Spangler's Archive

February 21st, 2013 | By | 1,140 Comments

How To Screen Print Your Own Surf Tees

Its a right of passage for every surf grom or start-up business to screen print their own tees. Sure, its a mess and you could probably outsource it for cheaper, but whats the fun in that?

Raise your core-score by following these steps in learning the art of handcrafted tees.

We chose to further immortalize SWELL’s own Bill Laity, holding his official Guinness World Record certificate for his 26hr longest continuous surf session. We call him the WEEKDAY WARRIOR because he surfs mon-fri, rain or shine…but misses most weekend swells to avoid crowds and party.

screen printing digital illistrator
(additional supplies listed at bottom of page)
1. Creating Your Graphic:
Upload your art into Adobe Illustrator as a single color, OR import a photo and livetrace by selecting the image and following the menu options: Object > LiveTrace > Make > Black and White Logo. Size the image to fit on a 14″x 16″ artboard for a standard fit tee shirt.

2. Ordering the Screen
Expand the selection and send your vector image to a local screen printer. Explain that you want a screen burned for your own home production. This takes 1-4 days.

screen print set up

3. Printing Surface & Preparation
Your printing setup can be as simple (cheap) as laying it flat on a table, or building a custom stand with an adjustable arm lever, screen clamp, and pallet or sleeve to slide shirt on. However you set it up, use Super 77 glue spray to secure the shirt to your surface so it doesnt shift while you apply the paint.

The 3 Finger Rule. A normal logo should print no higher than 3 fingers below the neck line, or its what we call a neck print that you see in Affliction-esque loud logos. If the top of the logo begins more than 6 finger below the neckline, its an equally hideous belly print.

screen printing plastistol

4. Time to Print
-Use masking tape to cover any porous areas where excess paint may bleed through.

-Apply a generous portion of premixed plastistol just beyond the start of the design. Ensure the paint cover the entire width of your logo.

-Get your squeegee into the paint, and begin to firmly angle it at 45 degrees, applying most of your pressure in your fingertips.

-In one smooth continuous motion, pull the ink evenly accross the length of the screen. If you feel like you pulled it too light and the shirt never shifted, squeegee the ink through your screen again.

-With a flick of the wrist, scoop up excess paint with the squeegee and slowly remove the screen so the tee doesnt stick to it and fall.


5. Curing and Finishing:
Using a flash dryer and temperature gun, heat the shirt to 320 degrees to fully cure the ink. Anything less will dissolve in the laundry or easily crack after a short time.

The shirt will be ready for immediate use, and the process can be replicated at a rate of up to 60 shirt/hr.

Squeegees: 15″ with medium durometer blade
Quart Containers: For mixing ink colors.
Curable Reducer: For thinning your inks
Laser Temp Gun: Monitor drying temp
Flash Dryer: Cure Ink
Screens/Frames: 16×20″ pre-stretched screens. 110 mesh
Spray Adhesive – Low tack adhesive used to hold shirtin place
Printing board: 16×16 Platen:

Note: there are countless ways to screen print, this is just one (far from flawless) version to DIY. If you have a better method…write a book.

Thank you for visiting the Swell blog. Visit us on for more exclusive fan offers, giveaways and more.
February 19th, 2013 | By | 4 Comments

That’s What He Said: Best of Product Reviews

What do you get when you mix a stunning sense of style, with a shocking sense of humor? A SWELL customer of course. Here’s some standout product reviews from one funny LRG fan this week:

lrg pants

No… Thank YOU Capt. Mateo M.D

lrg paper weight tank top

Boat Capt. & Doctor?! Sounds like you’re anything but a “normal human being” haha

Are you an Orange County Local SWELL Shopper?

Apply to come by the SWELL headquarters to give feedback on the latest products, and take home you favorite styles. These OC Local Reviewers gave us great feedback, and look how happy they are! Contact Diana@SWELL.Com for more info.
oc local reviewer

February 15th, 2013 | By | 1,073 Comments

Coachella Lineup Countdown: White Arrows

It’s the v-day edition of your band checklist, so psyche out to a solid LA band that will rock your chonies off.
White arrows band

Genre: Psycho-tropical and impressionistic soundscapes of many dreamy genres
Band Members: Mickey Church: Vocals, Frontman
Henry Church: Drums
J.P. Caballero: Guitar
Andrew Naeve: Keyboards and beats
Steven Vernet: Bass

Self Proclaimed: “We like it to be a total sensory overload, a lot of projections, a lot of strobes, haze and fog. Like a complete sensory takeover. We like people, for that hour, to have a complete uninterrupted experience and whatever happens, happens. Just to be in the moment.”

Latest album: Dry Land Is Not A Myth (2012)
Random facts:Mickey Church was born legally blind, but his vision was righted at age 11yrs. He then created his own college major at NYU about this phenom.

They do a buncha free shows up the Ca coast and yonder. follow the boys here

Must Hear Track: Get Gone


White Arrows Style: Hula shirts, Cat-eye sunnies, cloth snap-backs and retro boardies

February 13th, 2013 | By | 1,815 Comments

Making of: Rareform Recycled Boardbags

Freeway Billboards cover every mile of  Southern California, so why don’t we upcycle these  massive sheets of useful plastic?
Rareform Boardbags
Billabong converts millions of plastic bottles into recycler series boardshorts, so Rareform ran the with concept to resuse plastics into “bill-board-bags” and as much surf gear as possible.

Co-Founder of Rareform, Alec Avedissian walks us through the innovation process

rareform billboard Boardbags
1. Sourcing:
 Billboards are actually made from heavy-duty vinyl to withstand weather and roadside elements.  They have the ideal protective UV coating for your board,  and colorful pop with designs and patterns.

rareform billboard Boardbags
2. Saving
After the relatively short life as a billboard, thousands of sq. feet of heavy vinyl is bound for the landfill. That’s where Rareform intercepts the material for reuse.

rareform billboard Boardbags
3. Designing:
The team at Rareform collects the billboard waste, washes them, and cuts out rad designs for 100% unique patterns. Tha’s right, no two boardbags look the same!

4. Sewing:
The bags are hand sewn in Ventura, Ca to fit most shortboards, fun shapes, SUP paddles and change mats/wetsuit bags.

They’re tricked-out with:
-#10 Heavy duty, corrosion resistant zippers
-Removable/adjustable shoulder strap
-1/4″ Foam padding
-Board bag hanger hook
-UV/heat/water/mildew resistant tarpaulin

5. Surfing!
Boast the best gear with function fashion and eco-upcycling on your next day drip or global surf get away.

Check out the Reform line at SWELL

The Story Behind the Billboard Bags:

On an extended surf trip to El Salvador, Rareform founder Alec Avedissian spent some time volunteering in a small fishing village. There he helped locals repair their roofs using the re-purposed material from old billboards. This material, both waterproof and incredibly durable, protected families against the harsh coastal elements. This however was not the case back home. When Alex returned to the States he learned that all this great vinyl material was going straight to the landfills.