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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-30-2006, 9:26 AM Reply   
OK OK OK, I know the name of the board is over-the-top, but James is 14! :-) This is the strapped model that we started work on a few months ago. You'll see the insets on the deck of the board that allow the foot straps to be attached. This will act "somewhat" like bindings, so that when James goes to throw something off the lip he'll have more control of the board in the air. So like with professional wakeboarders, they pull their knees up into their chest it gives the "appearance" of bigger airs, but also there is a slight upward momentum. We've also found that when James had his feet attached more securely to the board, he was able to pump harder and generate more speed.

Sick graphics, huh? This is Mike Walker's bullet model. www.thewalkerproject.com

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Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       05-30-2006, 9:41 AM Reply   
sick man! cant wait to see what he can do with straps :-)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-30-2006, 10:13 AM Reply   
Me too, I'll be sure to post pictures. I wonder if straps would be useful to folks that spend a majority of their recreational time snowboarding? It would almost seem like a more natural transition.
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-30-2006, 10:35 AM Reply   
Dakine windsurfing straps? Have you found a place to get the heelstaps?

Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       05-30-2006, 11:39 AM Reply   
i don't know how i feel about the straps, i'm a big snowboarder but i like to be able to move my feet around when surfing, i don't know if i would like feeling locked in
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-30-2006, 12:25 PM Reply   
Yeah...I typically don't move my feet unless I'm hanging five. In fact on my old board before the X-Track traction pads, I placed my feet into the indentations on the deck and that's how I knew I was in the right spot! :-)

Hey Sean, I just got the straps from Mike, I'm sure he has a wholesale source for the boxes and straps. Did you want me to ask Mike who his distributor is?
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-05-2006, 9:02 PM Reply   
It's not on the water, but we decided to see how this strapped board would be in the air. We attached the straps and took it out on the front lawn. :-) It's hard to see, the rotation is very fast. This is a backside 270. The first picture is just before James jumped. The second is the board at almost 180 and the final is when James landed at 270. We're thinking it "might" be possible to throw an aerial 720 out on the water.
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Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       06-06-2006, 8:30 AM Reply   
power surfing!!!
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-06-2006, 8:57 AM Reply   
LOL, someone else said it reminded them of the early days of wakeboarding - can you say: Skurfer! :-) Directional board, sandal bindings :-)
Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-06-2006, 10:07 AM Reply   
yeah lets see james wakeboard on it and try a tantrum :-)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-06-2006, 10:38 AM Reply   
I think that he would need to learn to barefoot first, because after hitting the wake, at that speed, he'd no doubt be without a board! :-)
Old    Jerry Price (stixxmon)      Join Date: May 2006       06-06-2006, 1:20 PM Reply   
Did the straps on my Stixx from 74 till 82. Quit because it let to too many torn up ankles. Plus they looked too much like a Skurfer.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-06-2006, 2:39 PM Reply   
Gotta love image. :-) '74 to 82 you were still line riding, right? In fact that's all you had for sale was the original Stixx pintail. Blasting into a wake at 20+ mph could cause ankle issues. I watch James on his 4 foot tall halfpipe, or sliding rails and those huge 8 foot tall A-frames up at Boreal in the winter, or the doubles he lands on his Kawi at Carneige and THOSE things amaze me that he hasn't wrecked himself...must be something with youth. :-)

If I even LOOK at a curb and I can twist my ankle. :-)
Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-06-2006, 2:48 PM Reply   
yeah we you are young you are fearless. i'm only 24 but i feel 40 some times, at 24 my body doesn't heal like it did at 14. i was fearless back then
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-06-2006, 2:58 PM Reply   
Do you think it's fearless or stupid? :-) HEY HEY HEY, what are you talking smack about 40...make that age 60! :-) James took an endo on his Kawi last year, that just tore the crap out of his bike. Broke the rim, bent 4 spokes, mangled the bars and he walked away from it with a strawberry rash!

Did you ever or do you now, skate? Sheesh, I don't know how these kids can drop 4 feet on to skatelite and not break something.
Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-06-2006, 3:21 PM Reply   
yes i've skated since i was 5 and still do now. i ride vert a bit and love riding pools and ramps. ive been in the ER a few times and even my head so hard once that i started to trip out and start dreaming while i was awake! i snowboard too and have wrecked hard many times, hit my head so hard i started puking. now i ride with a helmet. but i don't take the chances that use to. i pretty much stock to the tricl i know i can land. i can't afford to get hurt now, i have a business to run, a house, boat and cars to by for. i can't afford to be out of comission for weeks at a time
Old    Jerry Price (stixxmon)      Join Date: May 2006       06-06-2006, 3:27 PM Reply   
Jeff,
Had straps on the guns AND freeboards. You can do what you want with this info. I do know two things:
1- Manufacturers doing this should make sure they have there liability insurance paid up and
2- there WILL be injuries.
You guys might want to wait till after the contest to find out for your selfs. Someone we all know got laid up for a whole summer on one of my strapped sticks in 81. {Freeboarding Jeff}
The joke became "If you need bindings to stay on your stick, go snowskiing. Just had to pass it on. Take it or leave it.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-06-2006, 6:17 PM Reply   
Jerry, first and foremost I want to thank you for your genuine concern for the safety of James. You are a dear firend. You make a good point, all watersports contain some aspect of risk. It's why we wakesurf with PFD's. There is always the chance that after falling you can be hit upon the head by an errant board.

I can imagine that if your own design and implementation of straps on a board you shaped and sold resulted in the prolonged injury of an individual it would cause caution and prejudical conclusions, to the point of foretelling the future.

This design might not even work, for all I know it could be a pile of crap. Such is the way with implementing changes in technology

Our implementation is, no doubt, significantly different than what you tried over two decades ago. Overall length and board weight being two significant changes. While not without risk, I can assure you we didn't ignore the safety considerations either. The boxes do not contain a top lamination, the straps are cut to allow separation at the attachment points, the single #8 screw is undersize to allow breakaway and as you know, these boards are glassed light, with ultralight blanks...on your boat the tow rope HACKED through the prototype...plus this board weighs in at about 3 pounds.

Just so that it's clear, this is strictly my design. It isn't available for retail by anyone that I know of. While I believe that it holds promise, it still remains untested behind the boat. It wouldn't be the first time I tried something and had it turn out to be garbage when tested. :-)

I would hope, however, that we wouldn't stop progressing the sport with innovative design, with due consideration for safety. I would hate for our sport to become the destiny of the larger manufacturers that would dictate molded boards and wakeboard like designs, because it minimizes costs or that we rest on the results of experiements 20+ years old.

Innovation, with safety and responsibility, I think, will yield huge progression for our sport. Again Jerry, I want to thank you for your concern and willingness to speak for the safety of riders.
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-06-2006, 6:17 PM Reply   
...and so I assume all the wakeboard companies have been having problems with lawsuits due to their binding systems, and snowboarding, flowboards, tow-ins, and kiteboards? Since it hasn't seemed to hurt any of those industries and each one of them is a lot harder impact I'm going to go with the assumption Walker will be just fine putting straps onto their boards.

Also all the "self-destruction" laws that have gone into place during the last 10 years are a great thing and releases us of all liability. They are the same laws that enable parks and cities to install skateparks without worrying about the lawsuit every time a kid broke an ankle or a wrist. Basically we all assume any and all risks associated with any activity deemed dangerous.

Innovation rocks!!!

(Message edited by CAskimmer on June 06, 2006)
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-06-2006, 6:22 PM Reply   
I also believe far more injuries will occur in wakesurfing with the fins then foot straps.
Old    Jerry Price (stixxmon)      Join Date: May 2006       06-06-2006, 7:47 PM Reply   
Jeff,
The prob we had with windsurf straps is one foot would release and the other would bind and not release and turn the foot around in a direction it did not want to go. SO, we glassed wood dowles in the blank to screw waterski bindings into. Water would eventually get into the screw holes and pull out when the wood got soft. SO, we glassed over aluminum plates to screw snowski bindings to and tried skiboots. That was like having led on your feet. See if you can attach wakeboard bindings to the board.
They would keep both feet in and be lite too.
Then come over and let me try the board..HA..See Ya Fri.
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-06-2006, 8:18 PM Reply   
I haven't been able to find out who makes them but a lot of the flowboards have a bungee-like heel strap(like the early wakeboard bindings)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-07-2006, 6:28 AM Reply   
Jerry, I do get your concern, the width (distance between attachment points) of the binding is such that James' foot can turn 180 degrees then it slides out. We don't use EVA so that there is no obstruction for exit. That was fun testing in the pool. :-) The way we have it set up, the binding will destroy the board and come out before twisting his ankle around. The current technology included in these straps is much improved than from back in the day. Sean, I actually opted out of the sandal bindings you refer to. When James was smaller and just learning to wakeboard he would hit the wake and jump out of the bindings :-) At times, like Jerry mentions, James would come loose from one and not both bindings and while he never got hurt doing that, there was a greater risk of injury, IMO.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-07-2006, 6:55 AM Reply   
Just to give folks an idea of the innovation in straps, compared to 20 years ago,...for kiteboarding and windsurfing, here is a link to Martin Technologies, their kiteboarding M-1 straps use the "boa" ratcheting system found on many snowboard boots and some wakeboard bindings. I opted away from this because of weight and the EVA footbed. http://martintechnologies.com/
Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-07-2006, 4:45 PM Reply   
yeah yeah i'm sick of seeing and hearing abotu this. when are we gonna see and hear about the results? :-)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-07-2006, 5:29 PM Reply   
LOL - hopefully this weekend - wouldn't it just chap my butt if it turns out to be crap? :-)
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       06-07-2006, 5:47 PM Reply   
Needs a little duct tape.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-07-2006, 7:23 PM Reply   
ED! That's what we started with!!!!!!! I taped poor James to his board :-) It worked fairly well for about 3 minutes...HOWEVER, when I took the tape off - he HOWLED as I yanked the hairs out. :-) Straps = good. Duct tape = bad. :-) PLEASE do NOT report me to Child Protective Services! :-)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-08-2006, 10:17 PM Reply   
I think it worked :-) Got some more pictures I'll post another day. OH! and no injuries! :-) Upload
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Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-08-2006, 11:12 PM Reply   
That's so sick! I think I may want a new pic.

(Message edited by CAskimmer on June 08, 2006)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-09-2006, 7:00 AM Reply   
Hey Sean, we just took it out for the first time yesterday afternoon, I'll have to get more pictures this weekend. One of the things that the straps allows are various grabs. We didn't get any decent pictures, but James did grab Indy, as well as tail, method and roast beef. He attempted, but didn't quite grab with both hands a few times.
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-09-2006, 7:08 AM Reply   
AND...what I think will eventually happen is a backroll. :-) James didn't tuck on this attempt and I think he's going to need more speed, but you can see from the two pics that it's feasible. On this attempt he cleared his head and landed prone...so mabye 3/4's of the rotation.
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-09-2006, 9:55 AM Reply   
We originally thought that an aerial 7 would be possible, but after actually testing the board on the water, that seems unlikely. You can't throw the rotation until the fins release, plus having to wind your upper body up, diminishes the height you can obtain. An aerial 3 is doable. Also, frontside aerial 3's are doable (rotating toward the boat first, rather than the usual away first rotation).
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-09-2006, 10:09 AM Reply   
One video of a surface 3 and aerial 3. Not great, but not bad for a first effort.

http://www.wakepics.com/img/19272
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-09-2006, 10:26 AM Reply   
To recap this experiment. I think that what can be said is the straps increase the responsiveness of the board. Edge to edge control increases dramatically. A surface 3 becomes very easy because you can twist the fins loose. Also, pumping is easier as you have control on both the upward and downward strokes of your foot. Of course, control in the air is drastically increased. Tricks typically associated only with wakeboarding become possible as you position your feet in the air, the board moves. The moves seemed huge, almost exaggerated.

The downside is your feet are attached. Positioning the straps correctly isn't easy and if they are off, the ride is garbage. I would think that they would only work on smaller boards. This board is 4'6" long. I'm doubtful that even a few inches of length would be acceptable unless you had super human strength. Also they would require lighter boards which means easier to ding and destroy boards. :-) After each ride, James was physically winded. He doesn't get this way after his non-strapped boards. There is more effort required to ride this board, although I am unsure if this is the board, the straps, the fact that James was PUSHING hard or what...just know that after a few hits off the lip he had to take a short break and just cruise.
Old    entrust clothing (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-12-2006, 11:19 AM Reply   
sick i need one :-)

i went surfing in the ocean yesterday and man i'm beat! that was rough, wakesurfing is so much easier since you don't have to catch a wave and the break is always the same

Old    Petr (hawaj)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-17-2006, 7:42 PM Reply   
are you kidding Jeff?!?!
Whoa, thats sick. I love it. Keep on ripin!
Old    Dave M (lastemperor)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-18-2006, 6:21 PM Reply   
now that you have tow straps, you should go charge chopes! i think that most surfers typically go to a much shorter board to tow because of the control (and fact that you don't have to paddle). they also weight the boards a lot more because of how short they are. wakesurf boards are already really short tho...

I'm not really sure that I see how foot straps are going to be all that dangerous doing 10-15mph, especially ones without a heel...the only major surfing accident i've heard of related to tow straps (not that i'm an expert or anything) is when someone had a heel strap on and was charging 50+ft ghost tree and he torqued his leg hitting some chop and broke his tib/fib.

It looks like another chill option for stuff to do behind a boat, but not a replacement or anything. It's pretty hard to shuv a board with straps i'm guessing. Good innovation though, hope it brings some new tricks.

just tried wakesurfing this past weekend and it was sick. diff than normal surfing, but a lot of fun. can't wait to try it again! i used a hyperlite broadcast, and it seemed like it almost didn't have enough rocker and you had to be real careful not to nose dive it when pumping, but maybe that's just me sucking...
Old    Petr (hawaj)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-18-2006, 7:07 PM Reply   
Check out this grip hooks from Poor Boy down on this page http://www.surflifeforwomen.com/index.cfm?page=gripguide

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Old    Petr (hawaj)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-18-2006, 7:09 PM Reply   
also I remember some funny velcro system

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