Night Rider

I’m about ready to start my #2, a wakesurf board. I’m modeling the board after a Walker Project (WP) F18. The F-18 is a wakesurf board that’s a bit too small for my weight.

I rode a demo F18 back in 2006. I tried to ride the board at normal wakesurf speed, about 10 mph, but because I’m too big for the board I had a hard time staying in the pocket. Late in the season I tried again but I asked my driver to slow down to about 9 mph. After a few tries the board clicked. I rode the board for about a half hour set. The board was very responsive rail to rail and about the most fun I’ve had on a board. However, 9 mph is too slow. At that speed the wake gets shorter and it’s hard to get the speed needed to attempt tricks.

The WP board is 57 inches long, about 22 inches at it’s widest point, has two fins, has a rounded tail, about 3.5 inches of nose rocker and has about inch of tail rocker. So I’m going to scale the board up a little. I scaling the dimensions to 74 inches long, 23 inches wide, adding a third removable fin, nose rocker will be about 5 inches, and tail rocker will be about 1.75 inches. I think that Wakeurf boards tend to be wider and shorter than ocean boards. The blank I have has more rocker than I’d like and I’d like a little more width but it will do.

Now for the cool stuff. I’m going to install lights in the board for night surfing. I bought a pair of cold cathode lamps. Each lamp is 3 foot long, with a 3/16 diameter, and flexible. The lamps come with an power inverter requiring two AA batteries. The inverter has a steady on and a flashing modes.

I’m going to put the lamps along the bottom outside edge of the board or on the rails. I’ll cut a groove in the bottom of the board for the lights. On the top of the board I’ll carve out and glass boxes to hold the inverters. I’ll drill a hole between the end of the grooves and the boxes. The power wire will run through the hole. With the wire installed I’ll refill the hole with an epoxy micro-balloon mixture. To protect the electronics from water I’ll take the inverter apart and conformal coat the printed circuit board. I’ll also fabricate a sealed lid for the power boxes.

Why build an illuminated wakesurfer? I’m planning to add night surfing fun event to a proposed Indiana State Wakesurfing Championship. We’ll tag riders with chemical glow sticks, mark the course with glow sticks, and install lights on the transom of the boat.

The WP F18

The proposed design - blue lines are lights

The blank and lights

I built box tops for the light power supply. I made a set earlier this week but I didn’t like how they turned out. So I went back to the hobby store and bought 1/4 by 3 inch and a 3/8 by 3 inch bass wood planks. The 1/4 inch will be the lid and the 3/8 the top half of the power supply box.

I match drilled the boxes and lids and I countersunk the lid holes. I cut the center of the boxes out on my scroll saw. Then I pressed T-nuts in to the boxes.

I’m going to shape the board this weekend. Once shaped I’m going to router out the bottom half of the box. I’ll leave a step for the box to sit on. The hole will be deeper than the step for the box. I’ll glass the hole and then epoxy the box in to the hole. I need to find a gasket to put between the box and lid.

Match drilling lid and box

Pressed in T-nuts

The power supply is shown on top of an upside down box

Today was a busy day. I started off measuring and shaping and ended up glassing the bottom with a resin swirl.

Milling the light power box.

Placing the boxes. They have to be far enough forward to avoid the fins and far enough back so the light stays in the meaty part of the foam.

Adding the lights.

Drilling from the rail to the power box.

Stinging the light through the hole

The light pressed in to the rail


this is pretty cool

do not take this board into the ocean, its gonna be a giant lure out there

I masked off the deck. I put a drip guide on in an effort to train colors away from the center - that’s a lesson learned.

I’m going to print this art on rice paper. I’ll place it on the nose of the board. The pictur shows a Kokopelli figure jumping over the moon - taken from the cow jumping over the moon. I don’t know if that makes sense when people look at it. The other approach would be to have the surfer with the moon over head.

Great stuff man !

You’re what swaylock’s is about !

Welcome aboard !


Thanks Herb.

I filled the hoels from the rail to the power box with epoxy over the last couple of days. Tonight I glassed the power box and installed the top of the box.

I glassed the deck today. Here’s a photo update.

Dressed out glass

Power box glass

Logo ready for glass

More photos.

I haven’t completly updated this project. The board is complete. I should haev a chance to ride it over a long weekend. A bunch of us are headed down to Lanke Norris, TN to surf.

I just added the electroncics. I didn’t leave enough wservice loop on the wiring. I removed the electroncis from the case they came in an used a Radio Shack battery holder.

When was the last time that you soldered your surf board?

you got to show us a night shot of that board lit up!!!

Your glassing is getting better,can you feel it?

It’s not a very bright light. I’m not sure it will show up well on a camera or video but you can be sure that we’ll try to take pictures of it. Glassing was better this time. I didn’t posted final pics of the resin swirl, that looks much better than the long board.

Some resin swirl shots:

Hulla Deck for traction - no wax in the boat please:)

I put away my tools for the summer then SurfDad (CPA) got me in to another board building challenge. We’re building boards for charity raffle. Mine will benefit the American Cancer Society. Actually I’m building two boards for two separate wakeboard/wakesurf events. And, the proceeds of both boards will go to the ACS.

It’s cost so much to ship blanks to Ohio and blanks aren’t that cheap either so I’m working with EPS from a local source. I’m going to put a pink resin swirl on the bottom on the board in a ribbon pattern. On the deck I want to put names, messages and images relating personal struggles, wishes, acknowledgements, memories and triumphs on the deck. I’ve have one request to change the nose art ribbon from pink to teal to recognize ovarian cancer.

When I get my act together on this new board I’ll start a new thread.

Here’s the Concept for the ACS boards:

If no one provides ACS related material I’ve threatened to cover the board with Kokopelli figures. The more material I get the fewer Kokopelli figures. Think of it as removing cancer from the body if you will, but be nice to my Kokopelli figures, I’m fond of them.

If someone wants to put a message or some are on the deck of this board please email me at

The deck will look something like this without input from the community

I proposed to put your messages and art here

Resin swirl bottom