Friday, December 16, 2011

New SUP...finally

This is my first SUP. The design was a cooperative effort between Ray Lucke and me. Having glassed a large number of SUPs, including limited-class racing SUPs, Ray has a good eye for what works. Using Aku Shaper, the designed shape's file was sent to Marko Foam who machined the 1.7lb EPS blank. After receiving the blank from Marko, I made some adjustments in the thickness of the nose and tail, and added the wings to the tail to get tail-width down to 17". Dimensions are: 10-0 20-1/2" x 32" x 17"  4-1/4".  I wanted an SUP that would offer good paddling for flat-water touring, but would still be spunky enough to surf.

Board was air-sprayed light yellow, and glassing schedule was 6-oz E-glass + 6-oz E-glass deck and 6-oz E-glass bottom. Red pin line and gloss & polish finish completed things. After glassing, the dual leash cups, one-way air vent and deck pad were installed. Fin set-up is 2+1, with FCS Fusion side-bite boxes. I plan to start off with a 9.5" True Ames Faberow Flex fin, and will switch to the 7.5" TA Wayne Rich Power fin with TA Side-bites after I get a little more comfortable surfing the board.

Already I'm very impressed with the lightness (26lb) of this board despite its huge size. You'll definitely see me building some EPS/Epoxy longboards in the near future.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Surf Quotes...

This quote from another master surfer/shaper helps me get through the "dry spells" today.
Lopez was asked how he manages to live in Bend, OR, so far from the ocean and surfing.

‘There are always moments in surfing that hold you over-that’s the thing. It really doesn’t take much. For me, it’s always been a moment here or a moment there: a good turn, a tube, a drop, those kinds of things can carry you for a long time, months, sometimes years.”
-Gerry Lopez, “The Surfer Interview” September, 2004

I have a few "mind-videos" that I replay when I haven't surfed in a while. None look like the above, however...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter swell dreamin'...

Late Fall is a time to put away the noserider and break out the “winter board”. In this case, a 9-6 blue tint, reverse-lap, pinlined Nova Speedster Pintail, sporting TA side-bites and a 7” Wayne Rich Classic center fin, all in red (of course!). Dimensions are: 17-1/2” x 22-3/4” x 13-3/4” 3”

What's unique about this board is that I used a “red” density USBlanks blank. This is the density that most PU shortboards use. To counteract the lower density (and to prevent excessive heel denting) I used the more expensive, but stronger Silane cloth, instead of E-cloth. End result is a relatively lightweight longboard, which will resist excessive denting (or so I hope)
I kept the rocker at just over 4” in the nose and just under 4” in the tail, and used more of a continuous curve throughout. There's slight concave in the nose and a fair amount of V in the tail.

Like all of my "Shop" boards (wink, wink, nod, nod) this one's for sale. Shoot me an email if interested.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Cure for Flat Spells...

Like most of you, I absolutely hate flat spells. Its bad enough when the waves are so small that you have to drag out your 9-9 (or something bigger) just to catch a wave or two. But there are days when even a 10-0 won't get you up a riding...because there are simply no waves to ride. And again, like many of you, surfing is my only form of exercise. Can't play soccer anymore due to bad knees, likewise running is out for the same reason (and because its just so boring). Roller hockey, softball, other team sports require a commitment that I just can't make ("sorry I missed the playoffs guys, but the surf was just too good"). Hate going to a gym and I'm only good for about two days of body-weight exercises (push-ups, chin-ups, etc). Likewise for cycling or swimming, after a couple of days I'm struggling to answer the question "...and why am I doing this?" So, SUPing seems to me to be a good way to stay in shape for surfing. It gets out on the ocean (or bay or lake or ?), lets you enjoy some peace and solitude, helps to build core strength, and burns a few calories in the process. So, here's my first attempt at shaping and building an SUP.
Ray Lucke and I worked on the design using the Aku Shaper software. Dimensions are 10-0 20" x 31" x 17" 4.25" thick. The file was sent to Marko Foam and used to machine the 1.7lb density EPS foam. I finished shaped the blank, adding a couple of wings to the tail to facilitate turning, and thinning the foil in the nose. After air-spraying the yellow color, the blank was glassed with 7.5oz E-Glass using RR Epoxy Resin, two layers on deck and one layer on the bottom.

Lots more to be done; sanding, pinline, glossing, polishing, air-vent, deck pad, leash cup and recessed handle for carrying. Board will be set-up as 2+1 and is designed as a "cross-over" SUP, or one that can handle flat-water paddling or be surfed. I'll post more pix when she's done, so  stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Latest T-Belly...

This twin-fin T-Belly is headed for Nor Cal. It was just polished out yesterday, so I thought I's take some good pix before it heads up there.

The T-bellys have a number of unique features. The deck has a 1/4" concave starting about the mid-point and deepening towards the tail. Thickness along the stringer is 2-1/2" while thickness at the rail is 2-3/4". The concave offers a snug fit for the rider.
 The bottom also has a beveled rail in the rear half of the board the facilitates rolling the board over on the rail to turn. With less than 1" tail rocker, the bevel offers an additional 3/8" of rocker at the rail.

The bottom is relatively flat in the middle transitioning to slight convex or "belly" in the nose.

I don't like the look of handles or straps on the deck, but realize that there is a need for grip enhancement. Taking a cue from shortboards built for doing aerials, I add "thumb grooves" to the front-half of the T-Belly for better grip.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My New Velzy...

I made a ridiculously low bid on this 9-6 Velzy “never-ridden-never-waxed-with-original-foam-packing-pad-taped-on-bottom”...and I won!! I caught the auction on the next to last day. There was one picture of the deck, shot from the tail, and a close-up of the signature, but no dims and not enough time to ask questions. I bid thinking I would never get it so I wasn't too concerned. I assumed that the board was a single-fin, pintail noserider with boxy 50/50 rails, and thought it would make a great small-wave board. The lady I bought it from told me she bought it from Velzy's widow shortly after he died in 2005. The lady stashed it in her garage and left it there just as she bought it. And, yes she was disappointed that the winning bid was so low. (another Velzy, bought by her friend at the same time under the same circumstances, fetched $1100 at a recent sale)

When I went to pick it up I discovered that it was indeed a “new” late model Velzy, but I was surprised by the shape. As can be seen in the pictures, it looks remarkably similar to a Taka DT2 or DT3 in outline and rocker, with pinched eggy rails and a 2+1 fin set-up. Hardly the traditional NR that I was expecting, but a beautiful board nonetheless.
I spent the day today "blueprinting" the board shaped by arguably the most famous shaper of all-time and one of my surfer/shaper heroes. Here are the dimensions I collected: 9'5” 18-3/8” x 23-1/8” x 15” 3” thick, NR 5-1/4” TR3-7/8”. Bottom has shallow (1/8”) blended nose concave that extends 36” down the length. There's a short (maybe an inch or so), flat section right where the nose concave ends that begins to turn convex or rolled panel V as it progresses towards the tail. At 48” up from the tail, this V is 1/4” deep at the rail, where it remains until 12” up where it becomes 3/16” and then progresses to “0” at the very tail. The rail is turned up in the last 6” of the nose and then becomes more of a 60/40 egg rail, turning down hard in the last 12” of the tail. Nearly half of the nose rocker is in the last 6”. This flip is undetectable from the deck side, as the bottom has been brought up to the deck. The final 3” has nearly a 1-1/8” radius. Yeah, I know...geeky shaper stuff. Here's the best part...

...of course I'm gonna ride it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Happy T-Belly Owner...

John stopped in today to pick up his new 48" T-Belly. He likes to surf the breaks on the Channel Islands and the quad set-up will help him do just that. Fins are FCS GX (front) and smaller FCS GL (rear). This board has the standard T-Belly Bottom, with slight belly in the nose flowing into the flat mid-section with progressive single concave out the tail. Rails are soft in the nose transitioning to down hard in the last 16". I put a bevel on the bottom out at the rail, that starts at the end of the flat section and progressively widens to about 1.5" at the tail. The bevel serves the same purpose as "V"; increasing the rail rocker and allowing the board to more easily roll over on the rail for turning.

Friday, November 4, 2011

8-8 Mini-Nova Squaretail...

This custom board was built for return customer Kirt who has a penchant for geometric color designs and fast single-fin longboards. The board's dims: 8-8 18" x 22-3/8" x 14-5/8"  3-1/8". The rails are pinched 50/50 with a hard edge in the last 16" of the tail. Bottom features subtle nose concave with "V" in the tail. Laminated wood tailblock punctuates the cedar/basswood T-band stringer. Color work by Ray Lucke is a combination of air-spray and black resin stripes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Long and Short....

Busy week at the shop can be seen in photo below. Blanks waiting for further action are a 4'3" T-Belly for James in Nor Cal and a 9'6" Nova Speedster for the shop. Others include a 4-pak of SUPs fresh off the CNC machine, and a ding repair in the foreground. Can't you just smell the resin?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nathan's finished noserider...

A few weeks ago, I met Nathan and worked with him on shaping a noserider. Well, here it is, all glassed and ready to ride:
Ray at Lucke Glassing did the fabulous resin work...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

September was a busy month...

Made it down to Panama to visit friends, but forgot to order a decent swell. it just me or was the surf bad all over the world this summer? Anyhow, I also got a chance to visit our Nation's capital, a trip I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't been yet. Waaay too much to see in 4 days!
In between trips I knocked out a couple of T-bellys, one for a visitor from Florida and another for a local customer.
This one is finsihed...
This one is waiting for glassing. Note the grab-rail groove in the nose.
Better pix to follow, I promise!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's not always about selling boards...

Nathan called and wanted a new noserider. When I learned he had already shaped some shortboards, I invited him down to the shop and together we created this beauty. Nathan did most of the work, while I offered encouragement and some helpful hints. Even Ray got into the act, schooling us both on tailblock grinding.

Surfing and shaping are soulful experiences meant to be shared with others. I always invite those interested to watch me shape their new board. Those that do go away with a new appreciation for their equipment, and a better understanding of how and why it works.

When's the last time you saw your board go from raw blank to a shape begging to be ridden? Isn't it time you did?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just add waves....

 ...preferably shoulder-high or bigger. Here's the new 7-6 HYB4/3 fresh from the factory.

This is a great board for "mature" surfers (you know who you are...) who need a little more float than the 6-6 "Big Boy" thruster gathering dust in the garage, or for the longboarder wanting to sample a little more speed and responsiveness in his/her surfing.
The HYB4/3 shapes feature a full outline with a 15-1/2" wide tail. The full outline is combined with a tightly-tucked 60/40 rail and a single concave bottom with "V" in the last 12". The double-wings help to pull in the tail in the last 12" and work with the "V" to keep turning loose and smooth.
The 4/3 or "5-fin" set-up allows the rider to choose either tri- or quad-fin performance. I like the TA Channel Islands Hexcore fins in front and TA LB Side Bites in the rear on my quad set-ups. The CI template is designed for riders over 180lbs, and offer incredible hold and drive. What I like about the 5-fin set-up is that it offers the rider a wide range of fin configurations, and with FCS plugs there is a huge inventory of fin templates available.
Give me a call or drop me an email if you see an HYB4/3 in your future and want to talk about it. Pricing for the HYB4/3 starts at $465 with quad composite/molded fins included.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Abstract art goes surfing...

Kirt loves his colors bright and bold, and with a Modern Art flavor a la Piet Mondrian. He's also a fan of sub-9' longboards, made for speed and responsiveness. This 8-10 Mini-Nova Speedster fills the bill nicely.

Dimensions: 8'10" 17-1/2" x 22-1/2" x 14" 3-1/8" NR5-1/2" TR3-5/8". Bottom has a nice continuous rocker with double-concaves and V in the tail. Amazing air-spray work by Ray Lucke of
Lucke Glassing in Camarillo, CA, with gloss and polish finish.

Designed with a 2+1 fin box configuration, Kirt surfs it more like a tri-fin with "schimitar" side bites and a 4-1/2" center fin.

Pickup day is always a happy day!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coming soon to a break in VC...

Took a break in the busy summer season action to build a 7-6HYB4/3 "shop demo" . Here it is shaped, with fin boxes inserted and ready for glassing.

The HYB4/3 is a mid-sized hybrid shape with a single-concave bottom and "V" out the tail. Dimensions are
7-6 13-1/4"x21-3/4"x15" 2-7/8". The double-wing, round-pin tail helps to pull in the wide 15" tail and lends itself to easy turns and smooth cutbacks.

The 4/3 or "5-fin" configuration adds maximum versatility. The board can be surfed as a tri-fin or a quad, depending upon rider preference. I like to use FCS Fusion plugs because there is a wide selection of FCS-based fins to choose from, and the cant of the fins can be set differently.

There is also a 7-8 tri-fin, swallow-tail version of this board at the shop, but it going to a Westlake, CA surfer upon completion.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Surf Quote....

"Waves can't be the god of the sport; if they were, we would all live in Hawaii.  It has got to be getting out in it that counts -- surfing because you love to surf, and getting pumped full of life and whip and snap.  I used to ride junk waves all day long, training for the good moments.  You do this, and one day you are sitting out there all alone, waiting for a set, and someone will paddle up and ask how the surf is.  'Man,' you tell them, 'you should have been here an hour ago.'"
-Phil Edwards
Artwork Ken Auster
Phil Edwards is one of my surfer/shaper heroes. I think the Phil Edwards Model Hobie is one of the most beautiful LB shapes ever created. (He was responsible for the Hobie Cat design as well)

Monday, August 1, 2011

A grom and his board...

Wetsuit = $99
Board = $370
Pushing grandson into waves on his first "real" surfboard = Priceless