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Topics - surfcowboy

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Ok so sometimes there's just not the perfect tool for what you need.

Problem: Need to adjust your foil in cool water. No trunks, no pockets. Also, not stabbing yourself is a bonus feature.

Solution, use your overflow resin bucket to cut a handle out. Square and flat, so it fits in the chest zip section of your wetsuit (lies flat, not like a screwdriver), is easy to get grip on (round sucks when wet) and is short enough to not kill you even if it did somehow overcome physics to stab you.

Inspired by Josh Martin (Terry's son, look him up on Instagram, great feed!) I wanted to make an artful tool that was connected to surfing and board building. Note that the blue resin is actually from the board that I'll be adjusting the foil on.

Shots are:

1-3 cutting out the chunk from 3-4 years of resin catchment with a multi-tool

4-5 drilling the hole for the Torx Bit

6-7 the Bosch Torx Bit fitting in. Drilled a little deep, so had to put a 1/4" piece of wood dowel in to set the depth right

8-9 neon green resin mixed with some Q-cell and glass fibers for strength to hold the bit (Note that this is rough sanded to 220 grit now)

10-11 finished piece, wet sanded to 600 grit and drilled for lanyard.

I'll try both a bungee keeper and maybe an EVA piece to make a float and see which I like. EVA feels likely if a piece that fits in my wetsuit chest zip area is small enough to not bother me. Otherwise I'll tether it to my key keeper with a piece of small bungee.

I have another bit so I'll probably cut another piece from another block I have that's got weirder colors and maybe shape it a bit more too. Fun project, probably 30-45 minutes total, in 15 minute sessions after work. Perfect, low hassle, high output make. Next one will be 20 minutes I'll bet now that design decisions are made.

Ok so if this offends, think of the tiny child who could SUP this 5'6" x 20 1/2" x 3" foil board.  ;) It's Home Depot HDX orange in honor of its humble hardworking origins.

This is #2 of my Covid C-uiver project. It was shaped at the same time as the blue SUP foil then I glassed them one after another so the garage could be converted from one mess (dust) to the other (resin.) My hands got sore before I could finish the tow foil board that's coming next so I'm taking a break and learning to foil. Besides, the lockdown and pandemic has limited my boating offers for this season.

So I'll start with the stats and then run the images down with captions, (I hope)

Dims are as stated above 5'6" x 20 1/2" x 3"

Handshaped out of a 48"x96"x4" 1.5 lb eps (cost me $49, so I paid $16 per blank for these boards.) Total material cost (roughly) average $250 per board BUT if you're new to this... I have a grand worth of tools and other materials lying around. My first board cost me $800 and 100 hours of labor lol. These are boards 5-8 for me, I think.

I hotwire cut the base shape then sanded with a 36 grit 14" sanding board I made. Finished the blank to about 220 grit then sealed with fast and final sparkle diluted with distilled water.

Issues I encountered: I messed up the nose rocker and had to glue in a piece and then also had a rail chunk missing (I was cutting 3 boards out of a single sheet so I used every inch. When glueing in new pieces using Gorilla Glue, I'd recommend putting the glue only in the middle so the top layer can be sanded easier. Live and Learn.

That takes us up to the Box Install section, I'll add pics and do another post for that.

Foil SUP / Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« on: June 04, 2020, 07:55:06 PM »
Ok guys, now itís my turn to ask some questions. Iíve watched and read everything but a couple of things elude me as I suspect that most everyone moves past this phase quickly so itís not discussed much. But Iím there so help a brother out before I get out this weekend.

First, this is really a SoCal thing I think as we have few spots near LA that have super mushy waves. So if anyone wants to hip me to another spot with a reform other than Steamroller and hdipís secret spot in the next county up. Please DM me.

Here goes, Iíll number them so you can reply.

1, if a rider is on a 2000+ cm2 foil (Gong xl for me) is there a point at which you canít hold the foil in the water on a drop? And, is that point less than say chest high? I ask because itís terrifying and counter intuitive to just press the nose down when dropping in. If my foil is back in the box a bit and itís waist high or under, can I survive a drop? Asking because I suspect I should just press down and go for it but it feels. so. wrong. So I want an idea of the limits.

I suspect that, like prone foilers Iíve seen, if the wave is under 3 feet or so your board just sort of comes straight forward off the top of the wave as if itís falling away from you like a short board take off. But Iíd like to know the limits before I launch myself over the nose.

2, must I 100% avoid any sort of hollowness, even at 1-2í? Or can I soon move into those? Iím traveling to the mush burgers with a reform but Iíd like to know if itís 1í if I can deal with a little dump. Or am I better off going for a bigger day with a rolling high tide wave but no hollowness at all?

3, will I get better at paddling into non breaking waves, or is that just a hassle? I canít do it at all right now and thereís a million ďalmostĒ spots near me. Will those open up as I get my technique down and more my foil forward?

Thanks, itís fun to be a kook again. (Letís be honest, it never stopped.)

The reason I ask

Asking for a friend. lol

Iím finishing this foil SUP and trying to just prototype and not be a perfectionist. Iím shooting for say somewhere between Pono and Big Green. (Sorry guys, I had to, yíall made it ok for me to just go for it and Iíll never repay the fun Iíve had.)

But as far as watertight, do burn through spots leak? Iím figuring thereís some sort of capillary action around them but I wanted to ask.

Iíll probably just spot fix instead of another hot coat to keep weight down but Iíve never seen this discussed. Iíve gotten way faster at sanding but even with it, Iím trying to move fast and get these into the water and figure out the next size or shape without a lot of fuss.

The Shape Shack / New hotwire rail and bevel cutter
« on: April 04, 2020, 12:22:29 PM »
Made this up last night and finished it this am. Really works great.

Proud that I actually soldered up a cable too instead of my usual twist and go method.

Can and will probably improve the tension mechanism from it's current Gilligan's Island mode but this and some guides should make rail bands and bevels much easier and faster.

Ebay 12 volt 5 amp PSU about $12. Works great and will heat 30Ē of 22 gauge nichrome wire to juuuust about hot enough. Anything shorter is easy.

The Shape Shack / Jon Boat Tow Foil - for the country folks
« on: March 29, 2020, 09:00:37 AM »
As I was cutting the rough shape of this foil board a buddy from back home said, "looks like a Jon boat." It surely does.

I thought about it for a day or so and the joke was too good. I modified the shape a bit and just went for it.

It's a 4'1" x 20" x 3" toy that I will use behind the boat and for trying dock starts etc. Not really anything I expect to paddle or surf prone though I'll bet some buddies will. It's also a chance to mess with construction technique before I build my real beginner prone board.

Other than being a little thick, I'll bet it'll be fun behind the boat in a lake. Which leads me to the real point of this. Hilarious redneck decorations.

I'm thinking camo paint or olive drab with a fake registration number on the bow. For traction I want black with olive drab "seats" across it at appropriate points.

Any other ideas that might make this thing completely outlandish at a surf break are welcome. Enjoy.

Hereís the rough Hotwire shape.


Sanded to 220, ready to seal

The Shape Shack / Cowboy Foil SUP build thread
« on: March 15, 2020, 09:14:58 PM »
I now know why you guys move off of converted SUPs so quickly. The volume at the tail makes it hard to paddle into waves. So, into the shape shack again. I sourced a 4'x8'x4" sheet of 1.5 lb EPS foam locally for $49. Decided I was going to learn to hotwire foam.

Got lucky and got a raw cut which gave me an extra inch of length and width (easy on the comments kids.)

I fudged the nose of the SUP blank with the angled cut to get 6í6Ē and leave enough width for a tow board. I got my 21Ē wide (deck) 48Ē blank. Iíll use the extra off cut from the prone blank to glue on and get me up to 4í6Ē or 4í8Ē or so. (TBD after I get some time on the water on the 5í6Ē)

Hereís the yield:

6í6Ē X 28Ē SUP blank
6í6Ē X 21Ē Prone blank (which Iíll cut down to a 5í6Ē or so, post your recommendations for a 53 year old intermediate weekend warrior)
48Ē X 21Ē Prone/Tow blank (with a 2Ē chine that Iíll soften up and match on the other rail) This will likely become a 2" thick wake foil for the summer.

Not bad for $49 and an 90 minutes of measuring and cutting. Letís order some resin and carbon folks!

The Shape Shack / Alternate high density foam
« on: March 14, 2020, 09:13:56 AM »
Went to the local foam supply and saw these. I will get pricing next week but for fins and foil boxes seems like a good idea.

Anyone have info on these? If it's cheaper than Divinycel I might buy a sheet if anyone wants a few blocks. Comes in 1" to 2" thicknesses. I'm also considering it for stringers with a longboard box set in for foils.

Foil SUP / Foil first steps - Surfcowboy sets out
« on: March 08, 2020, 09:48:44 PM »
Decided to track my foil sessions and progress. Iím hoping for the same 5 to 10 sessions til I start stringing together some flights. We will see.

After my boat lesson, see other thread, today I went out for a paddle to see about catching some waves. Iíve been lax on SUP for a couple of years and so Iíve decided to be as patient as I can and let my skills and stamina come back over time.

Today there was probably a bit too much swell for me, knee to waist sets. So I just paddled for soft waves and practiced timing my turns and fighting to keep the board straight. I probably went for 20 waves and got close to catching a couple to where I could feel the foil start to lift. Iíll get out in smaller waves with some reform if I can and likely start putting together some short rides (and crashes.)

Iím curious as to what size a beginner should be catching. Seems like knee high is about the top of what is wise lol. Also, hoping to start on a specific foil SUP this week as well as I can now see why the tail sinking is bad for getting your back foot into position. But for now, just trying to be patient and let the muscle memory build.

Foil SUP / SoCal Foil boat lesson
« on: March 07, 2020, 06:54:27 PM »
Couldnít get behind a boat in San Diego so when I got back I gave google one last Hail Mary and lo and behold in AirBnB there was a foiling experience.

Peter DeAvila is an experienced captain with a nice little Whaler and an Infinity 6í10Ē x 27Ē FoilSUP and GoFoil Maliko 200 and all the stuff you need. Heís patient, tells you what you need to know, and a great hang.

I went out today and lo and behold I flew!  Conditions were rough and I almost gave up. 2-3 ft swell and 12 knot winds made it hard to stand on the board and taxi. But I got a couple of short flights and felt what I need to feel. There truly is nothing to compare it to. I get it now. The silence, the smoothness, I describe it as sliding over oiled glass.

Iím going to head out and get into some whitewash and see whatís what. If a buddy goes out with Peter, Iím sure Iíll tag along for some more boat time but on any smooth day, this will get you sorted. I had a ball even on a rough one.

I was staggered by how slow the Maliko takes off. 5 knots and I was in the air. At that speed, I never felt in danger and could safely bail whenever I got a bit off. (A lot of the time lol) I can see how in waves people might think this is hairy but on a big wing, behind a boat, you can learn at an insanely slow speed. Really cool.

If youíre in LA and want to see if foiling is for you, check this out. Oh, and yeah, Iím sore from head to foot. This sport is a workout.

Foil SUP / Wing surfer center fin - recycling
« on: February 22, 2020, 03:44:10 PM »
Heard that I'll need a center fin to keep a SUP upwind when I finally start to try that.

Today I recycled a Perfect Storm fin that I broke off my wavestorm.

I'm going to try strapping it around the middle of an old inflatable too putter around the marina. Might also be good for my mother-in-law who wants to try to wing but doesn't want to foil... Yet.

It's got a 1 1/4" wide slot for a webbing strap to get cinched through. We will see if the base plate will keep it upright. Might have to glue on a wider plate.

Training, Diet, and Fitness / Gotta get back to SUP
« on: February 22, 2020, 08:19:46 AM »
Did a session with Tom in SD last week. (Soooo appreciated btw, thank you) and it was my first Surf SUP session in a year. Lots of reasons but mainly Iíve wanted to focus on prone skills.

One, your surfing translates. I am a far better SUP surfer for taking the last two years off. And two, while different, I will now maintain that standup surfing requires a level of fitness that is actually beyond prone surfing. Sure, my shoulders and back are stronger for long boarding these months. But my body and heart were way more worked in 90 min of SUP on a shorter board (7í5Ē.) so while Iím about to start a foil adventure, Iíll also be SUP foiling for sure and hope to build another 9í-ish SUS board too.

Both or all 3 kinds of boards will be on my car this year.

Pono, that SD paddle out is a bear, no?

Foil SUP / Bump Cap - less kooky foil head protection
« on: February 11, 2020, 08:34:26 PM »
In what is my weirdest build yet, Iím customizing a bump cap for foiling head protection.

Itís a plastic shell that fits into a baseball cap and provides just enough protection to keep you from getting stitches (maybe.)

Iíve sprayed mine black, out it under a trucker cap for water use and am putting some 1/8Ē EVA inside it. (Hobby Lobby or any craft store sells this for a buck a sheet.

Iíll post up pics and results as I get it done. But it looks like youíre just wearing a cap. Iíll probably try to get a strap or at least a lanyard on it to keep it in place a bit but I dig it so far and even without itís worth wearing I think.

Will it protect you from a cracked skull? Does it cover all your head? Is it approved by any agency? No.

But itís surprisingly effective and will certainly be an unobtrusive improvement over my bare skin. Check it out, if you do nothing but put it in your cap itíll stop stitches or a fin cut. If you pad it at all youíll be pleasantly surprised and it could keep you conscious from a hit.

Iím trying Super 77 spray glue first to hold the EVA. Maybe also could source some EVA with that sweet 3M adhesive?

Iíll keep you posted on mods and how it works. I think I might even wear this surfing if I can make it reliable in the water.

Iíll also try to share my padding templates.

Foil SUP / San Diego Kook out - first foiling spot?
« on: February 11, 2020, 08:21:51 PM »
Hey guys, Iím going to be in SD for a week starting Friday. Going to do a boat session Friday or Saturday and then I need a spot (hopefully near Pt. Loma) where I can kook out in small waves. (Forecast permitting.)

I was thinking of finding an empty stretch of whitewater at Pacific Beach. Anywhere else I should look?

Also, Iíll be bringing a stack of gear so if anyone wants to meet up Iíd love to do it if we can work it out. (Linter, Iíll be warming up your phone to hang for sure. Tom, you around?)

Foil SUP / Gong Allvator - Review thread
« on: January 13, 2020, 05:53:37 PM »
And so it begins...

I just ordered a Gong Allvator XL foil with an extra 45 cm mast for myself and my main surf buddy to learn to foil on.

Why you might ask did I choose the Gong?

Partly because no one else will admit to having one and really do a decent review. Same for the Alibaba foils. So frustrating that no one will really tell people whether or not they are a valid option for learning to foil.

Yes, I am 50% sure I will end up owning another foil at some point. (Likely something red that rhymes with ďPraxis BoilsĒ) but I just couldnít see spending that much bread on my starter wing while I figure out what wings do in the first place. The Gong is big and slow and cheap to fix/replace while I learn how shallow the rocks are at my local breaks.

I am 100% sure that I can get a decent return on this if I should sell it.

I am also 100% sure that I will hack and mod the hell out of this thing so I appreciate the modularity of their stuff.

Paid just under $600 shipped to SoCal.

The plan is to share this with my buddy til we decide if we want to keep on. If we dig the Gong, then he will buy a rig and Iíll probably add another wing (pro high aspect?) and likely another, smaller stab which I can ride while I hack the original in various ways. For $600-700 each we can have a few wings, stabs, and masts to experiment with til we know what we are doing or what we really like.

Heís also mainly a proner and much better than me so itís likely we will run different wings in the same conditions.

I am not an ambassador. I have no attachment to being right, and clearly am skeptical of this thing. I also donít have any ego about what gear I own. Hopefully this will be a good source of info beyond ďyeah they workĒ which is all Iíve gotten from English speaking foilers.

If this is the foil version of Jimmy Styks we are all about to know and it will be announced plainly. And if you own one, or have, feel free to contribute to this thread as well.

Iím preparing my friends and family to lose me to #foilbrain. Wish me luck.

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