Mar 20, 2013

4GF Spring Cleaning...

Spring has finally arrived, at least here in the uber-civilized Northern Hemisphere. So now seems like a good time to download a few things I've had lurking on my hard drive...
 
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First up is a nice piece on recapturing one's childhood. Seems appropriate for a mat surfing blog!
 
 
 
What, me worry?

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Next up is an improvement to the 4GF deck non-skid. The raw nylon canvas deck is pretty good by itself, but it became a lot better when we started apply the hot wax treatment

One downside of the hot wax is that it was hard to get the right grip in the middle and the tail of the deck, since the middle calls for more grip, and the tail for less. (Too much grip in the tail area catches on your abdomen when you pull yourself up upon takeoff.) I used a compromised amount of hot wax to address that problem, so neither the middle or tail areas were ideal.

Several creative matters (WP and TT) began using nonstick sprays such as silicon or Armorall in the very back of their decks to assist in taking off smoothly. I took their idea to heart, and stopped applying the hot wax treatment on the tail area on my own mats, and liked it a lot.

With the tail grip situation resolved, I realized that I could now apply more grip in the middle portion of the deck.

After a number of ideas were tried, what worked best was scrubbing the deck with a rotating nylon brush in a linear stripe pattern...


 
 
Then I mark off an area in the tail designated as a no-wax zone...

 
 
...followed by a light application of wax to the area ahead of the aforementioned line.

 

Then I soak the wax into the scrubbed fabric with a heat gun...

 
 
And voila' ... lots of grip in the middle, light grip in the tail area.

 
 
After testing over 25 varieties of wax on the scrubbed decks...


...I realized that, much to my chagrin, Zog's Red Label Navel Wax worked the best. Yeah, that's right...body board wax. It's a bitter pill we have to swallow in the name of progress!

In any case, the "Hot Wax Deck 2.0" is now a standard feature on all 4GF mats, and has been for several months.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the power scrubbing loosens the deck up, and accelerates the break in process by a month or so.


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A while back I started a foto folder of mat surfers blowing up their craft. I don't know why photographers like to take these shots to begin with, or why they're so much fun to look at!










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Now...a sneak preview of 6 prototypes that may indeed lead to the next 4GF Model. Conceived by GG, and built by yours truly. Gloria sent them off to NSW this morning. It'll be weeks or even months before any meaningful feedback comes over the 4GF transom...but I slipped two of 'em out for a quickee surf the other day. One was a dud (IMO), while the other was interesting enough I made myself a copy as soon as I got home. Time will tell.

I put tags the mats so the test riders could keep track which mat was which...





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And finally, for all the (hopefully) good natured fun we poke at Charlie Sheen, we would be remiss not to mention that there's a Anger Management mini-marathon here in the States, tomorrow evening on the FX Channel. Check it out, it's a pretty good show...


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7 comments:

KingWaka said...

Charlie Sheen is my hero......and thats where the idea for a name for my blog came from :)

Matt23 said...

That wire brush makes me wince.
Heard Charlie was in Dublin doing his thing a couple of weeks ago ;-)

http://tinyurl.com/d4p4map

PG said...

Nylon brush Mattie, nylon!

Anonymous said...

Mate,

been meaning to get back to you about the new deck treatment.

I love it!

As you know, I'm a big fan of thin, pliable decks. In the past you also know that I've struggled with the thick canvas decks, but this new treatment is very, very good - IMO, of course.

The scrubbing really imparts more pliability and I haven't had any issues with slipping of getting stuck, and I've worn a variety of of clothing...both neoprene wetsuit and lycra rash vest.

I think you've really hit the nail on the head with this one!

NP

Matt23 said...

I dont do words.

Matt said...

So I am really getting close to figuring out what "hot wax 2.2" on my new standard mat means. Seems like a couple tweaks up from "hot wax 2.0". Can you elaborate Paul?

PG said...

Hey Matt,

2.0 was a scrubbed deck and hot wax, nose to tail.

2.1 was a scrubbed deck nose to tail, with hot wax stopping at the back 8".

2.2 is a scrubbed deck and hot wax stopping at the back 8".

The evolution was intended to provide good grip where you lie, but allow you to slide up on the mat without any "grabbing" in the tail area. No wax or scrubbing in the tail helps.

The difference between the 3 is subtle...so there's nothing wrong with 2.0 or 2.1. My favorite personal mat is a 2.0.