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Topics - PonoBill

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I put a Blue Planet Tuttle/track strongbox into my old reliable Kalama board for surfing. That's one seriously stout box, I'm not worried about breaking that thing out. If I do the board will probably be in many tiny pieces. I'll sand it and hotcoat it in the morning. Now I can use both GoFoil and Axis foils with it. I also installed one of blue planet's handles on the bottom. This poor bugger is getting a bit heavy. I got a delam on the top and bottom a year or so ago and I fixed that, which added some weight. I also installed a mast track back when I thought I might try windfoiling. It's probably picked up five pounds with all this amateur hacking. Still a great board though, I'm looking forward to surfing it. My wife insists on reading my little message to myself as "Try Pono Be" instead of "Try Be Pono". That's as close to Pidgin as I get other than saying "Wheah you stay?"

Random / Ghetto McClaren??
« on: April 16, 2021, 10:10:15 PM »
Well not exactly, but I hope someone knows the story behind this. The last few times I've driven up Ohukai Rd I've seen a Blue and Carbon McClaren, parked on the apron in front of a fairly ordinary-looking house. No garage, no cover, out in the blazing sun with it's spectacularly expensive bodywork getting oxidized and UV'd in the tropical sun. I don't know McClaren models all that well, but it looks like maybe a 720S, or potentially, with all the zooty carbon, an even more expensive model. In theory, you might be able to buy a McLaren for $200K. In practice, you're more likely to spend something north of 400K. I have no idea how you would get it serviced on Maui, or even do an oil change.

There has to be a story here. I'd love to know it. I've never had a chance to drive one of these, I've had a couple of Ferraris, and between those and my old Maserati I'm kind of over the exotic car thing, but holy shit, that's a great looking ride.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Big Echos
« on: April 16, 2021, 10:55:25 AM »
I tried my new 7M echo yesterday afternoon in a light wind at the harbor and was reacquainted with all the issues of a no-strut wing. Like the tail sinking when you're getting started, and the weight of the boom. The boom is also hard to grab, which seems strange, but it's behind the huge leading edge. When I grabbed the boom too close to the leading edge I had some challenges getting my back hand on the boom. All that is a matter of getting used to the wing, but it surprised me a bit, and I struggled a bit in the super-light (10mph) wing, both getting to my feet and pumping onto the foil. I would have had a much easier time with a 6M F-one, but again, that's because I'm used to them.

No comparison in upwind performance, the Duotone goes upwind nicely, with a good stable feel, but compared to the F-one strike, a close reach is more like a broad reach.

It sounds like I didn't like the wing, and that's not the case. I think I'm going to really like these, but that going to take a little time. The performance and handling are much better than the 7M Airrush I was using in SoCal. I had some doubts about the string thing to manage the wing shape and keep the center of effort from wandering, but I was wrong, it works really well. The wing had none of the shifty feeling that the 1st generation large Duotones had. Smooth and powerful. I'm looking forward to trying the 6M now.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Southside Wingding
« on: April 14, 2021, 12:23:50 AM »
Today was a nice day to have a harness. I did a couple of super long reaches out to Maalaea harbor and back. Ken Winner went past me like I was dragging a sea anchor, but I was a happy boy. Then 2/3rds of the way to the harbor, almost to the power station, the wind started quitting. I blew the jibe, crashed, but then got a little gust to get up and did the loooooong way back milking every bit of wind and pumping like a lunatic.

Stephen Ross was complaining about the pull on his arms but I just cruised as soon as I could get into the hook. All the pumping did me in though, my knee is killing me tonight. Of course, as soon as I packed up the wind came back up, but I was done.

Ken Winner was hauling. He stopped as we were packing up and came across the street to say hi to Stephen and me. He told us his speed, but I'm not sure I heard him right. 2:38 for a mile is what I thought he said, but that sounds crazy. That would be 25 MPH. I was on a stupid setup--Axis 1150 wing and a 76CM mast. I was constantly luffing to keep the thing from leaping out of the water. A longer mast and/or a smaller wing would have been fun, though I was glad to have the 1150 when I had to pump back.

I thought Stephen was really ripping too since he kept appearing in places I didn't think he could get to so fast. It turns out that Dan Taylor was also out with a yellow Duotone. I'm easily confused.

Foil SUP / One problem with forums...
« on: April 07, 2021, 06:31:03 PM »
Is that great stuff disappears into the past and new folks don't get to see it unless they really dig. Foiling has grown tremendously, and for those new to the sport, or those about to start who wonder why everyone is so hooked on this--here's the answer: about 25 minutes of mesmerising foiling on Maui's famouns/infamous Maliko run. For that matter, if you're wondering what the big deal about Maliko is, here's your answer to that question too:


Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / Be humble, asshole
« on: April 02, 2021, 10:23:35 PM »
It's painted on my oldest toolbox, but apparently, I don't see it often enough.

If I ever start holding forth on foil setups or tell anyone they are wrong on some theoretical point, please either punch me in the mouth, or if I'm out of range just say "downwinger" and I"ll STFU.

Today I did what has to be the slowest downwinger ever. Probably a stupid idea to start with--a new board I'm not comfortable on yet, and new wings that feel a little different from the hobo fleet. I suffered. I could go upwind, no problem, but as soon as I turned downwind my random foot position did me in. I over foiled on the face of swells and came off the foil on the backside. Both resulted in crashes, and getting back up was grim.

The reason getting back up was hard was my feet were in the wrong position as the board came up--because I'm an idiot that doesn't listen.

There was some discussion here recently about mast position, the center of gravity of the board, and the center of lift. I made dismissive comments that the center of gravity of the board was a trivial thing compared to the center of gravity of the system. The board weighs 12 pounds, the rider weighs 200, yadda, yadda.

What I didn't consider was that center of gravity is an analog for the center of buoyancy, more or less, and if you have your feet in the right position for buoyancy, and you simply shove your mast forward, as I usually do, having your feet in the right position to keep the nose of a shorter board from getting buried will probably (almost certainly) be the wrong place for flying the foil.

So yeah. I'm a dumbass, and I paid for it. My feet look like hamburger tonight from crawling back on the board 300 times. My apologies to the folks I said were wrong. I'd still say, not 100% right on theory, but in practice, a hell of a lot closer than I was. And that's what counts. Theories are just air if they aren't complete.

Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP / New Whip
« on: March 24, 2021, 08:28:47 AM »
This bad boy is waiting for me in Maui. Six days left before we head back. I plan to be wet 99 percent of the daylight hours while we're there. 5'11" X 29" 130L. Not sure about the weight, but I'd guess somewhere around 12-13 pounds, though Mark knows I'm hard on equipment, so maybe a bit heavier.

I was listening to Skating Polly when I went through my 6M f-one wing today. I might have gotten a little carried away, but it was fun carving around to all that craziness right up until I sort of lost it. Sure did toast that bugger. I'll take it to Airtime when I get back to Hood River and see what they think, but it might be more of a tarp than a wing now.

The Shape Shack / Gerry Lopez Softop
« on: February 07, 2021, 01:28:43 PM »
If you've been to Costco lately you might have seen a big ol' box of wavestorm priced softops with Gerry's name and face on them. They are a damned cool looking 9 footer with removable fins for 99 bux. I didn't grab one, but I will next time. They're a three stringer (probably plywood) board made, I suspect, of XPS, and to me, they look like the world's cheapest pre-formed starting point for building silly stuff. So cool.

Of course, the "surfers" on Facebook are wailing. What a pack of weenies. Much nicer looking board than the zillions of wavestorms I see every day. Personally, I love wavestorms anyway. they surf really well, especially if you get one of the goofy add-on fins for them, and if you bonk someone with one they don't die, or even bleed. They're tougher than boiled goat, as they have to be to not bankrupt the manufacturer given Costcos guarantee.

Given that Gerry shaped the blank, I bet this one surfs even better.

Ow, ow, ow, fuck, ow, ow. My knee is not happy. My face isn't either. I went to Mission bay today to help a new friend try out wing foiling. He has lots of kite foiling experience. I basically handed him a 5-meter wing and gave him ten minutes of instruction and he got up to about day 2.5 of usual instruction in about an hour. He's headed to Maui to take some lessons from Alan Cadiz. Nice guy.

Anyway, there was a little wind so I took the 6M out with my 1150 and 340. Pretty wimpy wind, but I was there, so I gave it a go. I got up a few times, pumping like a maniac. there was a Japanese guy out with a 5M who was doing great but he probably weighed 80 pounds. Even when I got up I had to pump a lot--fortunately that 1150/340 combo is a pumping machine. Unfortunately, my knee has about 30 pumps in it and a did a few hundred. So DAMN. That hurts.

I'm also doing the Flourouricel treatment for a little face precancerous stuff, and it makes your skin super-sensitive to the sun. I wore my floppy black version of the Alan Cadiz teaching hat, but it wasn't enough. So I'm a little extra not so pretty tonight.

Yeah, I know, suck it up ya big sissy. I'll probably do it again tomorrow.

Prone Foiling, Surf foiling, Pump Foiling / TowBot
« on: January 26, 2021, 10:16:16 PM »
I started a rambling blog post that will mostly center on my TowBot project.
I'm going to use the post to record all my work until it gets too clumsy, then I'll probably add new sections. this first post is mostly about electronics, but I'm working on the design of the hull as well. It's going to be a catamaran with rudders on both hulls and the propulsion on a foil mast in the middle. Here's the sexy beast that going to push this thing:

Random / Amanda Gorman--Holy shit
« on: January 22, 2021, 07:48:58 PM »
If Biden picks his cabinet members like he picks his poet Laureate, the world will be a much better place. holy shit. this lady... This is a prayer I could go to sleep with. This is a skinny black girl I'd be happy to have as whatever she chooses to be. What it takes to form words into music like this happens once a generation if we are lucky.

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,

"Okay, she could have stopped right there and everyone in the world that loves a great poem would have leapt to their feet. But she goes on, and tears our hearts from our chests. "

and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.


We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one

And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.

Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
This effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith, we trust,
for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be:
A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.

We will rise from the golden hills of the west.
We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country,
our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

holy shit, that's amazing. She's incandescent. We are so fortunate.

This poem will be studied. This poem will birth a million more. I've read it twenty times tonight and it just gets more amazing. I hope we can live up to it.

Random / IMBW
« on: January 22, 2021, 04:17:09 PM »
I might be wrong (IMBW) is a critical element in my thinking. In fact, being wrong is the central tenet of my life. I've never minded making mistakes. Even when I was running companies, when employees fucked up I was generally thrilled about it, and when it was me I was eager to share it. One of the few good reasons to have a meeting--so you can dig all the lessons to be learned and alternatives to be explored out of the stuff that didn't work. There's very little to be learned from a straight-up success.

IMBW is a little more technical. I've been thinking about it a lot lately so I wrote a blog post about it. Not super long, but potentially super boring. https://www.ponostyle.com/thinking-critcally/

Foil SUP / Lotta tech for eleven bux
« on: January 20, 2021, 07:44:10 PM »
Here's the core for the tow sled I'm planning to build. I'm going to leave my eFoil unmolested and go all-in on something that can pull me into offshore swell and then come get me. I'll include a refrigerator for the celebratory beer. I wrote most of the code in one evening. Well, I woke up at 4:00 AM and finished it, but absent a lot of testing, and the minor fact that I forgot to have the thing throttle down when it gets close, it's mostly there as far as code goes. Of course, I cheated like mad and stole big chunks from all over Github, but that's why it's there.

These modules include LoRa radio, wiFi, Bluetooth, an ESP32 processor, and GPS. the little square thingy in front is an OLED screen I'm going to graft right onto the board, and the board behind these little gems is a similar module with 3g phone capability. With a bare sim it could call the coastguard to do body recovery. Tech these days is freaky. If you can imagine it, it's already available. The future is here, it's just unevenly distributed.

Foil SUP / Foilmount shims
« on: January 20, 2021, 07:21:55 PM »
I got these today on the recommendation of Dontsink, and I like the hardware and the shims. I'm still a little twitchy about 6mm foil mount stuff, but I'm warming up to it. I actually have all this hardware except the shims in Hood river and never used it because, well, I don't know why.

anyway, cool stuff, and my foil "looks" like it's right now. there isn't any real way to be sure until I put it in the water. I guess I could pitch the thing in the water in a calm place and get a reading on the angle of the deck when its floating, but I think I'll just go by look and feel. This LOOKS way better. Even though my flying dutchman board has a channel that aims to make a flat parallel surface for the foil to mount, this board was made for winging, and I think the foil angle Mark chose is too steep for surfing, so I shimmed the heck out of it. this is two plates, about 2 degrees of shimming.

I think it looks like it's going to be a HELL of a lot less draggy. I can retire my credit card, hotel key card and aluminum tape shim. technology marches on.

It's a lot easier to mount the mast now too--less fishing around to get the screws and plates right.

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