in fact keeping pace with the boat as it travels forward. Tight, quick rotations AND driving forward, not scrubbing off speed.

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

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Oct 20

Missing Summer series – Freezing Cold

Next up in our Flyboy Wakesurf Missing Summer series is a little edit from back in mid March earlier this year. The weather was frightfully old and so was the water!

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Here is that edit for you, maybe reminding you of your current weather AND making you wish summer were back.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to the Missing Summer series Freezing Cold video, if the embed above doesn’t work for you.

We hope you that brought back some fond memories of your early season of wakesurfing. We’ll continue to present another in our Missing Sumer series each Sunday, so be sure to check back to get your weekly fix!

Thanks so much for watching we really appreciate it.

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