Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Take me to your leader...

A nearly complete SUP.

The bottom picture shows the concave under the wide part of the board (where I'll be standing while paddling). The middle picture shows the double barrels spinning off the center concave. This actually looks very similar to the 6'7" I finished earlier - knowing that, I'm definitely going to play the paint schemes off each other - twinkie green boards - shredzilla and minishredzilla.

When boards are in this state - nearly finished shaping, but still not painted or glassed, they look like alien spaceships straight out of the movies (a B movie at that). At least they do to me.

"We come in peace (but little do you puny earthlings know we are here to totally shred your waves - hahahaha!!!)"

I'll be templating the flats on the top deck (anything not railed) so I can work on the bamboo veneer top and spackling.

Stay tuned....

60-180-240 Passes Done

This was today's labor fruits.

The nose is really good - a little down rail on the nose, but still foiled to a point. It was a little hard to get to this point but it was worth it.

The tail was easier. And as I said earlier - the ROS made short work of the excess bulk on the tail that was bugging me so much. Annoying - yet strangely satisfying to microplane it away with the ROS. Hypnotic. . . . . .

Next up is spackling to fill the accidental pits and the voids opened by the shaping process.

Microplane Equipped ROS

Well here it is -

The label on the package said "Prepare to love sanding again".

Well, I never got to the point where I didn't love sanding to begin with, so this actually made me love sanding even more!!!

Seriously - if you own a ROS - you need one of these. The catch bag on my DeWalt fills up so quick and the cutting time is greatly reduced.

I love sanding!!!

Getting closer

Since the last posting, I have put in another 4 hours spread out over 3 days. Mostly thinning out the nose and tail and fine tuning the rails - using a microplane equipped random orbital sander (ROS) and dragon skin. The ROS makes quick work out of removing excess bulk and making concaves (under foot and a double barrel through the tail).

These pictures show the board before today.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rough cutting and dragonskin carving done and Sailrocket

I spent another 2 hours blending in the hard angles left by the planer with dragonskin - made it through 60 grit screen as well. No pictures today - camera battery was dead. 120, 180 and 220 screens are next.

Then I'll make a template of the flat portion of the topdeck and transfer it to the bamboo veneer.

With the way things are currently going, the board should end up a 8'6"x28.5"x4.25" shreading machine.

Current paint scheme is going to take advantage of the blonde color of the bamboo - think California Avocado... Lots more to follow.

BUT - in light of having no Short SUP pictures today, may I direct your attention to www.sailrocket.com

These guys are duking it out with the kitesurfers and windsurfers for the fastest windpowered watercraft title. Checkout the other pictures on their site. In one of the recent (still on the magazine racks) sailing magazines, there was a sequence on the sailrocket getting airborne - I haven't been able to get more info on that though.

I don't know about you, but I must admit carbon fiber and fluid cutting foils always get my blood flowing (it's the engineer in me).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Short SUP progress

Time invested so far:

- blank purchase ($80) and drive back to the bay (1.5 hours)
- template research and development (2 hours)
- template transfer to blank (0.5 hours)
- cut out blank and some foiling (0.5 hours)

and today's progress (2.5 hours):
- bulk cutting to get the rail bands in
- cutting in the tucked under edge

I could have worked on it all day, but 2.5 was all I could give up today. Way better than therapy - not that I've had any sessions, or even need them - you know what I mean...

Boy, this hole is getting darker... (just kidding).

Up next:
- blending in the rails
- thinning out the tail

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This is the Weta Trimaran

I think I know my future...

I need/want/lust for one of these -

The speed-thrill-and carrying capacity of a catamaran, the maneuverability of a monohull and the coolness factor of nothing else all in a package that you can trailer behind your truck and store in your garage (next to your surfboards ;)

I need a second job to keep up with my eyes and adrenal gland. Or I could just get a frontal lobotomy...

Image credits to the people at www.wetamarine.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Short SUP shaping up

Say that three times fast....

Blank templated, sawed up and partially foiled in the nose and the tail. Barely any foam will be removed from the center of the board- just the rails.

Can you see how fast this board is going to move???!!!! Can you feel how it will make the steep drops, hold on the bottom turn and laugh at the wind trying to blow it back up the face of the wave???!!!

I can and oh how sweet it is!!!

I'm still wrestling with how I will use the bamboo veneer.

I may make this a twinkie/big brother to the hullish 6'7" that is waiting for paint/glass.

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mountain and Sea

NOTE: "Pictures are in reverse order from the description"

Spent the morning in Ojai.

Nice farmers market!

Noe eating "See" food in Antonio's Mexican Restaurant. Mmmm, mmmmm!!!!

Then we went to Point Mugu Beach to fish and paddlesurf. Didn't even get a bite - not one. I'm starting to think it wasn't meant to be...

The ocean facing the south was nice and flat today. Still had to watch your back to make sure a sneaker set didn't get you - especially when ferrying young ones around.

I had to bribe my kids to go out with me on the paddleboard... they obviously didn't get the ocean-phillic gene from me.

Progress on the Cedar Paipo


That is the best term to describe my progress on this board. Some good effort followed by days, no weeks of absolutely nothing.

Well I finally got off my akole and built the rocker table. Here you can see the spine and frames set on top of the rocker table.

Next I have to build up the lateral runners to match the curvature of the frames so I can glue the skeleton to the bottom decking. I'm sure I screwed up the description by using the wrong terms, but you'll see as it gets done.

Greenland Scallops

I'm finally getting around to mounting some shells I collected a while back. I was up in Northern Greenland helping to prepare an area for dredging and identifying the existing condition of a very old pier. When we pulled debris up from the seafloor, all kinds of life was stuck to it - anemones, tube worms, bristle worms and mmmmmmm.. Scallops!!!

There's another story stuck to the scallops, but you'll have to ask one of the other folks that went up with me - sorry.

USS Stockdale Commissioning

I took La to the Commissioning Ceremony for the USS Stockdale. They had it right in my backyard (UCT TWO) - the place where we jump in for training dives.

Some great speakers reflecting on the American Spirit as embodied by VADM Stockdale and his 7 years as a POW. Watching a ship come to life is an awesome event. This was my second viewing - USS Arleigh Burke was my first (I was a Midshipman aboard USS Anzio in Norfolk).

Beautiful day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Get Ready! Get Set....

Next in the que -

The 9'3" EPS blank is going to be transformed into a 8'6" hot rod SUP.

Targeting 4.3" thickness
8'6" length
29" width
flat-ish top deck (some deck V at the nose)
tapered rails (1.4" down from the 4.3" center)

Top and bottom decks laminated bamboo (a la G. Loeher in Swaylocks)

Composite intentions, but mainly to cap some areas where I'll core out some extra foam to save weight.

Stay tuned...

Friday, April 10, 2009

MK-20 Diving

I LOVE my job!

Watch out fishies

Riffe 90cm Euro

5 laminated strips of teak (I believe responsibly harvested from managed tracts - I believe) and awesome craftsmanship brought together to make this SCHWEEETTT fish poker.


Looky looky!

Fresh EPS!

This will eventually be a 9'2"

Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

SUPing this morning

I took the Walden out this morning. After contemplating between C Street and Silver Strand, I ended up surfing the north end of Oxnard Beach Park (parked in the neighborhood this time so it was FREE!!!).

Nice light offshores blowing kept the shape pretty close to perfect (for pounding beach break - there were right openings that gave good, decent length rides before closing close in).

I had several good ones before the offshores started keeping me from making the drops. Here is the weak point of all spoon-round-squared nose boards - surface area for the wind and wave-face upward driven air (the same air pelicans use to "surf" or get ground effect from) gets caught in nose and keeps you from catching waves. The next board I build will be a SUP specifically for getting down the face in these conditions (and built to take the punishment).

Oxnard always seems to be bigger than C Street on the same swell. But, it isn't as nice and peely. I paid for the waves today in battle scars in the paddle and board, and mother ocean now has a cool water resistant beanie to keep her ears warm on those cold air mornings. I really liked that hat...

The one picture included that isn't of me surfing has a dolphin playing through.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

C Street

Surfed C Street this morning.

Inconsistent sets - waist to shoulder high but glassy smooth.

As usual, I brought what most would consider to be the wrong board - 6'4" Stubbie Walden shortboard. I still caught my share of waves (amidst the sea of angry longboarders) and I had fun. Cold fun.

Packing out I turned and took this picture. This SUPer was having tons of fun and was ruling the place. I should have not been lazy this morning and loaded up my other Walden...

You live and you learn (or if you are like me and have contracted the curse of eternally bringing the wrong board - you just bring the wrong board).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Current Events

These are current pictures of the foamie.

One more pass with 60 grit screen on the rails and the board goes to final sanding (100 and 180 screen).

This shape is DONE!

Next please!

Foamie Update

Just a quick post to show progress on the double-ender/egg/hull-inspired fun board.

These pictures are already not current - the nose looks a lot better courtesy of a microplane surform and the tail has also been thinned out a bit.

There was a patch of outer crust that I had to take off with a full on rasp (just behind the nose on the top deck) but that is gone now too.

I'll hit it with 60 grit screen today to take down scratches from the rasp and fair in the rails (a few high points that need to come down), and follow it up with 120 and 200+.

I'm thinking tan base coat with darker brown lateral stripes for the paint job this time - desert cammie tiger shark...

For the fins - Rusty C5 sides with a finbox in the middle.

More to follow