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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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.

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Undamaged! Finally.

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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.

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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.

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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.

http://flyboywakesurf.com/tail-carved-ollie-3-tutorial/

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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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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Aug 11

Dusting off an old Flyboy

If you are a follower of Flyboy you know that James has been riding his concave deck board for several months and it met with a hideous disaster in the middle of several contests. James took an hour or so off to dust off some older Flyboy’s to see which one he can use while we try and repair the broken one and get the builder moving on the new one!

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So here is a short video of James’ first ride on the old dusty one that he took back to Minnesota with him.

For our mobile enabled friends here is a link to the video above of James wakesurfing the dusty old flyboy, if the embed doesn’t work for you.

James lands an air, an ollie 3, and half-hearted bottom turn snap, shuv to revert, frontside body varial, tail carved 3, back big and a Korina 3 before his foot slips!

We hope you had a great weekend and got out on the water!

Thanks for following along, we appreciate it.

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Aug 09

Minnesota bound

So James is on his way to Minnesota for the 2014 Supreme Surf Camp and then the following weekend the 10K Lakes event which has been moved to MSP down on the Mississippi river, we think at the same site as the 2010 WWSC, where James won the Men’s Pro Surf championship.

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James was able to dust off an old board and get a few laps in before heading back east. It’s not his first choice in equipment, but it’ll have to do!

We wanted to show you one little snippet of a trick that we are calling a tail carved ollie 3. Watch the nose and tail of the board is this little clip.

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

Did you see it? Where the tail did the rotation around the front foot?! There is so much creative stuff that can be done on the surface if it was only given appropriate weight rather than being diminished in favor of the 4 shuvs and a body varial in competitive wakesurfing. We just love the way the tail sweeps around and thank goodness there is no flow forward, or tricks like that couldn’t be done! The tail of the board floats to the top of the lip using all of the rising water flow.

Back to the topic at hand, if you’re in the Alexandria Minnesota area, check in with Faction Board shop for the 2014 Supreme Surf Camp.

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Aug 08

Naming!

Oh my goodness, we had an interesting discussion yesterday on the Flyboy Wakesurf Facebook page. There are all manner of unwritten rules and conventions associated with rotations and names of tricks. One was that you can’t name a trick after yourself, which of course doesn’t really exist anywhere, but maybe that is some agreed upon protocol? In competitive wakesurfing, only those ordained get to name tricks they create everyone else gets stuck with switch fakie frontside surface 180.

Which brings us to the topic of this post, could you even tell what that trick was, without going: fakie the board is backwards, switch the rider has his opposite foot forward, and so on and so forth? Right? It’s such a PITA. And did you ever talk like that? We mean did you ever voluntarily sit down and say switch, fakie, frontside surface 180 with a freaking straight face? AND if you did, was there any freakin’ clarity in that? Did all the folks in your boat imemdiately say, yeppers that’s right! No because it’s confusing and not clear at ALL.

So what if we all got together and did that? We mean created a standard format for naming stuff? So that tricks could be consistently named and would have say, 4 components. The first would be the riders orientation on the board; regular or switch. The next would be the orientation of the board; regular or fakie. The next would be a rotation indicator like frontside or backside. Finally the trick; say surface 180.

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Ok, so using those 4 “fields” if you will we could sort of say switch, fakie, frontside surface 180. One of the things that we commonly do is omit “regular” but for clarity here it could be a regular, regular, backside, surface 180

So our Korina 3 from yesterday would be a switch, regular, frontside surface 360 unless you didn’t like that little hesitation in between THEN it would become a switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180. Say that 3 times fast! switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180; switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180; switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180.

How would that be called in a competitive environment where say 20 tricks like that are done in 2 minutes? Were you able to call it 3 times fast? We bet not! We don’t describe tricks like that, do we? You no doubt have some shorthand in your boat, it may not be what we use here at Flyboy, but it’s something that your crew clearly gets.

BUT, if we were to say a Korina 3, you get it don’t you? You know it instinctively and it communicates it clearly and easily, plus you can say it 50 times fast can’t you?

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Switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180 is just stupid, it’s not used, it’s archaic at best and it’s freaking impossible to record or communicate. Why would we insist on a convention that no one uses and that isn’t clear? Ok, so that’s obvious so that some narcissist can sit in a dark little room laughing at making us all do what they said like walking to work backwards or jumping on one leg for 20 minutes at the start of a day. It has to be ridiculous and ever so gratifying for some folks.

The other thing that the ridiculous switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180, does is sanitize the founders of our sport. Folks that came through and created tricks that have some history. Why are we so anxious to forget the founders? Why do we need to erase the pioneers so there is no legacy? It feels like folks want to create a history that only reflects certain interests rather than the community as a whole. What’s wrong with calling that trick a Korina 3? Do you really REALLY expect anyone to believe that you sit around your boat saying:

She just landed a switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180, very good old chap! NO-FREAKING-BODY talks like that. And if they did, you’d have no idea what they said. Right? You’d be drawing pictures on napkins and visualizing in your head. We need a simple clear means of communicating tricks that isn’t some crazy controlling mess that nobody can understand. Why would anyone argue for or support a language that is incomprehensible and is actually jibberish? Yet, that’s what folks do.

Federal Express was brillant, they changed their name to FedEx and in their campaign to annouce the name change they said, it’s what you call us anyway. They capitalized on the way folks speak and communicate rather than being some ridiculous controlling snobs trying to force folks to change their dialect.

Anyway, switch, fakie, frontside jibberish isn’t clear, isn’t communicative and isn’t spoken! It doesn’t work in a competitive recording environment, ignores the great contributions of the pioneers of our sport and really serves no purpose other than affecting control for a very few people that like dictating what others do and think.

Thanks so much for following along and we hope you land a Korina 3 and never EVER say: Switch, regular, frontside surface 180 to a regular, fakie, backside surface 180.

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Aug 07

Switch backside 360 tutorial

We want to bring you the next in our series of tutorials. This trick is what we call the Korina 3. It’s a switch backside surface 360, made popular by the European professional wakesurfer Korina Smyrek. Korina rides for The Walker Project. We’ve been fortunate enough to have Korina out on our boat to practice prior to a WWSC event in years past.

This is a great surface rotation trick that you can do when you get up switch, or after you’ve done a body varial. You’ll want to be proficient at both your regular surface 3 and riding switch. This little clip is a few weeks old, and showcases just this single trick the Korina 3.

For our mobile enabled friends here is a link to James Walker doing the Korina 3, if the embed above didn’t work for you.

Got that whole trick in your head? You may need to go back and refer to it a few times while you work on it. We’ve also created a Flyboy Flickr album of sequence shots for this trick, the Korina 3.

Ok, so lets start with a brief description and then work our way through the steps. We may wind up having to split this into two posts, it’s a little tricky, but we’ll do our best!

You’re going to want to enter this trick with a little speed. Not too much, but enough that you can sort of get the fins to fail going into the trick, but not so much that you to spin out. You’ll be sliding the entry into the K3, but then you want the fins to re-engage immediately after. You’ll note the water flow coming off the board as it rises to the top of the wake. The path that James creates is starting from the back and then carving up the wake. As we know, the flow of water on the wake is UP and never forward, you can clearly see the path and the pattern of the flow of water. IF it were forward, that path would be obstructed, luckily for us, that isn’t the case.

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The trick is properly done without dragging a hand. It’s preferable that you don’t because of the body positioning. It’s easy to get out of balance over your butt, when attempting to drag your hand. What James is doing, is loading the board on it’s tail for the spin. Take careful note of James’ rear leg, as it’s starting to bend to allow the board to ride up the face of the wake.

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In this next picture, you see that James has started this turn up the wake face. The fins are failing just a touch, allowing the nose of the board to slide around. Take note of James front foot position, he’s got it right at the top of the spine, very similar to the surface 360 that we talked about in prior posts.

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After the turn and the slide have been initiated, you want to stop it just as quickly! One of the keys to this trick is not pushing too hard. You don’t want to spin wildly out of control, just enough to get the nose around. That will take some practice, don’t give up when you are starting to learn it. If you don’t get this rotation started, PUSH harder. If you seem to lose balance and fall backwards, you’re probably pushing too hard, back off the effort just slightly. Take note of which way you fall so that you can adjust your effort here.

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Once you have the nose in the wake, the rising flow of the water will keep you up as the board is being buoyed by the lifting forces. You’ll want to angle the leading edge slightly down, as you’re actually surfing sort of diagonally. Also, very VERY gently slide the tail of the board out away from the wake, so that the fins are free.

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With the fins free, slide down the wake to build speed. The only way that we can gain speed is by taking advantage of FALLING down the face of the wake, make sure you don’t rely on the push gobble-dee-gook. Position the board at the top of the wake and then use that to slide down and forward to gain speed for the next aspect of the trick.

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Drive forward, as best you can and re-engage the fins in the face of the wake, while turning up the face. This part is hard also, the board will be fighting you and wanting to turn out and away, you need to force the inside rail fin into the wake so that it grabs and make sure it’s at an angle so that it will continue to spin around backwards. Again, push isn’t an issue to worry about, or you’d never be able to pull this part of the trick off. Once you engage the fin, it will start the spin, backside out of this trick.

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All of the forces working on you and your board at this point are coming from below the board holding you up. If you are sinking as you come around, try stuffing more of the tail of the board into the wake. Your forward momentum will be cut way down and so you’ll need as much of the wake as possible to keep you sort of hydroplaning. You’ll need WAY more of your board in the wake than when you are in trim or driving forward. All of the power from the wake is coming off the rising of the water. Just keep thinking of that wake face as going straight up and you want to harness as much of it as possible. If you lose the wake or sink, at this point, stuff more of the tail into the wake.

If you are sort of skipping over the wake across onto the table, you may have the correct amount of the board stuffed into the wake, but need to lean a little more towards the nose of the board. Take note of the orientation of the board downward, James is balancing the lift and forces of gravity to start the board headed down the face of the wake.

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Once you’re engaged and have the board positioned, bring your head around! Start looking for the boat. If you are somewhat out of position, start pumping forward towards the boat! This brings up one point, we’ve mention being proficient at riding switch, that would include being able to pump! If you haven’t really practiced that, now would be a good time to get it mastered.

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Continue to bring the board around, like you are turning up the wake, not too much, you just want to bring the board back around. Lean forward, down the face of the wake and head for the transom!

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And finally bring the board back in line and down the wake face.

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This is an amazing trick, really hard and it’s a great way to extend your surface rotational tricks. The current emphasis, for surf style, in competitive wakesurfing is on shuv based tricks and add a body varial to it, but that begs the question of using the entire surface of the wake. You see James running the entire length of the pocket and working it from top to bottom. It’s ridiculously hard to work the wake fully like this, but current judging doesn’t recognize anything but shuvs and body varials. For your personal enjoyment, ignore that crazy agenda and work the wake fully. The ability to finese your rotations so that you use every single square inch of wake will add just tons more tricks to your arsenal, plus give you lots more creative license than one of the four shuv variations. You can also extend this trick, something that the simplistic shuv variations don’t allow with an additional K3, or bring it around again into the first half of the K3 to be riding revert and shuv out.

The only way to effectively extend any trick is with some form of surface rotation, so ride your way, ignore myopic judging practices and obvious agendas and work your surface rotation magic!

Thanks so much for following along, be sure to study the video and then the individual sequence shots, plus take some mental notes if you don’t hit this trick immediately. Think about how you fell and where and then compare your body positioning and position on the wake and you’ll be successful!

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Aug 06

Shell rocks!

This blog post is a personal thank you to Shell B over at Fineline Industries. If you’ve ever been to the WWSC, you’ve met Shell, she is the warm and caring woman at the registration booth that keeps everything rolling along. She was also at our 2014 Supreme Wakesurf Championship in Arizona, doing everything to help support that event.

As we mentioned on Monday, we bent our prop. We just happened to mention it casually on Facebook and Shell found us a bright shiny new Acme 537 first thing on Monday morning! James rides for Supreme, manufactured by Fineline and Shell, in doing her job, went above and beyond. She sort of took time out of her day off over the weekend and took note, but also made sure to track down our prop in the warehouse and verify it physically existed.

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We’ve had the pleasure of working with Shell at various events, and now we know that she will always come through for Team Riders within Fineline Industries. Huge thanks to Shell and we were back up and running Monday night! We appreciate you so much Shell and thank you for being there in a pinch.

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Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it. We’ve got two post projects going on. One is the Korina 3 tutorial and we’re also working on fixing James’ contest board, with the crease and rail damage. Please come back for both!

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Aug 05

A sense of community

The other day, we were lamenting what seems like the loss of community in the sport of wakesurfing. Way back in the day it was significantly stronger and more cohesive. It seems to have become divided into smaller and smaller factions, but not so much with the sport itself the focus.

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Are you familiar with Jane Addams? She was a social activist back in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. One of her most quoted statements is:

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life

APS Healthcare is an employee assistance program provider for many health care plans, we’ve also seen them as the actual health plan for some union plans like the UFCW. They did a phamplet at one time about a The Importance of Community. In it they talked about things like:

While there continues to be discussion over what actually defines a community, for many people it is a sense of cohesiveness among a group of people.

The idea of community may simply come down to supporting and interacting positively with other individuals who share a vested interest.

We’ve watched as individual communinites seem to develop. So like the Worlds Series of Wake Surfing vs the Endless Wave Tour. Or even individual contests with conflicting dates.

Back in the good old days, we were a much smaller group and everyone always did the right thing by others within that community. Our connection was the sport itself and folks were very tolerant of each other and, it seemed, would always do the right thing by each other member of that community, it was wakesurfing, we were all brothers in arms!

Then something changed. The communities seem to develop around geographic locations and also brands. We had to laugh, way back when wakesurfing was first developing when someone did some trick that was amazing, everyone applauded. Now, when we say amazing we all sort of agreed that folks had differing styles and we all encouraged them to expand and develop their own style. Nowadays, if you ride for the wrong brand or folks don’t like your personal politics, they at best will ignore you and at worst try and diminish your accomplishments. Just go check out the “likes” on a facebook post sometime. Ride for a different board manufacturer? We won’t like THAT!

Can that really be the case? That communities develop around a single board brand AND see or act as if riding another brand deems you not of the community? How in God’s name could that have ever happened? It’s fine to be a member of that board brand community, but it’s not mutually exclusive, where you can’t be appreciative or supportive of another “board manufacturers” community. What caused all of those factions to withdraw from the greater community of wakesurfing? You support another brands rider because they are wakesurfing! They are allowed to ride and develop their own style because it’s wakesurfing! Somehow that changed, where folks lost sight of the larger community that defined the sport and seem to feel that it’s wrong or inappropriate to support the larger community, if there is any chance that it would be supporting another smaller faction community.

We think that’s sad. We think that hurts the sport and the folks involved.

We’ll close with one last statement in that APS pamphlet:

A strong community benefits the individual, the community as well as the greater society. People of all ages who feel a sense of belonging tend to lead happier and healthier lives, and strong communities create a more stable and supportive society.

Is that what has happened? That what started as the community of wakesurfing has now become a society? Where the growth and development of the smaller communities has pushed the once community of wakesurfing into a larger society of wakesurfing? What do we do, as all these smaller communities continue to develop, to foster the growth and development of that society?

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

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Aug 04

Bent prop!

Poor James if he didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all! As you remember, he’s broken his board in traveling to Texas. He managed the NWWSA event on a borrowed board and did great, with a second place finish, considering he hadn’t ridden that board in weeks. So now that his board is broken we checked on the order for his new board, but that’s still weeks away.

Our plan for the weekend was to dust off a few boards and let James get the feel for an old board that he could ride at the 10K event and also the week before as he heads back for a kids camp. So we load up the boat and try to get a few test runs in and BAM we bent a prop. We didn’t run aground, it seems in the severe drought conditions, we pulled some loose log or something into the prop and bent one blade, just enough to make the whole damn boat shake!

Here is James’ whole practice session.

For our mobile enabled friends here is a link to that fateful practice session for James

Right? 15 seconds! Well that was James’ day off to test boards and get situated for the next contest. But that’s just the way that contests are, do the best you can with what you’re handed. Anyway, luckily the boat wasn’t damaged and everyone is safe and still HAS a job!

We’ll have to see if we can get the boat fixed and James can squeeze an hour of practice in, so that he can at least choose what board he wants to take to Minnesota, it’s definitely been a wild few weeks here!

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

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