Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A new revelation........

With apologies to Mark Thomson!
........and a welcome added tranquility!
It has changed! It has definitely changed for me this whole getting in the ocean and riding waves thing I am so keen to do.

Since I made the complete transistion from "surfer" to "waverider" a year ago when I purchased a bodyboard and latterly more so with the purchase of a surf mat, I think I may have evolved to some degree!
I have discovered that I am far more inclined to accept a less than perfect wave before I decide to get in to the ocean to enjoy catching and riding it!
Whilst others fume, stomp heartily on the surface of this wonderful planet of ours and exclaim "It is shit!" I am thinking "Oh yes, I can see a bit of face on that I can enjoy that on the bodyboard" or "Yep there is a pretty reasonable reform there that I can hook up to on the longboard"
Now with the recent addition of the surf mat and following the actual acquisition of at least some degree of mat skills I look forward to thinking "Oh yeh cranking take off, bit of face and reforms, perfect for the mat!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So! How are you getting on with the surf mat?

Huumph! Well a little miffed that you happened to have asked so soon actually but....... reasonably well probably, and certainly not quite as badly as the image is portraying.
However, I did squeeze the corner of the mat so hard at one point during this afternoons trial that I pearled the mat and went straight over the front of it as it came to a very rapid halt.
I have been out twice now since my first report and the main thing I have realised is I just have to wait until there is a much better quality wave on offer to really get a better feel for it. It just seems so technical although it is ironic that I am aware that I also probably need to think and do less than I am.
Each time I take the mat out I am learning something new though and interestingly today, I managed to remember to get my fins out of the water and the mat took off in an unruly fashion which was rather a lot of fun as I got a bit of a drift happening and the mat seemed to come alive!
Michelle's commented as I came back out.
"You should have gone left!"
I said
"Well, tell the mat, as I was just along for the ride apparently!"
And God, you know I am pretty lie down surf fit as I often have a bodyboard out but, a session on the "Fatty" is particularly exhausting for some reason.
Anyway, next time I will be taking it out will be when there is a wave with a bit of punch and the prospect of a reasonably lengthy down the line ride.
I will be endeavouring to remember to:
  1. Get my fins out of the water
  2. Keep my elbows in
  3. Squeeze the outer corner to hang in
  4. Release the outer corner to drift
  5. Not do anything
  6. Use my hips to turn
  7. Concentrate on feeling what is happening
  8. Keep my body flat
  9. Squeeze.....
  10. Keep.....
  11. Get....
  12. Do........nothing!
  13. Arrrrrrgh....is it really gonna take me 10 years to learn to ride this thing well George?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

4GF "Fatty" 1st session report...........

.........as described to shaper Paul Gross in a recent slightly further embellished email.

Hi Paul

Well, just back home after my first session on that devil machine you have made for me! LOL!
It was probably made a little more challenging as the wind was onshore with messy little waves but there was an upside? I was alone! The way the session turned out, thank God!

Anyway, I whacked 25 breaths into the Fatty and headed out backwards into the ocean, turned round once it was deep enough, climbed onboard and promptly fell off!? Humm!
Finally made it out the back and bobbed around uncontrollably while waiting for something to come my way in order to attempt a first take off.
I was not feeling confident!

Not surprisingly, my feelings were correct as the mat bent in half, came to shuddering halt and then progressed rearwards down the back of the wave! Hummm!
Thinks to self. "They who know are correct. This is a whole new learning curve!"
A few more feeble and unsuccessful attempts resulting in more stalling, as the mat continued to buck, gave me a bit more of a feel for what was going on and I decided that I had way too little breath inside the mat.
I agilely ( Oh bullshit! Robin) popped off the mat and breathed hard into it a few more times.
I popped back on agilely (Oh c'mon man!) without falling straight back off this time (Yeh, yeh, there was the odd wobble or two) and "Oh Yeh" I exclaimed to myself "That feels a whole lot better!".

By this time, I had learnt I needed to be right up the front of the mat and that if I squeezed the front on the take off (I just love this on the go change the way your wave craft is shaped thing) it stiffened the whole mat up so as the bending backwards and attacking the face inclination was minimised.
So now I am starting to get down the face of the odd wave and enjoying it a little more but starting to feel really knackered as a whole lotta new muscles ( There are more muscles in my back to get sore ?) got a good work out.
Too intrigued to stop quite yet, however, I caught a few more smaller waves and got to the point where I felt I had learnt enough to paddle a little further out and catch something with a bit more size and then that would be it for the session.

Waiting, waiting waiting..............Ah! Here we go!
Well, Hot Diggity Dog! It was a beauty!
Extraordinarily, I managed to direct the mat across the face to the right and in a mad rush of squeezing the front, squeezing the left corner to stay on the face , squeezing the right to trim across a section, (Yeh, I have been doing a lot of research prior to this first attempt!) squeezing the left corner again to try to..............ARGHH!.........SPLASH!........GURGLE!.........THUMP!
I ended up landing in heap in the shallows eventually agilely (Are you serious?) getting the right way up again to see the mat sitting innocently alone on the sand where it bobbled up and down as the wind threatened to blow it on down the beach.
Hey! But what's that on my face? Ah, it's that famous mat riders grin gouged into my features as I relive the whir of momentum and speed of that last ride!
Anyway, I will let you use your own imagination to fill out the details of an exhausted 1st session mat rider, with fins still on, then having to chase his newly christened mat up the beach!

Delighted to have joined this esteemed group and looking forward to getting the mat out in a better quality wave next time!

Thanks so much for the mat.