Authors Posts by Stevie


Whether it's waves or the Internet, I'm always surfing

Imperial Motion Lux Premier Wetsuit Review

Cheap, high quality wetsuit, just one thing missing… (I’ll tell you in a second)

Another wetsuit review!

It’s fun to try new wetsuits, and this Imperial Motion Lux Premier 4/3 fullsuit is a winner.

I actually got this wetsuit in January, but I’ve had to wear it in August and September because San Diego water temperatures are fluctuating like crazy.

Fluctuating water temps in San Diego

So I’ve put it through probably 5 months total of almost daily use. And guess what… the Lux Premier wetsuit still looks brand new.

Surfing in my Premier Lux wetsuit

No holes, rips, or deteriorating seams.

And the best part? The price.

I think this Lux Premier 4/3 wetsuit was around $200 when I got it.

Currently it’s $120 on Imperial Motion’s website, but it’s also sold out, and I don’t know if that’s some sort of promotional price.

I talked to JJ at Imperial Motion, and he said
“new models drop in like 2 weeks.  We will have an updated 3/2 and 4/3.”

So we’ll see what the price is for the new models of wetsuits.

The new wetsuits still don’t come with a key pocket / key loop, my only complaint about the Imperial Motion Lux Premier wetsuit.

It can’t cost that much to add a key pocket, right!?

Almost all wetsuits have a key loop in the neck area, or a key pocket somewhere on the leg.

No key pocket on the Lux Premier wetsuit

It makes it really inconvenient if you have to drive to your surf spot… and then figure out where to put your key.

So I usually just wear the Lux Premier wetsuit when I surf by my house.

(JJ did say they might make this revision in their next run of wetsuits, because other people have requested it as well)

Everything else about this wetsuit is perfect!

It keeps me warm, and I’m a baby with cold water. Water temps in San Diego are mid to upper 50’s in winter.

Easy enough to get on and off (it’s a 4/3, so obviously it’s more difficult than a 3/2 wetsuit).

They use a limestone based neoprene (instead of petroleum based) which is apparently better for the environment, and I’m all about that.

The Lux Premier wetsuit honestly feels just as good as my $500 Xcel wetsuit, for half the price.

So I’m happy to say, I won’t need to buy a new wetsuit this winter ?

I’m keeping the Lux Premier hanging up and ready for action ?‍♂️

Bali Surf Trip

Ahh, magical Bali. The Land of Lefts.

I never thought I would actually go, but there I was on a surf trip with my boys in Uluwatu.

We battled the Bali belly ?, monkeys ?, scorching heat ☀️, and the Uluwatu cave current… and we came out alive.

I’m writing this a few months after the Bali trip, so I don’t remember all the details perfectly (like how much everything cost), but better late than never, yeah?

When my buddy JacuzziSurfer moved to Bali and invited me to visit, I couldn’t say no.

Turns out a handful of my friends wanted to go too, so we made a group trip out of it.

Traveling to Bali

Pre-flight stretch
Get some movement before the long flight

Our flights to and from Bali were definitely the worst part of our surf trip.

20 hours of flight time each way!

We are from San Diego, but we saved a good amount of money (I think around $500) by flying out of LA.

15 hours from LA to Hong Kong, where we arrived at 6pm, and our flight to Bali didn’t depart until noon the next day…

So we had to stay up all night and party in Hong Kong.

We showed up very un-sober ? for our 5hr flight to Bali the next day.

(For our flights returning to San Diego, it was a similar situation with the layover, but I felt like I was dying so I just slept on the airport floor. It was rough)

Our Uluwatu Villa

Uluwatu Surf Ranch

There were 6 of us total, so we were able to rent this villa on Airbnb for only about $50/night per person. It was called the “Uluwatu Surf Ranch”.

We each had our own bedroom with air conditioning, and the yard featured a super nice pool setup.

The villa even had a laundry room (though I don’t think I washed any of my clothes).

The hosts helped us get anything we wanted (scooters, surfboards, meals, etc) and the property manager Komang checked in with us every day.

Oh, and it even came with a dog ? (they asked if we would be ok with him at the villa).

Bali Villa - living room
Bali Villa - kitchen
Bali bathroom

My only complaint about the villa, was that we ran out of gas for a couple days, and couldn’t use the stove to cook our own food.

There was an under-the-sink water filter (so it was supposed to be good), because you don’t want to drink tap water there… somehow 5 out of 6 of us got “Bali belly” though, so we aren’t sure if it had to do with that water filtration system.

I had a really intense fever and chills, and the other guys had tummy problems. Some people recommend only eating cooked foods (no raw smoothies or veggies), but we really couldn’t pinpoint the cause of our Bali belly.

Scooter Rentals

Bali scooter rentals

When you think of Bali, you think of scooters ?.

Almost everyone drives mopeds in Bali.

Luckily we were staying in the more remote area of Uluwatu, but the traffic gets crazy in the busy areas like Canguu.

They drive on the left hand side of the road there too, which makes it even more confusing!

If you want to be legal, I think you’re supposed to get your international license or something, but we didn’t. Be careful.

But scooters are essential to get to the surf spots. Make sure to get a surfboard rack on your scooter.

Our property manager had someone drop off the scooters for us, and it only cost about 10 bucks a day.

Bali moped rental

Surfboard Rentals in Bali

Bali surfboard rental

There are so many places to rent surfboards in Bali, it can be overwhelming!

And it’s so cheap to rent boards out there, it’s really not even worth bringing your own, unless you’re really that good.

I just brought my own fins and leash, and rented my surfboard from (The rentals come with fins and leashes usually, but I wanted to bring my own just in case).

Yes this website seemed kinda sketch (my buddy just randomly found it) but it turned out to be legit!

We rented Hypto Kryptos (which are super fun), and I paid $69 for the week.

They delivered to our villa, and picked the boards up before we departed at the end of our trip.

Snapped Hypto Krypto rental surfboard

I actually snapped my board in half, but they were super cool and replaced it for free, since it had been repaired there previously.

Bali Surf Spots

Bali surf spots

There are so many amazing surf spots in Bali, with Uluwatu being one of the most famous.

It was also my favorite.

We surfed a few other spots… Canggu, Padang, Impossibles, but Ulu was the best.

Uluwatu surf spot
Surfing Uluwatu, Bali

It’s a bit of a hike to get to the bottom of the cave where you paddle out. The entry to the lineup is simple, just paddle out from the cave, you don’t have to worry about the reef unless it’s super low tide.

Waves were about 4-6 feet while we were there, which was perfect for us. Not to big, not too small. Ulu could get crowded, but I always managed to find my own little opening.

Something special about Uluwatu is the photographers in the cliffs. They will take pictures of everyone surfing, and then when you walk back up the cliff they pull you into their “offices” and scroll through the pictures on their computer to find the ones of you.

Then you can decide if you want to buy them (I didn’t buy any, but I think it was maybe $10 for a few pics).

Bali Nightlife

There’s plenty of nightlife in Bali! Lots of people there don’t even surf, they just go for the nightlife.

Even in Uluwatu, where it’s much more quiet, there’s still a “the spot” almost every night of the week it seems. (Sundays are for Single Fin)

Kam and I went to Canggu for one night, and it’s wild there. So much going on. Just walk around and find what looks good.

Drugs are very illegal in Bali. Like death sentence illegal. ?

Apparently you can still get ahold of them, but I didn’t want to find out… though there may have been someone selling shrooms ? outside of Single Fin.

Don’t risk it for the biscuit.

Food in Bali ?

I was sick for most of the trip, so I didn’t get to enjoy the food as much as most people do.

My favorite was probably the breakfast at one of the spots below Single Fin on the cliffs of Uluwatu.

French toast (with honey ? instead of syrup), eggs, sausage, and coffee.

Also good was the unlimited breakfast at Single Fin, great for refilling your body after a grueling morning surf at Uluwatu. (credit cards accepted)

There’s so many food options to choose from. Warungs (small restaurant or cafe) along the roadside everywhere.

Rice is a staple, and peanut butter sauce seems to be popular too.

Whether you’re into rice and meat, or fruit smoothies and acai bowls, there’s something for everyone.

The tourist-y spots are usually nicer and accept credit cards, while the local warungs are usually cash only, but considerably cheaper.

It’s nice to get some variety and eat at both.

Bali Surf Trip Costs

Bali surf trip expenses

Flights – $800
Villa – $350 ($50/night per person)
Scooter rental – $70
Surfboard rental – $69
Meals – $200

Total – $1,489

I wish I didn’t feel like death for most of the trip, but it was still such a fun experience.

It takes a lot of time and money to get to Bali, but once you’re there, everything is cheap and the living’s good.

We also went in April, which is right at the beginning of busy season. The waves start to get good, but the crowd doesn’t show up for another few weeks.

My recommendation is to get a group of friends, and go in on a villa.

Now that the weather is cooling down here in San Diego, I’m starting to crave Bali again…

Casa Mirador review

A lot of pro surfers have been dropping edits from Salina Cruz in 2019, and I think most of them stayed with Cesar at Casa Mirador surf camp.

Stab even tackled The Dock 2.0 there (check the credits at the end for the Casa Mirador shoutout)

It’s really no surprise everyone chooses to stay with Cesar… he kinda seems like the mayor of the town.

Casa Mirador is perched atop the highest hill, overlooking all of Salina Cruz.
Beachbreaks to the left, pointbreak (can’t remember which one) to the right

Casa Mirador rooftop view

He has the nicest trucks for the surf guides, and you truly feel like a VIP when staying there.

Now, I haven’t stayed at any of the other surf camps, so I guess I’m kind of biased, but I think I’m being fair ?‍♂️

Here’s the video version of my Casa Mirador review, check it out and then I’ll get into more details below.

Why Casa Mirador?

The beauty of staying at Casa Mirador is that everything is taken care of for you.

Airport transfer, meals, transportation to the surf spots, anything you need.

So all you have to think about is surfing.

Casa Mirador surf guide

Getting to Casa Mirador

We live in San Diego, so we flew out of Tijuana to save money on flights. Our flights were $330 round trip with Interjet.

There is something called CBX (Cross Border Xpress), where you get dropped off just outside the border, and walk across to the airport. It costs $30 round trip.

And the thing every surfer fears… surfboard baggage fees…

We didn’t pay a penny to bring our surfboards with Interjet! Thought it was going to be $30 each way, but it was completely free.

After landing in Huatulco, we had a van taxi waiting to take us 2.5 hours to Casa Mirador. This cost $160, so $32 per person (5 of us). We also paid this when we left the camp, for our departure back to San Diego.

The Casa

Casa Mirador surf camp
Casa Mirador entryway

The five of us shared one room. I think there are 4 or 5 total rooms. There were one or two other surf groups there at the same time as us.

We didn’t use the TV at all, but the air conditioner was nice at night (the rest of the casa is not air conditioned).

Casa Mirador bedroom
Casa Mirador bedroom

Bathroom was basic: sink, shower, and toilet.

In Mexico and other central American countries, the trend is to *not* flush your toilet paper, and it can clog the septic system.

You need to put toilet paper in the wastebasket next to the toilet… this was super weird to me at first ?

Casa Mirador bathroom
Casa Mirador bathroom

The downtsairs living room area is where you can store your boards and hang out.

We found a guitar and Josh serenaded us while sitting in the window ?

The window has the same view as upstairs, beachbreaks to the left and pointbreak to the right.

Casa Mirador living room
Casa Mirador living room
Casa Mirador views

Upstairs has ping pong and pool tables, and is where we ate our dinners.

The fridge has beers, drinks, and snacks. Just take what you want, and write it in the log, and you pay for it at the end of your trip.

Pool and ping-pong tables
Casa Mirador rooftop

There is WiFi at the Casa, but it was pretty spotty during our stay. The modem broke at one point, and they were working on getting it fixed… not a huge deal for most people, but when I’m trying to run my business remotely, it’s a big thing for me.


3 meals a day are included with your Casa Mirador package.

The breakfast is pretty weak (cereal and fruit), and usually lunch is just PB&J sandwhiches and/or tuna sandwhiches

Breakfast at Casa Mirador

We could choose to come back to the casa for lunch, but since the spots are an hour drive away, usually we just stay and surf all day.

A couple times we actually bought some fresh fish from the locals and made ceviche for lunch at the beach.

Dinner is where it’s at

I’m a plain eater, so basically all I want is meat and rice haha, but the kitchen staff always whips up some bomb dinners.

Tacos, fish, mole, rice, fresh squeezed/blended fruit juice, etc.

Salina Cruz Surf Spots

Casa Mirador is different from other surf camps you might visit, because no surf spots are walkable here.

The beachbreaks are about a 30 minute drive, and the pointbreaks are about an hour away.

Each evening, you coordinate with your surf guide what time you want to leave in the morning. You meet in the morning and he tells you which spot(s) should be working, and you go from there.

Load up the truck with boards, canopy for shade, chairs, and food (usually just PB & J, bread, and tuna).

Usually we leave around sunrise, and stay out until 3-5pm.

There are palapas at certain surf spots, otherwise the surf guide will set up a canopy for sun protection. It gets HOT here folks.

Palapa at the beach in Salina Cruz

What I Packed for Salina Cruz

  • Surfboard (Firewire Moonbeam, but I ended up not surfing it because the waves were too small), fins, extra leash in case one broke, towel
  • Laptop
  • Clothes – boardshorts, couple tank tops, couple shirts, one pair of shorts, shoes (I forgot my sandals ?), hat
  • Lumix G7 camera, bendy tripod, batteries, GoPro, Mavic Pro drone
  • Toiletries – toothpaste, floss, contacts, glasses
  • Metal water bottle (filtered water provided at Casa Mirador)
  • Sunscreen
  • Passport, wallet, US cash and some pesos

Total Costs

  • Flight: $330
  • Airport transfers: $64
  • Casa Mirador: $900 ($150/night)
  • Tip: $50. Tipped our guide Juan, and the kitchen staff
  • Misc spending on snacks: ~$25. Usually on our way to the surf spots in the morning, we would stop at a market or gas station to get some junk food snacks and drinks.

Total Cost: $1,319 for 6 nights.

Worth It?

So was it worth spending $1,319 for this Salina Cruz surf trip?

Well, we surfed uncrowded loooong pointbreaks with 85 degree water temps. ☀️?

Unfortunately the waves weren’t as big as we had hoped… we wanted some head high barrels, but we mostly got 3 foot mushy slow waves.

It was still super fun with the boys, but I think we’ll wait and check the 2-week forecast before booking our next trip, if possible.

If you decide to go with Casa Mirador, tell Cesar Ho Stevie! sent you ?

How To Make A Surfboard

Have you been wondering what it’s like to shape your own surfboard?

Depending who you talk to to, it could be a piece of cake, or a daunting task that no man should do by himself.

I wanted to find out for myself.

When my buddies John and Frank offered to walk me through the process of how to make a surfboard, I couldn’t refuse.

So before we get into all the juicy details about how I made my own surfboard, I just want to let you know…

This is less of a “How To Make a Surfboard” with all the technical knowledge, and more of a “How I (Poorly) Made a Surfboard That Some Thought Wouldn’t Surf, But It Does”.

You can learn from my mistakes, and hopefully avoid making the same ones if you decide to shape and glass your own surfboard.


The three of us decided we all wanted to shape fish surfboards.

I had been riding my Lunchtray a lot, which is super fun, but not very maneuverable. But every time I took out my shortboard, it felt like I was surfing a noodle.

So I wanted to shape something in between.

A fish surfboard has more volume and less rocker than a shortboard, so it’s easy to catch and ride mushy waves (San Diego summers hello), but still very maneuverable.

Making the Surfboard Template

Tracing surfboard template

First task was making a template for the outline of the fish.

Got some “hardboard” (aka masonite?) from Home Depot for this, along with some PVC pipe to bend for smooth curves.
$22.88 split 3 ways, $7.63.

We made a similar outline to John’s old fish, because I rode that board and really liked it.

Cutting and Shaping the Foam Blank

The foam blank is the inner core of your surfboard, and there are a bunch of different sizes you can choose from, depending what board you want to shape.

I bought my foam blank from Mitch’s Surf Shop, and if you’re in San Diego that’s probably where you will want to get yours.

Cost me $71.12.

I didn’t rent a shaping bay or anything, we just did all of the shaping in John’s garage.

You adjust your template towards the nose or tail of the blank, depending where you want your rocker (the blank has rocker built in, so you don’t need to do as much sanding).

Then just trace the outline of the template onto the foam blank.

Using a handsaw, cut the along the outline on the foam blank, keeping the saw straight up and down.

Cutting surfboard outline

Oh, and remember to wear a face mask or respirator… there’s gonna be lots of foam dust flying around.

Next we brought out the planer and started shaving some thickness off the blank.

Planing the surfboard blank

Then it was time for some rail work.
After making some outlines for the rails, we took off some foam with the planer and then the screen.

(Add $8.50 to the running total, for sanding supplies.

Shaping the rails of the surfboard

From there, it was just a lot of slow sanding with various tools, making minor changes to the foam blank, until we had the perfect fish shape I wanted.

The finished shape of the fish

Shaping the foam blank took wayyyy longer than I expected… about 6 hours total! And there were 3 of us ?

The boys decided we should just take our shaped blanks to a local glasser, instead of glassing them ourselves.



So this where the plot twists…

John and Frank changed their minds and said they would help me glass the board. But after waiting weeks for them to help, I decided to take matters into my own hands ?

Frank did let me borrow some much needed tools for installing the fin boxes (template, router, and jig).

I made quick and dirty work of that.

Routing the slots for fin boxes

A quick run to Mitch’s, and I had all the supplies I needed:

  • Fiberglass cloth (6 yards of 6oz cloth)
  • Epoxy resin and hardener (stronger and lighter than polyester resin, and no fumes. Slightly more expensive)
  • Squeegees/spreaders
  • 2 Futures fin boxes
  • Latex gloves
  • Black pigment
  • Leash plug
  • 5 Paint brushes
  • 5 Measuring buckets
  • 5 Stir sticks

$113.83 for all those supplies.

Surfboard glassing supplies

Time to lay down the glass!

I brushed off the foam blank, and laid down the fiberglass cloth. I cut the cloth so it hung a couple inches over the outline of the blank.

Cutting fiberglass cloth

Now for the tricky part… the resin.

The guys at the surf shop told me to use the whole jar of tint for this project… I think this was a big mistake. I’ll tell you why in a minute.

They also didn’t know how long the epoxy resin takes to cure, and the label didn’t have any timeframe either.

So I went ahead and mixed the resin with the hardener and the black pigment. I didn’t know how long it would take for the resin to harden, but I knew I had to hurry!

Unfortunately I forgot to tape off my fin boxes, so after I poured resin in the fin box area of the foam blank, I had to fumble and tape the fin boxes with my messy gloves.

Inserted the fix boxes into the foam blank, and spread the resin over them.

Installing the fin boxes

I was running out of time…

Now I had to spread the resin across the whole bottom of the surfboard, but I didn’t quite spread it liberally enough.

The resin started getting thick as I was spreading it across the board, and that made it pull on the fiberglass cloth, so I had to stop.

Spreading the resin

I quickly mixed up a small batch of clear resin, and worked that around the rails, tucking the cloth under the rails as best I could. This somewhat salvaged it.

Tucking the rail laps under

A few hours later after the resin cured, I flipped the board over and cut off the excess cloth (laps they are called) from the rails.

It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t totally ruined.

Trimming hardened rails

Time to repeat those steps, but for the deck of the surfboard. Only this time I knew I had to work faster.

I spread the resin liberally and quickly, and it went a lot better!

Waited about 6 hours and went to town with the disc sander. Actually I should have sanded even more than I did, but I thought it was good enough.

Sanding the surfboard

At this point I wasn’t even sure if the surfboard was going to work… the rails were all lumpy, and the first coat wasn’t very hard. Like I could dent it in with my thumb.

Remember when I said I shouldn’t have used all that black pigment? Yeah I think that’s why the resin wasn’t fully curing. Thanks Mitch’s ?

But I couldn’t quit now… on to the hot coat!

Hot coat layer on surfboard

The hot coat was much easier. All I had to do was brush a thick coat of resin onto the surfboard. (I didn’t use pigment in this coat, so it cured fully hard).

Of course it wasn’t perfect… there were tons of little air bubbles. Like when I used to make cakes with my mom, and she would gently drop the pan a bunch of times to pop the air bubble. Except I couldn’t do that with my surfboard.

Bubbles in resin

So after letting the hot coat cure, sanding the whole surfboard again, applying front and rear traction pads (goodbye wax), I had a fish surfboard that didn’t really look like the glass job would hold up to my surfing.

Only one way to find out…


I popped in my new twin keel fins, and took the fish for a paddle ?‍♂️

Surprise surprise… it worked!

It was just what I wanted… in between my Lunchtray and shortboard. Fun and playful, but still easy to catch waves with all its volume.

I was surfing on surfboard that I made myself. Let me tell you, that’s a good feeling.

That being said, making this surfboard was a LOT of work!

I don’t know which part was worse, the shaping or the glassing… well John and Frank did most of the shaping for me, so clearly the glassing was worse for me. The glassing had to be spread out over a few days, because each coast of resin had to cure for several hours.

Slide into John’s (@toob_king) and Frank’s (@fderubes) DM’s if you want to talk details about shaping and glassing… they love that stuff.

This was the first surfboard I ever shaped, and very well might be the last.

Total cost: $201.08

So what do you think… do you still want to make your own surfboard?

It happened again ?‍♂️

The dreaded black ring around my neck after surfing.

It seems to happen to all of my wetsuits after 2 or 3 years. The neck of the wetsuit starts to “melt” onto my neck. The latest victim is my 3/2 Xcel Drylock.

It feels gross, and I have to scrub it off with soap and paper towel after every surf.

But hey, I can’t just ditch a $500 wetsuit, so I decided to get crafty.

Aquaseal Neoprene Wetsuit Cement

$11.95 and two Prime days later, I had the solution: Aquaseal neoprene westuit cement.

This stuff comes out like gooey paint, and dries into a somewhat flexible rubbery coating.

As per the instructions, I did one coat around the entire neck of the wetsuit (the inside part, that comes in contact with my neck)… waited 5 minutes… did another coat and let it dry for 10 minutes ⌚️

Wetsuit Glue on Neck

I worked on half of the neck at a time, because it was too tricky to do the whole neck at once.

After letting it cure overnight just to be safe, I tested it out the next morning.


Wetsuit Neck Repaired

While it felt a little “crustier” than normal, it still sealed the water out pretty well, and didn’t leave any black marks.

$11.95 to salvage a $500 wetsuit… job well done Stevie ?

7TILL8 Wetsuit Falling Apart

“What wetsuit should I try next?”

It’s always hard to decide.

Luckily I won this Hurley Advantage Plus 3/2mm fullsuit from a video contest, so the decision was made for me ?

(If you’re curious, my winning video was Pokemon Go, remember that one?)

It was perfect timing to get this wetsuit, because the water temps were dropping in San Diego, and I was getting chilly! My Xcel 3/2 is a couple years old and letting in some water, and even my 1-year-old 7TILL8 4/3 wetsuit is pretty ragged.


So I put the Hurley Advantage Plus to the test, to see if this 3/2mm was warmer than my year-old 4/3 from 7TILL8.

FIT: 10/10

How The Wetsuit Fits
LOVE the fit on this wetsuit!

I’m 6’1″, 155lbs, and the Medium Tall size fits me perfectly.

Good length on the ankles and wrists, and it hugs the jewels nicely ? (Unlike the baggy-ness on my 7TILL8).

Really easy to get on and off. PS… do yourself a favor and cop a changing poncho.


I’ve gotta say, I think this 3/2 Hurley Advantage Plus is just as warm as last year’s 4/3 from 7TILL8.

I was surprised!

It’s really easy to move in, and of course it has a key loop pocket in the leg (some wetsuits don’t, for whatever reason)
Ho Stevie! leashes have a key pocket in the ankle cuff, but I prefer to keep my key in my wetsuit.

Key Loop Pocket in Hurley Advantage Plus


It was all going so well…

But after surfing in this wetsuit for about a month, I noticed that the stitching on one of the knees is starting to unravel.

Hurley Advantage Plus unraveling knee

I’ve contacted Hurley about this, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet.


Besides that problem, I really like the Advantage Plus.

Oh, and the white stripes on the leg are subtle, yet help your friend on the beach pick you out from the crowd.

I’ll update this post if I hear back from Hurley about the knee stitching.

Who’s on the Hurley bandwagon?

*** UPDATE 2/22/19 ***
So Back in December, I DM’d Hurley on Instagram and Facebook, and they gave me an email address to contact ( if you need it yourself).

I emailed them December 7th explaining this situation, with a link to my video.

And waited…

Finally, 5 weeks later (January 15th) I received a response.

After a little back and forth (they needed more pictures, model number, etc) they agreed to replace the wetsuit.

I sent the damaged Advantage Plus back to them (they paid for the return shipping label after I asked them to) and my brand new wetsuit arrived about a week later, with no loose threads this time ?

Now, did they only give me this treatment because of my Youtube channel and blog? Quite possibly. I always wonder in situations like this.

Either way, I have a fresh wetsuit for spring, so I’m stoked! ?

Packing Surfboard for Airplane Travel

Airlines are notorious for damaging surfboards (after you pay loads of money to get them on the plane).

Here’s how to pack your board to prevent damage during airplane travel.

It’s never guaranteed that your surfboard will arrive safely, but this will add a lot of protection.

If you have a surfboard bag designed for airline travel (these are really expensive) then you might not need to take these extra steps. But if you have a lighter weight daybag, you’ll want to stack on some padding.

The good news is that the supplies only cost a few bucks.
All you need is pipe insulation, and masking tape.

Get enough pipe insulation to cover the entire length of your surfboard rails. I bought two 6-foot pieces for this video, but I could have used a bit more.
You can buy this at any home improvement store like Home Depot.

Also pick up some masking tape. Really any kind of tape will work, but if it’s really sticky (like duct tape) then it’s going to leave residue on your surfboard. And you don’t want that.
Painter’s tape is best, as it leaves no residue.

Buy pipe insulation and tape

Remove the fins from your surfboard, and put them in the pocket. You can also remove the wax from your board if you’re worried about it melting inside the bag.

Remove fins and put in bag pocket

Push the pipe insulation onto the rails of your surfboard, and wrap the tape around your board so the insulation doesn’t come off.

Packing Surfboard for Airplane Travel

Load the surfboard into your bag, and you’re ready to go! You can also throw your towels/poncho in there for extra padding.

You’ve done all you can, now just cross your fingers and hope the airline handles your gear nicely ?

Click here to buy a surfboard daybag

Surfboard front traction pad

Front traction pads on surfboards are becoming a lot more popular lately.

A post shared by Dion (@dionagius) on

Guys like Noa Deane and Dion Agius have been using deck pads for a while now, but there’s a swarm of more “average” surfers using them now.

And for good reason.

With a front pad, you eliminate the need for wax on your board.

No waxing it up before every surf session, no worrying about it melting all over your car or off you board when you leave it in the sun.

Just good traction. There for you every day, like the perfect marriage partner. Actually better than a partner, because once the pad is on your board, it requires no maintenance.

Here’s how to install a front traction pad on your surfboard:

Step 1
Remove any wax from your board.
Leave it in the sun so the wax starts to melt, then scrape it off.
Remove any residue with your choice of household cleaner and paper towel.
It is​ very important to have a clean board before you apply the pads, otherwise they will not stick properly!

Remove wax from your surfboard

Clean surfboard with household cleaner

Step 2
Lay the pads on your board, to find the perfect placement.
Stand next to your board, with your normal stance, to determine where to put the pads.
You can mark on your surfboard with a pencil or marker, where you want the pads to go.

Lay out front pads on surfboard

Step 3
Carefully peel the backing off pads, and lay them on the board, one at a time.
Firmly press on the entire area of the pads so they properly adhere to your board.
Wait 24 hours, then go surf!

Apply front traction pads

Longboard/SUP Center Fin Installation

Installing a center fin in your longboard or SUP is extremely easy and fast. It takes less than a minute, and you don’t even need any tools!

The installation process is the same whether you have a longboard or SUP… I will be using my longboard in this example.

Our longboard fins come with a “no-tool” screw, so you can hand tighten the screw. If you are using a different fin/screw, you might need a screwdriver to tighten the screw. All the other steps in this guide should be the same, no matter what fin/screw/board you are using.

Installing Your Longboard/SUP Fin

1. Lay the screw plate into fin box.
Carefully slide the screw plate into the fin box, and move it towards the front of your board. You can use a pen or screwdriver to move the plate, because your finger probably won’t fit in the box.

Fin screw plate

Moving screw plate

2. Insert fin into box.
The back of your longboard fin has a pin in it. You insert this part into the middle of the fin box, and then slide the fin back (with the front of the fin still lifted).

Inserting lonboard fin

Find your desired position for the fin. Position is all preference… the farther back the fin, the more stable it will be. The farther forward the fin, the more maneuverable it will be.

Once your fin is in position, you can push the front of the fin down into the box. If it fits too tight, you can remove the fin and gently sand the sides of the base.

Sanding longboard fin

3. Tighten the screw.
Line up the screw plate with the end of your fin, so the screw can thread in. You’ll want to use a pen or screwdriver to move the plate around.

Move screw plate

If you have a “no-tool” screw (like our longboard fins come with) you can just hand-tighten the screw.
If you have the classic longboard screw, you’ll need a screwdriver to tighten it.

Hand tighten longboard fin screw

Click here to buy our Longboard Fin

7till8 Wetsuit Review

Surfing wetsuits can be expensive.

Earlier this year I reviewed my O’Neill Psychofreak, Xcel Drylock, and Need Essentials fullsuit:

The first two suits cost around $500. The Need Essentials is around $200, but I didn’t like the fact that it doesn’t have a key loop. What am I just supposed to hide my key somewhere while I surf?!

So this fall/winter I got a wetsuit from a new company 7till8, and I put it to the test:

I’ve been wearing this suit almost every day for a few weeks now, and I like it!

It’s warm (I got the 4/3 version), easy to get in and out of (even with the front-zip), AND it has the key loop!
(I could just use the key pocket in my leash, but I prefer to keep it in my wetsuit)

Key Loop in the neck

No rips or seams/threads coming undone in the short time I’ve had it, and hopefully it stays that way.

My only complaint is about the sizing.
I got size MT (I’m 6’1″, 165lbs) and my other MT wetsuits fit me great. This one was maybe a tiny bit short around the ankles, and pretty baggy in my “junk area”.
Not a huge deal though, as I mainly noticed it when walking up and down my stairs, not when I was actually surfing.

A little loose...

Overall I’m super stoked on the suit, and would recommend to anyone! (Actually my neighbor bought one just a few days after he saw me with mine)

7till8 Wetsuit Box

For $225 you get a nice warm wetsuit delivered to your door. Click here to check out the wetsuit that I got.

Oh, and 7till8 are great people with excellent customer support, so that’s always nice 🙂

Men's Surfing Wetsuit