A New Beginning with Performance Fiberglass, Hydro-Turf, Kommander Industries, Impros, Cold Fusion, & Liquid MilitiaTuesday, September 27th, 2011
It has been a while since I have been able to update my website but its time to give credit where credit is due and tell the story of how my 2011 Freeride ski came together.
For the last 3 years I have been making the best of my OEM Black top White bottom 2004 Yamaha Superjet. This ski has worked great for me yet it has been super hard to grab a camera’s attention unless I was 15 feet from shore in perfect lighting. So after the midshaft on my ski broke I was motivated to completely part out the ski in order to fix the problem and while I was at it, strip down and repaint the ski. This would be the start of my “new” ski for the 2011 season.
With a totally gutted ski I made my way over to my Fiberglass sponsor shop, Performance Fiberglass in La Habra, CA. John Crabb there has supported me since the beginning when he helped me create the ultimate freeride 550. John is like a family member to me and I would not be where I am now if it was not for his support.
I respect this sponsorship from John so much because he gives me more than a great looking and strong custom ski. Nothing of mine in that shop gets done without me coming in there and doing mostly all of the work myself. As I grind away and lay up fiberglass, John is right there handing me more materials that I need and showing me exactly how and why to do it. So overall it is the knowledge of fiberglass materials and body work that I have gained from working in the shop that really makes me appreciate all of the hard work that goes into fixing and modifying my jet ski.
I started out by sanding the entire ski down, removing all old logos, and patching up areas that needed fiberglass reinforcement and or repair. My friend Eric Garcia helped spray the primer coat on my ski as soon as it was ready which I then completely wet sanded down with 3 levels of high grade grits to prepare for the paint layers. From there we mocked up the general design with the pin stripe tape. After we were satisfied with what we created, it was time to spray the first base layer of black. From there we applied the pinstripe design again to mask off what would be the black pinstripe on the final product. From there we sprayed the next layer which was the gloss white. we then masked those portions off to spray the house of colors metallic blue. Moving on from there we masked off all the blue in order to spray the final color which was the metallic silver. When the paint mist settled we pealed off all of the masking to reveal a flat version of the final product. The shine then came from the immediate and final layer of the clear coat which tied all of the paint lines together, protects the paint from UV rays, and gives the boat that semi gloss finish. Eric Garcia helped me out big time by color sanding and buffing out the final clear coat to give it the beautiful mirror finish I did not trust myself to do right the first time. See the entire sequence bellow.
With the ski completely painted it was time to install the Hydro-Turf padding for the tray and rails of my ski. Hydro-Turf has supported me since the beginning of my riding career and has done the same for the entire industry. I personally believe Hydro-Turf it is the best traction product available for every Freeriding and freestyle jet ski application. With a paint scheme like this I did not want to do just one color. Which is where my imagination went wild with the recent release of Hydro-turf’s new line of 2-tone custom Hydro-turf. I ordered 4 different styles of the two tone all with black base in the cut diamond pattern.
The total Hydro-Turf materials I used for this ski added up to apx. $480.00 in value including the following:
-1 Sheet of Black Molded Diamond
-1 Sheet of 26mm under-padding
-1 Sheet of Gray 8mm under-padding
-1 Sheet of Black 9mm under-padding
-1 Handlepole Shock Pad (Superjet)
-1 1″ Kick tail
With the custom two tone colors, I painstakingly cut aligned and glued the different matching colors along the bond line of my ski to in a sense match the paint job flow. this process alone took my an entire day.
After the rails were turfed I moved on to the tray of the ski where I padded the top of the rails with the 8mm gray under padding which shapes really easily using sand paper or a di-grinder sanding disc. When the padding was set I used the custom 2 tone White top with Black base for the sides with a Royal Blue Hydro-Turf logo cut into the sides. After the side rails were complete, I installed the Black molded diamond dash. With all the side walls in the tray being turfed, it was time to work on what I believe is the most important part of personal protection available by Hydro-Turf, the under padding. The 26mm Black plush Under padding is the best padding to be used because of its extreme durability and dampening properties that prevent high impact injuries such as broken bones, sprains, and other impact related injuries. I utilize the 1″ kick tail slope in my footholds to brace the back of my heel with a soft but grippe resistance. When I put my weight back on my heel during a surf slash or “kick in” to my foothold, It feels snug. The biggest key to utilizing Hydro-Turf’s under padding is the ability for it to be shaped and sanded to your needs. I heavily shaped the rear padding to cleanly contour the footholds, the high spot where the 26 mm under padding comes over the top of the 1″ kick tail, and finally blending the sides of that slope down to cleanly meet the beginning of the side rails. Blending the underpad and creating smooth contours only makes the final layer of turf easier to apply.
That being said after I had everything shaped, I then custom cut the base turf which I chose to use Black Molded Diamond. The 2 tone Hydro-Turf is extremely nice looking yet at the end of the day it is very thin Hydro-Turf laminated on top of Hydro-Turf. A high friction area like the base of the tray around the foothold area tends to ware the top thin color off quickly. The Molded Diamond is the toughest type of Hydro-Turf I like for tray base applications. After the turf was glued I seamed the blue in the black together with a thin strip of the Royal Blue two tone to blend the side of the rear rails together. The last part of the turf job was laying some custom cut 2 tone Gray with black on the inside of my hood to protect the hood from the rubbing of my hood straps. It would also to allow room for my semi legally located CF numbers. I also Turfed and installed my Tomski bolt on Front Foothold.
With a fresh painted and turfed ski it was time to set it off with the sponsor logos that make it all happen for me. I took the ski over to my good friends and sponsors at Liquid Militia. Ryan Smith the lead graphic designer of the company took all of my sponsor logos and di cut them all with a matching 2 tone black and white accent. I cant say enough for how bad ass the logos came out and how they really set the ski off. Thank you Liquid Militia!
Motor & Drive-line
With a killer looking ski it was time to get a heart to the beast by my new motor sponsor Steve Webster of Kommander Industries in Phoenix, Arizona. I drove out to Phoenix one weekend with the game plan of bringing home a running ski back to ride the next day in Oceanside. On the way up I stopped to pick up some parts from my impeller sponsor Impros, in Redlands, Ca. Owner David Stewart helped me out big time by getting me hooked up with a Skat-Trak 144mm Magnum Pump and with his Impros series “Hooker” 9/15 Prop. I have run this prop before in my normal pump and have had excellent results in turbulent water conditions such as ocean white water and rough water in general. The Magnum Pump processes the water so efficiently it really gives the best results that a motor can put out for any stand up. I left Impros and about 4 hours later I arrived at Kommander Industries. Where one of the Kommander Industries technicians and another good friend of mine, Chad Cole already had most of my motor assembled.
I brought the remaining pieces of the puzzle which included the box of Cold Fusion billet parts I was really excited to have on my ski. Carl Gramberg of Cold Fusion has been building some of the best billet components in the world for just about everybody including the army since 1984. Carl besides being a billet mad scientist, is an avid freerider himself who still loves to see progress in the sport of freeride from riders he supports and has the ability to build new and innovative parts to keep that cycle of progress going further and higher. For this leg of my build I got a new Cold Fusion Billet Flywheel Cover that has a perfectly machined grove for the exact clearance of the special O-Ring he provides. This allows a gasket free seal which also means 100 percent water/leak free seal as well. Not to mention it looks bad ass! The next component I got was the Cold Fusion Billet light weight Yamaha Couplers. I have ran these couplers before and they are in fact the lightest, strongest, and in my opinion the best functioning drive-line couplers available. They are not only light but they are much smaller in diameter which reduces the outside spinning mass when compared to the huge OEM Yamaha engine couplers. Being smaller with 3 large coupler teeth helps make engine alignment a lot easier to do with a closer clearance between coupler teeth. With a lightened flywheel and these couplers I have noticed amazing response in the bottom end “hit” and acceleration from my ski. The last bit of billet goodness I am the most excited about, is the complete set of Cold Fusion’s Billet Motor Mounts. These mounts have a billet base with a somewhat complex billet tower machined above it which is then engulfed in vulcanized rubber which is a process that literally welds the rubber to the billet aluminum. This process not only makes the motor mounts virtually un-breakable,but having the vulcanized rubber also gives these motor mounts better dampening properties than OEM mounts! With the design of the billet mounts you no longer need to run the Kenney Keeper engine restraints because these mounts do not let me motor flex forward on high impact stops! Over all I am really impressed and happy that these are the first and last motor mounts I will purchase for this ski. Carl has out done himself with this space age jet ski technology and cant thank him enough for his support!
Back to Kommander Industries, Chad Cole helped me assemble my entire ski from the ground up with all the components that were loose or missing. The engine package they put together for me is a Yamaha 701cc cylinder punched out to 760cc and ported by Steve Webster. The internals consist of a killer billet stock stroke crankshaft from my good friends Aaren Davis and Jeff Seebold at ADR/Competitive cranks, Non-ported 62T cases, Delta V force 2 Reeds with a Reed spacer kit, Black Jack Performance modified 38mm Carburetors, Kommander Industries Girdled billet head, LPW lightened OEM Flywheel, Jet ski Solutions Stator, Cold Fusion Flywheel cover, Cold Fusion Light weight couplers, and a Kommander Industries Port matched Factory B Pipe with Mod Chamber. In a matter of a few hours and a few squirts of primer fuel my freeride ski growled to life. It had been such a long journey to get my ski back together it was hard to believe that it was actually my own ski that fired up. After taking it out to break it in and a quick tuning session in Oceanside it is safe to say that this is the BEST freeride motor package I have ever had! The motor absolutely rips with only 140lbs of compression. I’ll go ahead and say who ever said you cant get power out of a low compression motor is foobar and clearly has not ridden a Webster motor! This motor has tons of power given its maximum potential which is propelled by the Magnum pump with an Impros Hooker impeller. All in all, If you are looking for a simple, reliable, and mostly powerful freeride motor then give Steve Webster a call and have him build you a killer engine package like mine!
This engine has not only been a great freeride engine but since I have built this ski to the time I am writing this, I have placed 3rd overall in a race class against full blown limited 800cc stand ups, and taken 1st place race titles at the Grayland Open Pro Motosurf race class and the Pro Ski Class at the 2011 Blowsion Surf Slam. This set up I have is FAST… simple… but really freakin FAST! Go visit Kommanderind.com now!
Thank you for your support,