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.