Jul 12

James Walker rescues drowning hat!

This is just a fun little snippet of James Walker from last weekend.

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We lost a hat overboard but didn’t quite know where. So we are retracing the route and James is looking for it and spots it! He drove out from way back in the pocket and grabbed the hat and tried to pump back in, but didn’t quite make it.

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

We hope you all have a great weekend and get a chance to do a few sets. Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Jul 11

Blender tutorial!

We are starting this tutorial for our good friend Greg out on the east coast. They have a whole slew of Flyboy’s and like many folks, Greg is working on learning some of James’ tricks.

2014 has proven to be a sad year. Innovation in the surf style division has been killed by the current broken judging systems and the lack of differentiation in the divisions. In past years, we’d have seen a number of completely new tricks in the surf division by this time of year, but all we will see is tricks that have been a staple in the skim division sort of “ported” to the surf division. So, innovation and progression are dead, substituted with copying old tricks done years ago on skim boards. Dead and killed by stupid scoring, bias and favoritism. 2013 and 2014 will go down as a turning point, either in destroying the surf division altogether or driving a new force to revitalize surf style, eliminating or severely restricting skim influences.

One of the most fun surf style tricks that James Walker created on his Flyboy was the Blender, it is a sequential combination of a surface reverse into a surface 360. It’s a great carved sequence of tricks and it’s one that many advanced level riders can accomplish. Of course you’ll want to have two tricks under your belt, the surface reverse and then also a surface 360.

We have two resources for you, one is the Flyboy Flickr album of the Blender and then also a trimmed down video of just the Blender over on YouTube. We should also say, we freely share these pictures and the other resources, because we are in the business of selling boards! We want you to learn and ride better and guess what board you’ll see those tricks performed on?! A Flyboy! We are just ridiculously supportive of the wakesurfing community. We understand you can’t always travel for lessons and hiding all your tricks until some contest with the idea that somehow you’ll win, man we guess is a good strategy of you are in the business of winning, but we aren’t, we sell boards. We support riders and the wakesurf community we WANT you to ride better and we understand that virtually everyone watches James’ videos. We want that! James wins a lot, but he is far more supportive of the community and his customers and potential customers to be so self-focused as NOT to help folks out.

Ok, so with that editorial out of the way, we’ll continue with the Blender tutorial. Let’s introduce the resources. First up is the video.

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

Here is a link to the Flickr Flyboy album for the Blender. It has sequence shots of the trick from start to finish. If you are having trouble in a particular area, this is a great resource. Find where you are tripping up and compare your board and body position to the pictures.

You’ll want to study those two resources carefully, as we pointed out earlier, and compare them to the your riding and where you are having trouble.

Ok and now for some pointers.

The first part of the trick is the surface reverse, you want to hit this part FAST and HARD. You’ll need to come out of the reverse fairly far forward, you have to understand that you’ll scrub all of your speed off once the board is sideways and to do this trick correctly, you’ll want it to be continuous. We understand that folks will sort of start this trick by splitting it into 180′s, which is ok, but it’s a cheater version of this trick. Your ultimate goal should be to make them smooth, flowing and continuous.

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The next pointer is to spin it on the spine, not on the face or way back on the lip. Remember your positioning as you come out needs to allow you to hit the trailing 3. Check James position on the spine, as he is coming through the rotation. Also treat it like rotating to blind, look where James is focused, so that he is in position to rotate out.

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One last pointer, the board will slide down the face, you want that and you want it to rotate past 360, so the first part of the tricks is really a surface 450 (it won’t score well in a cotest because only 10 year old skate tricks that have been done for ages and ages score worth a shit in the surf division) but you will use that extra 90 degrees to generate the speed you need to spin out with the surface reverse. Also, BURY your hand so that you can pull yourself through the final surface 3. At this stage, your board will be dead in the water, you’ll have no forward momentum, so you need to fling it into the surface 3, if done correctly. Jam your hand into the wake and turn hard into that final 3. You’ll also notice where James is, in relation to the wake, he’s pretty far forward so that he’ll have adequate time to spin out.

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Then exit out of the 3 as normal, just remember that you’ll be traveling really slowly, so be prepared to pump down the face or forward in case you are at the back of the pocket.

There you go! If you are really wanting to improve your riding and want to start developing your own sense of style, this is a great building block. Trick combinations will always have some form of surface rotation and combining frontside and backside rotations will be killer for your bag of tricks!

Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it and hope this short tutorial helps! Start landing Blenders!

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Jul 10

Throw Back Thursday

We were looking for some old pictures and happened to run across this creation, which was one of the early R&D boards that we made prior to launching the Flyboy Wakesurf brand.

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That’s from back in 2008, when James was riding for TWP. We were sharing much of the construction techniques and findings with TWP, but this composite sandwich construction was really not a good fit for their business model, at that time. As you read yesterday, we are loving it as it’s helped us sell out all of our production each year we’ve been selling boards. We don’t want that to sound like we are selling thousands of boards, obviously we’re not and we are a very conservative business, we don’t have the resources to throw 10′s of thousands of dollars at a POS design hoping people will buy from the hype alone! Anyway, as you can see in the dated picture, that’s circa 2008, and the design and construction was ALMOST finalized at that point. :) We literally had close to 5 years of testing and refining before we sold any boards. Thankfully, we haven’t had to change the board completely every year, which seems to be all the rage in professional wakesurfing, these days.

We understand if the board doesn’t sell because it sucks out loud, you have to go back and start over, we just did all of that work up front, rather than introduce a crappy product for some quick bucks. We respect your hard earned dollars and we know we’d never be able to gain your respect back if we lost it selling you junk. You’ve seen our advertising, our budget is like $14 a year! :) We couldn’t come back from the introduction of a POS board, like other folks who can afford to spend their way back into acceptance. Ours had to be right the first time and quite frankly that’s our business philosophy, we want to be trusted, not suspect because we sold crap. So we’ll probably always be the smallest tiniest little brand and we’ll probably never generate enough income to make it a full time career, but we really do love the sport and developing boards that folks enjoy riding.

This is a picture of hairboy…errr James Walker airing out the R&D board in a full wettie, it looks like it was a clear day, but in late November it was probably high 50′s air and low 50′s water temp! James would have been in his teens in that picture, poor kid was the R&D rider! Come on, we need feedback, go suit up and ride in that frigid water and tell us what you think! :) You definetely didn’t want to fall!

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We wanted to talk about the graphics on that board, it was all hand painted. The flames are overlapped, so you’ll see there is a bottom set and a top set. Each flame had a yellow pinline around it and the flames had a great fade from red to orange to yellow to white at the tips. If you look close, the top overlaying flames have grey to black shadows in the left hand curves to give the look of depth. Plus we painted over everything! You don’t see any fin boxes because they are painted over! We used catalyzed polyurethane car paint for this project and we had wanted that to become the calling card for Flyboy’s. Sort of custom hot rod car paint schemes. It proved to be really impractical in a production environment. This paint scheme took literally a few weeks. The entire board was painted yellow, hold on we’ll explain.

After the yellow was cured, we laid down the pin lines using 1/8 inch tape and then from there laid down the fades, taping over the areas that were done, before moving on to the next group of flames. It took forever, as we had to allow each layer of paint to cure before we could tape over it. It’s a great look and maybe someone could develop a printed lam, but we were interested in the one off creations that mimicked the custom car scene. Needless to say, we abandoned that idea! BUT, this was such a great creation to come out of our garage!

Thanks so much for listening to more of our history and sharing in our Throw Back Thursday!

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Jul 09

Thank you

We have sold the last of our Flyboy inventory, for 2014 and it’s our understanding that all of the current years production has been spoken for, so in effect the Flyboy James Walker signature model and the Fyboy Bigboy from Inland are sold out. No doubt there are some retailers with inventory in stock, or waiting on the last shipments, but we can’t get anymore and if retailers haven’t already placed the order, they will be unable to acquire them also.

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We want to be careful here, we’ve read so many “THANK YOU!” notes and posts that then go on to say thanks for making us the best ever and supporting the best of everything, ever! They have more spam than a Global MyWake/Warfare submission. It’s hard to find a spammy “thank you” as heartfelt. We know we aren’t the best of anything, and don’t want to come across like that. Hell, we’ve reached stock out at the first week in July! Production and sales forecasting is obviously not an exact science for us. :) With all of our faults and shortcomings we really are appreciative of all of you. The folks that have purchased flyboy and bigboys in the past from us, you folks rock! For all of our loyal readers who come back to curse us, or applaud us, we are seldom neutral on that scale. :) We really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy days, we hope at times we’ve motivated you to talk about issues, or at least gave you a chuckle.

There is so much information that we are bombarded with each and every day. If you’ve taken the time to read us here we really do appreciate you taking that time. If you’ve shared it with friends or colleagues, thanks for that too! We also want to reach out and say thanks to our fellow retailers. We appreciate all of y’all pushing the flyboy and bigboy to meet your customers needs and demands. Without those efforts and expertise we’d never have reached this point. Everyone in the retail channel, you folks really are amazing. Also we need to thank the entire gang at Inland Surfer, from Jeff Page in taking the risk on us and investing all of that capital to get this rolling. We appreciate that you were willing to take the risk and we consider ourselves fortunate for being part of the Inland operation. Also to the entire backend of Inland Surfer, most notable Lance who goes out of his way to take care of us. The support and commitment to consumers, the Flyboy division and of us, personally, is greatly appreciated. Also Todd, Mark, Caitlin and all the rest that make up the Inland gang.

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To the young rippers like Zane “Zman” Montgomery, Parker Payne and Pete Lange, that watch and follow along with James’ tricks, using James’ influence in your own creations, that’s so great for us to watch! James is pleased to be part of your influence and to watch as you shape the future of wakesurfing. Huge thanks to Zane and Pete for ripping on the Flyboy!

We also want to thank the young folks that have reached out and asked for Flyboy stickers! We’re proud to be on your laptops, skateboards and bedroom walls!

And to everyone along the way, love us or hate us, we’re thankful because it’s shaped us, perhaps motivated us and at times caused us to think. We’ve hated a few sorry asses back, we’ve never wanted to be like those folks and that has helped shape who we are today! So here we are at the beginning of July, sold out! We guess it’s a good place to be, at least better than having 300 unsold units in a storage facility somewhere or 50 of them spread at retailers all over being offered at cost! But we’ll still go back and work on refining projections for next year.

A huge thank you to everyone friend or foe, customer or not. We have appreciated your support or the insight imparted that has allowed us to underestimate demand! :)

Back tomorrow, thanks for following along.

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Jul 08

Rollers!

We’re sure that you’re faced with the same issue we have over the long holidays like the 4th. The weather here was really gorgeous, highs in the 100′s and nothing but refreshing cold water on the lake, so of course everyone joined in at the lake! We are facing another year of drought conditions here in Northern California, folks are being asked to not water their lawns and to cut back on all water consumption. Our home lake is in bad shape. It was originally just this tiny little fishing lake and later a larger dam was build that caused the reservoir to cover the old dam when the lake filled. Now that our water level is lower, the top of the old dam is showing…big concrete pilings and you can visibly see how far down teh water level is. As we mentioned before, it caused 3 of the 4 total ramps to wind up out of the water and so drives all of the launch traffic to the last remaining ramp. It also tends to make everything really REALLY cozy!

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About the same number of boats as in a normal year, only in about half the amount of surface area! Ok, not quite that small, but everything is a lot tighter these days. The other thing that we’ve noticed is the bottom structure of our lake. Lots of islands we didn’t know about! That also has created some really weird wake issues in areas that we have been surfing over for years. We wanted to share this quick video from over the weekend, it’s unedited and you’ll notice just about at the end that there is a huge hesitation between the tricks, somewhere in there the boat started racing, we were caught in a roller and the bounce back off the shore and it also seemed to be getting shallow. It was really wild! So here is that video of James Walker riding his Flyboy and landing: ollie 3, full air reverse, stalled air reverse, front shuv to revert, K3, switch surface 180 to revert shuv out, then the huge delay as the boat races!, backside big spin.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that July 4th video of James Walker wakesurfing, if the embed above didn’t work for you.

Wasn’t that a great run, well save for waiting for the boat to settle down. We’ll do our best to try and bring you solid wakesurfing, but from here on through the rest of the summer, it might be a challenge! Thanks so much for your understanding!

Towards that end we wanted to share with you the sequence shots from the front shuv to revert included in that video. Here is the link to the Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr album for that front shuv.

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

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Jul 07

July 4th big spins

Did you have a great fourth of July weekend?

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We braved it and went out on the water, it was wild! Jet ski’s jumping our wake, even a crazy jet boat was playing on our wake! Needless to say the conditions weren’t ideal, but it was great fun to be out on the water! James was able to nail a few big spins, so we quickly edited those together for you.

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

Big spins front and back!

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

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Jul 05

Riding the modified Inland skimmer

In the last three posts we detailed the installation of a torsion box stringer into the damaged Inland Surfer skimmer. We really liked this board and wanted to save it, plus we also wanted to increase the stiffness and document that for folks that have boards they really like, but want an increase in the stiffness. It’s a fairly easy modification, the results are impressive and can be done by anyone with basic power tool skills.

This modification is also a great way to fix a creased or broken board, it’s possible to restore a creased board to great riding condition with a relatively small amount of work.

So a few riding pictures just so you can see it’s fixed.

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Surf style…err, we mean Shuvs are now easily managed

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We think this is a landing from a shuv, the board is good.

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Ok and a really really short video to show that the repair is solid. It’s hard to give documentation on the improvement in stiffness, plus an increase in what is termed by many as “pop” but the board has an increase in both of those attributes.

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

One last one that you can just barely see the carbon fiber cap along the bottom in the picture.

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So as a point of reference, carbon tape is amazing stuff, but it doesn’t really add a lot to a wakesurf board. If it weren’t attached to a wakesurf board you can bend it between two fingers. The forces that we apply to a wakesurf board are with our legs and body weight. We’d have a hrad time believing that folks could even feel the difference between a fiberglass tape and carbon fiber tape. Stringers that don’t connect the deck and bottom aren’t really effective. They allow flex somewhere and also allow lateral twisting, which really negates their function. You may hear pros pimping stuff like that on the boards, but they’re #paidtosaywhatever #bestever #itsinmycontracttosaythisshit. Tying the deck and bottom together will increase stiffness, increasing thickness will also but not much else. You can use carbon fiber tape to help distribute a load more fully across an area, thereby increase break strength but that’s not really a stiffness issue. At fairly thin foils like in a skimmer, the width of the stringer really needs to increase to be effective, like this torsion box. While we used high density foam, wood or even plastic could be used as the core of the torsion box.

The key is to make sure that the core material is stiffer than the surrounding foam it is inserted into.

Ok that’s all for this series, we really hope that everyone had a great 4th of July and you were able to celebrate our great nations birthday! Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

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Jul 04

Torsion box stringer part 3

You’ll remember that in yesterdays post, we had finished our repair to the board, plus completely installed the torsion box stringer. We’ve used a closed cell foam as our core, so we really could be finished at this stage, but we want to cover a slight crack in the board that was part of this repair/modification, so we will be using a section of Carbon Fiber Tape to cover the whole thing up. We didn’t get a good picture of it, but we did some grinding of the surface around the repair to do two things. One was to rough up the surface to aid in the adhesion of the carbon fiber cap, the second is to recess the area so that when we attached the carbon fiber tape, it was close to flush with the surface of the board.

So our purpose in doing this modification is to stiffen up the board. Thicker boards are stiffer than thinner ones. But there isn’t much you can do to an existing board to make it thicker. As we said, an alternative to thickness as a way to increase stiffness is by connecting the bottom and deck together. Think of it as a really great team. Everyone works together towards a single goal. In this case resisting twist or flex. By tying the top and bottom together, neither top nor bottom can move without the other moving with them in concert, just like the perfect team all working together towards a common and agreed upon goal. So right now we have the top of the board connected to the torsion box and the sides are connected to the core of the board, but the bottom has just a hint of attachment at the very outside edges. We really need to distribute that connection further out beyond just the edges where it connects with the torsion box, plus it will help cover our repair.

We have chosen to use carbon fiber for this, mostly because we had some left over!!! Fiberglass would have worked as well, and at this thickness a single layer of carbon fiber won’t increase stiffness appreciably over say 6 oz fiberglass, especially laid out horizontally like this.

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We had some 2 inch wide tape and that is adequate to help us tie more of the bottom to the torsion box stringer and will disperse the loads applied adequately. This tap came rolled up in a small bundle, some comes on a tube or just folded in a small length. Either way all we are doing is rolling out an adequate length to fully cover the torsion box, including over the ends.

We wet the tape out on a small wet out table and then carefully align it and place it over the torsion box doing our best to keep the tape straight and aligned with the torsion box stringer and also making sure that we have kept the tap centered over that area. Once it’s aligned, we use a squeegee to press it down into the area that we have ground out.

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We allow the tape and epoxy from the previous picture to cure overnight and then hit it with the sander to know down any errant fibers or high spots. Workin outdoors we always wind up with bugs and leaves in the cure epoxy, so we almost always have to knock down crap from the final cure cycle.

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We could at this point repaint the bottom of the board, or apply a design that would hide the repair but we are kinda digging the industrial look of this modification, it gives it a sort of streetfighter look or something, so that will conclude the repair and modification. Because we have ground the small, shallow channel in the bottom of the board, there isn’t any real increase in drag associated with the carbon fiber tape that we have applied. If there were any high spots, we could grind that down and then possibly apply a final gloss or hot coat or just resin over the sanded area. This final application of the carbon fiber tape has also covered our repaired area, so that will perform structurally just like the original board. The carbon fiber tape, by itself, isn’t really enough to change the way the board would ride, as we mentioned, it doesn’t connect the top and bottom, so like a disorganized team that has members thinking only of themselves, it’s really ineffective.

By routing the channel and then inserting the torsion box we’ve effectively communicated to the deck and bottom that the goal is NO FLEX! And they are working together towards that goal. There is simply no reason to invest the time and energy into this if the top and bottom were going to be left to do their own thing. Proper design, effective administration and viola, its a finely oiled piece of machinery! A single carbon fiber tape layer doesn’t connect anything and a tiny thin layer of carbon fiber doesn’t add much in the way of stiffness. The layer of tape is pretty effective in distributing the loads across a wider area, we don’t really need more than a few inches, because there just isn’t any part of the load or stress that can be distributed beyond that area. So a 6 inch wide tape wouldn’t do anything past the first inch on either side of center. Well maybe looks cool, but that would be all. One last point, we only installed the one torsion box, because that was all that was really needed for this board. It’s possible to insert several, if needed.

Perhaps there is a severe break, then maybe 3 torsion boxes would be in order, or perhaps a rider wants a higher level of stiffness and instead of just a single torsion box installed in the middle, two just off-center would give the desired characteristics, you can do pretty much anything that you want in terms of the number of torsion boxes.

Ok so that’s the repair and modification, we’ll post up the riding report including pictures and video tomorrow, we just have to dig them out!

Thanks so much we really appreciate you following along.

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Jul 03

Torsion box stringer part 2

You’ll remember that in the last post we left off having routed a slot for the torsion box. We’ll pick up by test fitting the scrap high density foam that will wind up making the core of the torsion box.

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We routed a little tight, so we went back with a slight larger bit, to clean up the slot. This also allows us to get a tad sloppy with the entry, as the second pass with a slightly larger bit will remove any offcenter bit wander. You’ll want to route the slot larger enough to accomodate two layers of carbon fiber, plus the width of the torsion box core material.

As we mentioned earlier, do NOT route all the way through the board, it will really cause you a ton of headaches and we can very easily get to the correct depth by using a fairly wide flat bladed screw driver. All we do is push it through the foam and up to the outside lamination. It’s very easy to scrape away the last remaining foam and expose the underside of the deck. DON’T skip this part, because it’s necessary to connect the deck and the bottom to achieve the stiffening effect we are after. Any foam from the original core left on the deck side will provide THAT much compression and flex and will negate everything we are doing, in that area. So take your time, dig the last remaining bit of foam out and make sure you have a good clean exposed portion of the deck. Don’t mess with teh sides of the slot, those are fine and we want them a “squeeze fit” for our torsion box.

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Next we trim up a section of the high density foam for the torsion box core. If we had been ambitious, we would have cut and trimmed it exactly flush with the bottom surface, but we had to fix the damage on the bottom, so we were going to be doing some sanding and fixing to that surface anyway, so we just left the cut sort of “close”, but not exact.

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It’s a little hard to see, but we cut some scrap 6 oz carbon fiber cloth long enough and wide enough to fit into the slot, in sort of a |_| shape. This is important, as we pointed out a single layer of carbon fiber isn’t all that much to write home about. But we co-cured the torsion box core and this U channel carbon fiber to give us the effective stiffness that we needed. We’ve demonstrated this concept before. Take a sheet of paper and lay it out flat suspended on both ends by say books. The paper can’t even support it’s own weight. But fold it either a fan fold or this U channel like shape and like magic, the paper becomes much stiffer and can actually support some weight. It’s the fold or bend that creates opposing forces when weight is applied that increases the stiffness. We achieve this by taking a fairly wide section of carbon fiber cloth and then STUFFING it into the slot so that there are folds at the edges and the material rises up the sides of the slot.

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We didn’t get a good shot of it, but we applied epoxy to the carbon fiber in the slot and also to the high density torsion box core, wiping up the excess as it got pushed out after pushing in the torsion box core. Then we let that cure!

That’s all we really have time for today, we’ll post one more picture so that you can see the core material and underneath that on three sides is a carbon fiber wrap. It connects the torsion box core to the deck, plus the interior foam on the sides. It doesn’t add any appreciable weight, perhaps a few ounces, but it will fix our damaged area and also increase stiffness probably 500%. It will ride like a new board.

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Ok, that’s all for today and we’ll be back tomorrow to finish up the construction and later on we’ll show some riding videos and pictures, so please come back and we’ll talk about the final steps for this modification.

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

http://flyboywakesurf.com/torsion-box-stringer-modification/

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Jul 02

Torsion box stringer modification

We want to share a neat project that most everyone with a thin skimmer can use, but before we do, we wanted to give you the link to the sequence shots of James Walker Landing that Frontside Big Spin to backside Body Varial. We know that many folks study all of James’ videos and pictures to learn new tricks, it’s like an online coaching session! Use the blue link in this sentence to go to the Flyboy Flickr album for your study session! Good luck, we hope to see a bunch of folks doing front bigs this season, after first studying James’ landing that trick.

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We apologize for being tardy with posting those sequence shots! It’s been a wild couple of days! So that wasn’t what we wanted to share with everyone today. We recently damaged an older Inland Surfer Skimmer and decided to perform a modification that can increase the performance of a bunch of thinner skim style boards. We’ll show two pictures, sort of a before and after so that you can see what we hope to get to. What we are doing is installing what we call a torsion box inside the damaged Inland Surfer.

This is the board that was damaged. It is probably the most popular skim shape that Inland has ever produced. It is the basis for a bunch of different models.

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What we are GOING to get to is this stiffer and more “poppy” modified version, that includes the installed torsion box and a carbon tape cap outside. We aren’t going to paint over the modification, but you could easily to hide the modification if you wanted.

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If you happen to have one of the thinner skim style boards and maybe even some of the compression molded surf style boards you may have felt they were slow. Now we’re sorry to tell you that LOTS of the yokels out there that have more ego than knowledge will tell you that it’s rail shape, or outline or any number of things, but honestly, many times its associated with unwanted flex, especially in crappy construction. Those boards, when ridden by someone outside the weight range or when they are riding hard, will experience flex that causes the rocker to change. That change creates this almost plow like effect as the board is moving forward and hence slows them down…now if your wake is all pushhhhhhhhh going forward it will never matter, because you also have a magical unicorn helping you with ballast! For the rest of us, since there is not one single foot of water travel forward, that flex is like cutting the effective surface area in half…or at least down significantly. As your board plows through that water traveling UP the wake, it feels like you are dragging an anchor.  This is your fix.  Sadly, compression molding has been given a bad rap by those same folks that don’t understand construction or board design.  Slapping a torsion box in most of those older boards, will fix many of them right up.  It’s not the process of molding that is the problem, it’s a poor design.

We’ve talked a number of times about how the thickness of a wakesurf board dictates the stiffness, in fact the amount of stiffness is exponentially related to the thickness. For example double the thickness and the stiffness increases by a factor of 4. Obviously we can’t really effectively increase the thickness of an existing board, so another way to increase stiffness is by tying the bottom and deck together with a solid structure. You’ve seen this done with wood stringers in surf board blanks. Really thin boards in the 1/2 inch or thereabouts range probably aren’t really appreciable stiffened with a small section of wood, as it’s easily bent. So what we are doing is installing an after-the-fact stringer’ish arrangement that we have termed a torsion box. It is 5/8″ thick, surrounded by carbon fiber and attaches both the deck and bottom together.

Carbon fiber is stiff material, but it’s often inaccurately referred to as stronger than steel attempting to give you the idea that super thin layers of carbon fiber are stiffer and stronger than a steel rod, an inch thick. Technically, carbon fiber is stronger and stiffer than steel in the exact same thickness, but a tiny little fraction of an inch thick of steel can probably be waded up in your hands like aluminum foil. So sure it’s stronger and stiffer than something you can wad up in your bare hands. So what we did was surround a really wide piece of high density foam, such that we have close to 5/8″ of carbon fiber in all four directions surrounding a box-like structure.

What we did in short, was route a slot down the middle, wrap a section of high density foam in carbon fiber and stuff that in the slot we routed, combined with a bunch of epoxy to stick everything together!

So you saw the board we started with, the next piece of material we will need is some high density foam. You could also use a small section of wood just as easily. All it needs to be is something stronger and stiffer than the surrounding material in the existing board. We had a scrap section of Divinycell H80, so we grabbed that. Now we should note, you don’t need to run the torsion box all the way from the nose to the tail, just through the majority of the length and that will prevent virtually all flex when riding.

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We will be routing a long slot in this board and we want that slot down the center, so we mark a center line as a reference point. It’s possible that you could install two stringers somewhat offset from center, in this instance MORE is always better.

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As we mentioned, we want to route a really straight line down the middle of the board. Our router had about a 2 inch offset from the bit to the outside of the flange, so we measured and marked a separate line. Then we will use a straight edge, in the picture some aluminum channel and clamp that to the board using bluw irwin clamps.

pic 4

Very very carefully, we’ll align the router with our straight edge and then route the slot for our torsion box. We should mention, set the depth about 1/8″ less than the thickness of the board. You’ll dig the last little bit of foam out by hand, which isn’t a deal, but routing through the deck will be a huge hassle and probably isn’t even worth trying to fix at that stage. So route about 1/8 inch less than the thickness of the board.

pic 7

Ok, so that is all we have time for today, we’ll come back tomorrow to show you the rest of the steps.

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

 

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