Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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James Walker hits 11 years of contests

Authors: Flyboy Wakesurf

James Walker with his Flyboy, made another podium at the TWS – FFDI held at TSR. It marks 11 straight years of contests and podiums. James is one of the pioneers in competitive wakesurfing, back when there weren’t any tours and the only thing available was the amateur INT League contests. He’s continued on in the competitive wakesurf contests for over a decade! Something like 77 podium spots.

ffdi

The NWWSA event will be held behind a Supra with their surf system, on Lake Tye which is a nice lake that has fairly good depth across the majority of the lake. James will be in Texas for a few more days before heading up to Washington, hopefully he’ll get the chance to get a few days of practice in before the NWWSA event! Also, the folks at Inland are attempting to schedule a big boat surf trip that we are hoping James will be fortunate enough to participate in.

Congratulations to James for yet another podium and for being the most decorated pro male surfer in the history of the sport!

Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it.

Technorati Tags: and without extra practice, james walker podium

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Spencer Welch lip slide on his BIG BOY

Inland Surfer - Spencer Welch lip slide on his BIG BOY | Facebook

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Have a chill Monday evening with @fayettechill and check out the new stuff on w...

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Thanks all for the support ! With James Walker, Keenan Flegel, Zane Montgomery,...

Thanks all for the support ! With James Walker, Keenan Flegel, Zane Montgomery,...

Thanks all for the support !
With James Walker, Keenan Flegel, Zane Montgomery, Caroline Villeneuve, Taylor Dorey and Sean Cummings at TSR Texas Ski Ranch.

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Skimmer build, the core

Authors: Flyboy Wakesurf

James is off in Texas staying with the Montgomery’s. He will be there for the week before heading to the NWWSA event in Washington, next weekend. They are all at the Texas Wakesurf Championship this weekend. Early reports from the Texas Wakesurf Championship at TSR are less than favorable. This is a picture of the new Centurion “mushball” hull, estimates are of a pocket length in the 1.5 foot long area. :) Oh! and the course has a shallow spot that is 3 feet deep…wait for it…right smack dab in the middle. Well it will be fun at least and for James it’s better than working two shifts each day! Good luck with that James, we feel for you son!

We’re teasing, somewhat.  It sounds like folks are having a good time, despite the ski lake being used for the contest. We’ve heard the depth ranges from 4 feet to 8 feet, which can mess with the wake. The TSR does have a cable park, not sure if it is running. We did see pictures of folks on kneeboards wearing helmets. Man why does looking at that tall frothy wake make us want a beer? Anyway, after the first day we understand only one of the pro riders can actually ride it successfully! Guess what boat WE aren’t getting! That FX44, that seems to only work for one rider in the world! :) Man, that really is a good barometer isn’t it? We’ve mentioned that a bunch last year, if some of the best riders in the world suck behind the wake, it’s the WAKE not the riders. AND a good wake would allow everyone to ride well, not just those that practiced behind more than anyone else.  I sounds like there were also issues with extra practice sessions for a select team rider, and the weather has been crappy with rain and hail.  No doubt all of that contributing to a rather lack luster competition.  Anyway, we hope that today that the environment affects everyone equally and hopefully some of the other pro surf riders can land some of their tricks.

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So lets turn our eyes away from that so they don’t get all teary and bloodshot! :) We mentioned that we would be using a production quality rocker table and apparently; we lied! We had planned to build a separate table, but honestly we got lazy! We have a gorgeous rocker bed that is the correct rocker and we just opted to use that. This is an off cut from a early skim project that we glassed over and we will add a layer of mylar on the top to help us with the finish of the final board.

skim 1

We also are really loving the general shape and rocker of this old IS skimmer, so will use that as sort of the general shape. We will be adjusting the nose rocker some and then also the tail shape.

This next picture shows a few things. One is the core material that we are using. It’s Divinycell H80, which is a high density 5 pound density foam. It’s also closed cell so it won’t uptake any water in case of a ding. Most high end skim style boards use this material or an equivalent to make their boards. You’ll also notice a fun little modification we made to that IS skimmer, we cut off the kick pad on the original board and placed an after market kick, that is about 2 inches further back on the board. It gives a ton more leverage for any IS board with a kick. The lastly, we trace the outline of this board, because we really like it. We are going to be reworking the tail area some, but want to get the general shape down on the foam. We use a sharpie and just run it around the existing board.

skim 3

We are using a smaller section of the H80. It’s 4 feet long, so a little shorter than the length of our project board. We place the outline sort of diagonally across the length of the foam to get the full length in. We run the outline way out towards the edge of the section of foam so that we can get the whole length in!

skim 4

Ok, so we have the foam marked up, but we are going to rework the outline at the tail, so our next step will be changing those lines before we finally start cutting.

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it!

Technorati Tags: skim board, skimmer, tall frothy beer

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The world is a dangerous place

Authors: Flyboy Wakesurf

Are you familiar with that quote attributed, by some, to Albert Einstein? The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. It’s disputed that Albert ever said that. And we get that, it sounds a little too new age’y for the brilliant scientist. And lord knows the internet is filled with crap. BUT there is wisdom in there, nonetheless.

fake-quote

Recently a local bank was robbed and there was an ensuing violent chase and at least three people are dead from the incident. Two of the dead were “the suspects” and isn’t that just awful how we bend over backwards for what is obviously a criminal? Spent shells in the car, live ammunition strapped to their bodies, a dead hostage and we must call them “alleged” bank robbers. Anyway, in short three men hold up a small branch of Bank of the West and take three women hostage. Two of the hostages escaped, it seems they were thrown from the getaway vehicle and at least one had some form of wound caused by a bullet. The robbers, c’mon we know this already, attempted to ambush the police and during the ensuing high speed chase and final shootout two of the robbers were shot and died from their wounds and one survived, but was wounded. The final remaining hostage was used as a human shield by the robbers and was pronounced dead at the scene. A 41 year old mother of two and a wife.

Tragic and senseless.

misty holt-singh

We sometimes try to make sense of crazy stuff like that, so that we can move along with our lives. So we say, gang affiliations or what do you expect in that neighborhood. But the reality is that wasn’t rational! Who wakes up and says man seems like a good day to strap a few hundred rounds of ammo to my body, rob a bank, take a few hostages and lead the police on a wild high speed chase! Who’s in?! AND then have two buddies jump on that opportunity! So when you don’t posses the faculty for rational thought, you probably also feel invincible, like you can outrun 30 police cars and a helicopter, or kill all of the officers chasing you. The reality is it’s just crazy and we really can’t make any sense of that.

So we sort of have this denial, it’s really the only way that we can leave our houses in the morning. If we stopped and thought about the fact that we could be taken hostage by three men with semi-automatic weapons who think it’s a good idea to rob a bank and lead police on an hour long high speed chase, we just would stay indoors!

We really feel for Misty Singh-Holt, the mother of two and wife that was killed in the incident, no words can describe the tragic nature of that event. We’re also sort of glad that two of the robbers didn’t survive the incident. It’s probably politically incorrect, but there you have it, we’re glad. You used a young innocent mother as a human shield and tried to kill police, you deserved to die. Maybe that was part of their mindset? We are sure grateful for the police effort, that two of the hostages were saved and hopefully folks will not choose this community for their crimes. We’ve read spoiled kids talked about excessive police tactics, easy to say when you are living a charmed life far away from the realities of the world. That’s the worst job in the world, protecting a community from desperate criminals, while trying to save the lives of hostages and really the entire community where this chase took place. We’re damn glad we have folks that step up like that!

The lone surviving bank robber is a 19 year old, kid really. Gang affiliation and we’re sure soon to be a long time member of a correctional facility somewhere. We think of the juxtaposition of our wakesurf community and the one where this young man came from. One where your future is to die in a hail of police gunfire or spend the rest of your life inside a prison. Also, where there is some form of acceptance of taking innocent people hostage to do something. Perhaps we are blessed, where our 19 year old’s biggest problem in life is if the lip is solid. Certainly better than facing being shot or shooting and killing folks. Nothing wrong with that sort of naivety.

And how do we as a society, sort of develop these people that can dehumanize a wife and mother so much as to turn her into nothing more than a shield?  There is a theory of disenfranchisement that the “haves” and folks in power have so much more opportunity and special treatment, so of course the “have nots” will steal from them and kill them.  Do we as a society have a responsibility to develop opportunities so that folks don’t feel helpless?  We’ve talked before about how life isn’t fair and we see examples of special treatment, all the time, but the vast majority of us don’t rob and kill.  We also can’t ignore the facts, something needs to be done.

In that opening paragraph, where that quote talks of folks that do nothing. Perhaps that is our lesson in all of this. We all have been impacted by folks with a mindset of it’s easier to ask forgiveness after the fact than to ask permission before the fact. Maybe our job in this crazy world is to not allow those folks to terrorize the rest of the world. Where we acknowledge that there is craziness in the world, folks out for their own personal agenda, to the point where they don’t even consider other folks, and the rest of us need to recognize their craziness and take action?

We wish we had an answer. We know that we are thankful, as that chase and the gunfire went by our office, within 50 feet. We witnessed the chase and at least one gunshot. Blessed that there wasn’t an errant bullet that hit our office. Shaken and angry that a local resident was used as a human shield and died in a senseless crime. We are saddened that children have lost their mother, a 12 year old witnessing the abduction and a husband and father will now finish raising his daughter alone. May we all find solace in the knowledge that criminals didn’t escape and at least for us, we find some solace that two criminals didn’t survive their heinous acts of violence. Also may we find a way to heal this community, may we focus on stopping crazy people from destroying the lives of innocents and preventing self-focused individuals from using or destroying communities for personal gain.

Thanks so much for following along and if your life was touched by this senseless tragedy, we feel for your loss and you will be in our prayers.

Technorati Tags: craziness, criminals, do the right thing

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Ollie 3 tutorial

Authors: Flyboy Wakesurf

We grabbed a short little snippet of a video that shows James Walker landing an Ollie 3, and we’ll use that as a basis for a short tutorial on this trick. We also have a small Flyboy Wakesurf Flickr album on the Ollie 3, that you can use to study the sequence shots. It’d a great process if you can compare your own set of sequence shots to the ones that we publish, so that you can self-diagnose. If you have someone in your boat do the same thing, then sort of compare frame-by-frame, you can often really quickly see what your’re struggling with on this trick.

So first up is the video.

For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to the Ollie 3 video, if the embed above didn’t work for you.

This will be one of the tricks you’ll want to work on AFTER you have two other tricks on lock, a surface 3 and either an ollie or an air.

We started the sequence shots a little late, but if you watch the video at the onset you’ll see James carving to the top and bottom of the wake. You’ll need some speed in order to do this trick, and the up and down carving is the process that James uses to create that speed. There isn’t any push that drives you and your board at 12 mph, we are always falling down the face of a wake in some fashion or another and by repeatedly climbing and falling, James is able to generate the speed needed to perform this trick. So from there, we can start the individual steps.

The entry into this trick is what will make or break it, once you land from the ollie part of the trick, the rest will be your surface 360 out. Now if you have your airs and/or ollie down, the entry will be very similar, but you want to turn your body and the board in a backside rotation, as oppossed to the frontside rotation you are used to. It takes some getting used to, but just keep your body closed to the wake at the beginning of the entry.

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You can see that James’ shoulders are still closed to the boat and wake.

The next step is very similar to an ollie or an air, push down with your rear leg and pull up your front leg, while driving the board up and off the lip. Remember, shoulders closed to the boat!

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You can see James is starting the rotation in this next shot, it’s before the board is completely free of the water, so that will become key, your timing for the start of the rotation is BEFORE the board is fully in the air.

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The next step is your regular part of an air, where you pull your rear leg UP and sort of push the front foot out to bring the tail of the board up. The only part of this that is weird is that you are spinning away from the boat, so your refernces are different than with an air.

DSC04220

You’ll want to land with about 3/4′s of the board on the surface of the lip. You’ll have almost no forward momentum and there isn’t any push forward or laterally in the wake that will allow you to continue hydroplaning.  If you miss this trick, by sinking off the face, stuff more of the length of your board into the face. Those forces will give you enough energy to help spin the board around.

DSC04221

Virtually all sports recognize the concept of falling to gain energy and speed. We drop in to waves in surfing and on a half pipe on skateboards and snowboards. Half pipes are designed specifically to generate that speed and energy, you want to use the wake in the same manner. James is a master at very slowly sliding down the face of a wake, but it’s always falling down using gravity and the act of falling to generate speed for the hydroplaning effect we need to prevent sinking! You can see it here in the next 3 shots, if you compare James location on the wake.

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You can see the drop in elevation, if you will, as James starts the spin out of the ollie onto the table.

The rest is really pretty much just the second half of your surface 3, you’ll bring the board and your body around into the pocket of the wake.

DSC04231

So there you go! That will give you the information and resources to get you on the road to landing your first Ollie 3!

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.

Technorati Tags: James Walker wakesurfing, no push, ollie 3, wakesurf tricks

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