Surfboard LED Strips Light Up The Waves

Surfing is an activity predominantly enjoyed during the day, primarily for reasons of warmth and water safety. Of course, if you prefer to carve the waves at night, you might enjoy the latest project from [Moritz Sivers] – a surfboard kitted out with motion-reactive LEDs.

The build consists of a regular surfboard, with a channel cut around the perimeter into which WS2812B LED strips are glued. Powered by a lithium rechargable battery, commands are given by an Arduino Nano hooked up to a MPU6050 3-axis gyroscope. This allows the Arduino to change the light patterns based on the movement of the board. Left and right turns, pumping the board, and surfing down a wave all come with their own animations.

It’s a fun twist on night surfing, and makes it easier to spot a downed surfer, too. It’s a build we expect to see recreated in a high-end 4K surf film before the year is out. Of course, if you just need to know if the conditions are right before you head out, this surf weather station might be just the build for you. Video after the break. Continue reading “Surfboard LED Strips Light Up The Waves”

Electric Surfboard Doesn’t Need Waves

Surfing is a majestic sport, but one which relies heavily on the environment to provide suitable waves for the practice. If you don’t live near the right piece of coast, you’re simply out of luck. Of course, you could always build yourself an electric board instead to tear up the local lakes – and that’s precisely what [Simon] did. 

Following on from earlier experiments with 3D printed boats, the board is powered by a pair of jet drives, sourced from [YOUNGSTERS JETS]. Not one to skimp on horsepower, [Simon] selected twin 5000W motors to provide plenty of motive power. Of course, operating at such power levels comes with some headaches, and there’s plenty of blown ESCs and damaged motors along the way. Perseverance and plenty of cash outlay later, and the board is out carving elegant lines in the water at over 45 km/h.

Future updates aim to solve the problem of water ingress into the electronics, particularly the hand controller, of which [Simon] has already ruined two. We look forward to seeing more of these craft out in the water in coming days, particularly as they’re at least 30% less loud and annoying than the common jetski. Video after the break.

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Lock Your Keys In The Car On Purpose With Aluminum Foil

[TJ] is a surfer, and drives his car to get to the beach. But when he gets there he’s faced with a dilemma that most surfers have: either put his key in your baggies (shorts) or wetsuit and hope it doesn’t get lost during a wipeout, or stash it on the rear wheel of his car. Hiding the keyfob by the car isn’t an option because it can open the car doors just by being in proximity to the car. He didn’t want to risk losing it to the ocean either, so he built a waveguide of sorts for his key out of aluminum foil that lets him lock the key in the car without locking himself out.

Over a series of trials, [TJ] found out that his car, a 2017 Chevy Cruze, has a series of sensors in it which can determine the location of the keyfob based on triangulation. If it thinks the keyfob is outside of the car, it allows the door to be locked or unlocked with a button on the door handle. If the keyfob is inside the car, though, it prevents the car from locking via the door handles so you don’t accidentally lock yourself out. He found out that he could “focus” the signals of the specific sensors that make the car think the keyfob is outside by building an open Faraday cage.

The only problem now is that while the doors can be locked, they could also can be unlocked. To solve that problem he rigged up an ESP32 to a servo to open and close the opening in the Faraday cage. This still means there’s a hidden device used to activate the ESP32, but odds are that it’s a cheaper device to replace than a modern car key and improves security “through obscurity“. If you have any ideas for improving [TJ]’s build, though, leave them in the comments below. Surfers across the world from [TJ] to the author would be appreciative.

Hang Ten With Help From The Surf Window

Unless you live in a special, unique place like Hawaii or Costa Rica it’s unlikely you’ll be able to surf every day. It’s not easy to plan surf sessions or even surf trips to most locations because the weather conditions will need to be just right. Not only the wave height (swell) but also the wind speed and direction, tide, water and air temperature, and even amount and type of marine life present can all impact your surf session. You’ll want something which can easily tell you right away if conditions are good.

This project from [luke] is called the Surf Window shows the surf conditions at the local beach with just one glance. Made out of various pieces of wood, each part represents one of the weather conditions at the beach. A rotating seagull gives the wind direction, for example, and the wave height is represented by 3D, moving waves. All of the parts are connected with various motors and linkages to an Arduino Mega +WiFi R3 which grabs all of its information from Magicseaweed, a surf forecasting site.

The Surf Window can show the current conditions at virtually any surfable beach in the world, so if you really want to know how Jaws, Mavericks, or even Reef Road is breaking right now, you could use this to give you a more nuanced look. Don’t forget to take the correct board for the conditions!

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Analyzing Data To Build Better Surfboards

In the world of surfing, the equipment available is as diverse and varied as the enthusiasts themselves. Different boards are optimized for different conditions and styles, and the industry continues to innovate towards ever greater performance. [DARK-labs] aim to bring data analysis into the field to help create boards personalised to the individual.

The goal is to use a sensor network embedded in a surfboard to analyze the style of a particular surfer. This data is then used to identify characteristics such as stance and foot preference, which can then be used to optimize a board design to suit. Once a CAD model is created along these guidelines, it can then be CNC machined and turned into a finished board, ready to hit the waves.

It’s a project that we expect will capture the interest of many a surfer, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the concept take further strides in coming years. We’ve featured some other board hacks, too – this electric build is particularly compelling. 

Surfing Diorama Makes For A Neat Desk Toy

In 1994, Weezer famously said that “you take your car to work, I’ll take my board”. Obviously, for the office-bound, surfing is simply out of the question during the working day.  That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with a desk toy inspired by the waves.

The crux of the build is a watery diorama, which interacts with a faux-surfboard. The diorama consists of a tank constructed out of plexiglas, sealed together to be watertight. It’s then filled with blue-dyed water, and topped off with baby oil. The tank is then mounted on a cam controlled by a servo, which rocks the tank back and forth to create waves. This is controlled by the motion of the rider on the plywood surfboard, which can be rocked to and fro on the floor thanks to its curved bottom. An Arduino built into the board monitors a three-axis accelerometer, and sends this information to the Arduino controlling the tank.

By riding the board, the user can shake the tank. Get the motion just right, and smooth rolling waves are your reward. Jerk around with no real rhythm, and you’ll just get messy surf. We reckon it would be even better with a little surfer floating in the tank, too. It’s a fun build, and one that might help stave off the negative health effects of sitting at a desk all day. You might prefer a more shocking desk toy, however. Video after the break.

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Shred The Gnar Without Paddling For Waves

[Ben Gravy] isn’t your average pro surfer. For one thing, he lives in New Jersey instead of someplace like Hawaii or Australia, and for another he became famous not for riding the largest waves but rather for riding the weirdest ones. He’s a novelty wave hunter, but some days even the obscure surf spots aren’t breaking. For that, he decided to build a surfboard that doesn’t need waves. (Video, embedded below the break.)

The surfboard that [Ben] used for this project isn’t typical either. It’s made out of foam without any fiberglass, which makes the board less expensive than a traditional surfboard. The propulsion was handled by an electric trolling motor and was hooked up to a deep cycle battery mounted in the center of the board in a waterproof box. The first prototype ended up sinking though, as most surfboards can’t support the weight of a single person on their own without waves even without all the equipment that he bolted to it.

After some reworking, [Ben] was able to realize his dream of riding a surfboard without any waves. It’s not fast, but the amount of excitement that he had proves that it works and could fool most of us. This hack has everything, too: a first prototype that didn’t work exactly right and was fixed with duct tape, electricity used in a semi-dangerous way, and solving a problem we didn’t know we had. We hope he builds a second, faster one as well.

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