By Gary Giles (ex Bluewater Bay local & now living in Tasmania)
Ever stuff your take-off up because your booties stick to your board like flies to the proverbial dung heap??? Yes, booties do not slide!!! Unfortunately for those of us that live in colder climates they are a necessary evil in winter.
But stress not – help is at hand thanks to the miracle material that budgie smugglers are made from. Yes – Lycra!! By gluing Lycra to the bottom of your booties gives them a grip similar to bare feet. No more stuck like mud to your board - just the right amount of slide to get your feet where you want 'em.
Here’s how it’s done:
1) Lycra – either cut up your budgie smugglers or your missus’ one piece speedo (she doesn’t need it in winter), or alternatively go to your local haberdashery shop and buy a metre of Lycra which means you can get a fashionable colour or enough to do 50 booties for about 10 bucks.
2) Booties (of course) – an old pair is better just in case you stuff up.
3) Contact adhesive
4) Baking paper – the adhesive doesn’t stick to it and avoids a moerse mess
7) Marker pen
8) Small Throwaway Paintbrush
1) Place the Lycra under a bootie and mark the outline with the marker pen. Mark it a bit bigger so you can bring it up the sides a bit for a stronger job.
2) Cut the bootie shape out of the Lycra
3) Place the cut out on top of the baking paper and tape it down in a few spots. The reason for taping it down is because once that contact adhesive hits the Lycra she’ gonna curl up real quick and if it does you’ll be back at Step 1).
4) Now spread the contact adhesive with the paintbrush nice and thick on both the Lycra and the bottom of the bootie. Put two coats on and remember to let them dry inbetween coats as dry contact adhesive only sticks to dry contact adhesive. Two things to make sure you do here:
One – coat the edge of the Lycra where there is no tape nice and hard so that it actually sticks to the baking paper otherwise you will get little micro curls in the Lycra and !!!!– Yup you guessed it – back to Step 1). It should stay nice and flat once you take the tape off like the picture below.
Two – make sure you put a bit of contact adhesive up the side of the bootie for that excess Lycra you marked out earlier on. Rather go too far than too little, otherwise you will end up with an unglued lip that will either have to be trimmed off or will flap around which is where things will fail after a while as the Lycra will start peeling off here if it’s not snugly glued.
5) Once the second coat is dry and leaving the baking paper on, align the bootie with the cut out very carefully before touching them together as you can’t adjust things once they touch – remember that Step 1) thingo – well don’t get it right and you’ll be back there!!!! Take a deep breath, press them together forcefully, remove the baking paper and work the Lycra up the sides of the bootie with either your finger (very messy), a paintbrush or an ice cream stick
6) Give it a while for the glue to go off completely then with an ice cream stick or small paintbrush work small amounts of contact adhesive around the lip of the Lycra filling in any voids, rough patches, etc, because as mentioned before this is where it will fail after a while if it’s not glued around the edge properly.
And that’s about it. Obviously give it a couple of days to really get the bond going before using them.
As you can see in the pictures I used a pair of external split toe booties and just went straight over the split with the Lycra which probably isn’t ideal, but couldn’t be stuffed cutting the Lycra and working it up between the split as it would be a messy job, but you can do it if you’re keen.
Finally I also embraced modern technology with my choice of Lycra pattern and haven’t had my feet chomped off yet!!!. Just waiting for the striped wettie now!!!
So there you have it peeps - how to keep your feet warm (and safe from rocks) whilst not compromising on your ability to put 'em where you want 'em. Gonna give this a try for sure! Shot Gary for sharing this rad lil trick with us.